Our vision is what we are focusing on as far as our ministry purpose and direction:
“Together, strengthening you to change your world for Christ.”
The Christian life was never meant to be an autonomous endeavor. This is why God created the church, so that we could provide love, support, accountability and community. See Acts 2:44.
We believe one of our roles is to equip our congregation in their faith so that they are prepared to live victoriously in Christ. See Ephesians 4:12.
To Change Your World:
The Bible doesn’t teach that the church (as an organization) is responsible for permeating every area of culture and life. In our world we are to be salt and light. We want everyone in our congregation focused on being Jesus in their homes, work and communities. See Matthew 5:13-16 and Acts 1:8.
As Christians, life isn’t about us; it’s about Christ. We’re not trying to become agents of change for us, but for Him. Our job here on earth is to be His ambassador wherever He has – we are His representatives here on earth. See 2 Corinthians 5:20.
OUR VISION AND GIVING PLAN
WE ARE PRAISING THE LORD FOR THE CONGREGATIONAL AFFIRMATION OF OUR “VISION GIVING PLAN” FOR 2017….
…and we’re moving forward with our plans to:
- Hire a Next Generation (Children’s) Pastor who will focus on all our students from kindergarten through sixth grade, but with a special emphasis on students in fifth and sixth grades
- A slight increase in our Missionary Giving
- The continued aggressive reduction of our building mortgage.
We are thankful for the over 60 commitment cards we received. If you would like to participate in helping us reach our goal, there’s still time.
We Value Prayer
We express our dependence on the Lord through prayer.
We Value Worship
We long to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.
We Value Fellowship
We recognize the necessity of involvement in one another’s lives.
We Value Outreach
We desire to reach our community, culture, and world with the gospel.
We Value Bible Learning
We believe we should learn, understand, and apply the Bible in our daily lives.
We believe that the true God, revealed in the Bible, hears and answers prayer. For the Scripture says, The righteous cry out and the Lord hears (Psalm 65:2). The Lord is addressed as, O You who hear prayer (Psalm 34:17). God expresses His personal interest by saying, I have surely seen … and have heard their cry … for I know their sorrows (Exodus 3:7). Jesus affirms that the Father who is in heaven hears and answers by encouraging us to ask … seek … andknock (Matthew 7:7,8). Because we can know that God has great love and favor for us (Psalm 56:9; Romans 8:31,32), we can run to Him with our needs and requests (Philippians 4:6) and find great hope (Isaiah 58:9). This stimulates our confidence and continuance in prayer (Psalm 86:7) (1 John 5:14a).
We believe that prayer is commanded by God. For the Scripture says, … men (everyone) always are to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). God knows our hearts and wants to free us from the tendency to simply lean into ourselves for what we need (James 1:5). The provision that we need for all things is only found in God – and we are to constantly be keeping this in mind as we maintain a commanded spirit and attitude of prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Even though the full workings of prayer remain a mystery to us, God continues to affirm that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).
We believe that prayer is primarily a spiritual work and an exercise of faith. For the Scripture says, … let him ask in faith (James 1:6). As believers, we are called to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10) – and in that power we are to be praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (6:18). Our reality is that we do not know what we should pray for as we ought (Romans 8:26), but thankfully we are given full support through the efforts of the Spirit of God. This is the spiritual help that we need.
We believe that prayer requires a true spirit of humility and dependence. For the Scripture says, …if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray (2 Chronicles 7:14). This can be reflected in an accurate view of ourselves (Genesis 18:27) and even by how we posture ourselves in prayer (Ephesians 3:14). Many times it is our own pride that keeps us from what we really need (James 4:2,3). The primary model for prayer in the New Testament is one of family relationship – particularly the relationship of a child with a father. We should remember that God is the Father of the one who believes – and we come with the dependence of a child. When Jesus was teaching how to pray He said, Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 6:9). His fatherly love and concern inspire us to come.
We believe that prayer requires a true spirit of submission. For the Scripture says, God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit therefore to God (James 4:6,7). Prayer is never a means by which we attempt to get our own will accomplished, but instead it gives us the privilege of partnering with God for the fulfilling of His purposes. This is what it means to pray in the name of Jesus (1 John 5:14; John 14:13,14; 15:16). Jesus taught us in the Disciples’ Prayer that we should pray for the fulfillment of the will of God on earth as it already is in heaven (Matthew 6:10) – and to keep in mind that God’s name and His kingdom have priority. And then, in an incredible way, Jesus modeled this Himself (John 4:34; Luke 22:42). We are called to follow in His steps.
