Christians need worship to hear from God, to affirm what we believe, to confess our sins, to pray for others, to rejoice in songs of praise and thanksgiving, to remember what Jesus has done for us through the visible sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. This unites us with the saints of old (Acts 2:42) and with believers today.Believing that means of grace driven ministry reflects both continuity with the past and proven effectiveness with the present, we are committed to anchored forms that can be presented in accessible ways to the present generation. Preaching must contain sound exposition and contemporary application. The emerging generation seeks authenticity. Preaching must be winsome, humble, and reflect genuine faith and struggle. Corporate confession must be real and understandable. Hymns and songs of praise must be offered with reverence and yet also be accessible to both young and old. For example, we envision hymns sung in the arrangements as those found in the Indelible Grace songbook and accompanied by guitars, piano, and percussion. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper will be more often than quarterly and represent the appropriate response to personal reflection brought on by the preaching of the Word. Dress will honor God and His holy day but will also be casual as reflective of the culture.Our forms, our dress, and our demeanor must make it easy for even the newest convert to the faith to join us in the rest and joy of corporate worship.
Being committed to relational ministry means that believers must join together outside of corporate worship to involve themselves more intimately in nurturing relationships. This can be as simple as meeting together for coffee or a game of golf and it can be as structured as a weekly prayer group or Bible Study. The goal is not to simply establish programs but rather to bring people together for mutual edification, growth and encouragement.Some have referred to this as “life on life” discipleship. The Bible says that early Christians met together regularly for prayer, for teaching, for meals, for the sharing of burdens and for the purpose of meeting needs identified within the communities where they lived. In this way, Christians were able to flesh out in life what was professed in worship. Relationships are also the means by which most personal discipline can be accomplished. As believers grow in their understanding of the gospel and in their participation in trust-confidence relationships, they see the gospel come to life.Therefore, we will encourage small group Bible Studies, prayer groups, service opportunities and organic, personal encounters for believers to be with each other in addition to weekly, corporate worship.
At a time when families are in crisis, relationships are fractured, when isolation has become the norm, when fear is the under-current of the economy and politics, when it is hard to know who to trust—the Great Shepherd commands that under shepherds come alongside the people of God to offer guidance, comfort, counsel and trustworthy help (1 Tim. 3; Titus 2). We are committed to a church that submits to the godly authority of elders who exercise spiritual and theological oversight over the flock of God. This is to ensure that no one man takes any thought or people captive by controlling the body of Christ. And we believe that deacons also, ought to be men of faith who seek to provide for the mercy needs of the congregation and community where we serve. Such authority is freedom not fear, security not slavery and is shepherding not lording power over others.
For this reason, we rejoice to be part of the Presbyterian Church in America denomination and subject to its Book of Church Order which establishes and affirms the above.