- The Lord Jesus Christ is our only head. The church exists to know Him and to make Him known, doing whatever He desires as He builds the church in His wisdom and power.
- The Bible is the only infallible blueprint for church life. It tells us accurately what we need to believe and how we can follow Christ’s directions.
- The Lord’s goals for the church involve the glorification of God, the edification of believers and the evangelization of the world. As these are kept in balance, God makes Himself known through the church in truth, holiness and love.
- Since God’s Word is unique in presenting changeless patterns of church life (absolutes), we must not treat human traditions as if they too were changeless. Where the Bible is silent, the church is to remain flexible and prayerful, evaluating its actions by the goals which God has laid down for the church and by the specific leading of the Holy Spirit for our time and place.
- The essential activities of the church when gathered are teaching, edification through mutual ministries, and worship through the Lord’s Supper, singing and prayer.
- The meetings of the church should be characterized by the participation of many who are being prompted by the Holy Spirit. This will result in the church being built up, harmoniously and effectively.
- The focus of church life will be on smaller rather than larger groups.
- Church meetings and other activities will be kept at a needed minimum to give both individuals and families time for growth and ministry.
- All believers are ministers (servants and priests) who have been gifted by God so that they may lovingly build up their spiritual brothers and sisters.
- Evangelism is the daily task of all the believers as God enables them to reach out compassionately to meet the needs of people outside of Christ.
- The basis of any ministry is faith. It is “by faith” that God’s work is accomplished – not by planning, by organization, or by self-effort. Planning and organization have their place, but we must be flexible and easily led by the Holy Spirit.
- The strongest ministries are team ministries that utilize the principles of discipleship. These principles include life-related biblical instruction, modeling, personal involvement and multiplication.
- In order to make disciples and multiply churches, the church is responsible (under the Lord) to superintend the training, recognition and sending (with support, if needed) of whatever Christian workers the Holy Spirit separates for such service from the church.
- As God supplies biblically qualified leaders, the church will have two or more men who function as pastors (they may also be called elders or overseers). These men will lead the church by unanimous agreement as they discern the will of Christ through study, mutual exhortation and prayer. Other biblically qualified men may be selected to serve the church as deacons, handling practical responsibilities delegated to them by the elders.
- The pastoral leaders are to shepherd (feed and lead) the church as well as equip believers for their various God-appointed ministries. They are to function as “player-coaches” who have as their aim the training and engagement in ministry of individual believers.
- Preaching and teaching responsibilities will not be restricted to any one man, but will be shared by all gifted in these areas. Those elders who rule well, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching, shall be considered worthy of financial support. Such support, if given, will not imply inequality among the elders. The addition of elders will require the confirmation of the members.
- We recognize that the church and its members are stewards (managers) of God’s resources. In financial matters, the church is to emphasize the use of resources for the needs of people and the spread of God’s work, keeping the orientation away from land and buildings.
- We recognize that to build a strong church we must build strong families. Growing family relationships are encouraged, with the primary responsibility for spiritual nurturing falling to the family heads. The church should not replace home responsibilities or compete with the home for time and prominence.
Unity and Purity
- Participation in the membership of the church is by those who give evidence of personal faith in Christ, obedience in baptism and the leadership of the Holy Spirit to this particular church body.
- The church must have a oneness of mind, heart, spirit and purpose in essential matters of belief and practice. Serious attention will be given to making sure that the church remains united and pure, with the prayerful application of scriptural standards concerning church discipline.