what we believe
We seek to be in collaborative relationship with likeminded churches and church leaders. Our relationships will be grounded in a Christ-centered alignment in four key areas; Theology, Philosophy, Relationally, and Organizationally. When churches and church leaders want to join us, we ask that they covenant to our network that they will support the follow statements.
Theological Alignment – Our Beliefs
The following beliefs provide the theological foundation of our network as statements of faith. They are the non-negotiable foundation of what we teach and believe.
1. The Bible
We believe the 66 books of the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, were given by God’s inspiration as the authoritative Word of God for the church of all time. We believe the Scriptures originated with God but were written by the instrumentality of people and thus speak with the authority of God while reflecting the backgrounds, formats, and vocabularies of the human authors. They are supreme, reliable, infallible, and the final authority on all matters of Christian faith and practice.
We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the almighty Father is sovereign. He exercises providential care and superintendence over all His creatures, and governs the world in wisdom and mercy for His purpose and pleasure. He graciously involves Himself in the affairs of human beings, hears and answers prayers, and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
3. Jesus Christ
We believe that God sent Jesus Christ as true God and true man; he was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. We believe he was raised from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, and now acts as the only mediator between God and people. By Jesus Christ and his name alone can humans be saved. Jesus sits at the Right Hand of the Father, he has inaugurated his Kingdom reign and he shall come back again, personally and visibly, to complete His saving work and to consummate the eternal plan of God.
4. The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit applies to people the saving work of Christ. He brings conviction of a person’s need for forgiveness and he leads that person to Christ. Those who truly embrace the Lord Jesus Christ by grace through faith are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. He regenerates the believer’s heart and dwells within. His ongoing work is to guide, lead, and empower the believer for godly living, service, and manifestation of God’s kingdom reign.
We believe that God created us for relationship – relationship with God and with one another. We emphasize the greatest commandments which are to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love others as ourselves. It is by our primary relationship with God, with the Holy Spirit working in us and through us, that love and all godly fruit is possible. It is by our love for one another as Christians that people will know we are true disciples of Jesus Christ. We bring glory to God by living our lives in authentic, life changing relationship with Him and with one another.
We believe that people were created in the image of God for a loving relationship with God in His eternal kingdom. However, people have rebelled against God, actively or passively choosing to go their own independent way. Thus we are alienated from God, we experience the corruption of our nature because of sin, and we face hell if we are not rescued by God. The effects of this fall from our intended relationship with God can only be reversed through faith in Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, and life in God’s eternal Kingdom.
We believe that Jesus Christ came into this world and died on the cross to save us from our separation from God and the eternal penalty of sin. We believe in God’s Kingdom, the future resurrection of the dead and the final judgment. Those saved by Jesus Christ shall enter into full possession of eternal bliss in the presence of God, and the lost shall be condemned to eternal punishment and death. No amount of good works or human effort can restore us from our state of eternal alienation from God. It is only by God’s free grace that we are saved from this state of alienation, and this grace is appropriated by personal faith, through a change of heart toward God’s leadership in our lives, by reliance on Jesus to forgive our sins, and a commitment to follow God through him.
We believe that every Christian should be baptized in water by immersion as Christ modeled, as the Bible commands, and as the early church demonstrated. In the early church, the normative way for expressing one’s repentance and personal decision to place faith in Jesus Christ (confession of faith) was through baptism. Salvation can only be received through personal faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is the essential human response to Christ and baptism is commanded as the outward expression of our faith.
We believe we are called individually and corporately to reach the world for Jesus one person at a time and to make biblical disciples in relational environments. Individually, this is lived out by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others, baptizing those who respond, and journeying with them along with other believers in authentic relationship to develop disciples who can make disciples. Corporately this is done when we come together in large and small gatherings for discipleship. These gatherings will demonstrate by word and deed the Grace and Truth of Jesus Christ. The love expressed by God’s people for each other and for the communities in which they live point people to the love of Jesus.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that the Bible teaches us to appoint servant leaders called elders to provide oversight for the local church. God has ordained that only scripturally qualified men are to be appointed to serve as elders and lead pastors/teachers. We gather together in both public and smaller relational groups. Our public assemblies are for instruction, worship, communion, and service, using our gifts and abilities to encourage each other and glorify God. Our gatherings in relational groups are for personal discipleship, prayer, study, shepherding, modeling, spiritual practices, accountability, and support.