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We desire to be a church...
That emphasizes Christian Liberty and the uniqueness of each believer...not forcing you into someone else's mold.
That believes new life in Jesus encourages us to love God, the things He made, and the people He called us to serve...not to be sour and outraged.
That believes missions is more than a program or budget line, but the very core of who we are and how the church spreads locally and globally.
That walks with one another in following Jesus authentically, in the everyday rhythms of life...not just when the church has a gathering.
That knows our calling is not only to invite our neighbors to church, but to be the church in the community, which involves serving, caring, and being present where the neighborhood gathers.
Christian Liberty and the Uniqueness of Each Believer
We believe the Scripture teaches that there are no “cookie cutter Christians” (1 Cor. 12). Each believer has been created to serve God in the time, place, and according to the gifting God has ordained for them. While there are some broad responsibilities of every church member according to Scripture, extrabiblical expectations and burdens only seek to discourage and dishearten believers who feel compelled to serve outside of their unique calling.
We seek to be a refuge for those who have been strong armed and pressured in the past to fit a mold for which they were never created. We find beauty and strength in the uniqueness of each Christian’s personality, and will seek to equip and strengthen one another in our gifts and callings. Doing that may require loving encouragement to step out in faith and stretch ourselves within our unique calling, but never be forced to be something we are not designed to be.
The gospel produces life, and Jesus redeems. We desire to be a people of deep joy in Jesus. We have so much to be thankful for, and so much to live for. We do not want to be a people sour against the culture, closed off in the 4 walls of our church, and constantly wringing our hands. Instead, we believe we have been called into the culture to be salt and light.
We genuinely desire to see our culture changed, to submit to God’s authority, and be characterized by his truth. But, we know that cannot truly happen through moral change disconnected from the gospel. It cannot happen through laws, or resistance, or public opinion. Those things may have the appearance of godliness, but only the gospel of Jesus Christ can transform hearts. So, our prayer for our culture and our nation is not simply moral change but gospel-wrought change. In that we see our responsibility clearly, to bring the message of Christ to our community.
God created culture and human creativity. While the stain of sin is all around, there are elements of culture we should enjoy, seek to redeem, and give glory to God through. Sports, art, music, entertainment, food, drink, recreation, nature, etc. are all good things from above that can and should be enjoyed by the Christian to the glory of God. We do this best as we mature as disciples and increasingly gain discernment into that which can be enjoyed and that which must be avoided due to sin’s temptations (1 Cor. 10).
Worship is gospel-shaped, meaning through our worship gatherings we rehearse and repeat the gospel with one another week after week. The worship service tells a story that begins with the adoration of God in all his righteousness, holiness, and majesty, we then are called to see ourselves in light of who God is and approach him in humility through prayer of confession. We are then reminded of the truths of the gospel and rejoice with one another in its promises through Scripture and song. We pray and thank God for his goodness, seek his face before his hands, and lift one another and our community and world to the throne of grace. We then sit at the feet of Jesus through the proclamation of truth.
We believe the Scriptures are clear what is permissible in worship, and we seek to be biblically faithful to only that which is prescribed in the Bible.
We do not believe missions is programmatic, but is the very lifeblood of the church. We are a community on mission, and we are all missionaries. We desire to live it out in reality. Missions is not simply supporting financially and praying for missions around the globe, it is who we are as the church. Our church is a mission. As we are able and led, we will seek to support the work of missions in other areas of the country and world in finances, prayer, and hands-on service.
We are of the conviction that Jesus has called only one entity to reach the lost, his Church, and missions is church planting. We are committed to financially supporting the work of church planting domestically and abroad through the BFC Board of Missions and BFC Church Extension Ministries.
Discipleship is the path of following Jesus. In its most basic definition, it is one believer walking alongside someone teaching them about Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, and nurturing them in their faith. The goal of discipleship is Christian maturity where a disciple is then able to multiply in making disciples of Jesus on their own.
While we believe Jesus disciples the entire church as a whole through the proclamation of the Word in our corporate worship gathering, other aspects of discipleship also happen throughout the week.
We do not believe “event-based” discipleship is the most biblically faithful, or even practically best way of making disciples. Instead, we believe discipleship best happens in community in the everyday rhythms of life. Discipleship can happen on the Little League field, in the corner coffee shop, in a phone call, over a good meal, or at lunch after Sunday worship.
While traditional church models seek to create plans and programs to draw people into the church, we believe Jesus teaches that discipleship is not primarily about coming to church, but being the church going into the community. In other words, we desire to structure the normal patterns of our church’s life so that priority can be given to serving the community, loving and rubbing shoulders with our neighbors, and ministering to our friends and family.
Evangelism and Outreach
Evangelism is an aspect of discipleship where we introduce people who do not know Christ to his glorious gospel. Evangelism has traditionally been taught as a formulaic, individual endeavor. Sadly, this can make us view people as projects to be fixed rather than people to be loved.
We believe Jesus sends us on mission together, and that while there will be opportunities for individuals sharing Christ with others, the Christian is encouraged to evangelize through community. To invite others not only to believe in Christ, but to see Christ’s body love, serve, and grow together.
Outreach is not something that should be primarily programmed. We do not see the benefit in separating the everyday life of the church from a specific time of outreach, instead all of our ministry all the time is outreach.
While there may be times where events are planned and specific areas selected, those events will be authentic expressions of the life of the church. In other words, we are not going to bait and switch with outreach seeking to win people over with only attractional means. Our events will demonstrate who we are as a church and how we can love and serve the community in which God has planted us.
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