Our Core Principles
From the first book of the Bible to the last, one person is in focus: Jesus Christ. Scripture is not primarily about laws, wise sayings, exciting stories, ancient history, or even us. Rather, it is about God’s provision for all of man’s heart needs in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our preaching and teaching reflect this focal point. Our desire in every sermon is to aim our attention both on all that Christ is and on all that Christ has done, is doing, and will do for those who believe in Him. Whatever issue we are dealing with in life, Christ is the solution.
To know and follow Jesus, a church must allow Scripture to direct it. The Bible is the written record of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Further, it is the primary means through which Jesus is currently speaking to His church. Therefore, we study Scripture and seek to apply its message to our lives. When we gather together corporately as a church, the teaching of Scripture is central. Outside of our corporate gatherings, we look to the Scripture for guidance in our personal lives. In short, the Bible is our authority concerning what we believe and how we live.
If one had to choose a single word to describe the heart of Christianity, it might be grace! Grace is the kindness and strength of God poured into the lives of people who do not deserve it and could never earn it. The Bible teaches that God forgives our sin only by His grace. The Bible also teaches that God’s grace enables the Christian’s entire life! In other words, grace provides us all that we need to be who God desires us to be. As a church, our mutual experience of and dependence on grace leads us to treat one another with grace, and not judgment – giving to each other what we need, not what we deserve.
Fear, duty, and ritual drive many forms of religion. In contrast, we desire to be motivated by worship. Worship is, at its root, the expression of worth to something. When we worship God, we are acknowledging and celebrating His superior greatness as revealed in creation, in Jesus, in Scripture, and in our own lives. Some of the ways that we ascribe this worth to God, both in our corporate gatherings and in our personal lives, are through music, prayer, offerings, testimonies, submission to God, and love for others. True worship, however, cannot be reduced to mere words and ritual; rather, it is felt in the heart and displayed in the entirety of one’s life. The ultimate way that we worship God is by fulfilling the purpose for which we were created, which, according to Scripture is to know and enjoy God. Thus, we desire to worship God by growing in our knowledge and enjoyment of Him every day.
God never intended the Christian life to be lived alone. In the Bible God calls the church a family! If we are going to become all God wants us to be, we need each other! Genuine love displayed in active care for fellow Christians is the foremost quality of a true follower of Christ. This can and will happen as we intentionally engage in one another’s lives by building authentic, transparent, unconditional, unselfish friendships. A church is not a bunch of disconnected individuals who only have a gathering place in common. No, the church is a group of brothers and sisters that have Jesus in common. God has intentionally placed us in each other’s lives so that we can help one another on our journey to Him. This orientation toward loving relationships extends outside the church as well, as we seek to share the grace of Christ with everyone we know.