The word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones” so according to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and follow Him as their Lord.
When it comes to how we do church as a gathering fellowship, we hold to three biblical purposes and seven governing values that guide our practices and focuses as a fellowship.
Three biblical purposes that guide the principles of our church in fellowship:
1. We seek to be a church where one can come to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18),
2. We seek to be a church where we continue “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42),
3. We seek to be a church where we believe our Lord’s promise that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
Seven governing values guide the practices of our church in fellowship:
1. We value expository verse-by-verse study of God’s word, through facilitated discussion, allowing those in attendance to talk, share, and openly consider viewpoints without criticism or judgement.
2. We value the Bible as the ultimate source of authority, and we hold to evangelical conservative beliefs, but are committed to refraining from dogmatic tests of fellowship on non-savific unessential doctrines.
3. We value the biblical definition of the church as the “body of Christ”, made up of true believers, all gifted and called to various functions of service, rather than defining a church as a building or a denomination as the one true church.
4. We value involvement from individuals of various denominational backgrounds, we don’t have church membership, we respect denominational heritage, but refrain from imposing those practices on the church in fellowship.
5. We value simplicity in our church fellowship, we don’t pass offering plates or ask for money, we avoid budget-driven debt and don’t do complicated worship productions.
6. We value having more of a family gathering style in our church fellowship than a corporate event, giving emphasis to relational fellowship instead of program driven services.
7. We value equipping those in our church community to fulfill the gospel ministry of their calling, to partner in cooperative missions that can reach further than us in the advancement of the Great Commission both locally and abroad.