From God's perspective, there is only one
church. It includes all believers all over the world who have entered into a
personal relationship with God through faith.
Within the family of God as a whole, there
are smaller groupings of people and leaders who God has brought together based
on a common vision and understanding of His eternal purpose.
Just like in an earthly family, each of
these groups of people has distinct characteristics based on a common heritage,
spiritual belief system, vision and focus.
We believe that the local church is an
aspect of the church that God is focusing on building in these days. While we
recognize and understand that the larger Body of Christ encompasses all
believers, it is through the local church that all the plans and purposes of
God are going to be demonstrated and fulfilled. Every believer must find
himself or herself in right relationship to God and to a specific local church
in order to find a place of ministry and fruitfulness. The church is God's
instrument to extend His kingdom in the earth today.
Restoration of the Church
We believe that the church, which began
with great power and anointing, fully functioning as God's instrument in the
earth, went through a period of serious spiritual and doctrinal decline through
the Middle Ages. Since Martin Luther, God has been in the process of restoring
the church to its former glory and power with the goal of taking it on to His
intended purpose, enabling the church to finish the commission laid upon it by
Prayer and Intercession
We believe that both personal and
corporate prayer are absolutely essential for the church to succeed. The New
Testament church was birthed in prayer. It continued steadfast in prayer and
bathed all of its activities and ministries in prayer.
Praise and Worship
We believe that the pattern for New
Testament worship is found in the Scriptures and is described in the Psalms.
The pattern is demonstrative worship that is characterized by the biblical
expressions of clapping, shouting, singing, dancing, lifting hands, bowing and
Eldership Church Government
We believe that God has a plan and pattern
for government in the local church. We refer to this as team ministry or an
"eldership management” form of government with a senior pastor or chief
elder. The elders are the servant leaders of the local assembly who are
responsible before God to build up and equip the members of the church to be
able to function in their God-ordained callings.
Prophecy and the Laying on of Hands
We believe that prophecy and the ministry
of the prophet are to be fully operational in the church today. We do not
accept that this and other ministries were to be confined to an "apostolic
age” but they are to be fully activated until the physical return of Christ.
Restoration of the Family
We believe that, at the same time God is
restoring His church, He is also restoring the natural family to its proper
place and function. God is in the process of healing marriages, strengthening
parents and teaching men and women more about their God-given roles. He is
doing this because He wants to use a godly seed in this generation to rise up
and destroy the works of the wicked one.
Small Group Ministry
We believe that the early church focused
on two important expressions of its assembly life. There were the corporate
gatherings that were vital for equipping of saints, and corporate expressions
of prayer and worship. In addition, there was ministry from house to house for
the sake of fellowship, relationship, nurture and evangelism. If the church
today is going to be successful in its ministry to the world and to itself,
both expressions must be cultivated.
The Kingdom and the Church
We believe that the extension of the
kingdom of God is the function and ministry of the church. The church, which is
composed of both Jew and Gentile, is God's instrument in the earth to establish
His rule and His reign. The church is the instrument; the kingdom is the
message. If the church is going to fulfill its God-given calling, it must
reclaim its primary function of bringing the lost to Christ and extending the
borders of God's kingdom until the glory of the Lord covers the earth.
The Fivefold Ministry
We believe that the ministries listed in Ephesians 4:11 are to be
fully functioning right up to the return of Christ. This includes the
ministries of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists. All of
these ministries are needed if the Body of Christ is to be properly equipped
and the church is to be properly built up.
The Gifts of the Spirit
We believe that the gifts of the Spirit
enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 are not only for today, but also should be
desired, sought after, and evidenced in every church. They are to be a part of
the church right up to the return of Christ for His perfected bride.
Unity & Diversity
We believe that every local church should
be inclusive, actively seeking to include all peoples of all races, ethnic
origins, and social and economic standings. Each local church should reflect
the makeup of the community within which it is located.
Evangelism, Church Planting, and World
We believe that the church has been given
the commission by Christ to go into the entire world with the kingdom message
in an attempt to bring all men to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We also
believe that the result of this mission should be the establishing of local
churches in every community in every country of the world.
Raising up and Releasing Leaders
We believe that fivefold ministers are to
be servant leaders that equip and release every member of the local
congregation to function in their God-ordained ministry.