Philosophy

II Tim. 2:5 And if a man strive also for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Doctrinal Purity
Since the Bible is God’s infallible and inerrant Word, it stands as our only authoritative rule for life and belief. In all preaching, teaching, music, associations, and programs, error in any clearly inscripturated truth must never be tolerated. Maintaining pure doctrine must be held in equally high esteem as maintaining purity in morality.

Titus 2:7-8 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Relational Integrity
Priority attention must given by every minister, lay or vocational, to the development, maintenance, and growth in our personal relationship to God and to men. The greatest commandment demands a genuine personal relationship with God and the second greatest commandment demands a genuine and healthy personal relationship with our families, our spiritual family, and our neighbors.

Mark 12:29-31 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Biblical Unity
While in the body as a whole and among the lay and vocational ministries as a part, there is and should be diversity, we also must all be committed to a unity of purpose. Each individual minister and ministry must pursue our stated mission within the boundaries of our governing principles. This strategic structure allows for individual diversity, creativity, and flexibility, while also providing for harmonious working together towards a common goal. We all have gifts and perspectives differing from each other, but we must discipline ourselves to be single in our focus, to be “of one mind and one accord.”

Philippians 3:13-17 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

Servant Leadership
We must remain committed to the exercise and development of servant leadership in all areas and at all levels of ministry. A servant leader is selfless. A servant leader must lead under authority and accountability to Christ and His body, the church. All ministries must be led by biblically qualified leaders, who serve in a network of accountability under pastoral leadership and congregational government. A servant leader must also be a good steward of resources entrusted to his/her care, such as authority, talent, opportunity, finances, and facilities.

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Church-Centered Ministry
All New Testament ministry is body ministry that is done in and through the body of Christ, the church. While the church in prospect or overall body of Christ is a consideration in Scripture, the concentration of the New Testament is on the visible body of Christ in local churches. The mission of disciplining our world was committed to this visible body. The carrying out of this mission must be done within the ministry of churches and within the accountability of churches. Church ministry must not be confused with church buildings, since much, if not most, of our mission as a gathered church is actually accomplished as we are scattered within our communities.

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Family Emphasis
Church ministry must never supplant or suppress the importance of individual families. We must encourage and equip members of the family to serve Christ within the setting of their homes and assist them in developing holy, healthy, and happy relationships within their families. The church and the home must never be viewed as competing institutions. Rather they must be viewed as complementary. The church cannot replace the home, or the home the church. Scripture teaches that our homes must be built around serving Jesus Christ through His church.

Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Progressive Excellence
Each minister and ministry must commit themselves to the patient and progressive pursuit excellence in the preparation for and execution of ministry. Certainly perfection is unattainable and time and opportunity for growth must be provided, but we should not allow ourselves to forget that we represent and serve Christ. Our best may certainly never be the best, but Christian ministry clearly demands our best.

Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Biblical Separation
While Christ was certainly the “friend of sinners,” He also was “separate from sinners.” The Bible clearly teaches separation from sin and error as an indispensable part of a holy life and ministry. Separation from error and those who promote it is also an essential demonstration of our love for the truth and a Holy God. God warns that sinful or corrupt associations will in fact corrupt good behavior. As we plan, prepare, and practice ministry we must pay careful attention to avoid association with unbelieving ministers and ministries or the ministries of fellow believers who are making moral, doctrinal, or associational compromises. By conviction we are a church that is fundamental, separatist, and Baptist, which in fact is to say that we are true Biblicists. While loving all men, saved or lost, we will only participate in joint ministry with those in harmony with our moral and doctrinal convictions.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Indigenous Principle
While we are spiritually, ethically, and doctrinally aliens and pilgrims in our society, we are physically citizens of that society. God commends and commands good citizenship. As in the case of foreign missionaries who rightly seek to be culturally sensitive while spiritually distinct, we too are missionaries to our communities and must seek to do the same. Our programs and facilities must reflect a sensitivity to the communities in which we minister.

1 Corinthians 9:19-22 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Financial Integrity
As financial stewards both of finances and facilities, we will give an account to God for what we have done with what God has given us. The ministers and ministries of the church must be supported by the tithes and offerings of its members. Care must be taken and accountability provided for the collection, accounting, and distribution of all church receipts. Our financial dealings must reflect honesty and openness, planning for the future, an emphasis on people over things, and the judicious use of debt as a tool, not a crutch.

2 Corinthians 8:20-21 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

Christ-like Compassion
As we use Christ as a model of life and ministry, we come to the conclusion that ministry must be marked by compassion. It is evident that He had an uncompromising passion for the truth, but also a true empathy and passion to redeem and reclaim those that did not. He saw sinners as needing a savior and suffering saints as needing a comforter. We must never become tolerant of sin, but we must never become indifferent to the sinner. Our ministry must reflect that we care about what Christ cared about. Certainly that includes the lost, wayward Christians, and suffering and struggling brothers.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Heart-Focused
Scripture makes it perfectly clear that the real problems of mankind are internal rather than external, matters of the heart, not merely outward behavior. Therefore our ministry must focus on addressing the true cause of problems rather than just treating the symptoms. The symptoms of sin or external problems must be addressed, but our priority focus must be on the “weightier matters” (Mat. 23:23) of the heart.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.