We believe that Christ commissioned the church to do three things as found in Matthew 28:18-20. Our desire is to faithfully out the Great Commission in the manner shown in the Scriptures. May the Lord grant us success in doing the following:
Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
First, we are called to go and make disciples of all nations – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. This is accomplished by the faithful preaching of the gospel to those who are lost. Consequently, the church is encouraged, and individual disciples are trained, to share the gospel as the Lord provides opportunity. In addition, we purposely send out teams into the surrounding neighborhoods to share the gospel.
Second, we are called to baptize disciples – baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. When someone comes to faith after hearing the gospel, we encourage the new disciple to get baptized soon. This is done after the example seen in the New Testament, where new disciples were baptized immediately. For example, when Peter preached to the Gentiles, and they came to faith in Christ, he asked this question,
Acts 10:47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Third, we train baptized disciples to obey Jesus Christ – teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. A disciple is a “learner,” a “pupil” of Christ. And what our Lord desires is that they learn to observe all that he commanded. Therefore, baptized disciples are lovingly trained by older, more mature believers. While all disciples are encouraged to be trained, the training is voluntary (both for trainer and disciple). Older believers are equipped to minister to younger believers (Eph 4:11-16). The training is also done after the teaching and example in the New Testament.
Titus 2:2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
We believe the health of the church, as one body, depends upon disciples becoming mature in the faith, and that their maturity is gained by grace when the church ministers to them in biblical ways. Paul’s example with Timothy is instructive. Timothy was discipled by Paul, which resulted in his maturity at a young age. Paul wrote to Timothy, saying…
2 Timothy 3:10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra–which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.
We do not believe that programs follow the biblical model and therefore do not offer any in the church. The characteristics of the training of a disciple are clearly outlined in the word of God. To learn more about this, please view this document.
We also believe that any fruit, whether it is through the preaching of the gospel, the baptism of a new disciple, or the growth and maturity of any disciple is wholly by the free grace of God, when the church conducts ministry according to God’s word. We are comforted and encouraged by the words of our Lord, when after commissioning the church to do the three things mentioned above, said, And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”