We believe that all believers should be regularly praying for one another and for the lost. For the Scripture says, Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men (I Timothy 2:1). What higher joy and privilege could we have as we seek to effectively minister into the lives of others than to be able to pray for one another (James 5:16)? This is why we regularly publish a Prayer Bulletin and have a weekly Prayer Meeting on Wednesdays – and routinely provide times for the body of believers to be praying. A Prayer Chain has been established so that you can benefit from prayer in an emergency situation. We encourage you to pursue and embrace opportunities to pray and to let us know how we can pray for you. Of course, we always need to be keeping in mind the greatest need of those who have not yet trusted in Jesus (Matthew 9:36-38).
We believe that worship should exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. For the Scripture says, Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth (Phil 2:9). Ultimately our worship is not about us—what we prefer, feel, or desire—it is about Him. Jesus is to be exalted, and we are to bow down. Our modern English wordworship comes from the old English word worthship—meaning to ascribe praise to the One who is worthy (Rev. 5:9).
We believe that worship is to be done in spirit and in truth. For the Scripture says, But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24). By spiritwe mean that invisible part of us that is not seen. It is insufficient for us to outwardly conform in worship if our heart is not in it. By truth we mean that God has placed parameters on the kind of worship that pleases Him. The truth of God’s Word should inform, inspire and encourage our worship (John 17:17). Often our worship music is interspersed with the reading of the Scripture to deepen our understanding of worshiping the Lord in truth.
We believe that worship can be both celebrative and meditative. The Scripture says, Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. (Psalm 100:1) Yet the Scripture also says, Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). We believe that there are times when our praise of the Lord should be loud and celebratory. We believe that there are times that we can reflect quietly upon His awesome presence. We believe that both our joyful celebration and our quiet reflection can be pleasing to our Creator when we worship Him.
We believe that worship should include both the old and the new. The Scripture says, Sing to the Lord a new song (Psa. 96:1; Isa. 42:10; Rev. 5:9). The Psalms in our Bible comprised the Hebrew hymnal. Although we read them, initially they were sung during worship (Col. 3:16). The Psalms were written by various authors over a period of 700 years. On any given day an Israelite could be singing a worship song that was 700 years old and immediately follow it with one that was written as recently as the day before. We find this to be a Biblical model for our worship singing as well. We praise the Lord for the old hymns of the faith, and we sing them. We also eagerly embrace the worship music that is coming from the hearts of committed Christians in the 21st century. We believe that God is honored by both the old and the new.
We believe that our worship should express a sacrificial spirit. The Scripture says, Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased(Heb. 13:15-16) Certainly we are encouraged to give sacrificially and joyfully to the Lord (2 Cor. 8:3;Psa. 54:6). So we consider that the offering taken on a given Sunday is also an expression of our worship to the Lord. We believe, as well that our personal preferences in worship should be a shared sacrifice. For that reason we intentionally sing a variety of music during our corporate worship time; not so that all would be satisfied, but so that all might have equal opportunity to sacrifice their personal preferences, tastes and traditions for others in the body of Christ as we worship our Lord together.
We believe that our service should flow out of our worship. The Scripture says, You shall worship the Lord, your God and Him only you shall serve (Matt. 4:10). This passage was the one that Jesus cited when he addressed Satan himself during our Lord’s wilderness temptation. Notice what comes first in the divinely inspired order: worship then service. We are delighted when people are serving the Lord, but we desire for them to be worshiping Him first. We believe that if our service for the Lord is not flowing out of our worship of the Lord we are uniquely susceptible to temptation.
We believe that the two greatest commandments (love God and love your neighbor) are inseparably linked. For the Scripture says,“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) The commandment to love God and love your neighbor are tied together. For the Scripture also says, If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”(1 John 4:20) The most visible way to evaluate our love for God is through our clear commitment to love others. The church is God’s design for our interacting with other Christians in love (Eph. 4:15). We recognize that caring for one another in this way will require a significant commitment on the part of our members.
