Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:
1. The Bible
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is, “What does the Bible say?” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:15
2. The Local Church
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe the local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control. In relating to our “daughter churches” that we sponsor, we encourage each congregation to determine its own strategy, structure, and style.
“Christ is the head of His Body, the church. He is the source of the Body’s life…” Colossians 1:18
3. The Priesthood of Every Believer
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every person to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
“Christ loves us, and by His death He has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve God…” Revelation 1:6
“You are…the King’s priests…God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God.” 1 Peter 2:9
4. Baptism in the Holy Spirit
We believe the need for the Holy Spirit’s power and presence in a believer’s life is as critical today as it was in the day of the Apostles. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God extends His power and presence and our role is to receive. This baptism is marked by an initial act of receiving and continues as a daily response to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We encourage all believers to seek the power, presence and gifts of the Holy Spirit for themselves in a manner with which they are comfortable. (Scripture References: Ephesians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Luke 11:13; Matthew 7:7-11; John 1:32-33; Acts 2:1-13)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
5. Water Baptism & Communion
The Word of God calls the Church to two ordinances of the Lord Jesus Christ: water baptism and communion. Water baptism is the outward sign of what God has already done in a believer’s life and is a testimony that the person now belongs to Jesus Christ. We practice baptism by immersion under water—the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ…” Colossians 2:12
Communion signifies the death of Jesus Christ and is done in remembrance of Him until He comes again. It is a time to examine ourselves and the work of Christ in our life. We partake of communion corporately the first Sunday of each month.
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
We practice tithing for the support of Christ’s body and the Church as God commands. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard of giving.
“A tithe of everything you produce belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” Leviticus 26:30
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15