So you've checked out our website, and maybe even joined us for a worship service. So what's next? Let's talk relationships.
Christianity is not about rules or performance or how good you are. Christianity is about relationships - primarily, about your relationship with God, and secondarily, about your relationship with others. Like all relationships, your spiritual relationships will grow and strengthen, if given proper attention - and will shrivel up if neglected. Here are some next steps you can take to build a healthy relationship with God, and with others.
The first real step in the Christian life is salvation (John 3:16). Salvation is necessary because we have a nature of sin (Romans 3:10-12, Romans 3:23) that separates us from God (Romans 5:12). We have no ability to justify ourselves before God (Romans 6:20-23), and are deserving of his wrath (Romans 5:8-9). Jesus Christ, when he died on the cross, was sacrificed in our place, that salvation from this wrath may be extended to us (Romans 3:24). We receive this salvation, not because of what we do, but because of God's grace and mercy towards us (Romans 3:28). All that is required of us is that we repent and believe.
If you have never been saved, or are unsure, we would like to help you. Please ask our Pastor or one of our leaders. (You can do this during an altar call at the end of a worship service, or any other time.) We will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Baptism is a public profession about what happened to us at salvation - it pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and shows to the world that we have a new life in Him (Romans 6:1-4). It does not save us, but shows to everyone that we are saved. The word "baptism" means immersed, and so a baptism is only proper if it takes place by immersion after a person has been saved (and is been done by a church with proper authority).
If you desire baptism (or unsure whether your previous baptism was proper), please let the Pastor or another leader know. (This is commonly done during the altar call at the end of a worship service, but can happen at any time.) The Pastor will ask you a few questions about your salvation and verify that you are a proper candidate. Then our baptismal team will help you through the process.
The word "church" appears more than a hundred times in the New Testament, referring to a local body of believers who have united together for worship, teaching, and encouragement. A church is a "safe haven" for Christians in this world, where they can be nurtured, get support, and serve others. By joining a church, a Christian takes his or her role in the fulfilling the Great Commission given by Jesus to his churches (Matthew 28:18-20). Baptism is a prerequisite to church membership.
You can join our church in one of three ways:
If you desire to become a member, let the Pastor or another leader know. The Pastor will ask you a few questions about your salvation, baptism, and membership, and verify that you are a proper candidate. He will then guide you through the process.
There are some activities that a Christian should do regularly for spiritual growth. Five, in particular, are critical to helping a Christian develop healthy a relationship with the heavenly Father. We call these the fundamental five:
Bible study - Our heavenly Father speaks to us through the Scriptures. Daily reading and study of His word will help us to learn about His will for us (2 Timothy 2:15).
Prayer - Prayer is the act of taking our thoughts, troubles, and desires to our heavenly Father. He wants to hear from us, and we need to talk to him regularly (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Church attendance - We need to be regular in our church attendance, so we can worship, learn, and be encouraged, and so we can encourage and serve others (Hebrew 10:25).
Tithes and offerings - We should give a portion of our income to our church regularly and generously, to be used in carrying out the church's mission. Regular giving is a sign of maturity, and opens us up to God's blessings (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
Witnessing - Witnessing is telling other people about what has happened to us. By telling others, we spread the gospel message and become an encouragement to those around us (1 Peter 3:15).
We encourage and support our members in each of these areas, as they take the necessary steps to personally grow closer to the Lord.
Just as Christ died for us, we are ultimately called to die to self and serve others (1 Peter 2:21). Members should take on responsibility for executing the mission of the church, according their talents and abilities, and how they are called by God (1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11-12). We are the church, and the church's mission is our mission.
If you would like to serve our church in any capacity but aren't sure how, please talk to the Pastor or another leader. We will be happy to help you get involved in church ministries.