We believe that the new commandment Jesus made has implications for our relationships with one another. For Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34). Jesus takes the old commandment to love one another and makes it new by stating that we are to love as Jesus loved us. No longer is it satisfactory to love your neighbor as you love yourself, now we are to love them as Jesus loved us. We believe that this new commandment is to be lived out in our relationships with others. We believe that Jesus Christ is the model for how we are to love sacrificially. For the Scripture says, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:16-17). Love is sacrificial. Jesus made this sacrifice joyfully (Heb. 12:2). We must develop relationships where we know and understand the needs of others in such a way that we can willingly sacrifice our desires for their needs – just the way that Jesus did for us.
We believe that this kind of sacrificial love grows best in smaller group settings. For the Scripture says “…continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47). The New Testament Church met first at the temple, and then they went from house to house (smaller groups). As God added to their number they grew larger and smaller at the same time! Our Sunday morning worship services may not provide the best venue to care for one another in this way—the gathering is large and diverse. So we offer various opportunities to grow in our love for one another in other settings.
- In various geographical locations throughout the community our small groups meet during the week (see next page for a location nearest you). These groups meet for the purpose of fellowship, teaching, prayer and outreach.
- In age-graded groupings our adult fellowships meet on Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:45. There is a time for sharing needs and prayer requests with others in a similar life cycle; followed by gifted teachers who instruct each of the groups through our core curriculum of the biblical teaching, biblical doctrine, and biblical living issues.
- In our youth ministries, smaller groups are also encouraged: For students of all ages these opportunities take place during the 9:30 class hour on Sunday mornings. For students ages 2-12 there is our Kids Klub program 7:00-8:15PM on Wednesday nights. Junior High and Senior High students gather in the loft on Wednesday evenings from 7:00-8:30. Small groups for Junior/Senior High School students occur on Sunday evenings (6:00-7:15) with divisions by grade and gender.
We believe that we have a mutual obligation to one another in the Body of Christ. For the Scripture says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Rom. 12:10). The phrase one another is used repeatedly in the New Testament. It captures the idea of our care and love for others in the Body of Christ. Fellowship Bible Church is committed to providing opportunities for these kinds of relationships to develop, and we actively encourage the kind of one-anothering that the New Testament reveals.
We believe that our love for one another will constrain us to pursue a brother or sister who is willfully sinning. For the Scripture says, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). We believe that the church discipline/restoration process (Matt. 18:15-20) is vital for the church family. We encourage our members to care for each another in this way—urgently pursuing those who are willfully choosing sin, avoiding gossip at all cost, and eager to forgive when repentance is realized.
We believe that the Gospel message will bring eternal life to those who hear and believe. For the Scripture says, …I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Simply put, this is the Gospel message: God’s only Son, Jesus, came to the earth, lived without sin, and died in the place of sinners. His death can pay the penalty of death for all of us who have sinned. Salvation through Jesus Christ is a gift to be received, not something to be earned. For the Scripture says, … as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12,13). The person who has trusted Christ will know the privilege of forgiveness (Eph. 4:32), and the promise of eternal life (John 14:1-6).
We believe that it is our responsibility to take the Gospel message to those in our community. For the Scripture says … 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 end of the earth (Acts 1:8). Those first century believers living in Jerusalem were called to testify of Jesus where they lived. We believe that we ought to be sharing the Gospel message in our “home town” as well. Are we living before our friends and family in such a way that the Lord’s work is evident in our lives (1 Cor. 6:19-20)? Are we alert to opportunities to share the Gospel message with them? We believe that it is every Christian’s responsibility to actively be sharing the Gospel with their friends and acquaintances (Matt. 28:19-20).
We believe that it is our responsibility to share the Gospel message with the entire world. For the Scripture says, …everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Rom. 10:13-15). The Bible is clear here: There are those who have never heard the name of Jesus. They cannot come to us. It is our responsibility to take the Gospel to them. We do this by investing in those missionaries who are serving the Lord full-time around the world. Their names, locations and ministries are on the following, next page. You can also pick up their prayer cards and letters from the displays in the back of the sanctuary and in the foyer. We also provide short-term opportunities for those in our congregation to travel to the ends of the earth as they share the gospel with others.
