Grace Church exists to raise up mature disciples of Jesus Christ.
We will foster a greater sense of belonging to our church family as we engage the needs of our community.
Our priority is a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ’s visit with Martha and Mary underscores the fact that a loving relationship with Him must be our highest priority and more important than our service for Him. (Luke 10:38-42) “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” (Covey, Merrill, Merrill)
Our ministry is centered in the lives of people. Jesus Christ died for people, not programs, buildings, and classes. God’s heart is focused on people. (Genesis 12:3; Luke 19:10; Matthew 22:37-40)
Our foundation is life-related Bible teaching. Only the penetrating power of the Scriptures can fully expose the motives, excuses, and values of the human heart. (Hebrews 4:12) Only the God-breathed Word has the capability of producing spiritual maturity. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Our passion is to embody grace in all we do.
Jesus Christ is the head of Grace Church (Colossians 1:18, 2:9). Under His headship, we are governed by a plurality of elders, who are men called by the Holy Spirit to oversee the life of the church. Each of our elders is recognized by the existing group after an extensive process which includes examination of his Christian maturity and Bible knowledge in light of the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, a period of internship, and consideration of feedback received from the entire congregation.
The role of the elder is to oversee and guide the life of our church body, to guard the truth of our teaching and doctrine, to provide counsel and encouragement to individuals in the body, and to be examples of faith and Christian living. Our leaders may be paid or unpaid, with varying functions and varying degrees of visibility, but all work to equip the people of Grace Church for the work of the ministry.
The only Biblically authorized offices within the church are head or chief shepherd (who is Christ), elder, deacon, and believer-priest. The New Testament knows nothing of a single-leader church, however that leader may be designated.
Thus our form of government is solidly Biblical (Acts 14:23, 20:28; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-4) and has been a part of Grace Church from its beginning. We believe that there are also several practical benefits of government by a plurality of elders:
- Decision making that obtains the wisdom of all before action is taken
- Effective maintenance of the character and vision of the church, since it is held by several men rather than by only one
- Personal and moral accountability of each elder to a team of fellow shepherds
- Modeling leadership through varied personalities and spiritual gifts
Since Christ is the head of Grace Church, our leadership must seek and conform to His direction in shepherding and guiding the flock. Therefore the elders have committed themselves to being unified in all major decisions; disagreement over an issue is taken as a sign that more consideration and prayer are needed. Likewise, the elders are committed to actively seeking input from the entire church family before making major decisions.
In the early church, men and women were examined and appointed as deacons and deaconesses to carry out functions which were not being fulfilled by other members of the church family. Grace Church is blessed to have a large and active group of men and women who are enthusiastically performing those tasks necessary for the health of the body. For this reason, the elders do not see a need at this time to formally identify deacons or deaconesses to minister. Rather we want to express our appreciation to the men and women who are actively serving the needs of our church.
You are urged to pray regularly for the elders and deacons and to make your needs, suggestions and observations known to them.
The universal church consists of all who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as personal savior. No local church can confer or withdraw this membership. The Bible clearly demonstrates, however, that each Christian needs to give his love, loyalty and commitment to a local group of believers (Hebrews 10:23-25). There is a lifetime of growth to be found in developing the relationships and ministry opportunities that God has for each of us within such a fellowship. Therefore, we believe that regular participation in the life of a local church is vitally important for every believer, and we encourage you to make this type of personal commitment.
Although there is nothing Biblically wrong with formal church membership, for several reasons we have adopted the policy of having no formal Grace Church membership roll:
- We want each person to feel at home and fully included in our church family on no other basis than his or her relationship to Jesus Christ
- We want to provide shepherding and nurturing to anyone who desires it, apart from any official membership status
- We believe that our teaching on the nature and function of the church will be more effective if we avoid some of the traditional practices concerning church membership.
We welcome anyone who has personally trusted Jesus Christ as savior, and who wishes to identify with Grace Church, to "join" through regular participation with us.
