Values & Vision
Churches, like people, have personalities. Personality is in part based on a person’s core values. What is important to a person shapes that person. This is true with a church also. Although style and taste may be negotiable, the deep-seated values that drive us are not. At Grace Community Church we have certain commitments and values that do not change. In fact, they shape us and give us our personality. If you want to know what we are about, what drives us, what is important to us, what makes us tick, then read on.
We are committed to the supremacy of God in all of life.
The Bible is clear; God does not like to be taken for granted. He is not satisfied being the Unseen Foundation, the Anonymous Unmoved Mover. He values His reputation, and takes pleasure in His fame.1 His desire is to be supreme in all of life.2 Therefore, our desire is to be in conformity with His will and to be a God-centered, God-saturated people, a people who live joyfully under the supremacy of God.3 This desire dictates what Sunday mornings are all about. Our Sunday morning worship is a corporate expression of the supremacy of God in our personal lives and the life of our church.4
We are committed to the supremacy of God’s truth over all of life.
God has spoken.5 What He has said is truth.6 It is absolute, without error, and completely authoritative. God’s truth is our life,7 and we seek to live under it, knowing that it kindles our joy in God and gives us the wisdom we need to live life in a manner pleasing to Him. Therefore, we are a truth-driven church, not a market-driven church. We believe that truth matters and that it drives us and compels us to propagate it wherever possible. This is why we are dedicated to Bible study, Christian education, and the distribution of solid Christian literature.8 This is why the preaching of God’s Word is the hub of our worship on Sunday mornings.9 God’s truth alone conquers the errors of men and lies of the Devil, setting people free.10 (A sermon tape is available upon request on the “Marks of a Successful Minister” which describes our commitments).
We are consumed with a passionate pursuit of joy in God.
God has created each one of us with a desire to be happy and satisfied. Our problem, however, is that we are far too easily pleased with the things of this world. Our hearts long to be satisfied in God, but we look for satisfaction in other things.11 What we believe at Grace is that God’s desire to be glorified and our desire to be satisfied come together in this great statement: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.12 When we delight in God, it issues forth in praise to Him, reflecting His inestimable worth and invaluable glory.13 We therefore pursue joy and satisfaction in God; He is our Treasure.14
We are consumed with a passionate pursuit for the joy of others in God.
Someone once said, “Joy shared is joy doubled.” We believe that God in Christ is such a rich, invaluable Treasure that we must share Him! This is true love to others.15 This is nothing less than evangelism; it is the Great Commission; it is loving and caring for one another.16 We desire to see others experience the same joy we have in God, and God in turn to receive glory from more of Adam’s fallen race.17 This fleshes itself out in our philosophy of missions, with a special heartbeat for frontier missions.
We are committed to fighting the fight of faith.
If truth matters, if God is supreme in all life, if we are pursuing joy in God and joy for others, then we realize that we are in a battle. This battle is fought not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces.18 The weapons of the enemy are lies, half-truths, and deception,19 but the weapons of our warfare are the Word of God, prayer, and edifying Christian fellowship and friendships.20 As we battle against the desires which would rob us of joy in God we draw the Sword of the Spirit and fight with God’s promises and threats, we use prayer like a war-time walkie-talkie, calling in for Divine grace, and we rely on brothers and sisters who can encourage us and stand with us.
We are committed to the doctrines of grace.
Our doctrinal commitments are clear. We believe in a sovereign and holy God, who reigns over all.21 He has a plan; it is global and invincible.22 It is the plan of sovereign grace, which rebounds to His glory.23 The truth of God, His person and plan reside most cogently and accurately in the doctrines of grace, sometimes called “reformed theology.” The core would be namely, man’s pervasive depravity and inability,24 God’s free and sovereign selection of sinners,25 Christ’s victorious and effectual atoning, redemptive sacrifice for His people,26 God’s effectual calling and regenerating grace,27 and God’s preservation of His children and their final perseverance.28
We are committed to the Biblical view of men and women, in the home and the church.
In a day and age when male and female roles are blurred and confused, the church must stand and say God’s design is counter-cultural, but it is right! God has established male and female roles in the home and the church, these are clear and need to be taught.29 At Grace Community Church we have adopted the Danvers Statement as our Biblical understanding of these things. A copy can be secured by asking one of the elders or taking one from the book rack.
We are committed to Christ-Centered families.
The puritans used to call the family a “little church.” God created the family,30 and each family should live for the glory of God.31 We believe, therefore, that God should be worshiped by families through the week in family worship,32 and together as a family on the Lord’s Day. This is why we have our children 3 years and up in the service with us. A recording of the sermon “Children in Worship” is available which explains our biblical rationale for keeping the children in the service.
