Three distinguishing characteristics have marked us from the beginning and continue to shape us as we grow:
1. The authority and application of the Scriptures
God has revealed Himself in this incredibly relevant, supernatural book called the Bible. Therefore, we don’t want to miss anything He has to say about Himself or how we relate to Him.
Expository teaching is the verse-by-verse study and explanation of God’s Word. This is not the only way we teach, but it is the primary way because it insures that we get a balanced diet of the “whole counsel of God.”
The church is to be governed by a plurality of biblically qualified elders who provide spiritual oversight and guard the mission and values of the body.
In prayerful dependence and diligent commitment to the authority of God’s Word, the elders’ role is to determine how the Lord, who is the Head of the body, wishes to direct His church.
The New Testament church was led by teams; there were no “Lone Rangers.” Our approach to leadership follows this same model. We are served by a pastoral team of individuals who function in specific roles based upon gifting and calling. In various ministries, “teams” comprised of pastoral staff and lay leadership give direction and oversight.
Asking "So What?!"
Because truth must be applied to be experienced, we will call people to apply the truth and provide opportunities for people to live out the truth. We will regularly ask ourselves, “So What?!” as a means of moving the truth beyond something we know in our heads, to something we believe in our hearts, and live through our hands and feet.
Have you ever seen something, done something, or experienced anything that left you speechless? At those moments, the only sound that comes out of your mouth is, “WOW!”
We want to be people who live life being “WOWed!” by God. That means we must trust God to do what only He can do, and as He shows Himself faithful, we are left, “With-Out-Words!”
2. The priority and power of relationships
One mark of our maturity is the measure of our relational depth and integrity. We will not ignore conflict or relational problems; we will embrace them as a pathway to intimacy by learning to resolve conflict, forgive, and live in true committed friendships.
Genuine relational intimacy and significant spiritual growth are inseparable. God changes people and reveals Himself in the context of people learning to live life together.
3. The responsibility and importance of equipping
The role of the pastoral team is to equip every Christ follower to live life biblically, experience the joy of spiritual influence, and embrace the privilege of being used by God for a transcendent cause.
Rather than focusing on events that people invite others to attend, our emphasis is on equipping people to be confidently unleashed to be an irresistible influence where they live, work, and play.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.