We believe that the practice of church discipline is a Biblical imperative. It is commanded by Jesus (Matthew 18:15-17) and by Paul (1 Corinthians 5:1-13). By neglecting the proper exercise of church discipline a church not only compromises its spiritual integrity but also endangers its very existence (i.e. the church at Thyatira in Revelation 2:20-24).
Grace Church is committed to following the Bible's clear teaching on this important issue. A full statement of our policy on church discipline is permanently posted in the foyer of our building; a copy may be obtained from the church office. Your choosing to become a part of the Grace Church family indicates that you accept the Biblical teaching regarding church discipline and consider yourself subject to our policy.
Individual giving is a form of worship; it should be done joyously, freely, generously and without internal or external compulsion. Consequently, we take no offerings during our services; instead, we provide offering boxes at various locations so that all who desire to worship God through giving can do so freely and privately.
We do not want to hinder spiritual growth by resorting to man-made fundraising techniques that place people under pressure to give or create false guilt. Rather, we desire to provide everyone with the opportunity to give voluntarily.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God, who died for our sins as a substitutionary sacrifice and physically rose from the grave three days later. All those who trust Christ as their personal savior are redeemed and are members of the worldwide body of Christ. We welcome all who hold this belief as brothers and sisters in the Lord, and invite them to become part of our fellowship at Grace Church. John 1:1-14, 3:16; Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:8-10; Colossians 1:14-20
Furthermore, we believe that the Bible unequivocally teaches the following doctrines, although we recognize that in some cases sincere and intelligent Christians hold different views. In order for unity to prevail within Grace Church (Acts 4:32; Philippians 1:27, 2:1-2), we require that all those in positions of leadership and teaching must personally hold to the following basic precepts. However, if you disagree with some aspects of them, you are still welcome to be a part of our fellowship.
We believe that the Bible — the sixty-six books of the Older and New Testaments — is the written word of God, our final and infallible authority in faith and life. We believe that the very words of the original texts, and not merely the general concepts or ideas, were inspired by God and thus are free from error — both historically and conceptually true in every detail. Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21
We believe in one God who exists eternally in three persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit; these persons are coequal, each fully possessing the divine nature. Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Acts 5:3-4
We believe that Genesis 1-11 is factually true and not mythical. Consequently, we believe that the cosmos, including man, is the product of God’s creation out of nothing (creation ex nihilo), and not the result of naturalistic or theistic evolution. Genesis 1:1-2:3; Job 38:1-7; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17
The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that he willfully sinned and consequently experienced immediate spiritual death (i.e., separation from God) and eventual physical death. As a result, all people are born with a predisposition to sin, and in fact do personally sin. Apart from Jesus Christ all are eternally lost. Gen 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6; Rom 3:23, 5:12; Eph 2:1-3
Jesus Christ – His Person
We believe that God the Son became human in the person of Jesus Christ; was conceived by the Holy Spirit within the womb of Mary, a virgin; and is fully God and fully man. Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:14; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:15
Jesus Christ – His Work
We believe that Jesus Christ died for the world’s sin as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that only those who believe in Him are declared righteous and eternally acceptable before God. Isaiah 53:4-5; Mark 10:45; Romans 3:24-26; Colossians 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18; 1 John 2:2
Jesus Christ – His Resurrection
We believe that Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, where as our high priest, He is interceding for us and directing the church. John 20:24-27; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:4; Ephesians 1:19-21; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 4:14; Colossians 1:19
We believe that anyone who trusts Jesus Christ as his personal savior is given spiritual life by the Holy Spirit, who immediately and permanently indwells him and baptizes him into the body of Christ as a child of God. This salvation is a gift. It is not based on any human effort or merit, but on the grace of our sovereign God; thus once granted, it can never be lost. John 1:12, 3:1-16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28, 8:9, 38-39; John 14:16-17; 1 Corinthians 12:13
Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