We are committed to a plurality of elders.
We believe that the New Testament teaches that a plurality of elders govern each local church.33 At Grace Community Church there is not a single man who “runs the show,” rather there is a group of biblically qualified men who are accountable to one another and to the congregation who govern this body.
We are committed to Biblical, pastoral oversight.
We believe that God has established elders, who meet the Biblical qualifications, to oversee the church. This oversight is not only in the area of business and organization, but it covers the area of the church’s spiritual life.34 This oversight is designed for the growth, protection, and health of the church. Although we believe that every Christian is their own priest before God,35 we believe that God has appointed elders to help God’s flock in many ways. We believe that pastoring God’s people is a means of grace for their perseverance.36
At Grace Community Church, we may not always live up to our values, but they are firmly in place. These are our commitments and we stand by them, through thick or thin. As is often the case, values move a group or organization towards to a vision. Our vision at Grace Community Church is not complicated at all.
We have a passion to exalt God,
displaying and proclaiming
His supremacy and truth,
in our community and abroad,
through God-centered worship,
through grace-empowered nurture,
and Spirit-led outreach.
we envision a church,
growing with people wholly satisfied in our sovereign God,
thoroughly soaked in His eternal truth,
building one another up in His love and grace,
living in joyful obedience and confident hope,
sending out workers to our community and the nations,
for God’s glory and their everlasting joy.
This is our heartbeat of Grace Community Church. No frills and thrills. We simply try to show thirsty, parched sinners where their thirst can be forever quenched. We exist for Him and for His glory, and this means that we drink deeply ourselves at the fountain of His grace and goodness, and joyfully tell others. To boil it down, we are a church where people care and truth matters.
SOLI DEO GLORIA
1 Isaiah 48:9-11; Ezekiel 36:22-23
2 Psa. 86:8-10; Rom. 11:33-36; 1 Cor. 1:31; 10:31; Col. 1:16-17
3 Matt. 22:37-38; Acts 17:28
4 Psa. 47:5-9; Psalm 100:1-5
5 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21
6 John 17:17
7 Deut. 32:46-47; Psalm 19:7-11
8 1 Tim. 4:11-13; Titus 1:9
9 1 Cor. 1:18-26; 2 Tim. 4:2
10 John 8:31-32; Rom. 6:17-18
11 Jeremiah 2:12-13; Rom. 1:23; 3:23
12 This truth is best unfolded by Dr. John Piper in his book Desiring God (Multnomah, 1986). The statement is his, however it reflects the teaching of God’s Word.
13 Psalm 16:11; 36:8-9; 42:2; 63:1-5; 73:25-26; Jer. 31:14
14 Matt. 13:44; John 6:35; Psalm 73:25-26
15 Matt. 22:37-40
16 Matt. 28:18-20; John 13:34; 2 Cor. 1:24; Gal. 5:6
17 Psalm 67; Rom. 1:5; 15:7-13; 16:25-26
18 Eph. 6:12
19 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Thess. 3:5; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:24-26
20 Eph. 6:18; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Heb. 3:12-14; 10:23-25
21 Psa. 103:19; 115:3; Isa. 46:10-11; Job 42:2;
22 Num. 14:21; Job 42:2; Hab. 2:14; Eph. 1:11
23 Rom. 9:22-23; 11:33; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Eph. 1:3-14
24 Jer. 17:9; John 6:44; 15:5; Rom. 3:10-11; Eph. 2:1
25 Rom. 9:14-23; Eph. 1:4-5; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13-14
26 Isaiah 53:4-6, 8, 11-12; Matt. 1:21; John 10:11, 15; Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:29-32; Heb. 9:12; Rev. 5:9-10
27 John 1:12-13; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 1:24; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet. 1:3; 1 John 5:1
28 John 10:27-29; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 3:12-14; 10:36-39; 1 Pet. 1:5
29 Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Pet. 3:1-7
30 Gen. 1:28; 2:24; Psalm 127; Psalm 128
31 1 Cor. 10:31; Josh. 24:15
32 Deut. 6:1-9, ask for the booklet “Rediscovering the Missing Treasure of Family Worship”.
33 Acts 14:23; 20:28; 1 Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-4
34 Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2-4
35 1 Pet. 2:9
36 Col. 1:28-29; cf. Col. 1:23; 1 Thess. 2:7-12; 3:1-13; 1 Tim. 1:5; cf. 1 Tim. 1:18-20