We honor a triune God as the creator of all life
‘In the beginning God created….’
When we say that our first value is to “LOVE GOD”, our first challenge is to define who God is. We are living in an age of spirituality. Most people in our society claim that they believe in God, but unfortunately many are trying to create God in their own image.
The God that we love is not just an influence or a force. We believe in a personal God who is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is one God, eternally existing in three persons. We may find it difficult to explain or define the trinity, but there are many things we know about God because he has chosen to reveal Himself to us in the Bible.
We could use many words to describe who God is, but some of His attributes that come readily to mind are love, holiness, mercy and justice. Another word that defines the God we honor is ‘Creator’. We do not believe that the universe came about as a result of a mindless ‘big bang’ or that life forms came out of a primordial soup as a chance accident of time and space.
We believe in a divine architect who designed and created an awesome cosmos before looking at His creation and affirming that ‘it is good’. Sin may have marred God’s creation, but it is still incredibly good! We believe that the greatest expression of God’s creation came about when he created humankind. All creation was good, but only Adam was created in the image of God. As men and women, we have a unique standing in God’s creation and we have the opportunity to live in a unique relationship with the Creator.
Because He created us and communicates truth to us about Himself, we have the capacity to love Him in a way that no other part of creation can love Him. That is why our first key value is to love God. We love God because of who He is and because of how wonderfully he has made us.
We celebrate God’s Presence through dynamic praise & worship
‘Come into his presence with singing,’ says Psalm 100. ‘Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.’
Some people have a perception that a church is a quiet, sombre place, but we believe it is a place of celebration. Every weekend, throughout St. Charles and the St. Louis Metro area, churches are filled with people of all ages who love to make a joyful noise because they have a reason to rejoice and celebrate.
We believe in worshipping God extravagantly – with the harmony of voices, all kinds of instruments and with the freedom to clap or raise hands. If a worldly celebrity can command endless applause and standing ovations, how much more does our Lord deserve to be exalted by our praise! Yet praising and worshipping God is not limited to singing a few songs once a week in a church service.
True worship is a lifestyle that embraces the entire spectrum of life. You can praise God at any hour, seven days a week – in the car, in the shower or in the middle of the night. Our worship is not based on ritual or tradition, but is a real expression of our intimate relationship with God. The contemporary music and freedom of worship is one of the reasons why the younger generations are being drawn to Jesus Christ and many churches are seeing explosive growth in the number of young people in their congregations.
The distinctive, fresh sound of new songs have exploded in many churches in recent years, there have been many contemporary vocalists and musicians whose songs have begun to have international impact. People such as Darlene Zschech, Russell Evans and Gary McDonald and groups such as 3rd Day are touching the world with their music.
We obey God’s commission through Holy Spirit empowered world mission
In John 14:15, Jesus says, ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command.’
The last command Jesus gave us during His time on earth was ‘to got into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15). Nothing has changed. This is still our commissioned purpose and if we truly love God, we will obey Him and spread this gospel to every tribe, tongue and race.
God in His wisdom does not give us a job to do without enabling us. He gives us the resource – the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8, Jesus says ‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ So as we receive the power of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered and equipped as witnesses for Him.
We have been commissioned and world missions is our goal! We must obey. Jesus obeyed and came. We have been just as sent and commissioned to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth as Jesus was. We have the same mission Jesus had. Our purpose is to light the world and we have the Holy Spirit’s empowering to help us accomplish it.
We declare God’s infallible word through contemporary ministry
We are glad to be a part of a fellowship that honors and values the Word of God.
We believe that the entire Bible is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16) and that the authors were not giving us their own opinions, but were moved by the Holy Spirit to write what they wrote. (2 Peter 1:20) Consequently, what they wrote is God’s inerrant Word to us today. It is truthful, accurate and reliable. It gives us answers to life’s questions and show us how to live successful and fulfilled lives. It is our final authority on all matters of belief and practice and, most importantly, show us how to develop our relationship with God. We are a fellowship that understands and accepts the challenge of communicating this Word in ways that are relevant to our society.
The message of the Bible is just as relevant today as it was to the world when it was first penned, but the challenge to the Church is to effectively communicate that message to those around us. Someone has stated that the message of the church should never change, but the method of declaring that message should always change. We must always be looking for contemporary ways in which to communicate the truth of God’s Word.
While our message must always remain firmly grounded in the truth of the Bible, we must be a fellowship that understands our society and is able to present the truth of God’s Word in ways that are attractive and understood by our world.
The Apostle Paul is our example in this. He boldly and uncompromisingly declared the whole gospel at every opportunity, but always endeavored to communicate this message in ways that related to his hearers. Describing this approach, he declared that he had ‘become all things to all men that he might win some’ (1 Corinthians 9:22). This is the mandate of the Church: to uncompromisingly declare the truth of God’s word in ways that arrest our society and see the Gospel spread throughout each generation.