We believe that God’s offer of salvation to all who will believe in Jesus Christ is genuine. The person who rejects God’s offer is fully responsible for his choice and justly bears the consequences. Nevertheless we believe that man’s sinful condition does not permit him to come to God unless God first draws him to Himself. We further believe that all Christians were sovereignly chosen by God for salvation before the creation of the world. This tension between divine sovereignty and human responsibility pervades many other areas of doctrine and life; its apparent contradiction is due only to man’s inability to fully comprehend the workings of an infinite God. John 6:37, 44; Acts 16:31; Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:4-5; 2 Thes 2:13; 2 Pet 3:9
We believe that each Christian still has a sinful nature, but that God is in the process of changing every believer to be more like Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit. The believer’s responsibility is to yield himself to Jesus Christ as the Lord of his life. Romans 6:1-14, 8:11-13, 12:1; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:16
We believe that the Holy Spirit gives at least one spiritual gift to every believer, to be used for building up other believers. These gifts are to be exercised according to Biblical guidelines and priorities. We believe that certain spiritual gifts given to the early church (among them the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, healing and performing miracles) were temporary in nature and are not present in today’s church. Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 28-31, 13:8-10, 14:20-33; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11
The Universal Church
We believe that the church consists of all who have put their faith in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost until the present. The church has a threefold purpose: to give God the worship and praise He deserves, to build up believers to spiritual maturity and to evangelize the world — witnessing, by our words and our lives, the truth of God’s provision for man through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 4:4-16; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Matthew 5:13-16, 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Acts 1:8
The Local Church
We believe that each local church is to be nurtured and governed by a group of elders who operate under the headship of Jesus Christ. These are men called by God to a shepherding ministry and are recognized on the basis of Biblical qualifications. We believe that women are to serve the church in other vital roles, such as encouragement, counsel, prayer and ministries of shepherding and teaching other women in the body. Local church elders may be assisted by deacons, who must also be Biblically qualified and who perform ministries of service. Acts 14:23, 20:17, 28-31; 1 Timothy 2:9-12, 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9, 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
We believe that Christ has commissioned each local church to regularly practice the baptism of believers and the Lord’s Supper. Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:21-39, 16:30-34; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The Christian Life
We believe that as Christians, we should order our lives according to Biblical priorities, among the most important of which are these:
- Cultivation of Our Personal Relationship with God
- Expression of love to fellow Christians by the commitment of time, effort and resources
- Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with nonbelievers
John 15:1-27, 17:15-23; Titus 2:1-14; Galatians 6:10; Colossians 3:18-24; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 John 4:7-11
Angels, Demons, and Satan
We believe that angels are real beings, created by God, and are sent out by Him to minister especially to believers. We also believe in the existence of fallen angels — demons — who work to thwart God’s purposes in the world. Chief among them is Satan, who attempts to defeat believers through deception and temptation to sin. Christians can overcome Satan’s schemes by applying Biblical truth through the power of the Holy Spirit. Job 1:6-12, 38:6-7; Isaiah 6:1-3; Ezekiel 28:12-19; John 8:44; Hebrews 1:14; Jude 6; 1 Peter 5:8-9; Ephesians 6:10-18
Resurrection and Judgments
We believe that all people will be physically resurrected after death. Nonbelievers will be judged by God and will suffer eternal separation from Him. Believers will be examined by Jesus Christ and will be rewarded according to their faithfulness. All believers will enjoy eternal fellowship with God in heaven. John 5:24-29; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Revelation 20:11-15
The End Times
We believe that the church age will end with the following sequence of events, which could begin at any moment:
- The Rapture: When Christ will come and instantaneously gather all Christians to Himself. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58
- The Tribulation: A seven-year period under the domination of the Antichrist and characterized by divine judgments. Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation 4:1-18:24
- The Second Coming: When Christ will personally and visibly return to Earth to defeat the forces of the Antichrist and bind Satan. Revelation 9:11-16; Zechariah 14:1-15
- The Millennium: A one thousand-year period of peace and righteousness over which Christ will personally reign on Earth. At the end of the millennium, Satan will rebel, will again be defeated and be cast into the lake of fire for eternity. Revelation 20:1-10; Isaiah 11:1-16
- The New Heavens, New Earth and New Jerusalem: A new creation in which believers will eternally dwell in fellowship with God. Revelation 21:1-22:5; Hebrews 12:22-24