Since we understand and believe that each and every believer has the responsibility to personally share the gospel with others, we would encourage YOU to accept the role that God would have for you. Thank Him for this privilege – and trust Him. It is His work through you. None of us are capable within ourselves.
In order to help you, we have provided a small booklet that walks you through the basics of the gospel message. It utilizes a visual tool that you always have with you – your hand! Get acquainted with the booklet, search the Scriptures, and don’t be afraid. The Lord is ready to use you!
We believe that our teaching should come from the Bible. For the Scripture says, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses to mature the child of God and prepare him for the challenges of this world. We encourage you to have a Bible, read the Bible, and bring your Bible to church. When we gather as believers we will open the Bible, study the Bible, and learn from the Bible. We acknowledge there are many helpful books written by Godly men and women, but only the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). At FBC we love God’s Word. It is our commitment to always teach the Bible.
We believe that our teaching should exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. For the Scripture says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1,2 14). Although the story of Jesus is most clearly expressed in the early portions of the New Testament, humanity’s need for a Savior/Redeemer is expressed throughout the entire Bible (Job 19:25, Isa. 9:6; 53:1-12). We exalt the Lord Jesus Christ best when we retell His story. For the Scripture says, For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty…so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts (2 Pet. 1:16-19). We will never grow weary of sharing the good news of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection as found in the Bible (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
We believe that our teaching should embrace biblical doctrine. We understand that the Bible can be misinterpreted and misapplied. For the Scripture says, our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (2 Pet. 3:15-16) We want our members to be firmly grounded in a belief system that finds its foundation in the Scriptures. For that reason 25% of our core curriculum taught in our Adult Bible Fellowships is doctrinal. We are concerned that many in the 21st century are uncertain regarding what they believe. Even many Christians are unable to showyou what they believe from the Bible. It is our desire at FBC to reverse this trend. Our desire is that every member would know when someone is twisting the Scriptures and that they would be able to interpret the Scriptures for themselves. We affirm that error is seen more clearly against a backdrop of biblical truth.
We believe that our teaching should address the practical challenges of life. We want our members to apply the Scriptures with wisdom to their daily life. The Scripture says, How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:9-11). The Bible is a tremendous resource for daily living. A full 25% of our core curriculum in our Adult Bible Fellowship hour is dedicated to using the Scriptures in the practical matters of the faith.
We believe that our teaching should bring about real growth and change in one’s personal life.For the Scripture says, Be doers of the Word, not hearers only deceiving yourself (Jam. 1:22). We affirm D.L. Moody’s words, “The Scriptures were not given for your information, but for your transformation.” We want to be Christians that are growing and changing as God conforms us to the image of His Son. (Rom. 8:28-29). We believe that this is most effectively done as the Word of God is taught and as we become not simply those who hear, but those who obey.
Maintaining Biblically Balanced Teaching
At FBC we are committed to giving our members a well-rounded understanding of the Bible. During our Morning Worship Hour we accomplish this by teaching through various books of the Bible, and drawing insights for daily living from the truths we discover.
Various seminars are added throughout the year to bring additional opportunities for applying the Scriptures in our day to day relationships.
The Adult Bible Fellowship Hour is central to this biblically-balanced instruction. Starting March 9, 2008 these classes will be divided around ages and lifecycles. The classes will begin at 9:30 and end at 10:45. The first 25 minutes will be for the expressed purpose of fellowship (sharing of needs, praises, and prayer requests). While the classes remain in the same locations in order to develop long-lasting relationships; gifted teachers move from class to class instructing for a 6 week or 12 week increment. This curriculum is intentionally divided into three areas of study:
- biblical exposition—teaching through a book of the Bible
- biblical doctrine—teaching foundational truths of our faith
- biblical living—teaching how we practically apply the truth of God’s Word to daily living
During the course of a 1 year cycle you will have been instructed in 1-2 Old Testament books, 1-2 New Testament books, 2 areas of doctrine, and 2 areas of biblical living. Over the course of the entire 6 year cycle – our members will have received 84 hours in the Old Testament, 72 hours in the New Testament, 72 hours of Bible doctrine, and 72 hours of biblical living. We believe that the Adult Bible Fellowship hour is at the heart of equipping our people.