Philosophy of Ministry

 

Our Purpose, Values, and Methods

  1.     Purpose: Our purpose as a church is to raise up a loving family of Christian disciples who are becoming more like Christ and are making him known. We are to “proclaim Christ . . . so that we may present every person complete in Him” (Col. 1:28,29). We are to be disciples who make disciples.
  2.     Disciple Making Ministry: At the heart of our church is a lifelong process of leading and encouraging people to submit ever more fully to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, to bear fruit, both inwardly in godly character and outwardly in ministry to others, and to develop and maintain a lifestyle of sacrificial stewardship. Our aim is to develop mature disciples of Jesus Christ.
  3.     Biblical Authority: As our authoritative guide in all matters of faith and practice, we believe that the Bible is indispensable for Christian growth, and that teaching, studying and proclaiming its message ought to have a central place in our ministry.
  4.     Strategic Activity with Spiritual Sensitivity: We seek an intentional process of disciple-making, with several sequential levels-from interesting people in the gospel and leading them to faith, to grounding them in the basics of the Christian life, to developing them in Christian character, to helping them discover their spiritual gifts and training them in ministry skills, to deploying them in ministry so that they become involved in some level in this process of disciple-making. We will seek to offer opportunities at each of these levels. Although ministry should be intentional, it must also be flexible so that the Holy Spirit is free to raise up new ministries and modify others.
  5.     Freedom and Accountability: We believe that in order to grow, people need the encouragement of others. Within the context of loving relationships we seek to establish accountability between believers to help people overcome their faith barriers and persevere in spiritual disciplines. In this context we teach the need for holy living without becoming legalistic, maintaining an appropriate balance between respecting the individual freedom and personal accountability of each believer to God, and promoting the values of loyalty and accountability within the community of believers that is Cornerstone.
  6.     Relational Intimacy: The presence of Christ is demonstrated in relationships of love. Therefore we seek to build relationships within the body through fellowship activities, small groups, and ministry tasks that will facilitate acts of love. We will use small groups of various sorts as the focal point for spiritual nurture and pastoral care, though this will not preclude the establishment of one-to-one relationships where they are more appropriate.
  7.     Leadership Development: We realize the constant need to recruit and train new leaders, and we will seek to establish mechanisms by which to do this. Furthermore, we will seek to encourage our leaders regularly through interaction with other leaders, through reiteration of what our mission and goal is, and through further training.
  8.     Evangelical Inclusiveness: We seek to maintain a proper balance in our doctrinal convictions, majoring on the majors and minoring on the minors. This results in an inclusive spirit in which we not only maintain strong ties to the family of churches in the EFCA but also recognize our place in the worldwide body of Christ and at times join hands with other Christians of common faith to accomplish our goals.
  9.     Worship in Totality: We believe that the Lord commands us to love him with heart, mind and will. Sound Christian doctrine must be coupled with dynamic Christian experience resulting in godly living, combining the rational, the relational and the moral dimensions of our faith. Therefore our worship of God ought to engage the intellect, stir the emotions and challenge the will. This finds expression in the exposition of the Bible in preaching and the praise of God in music, calling for a response in life.
  10.     Personal Ministry: We believe in the priesthood of all believers. We seek to involve our members in ministry. We do not rely on professionals to do the work. The role of the pastor is to help equip others for the work of ministry.
  11.     Divine Dependancy: We believe that God has invited us to share in his work in the world through prayer. We desire to be a praying people.
  12.     Global Responsibility: We believe that God has called us to reach out to a lost world with his love in word and deed. We have established the long-term goal of giving half of our funds in support of ministry outside our church.
  13.     Local Strategy: The focus of ministry within our own community will be twofold: first, in the network of relationships of our constituents, as we encourage our people to reach out to those around them in their families, neighborhoods, places of work and social circles. Second, as a church we will seek to reach out to our local neighborhood in Annandale. Ministry to children and youth is especially important in this regard.
  14.     Cultural Sensitivity: We must not allow cultural factors to become a stumbling block to our outreach. At the same time, our teaching ministry should equip and encourage believers to think critically and to evaluate trends and values of our culture from a Biblical perspective, not only to avoid obvious evils but also to resist more subtle influences which might dilute or distort the church’s witness.