We believe that there are THREE PRIMARY PURPOSES of the church (who is the called out body of Christ, Eph 1:22-23) that can be summed up by three distinct words—UPREACH, INREACH and OUTREACH.
UPREACH - Our responsibility to God.
We believe that the chief end of man and of Christ’s Church is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever (1 Pet 4:11; Eph 3:21). He alone is to be praised and worshiped. All that we do at GraceLife Church is for the ultimate glory of God (1 Cor 10:31), because He alone is worthy.
The Church is a redeemed community set apart to worship God in Christ. We are therefore a worshiping body (1 Pet 2:4-9).
INREACH - Our responsibility to each other.
EDIFY HIS CHURCH
We believe that the local church is the “pillar and support of truth” (1 Tim 3:15). As such, we are committed to the faithful expository teaching of the Scriptures, “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Eph 4:12-13)
We proclaim the “excellencies” of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:9) and the “foolishness of the cross” (1 Cor 1:18), and encourage one another to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Eph 4:1). “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ,” (Col 1:28).
The Church gathered is for the edification of the saints. We are therefore an edifying body (1 Cor 14:26).
OUTREACH - Our responsibility to the world.
EVANGELIZE THE LOST
We believe that the local church, as Christ’s witness (Acts 1:8), is to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ and His grace to all the nations (Matt 28:19-20), instructing them that Christ suffered, died and rose again the third day, and that salvation and forgiveness of sin can only be obtained by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone (Eph 2:8-9). The church scattered is to be a light for the lost. We are therefore an evangelizing body (Luke 24:46-48).
We are committed to the following general DISTINCTIVES…
- Biblical Teaching – we are committed to the diligent study and accurate teaching of the Word of God, embracing its sufficiency. We desire to teach and attend to proper hermeneutics and encourage corporate and personal Bible study; acknowledging our submission to the veracity, power and authority of the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. (Isa 40:8; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21; 2 Pet 1:3; Heb 4:12).
- Authentic Worship – with regard to our corporate times of praise and worship, we are committed to glorifying and exalting the Lord with our voices and our hearts. We are diligent to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, singing biblically accurate lyrics in a blended musical format utilizing a variety of styles and instrumentation. (1 Chr 29:11; John 4:24; Col 3:16)
- Effective Discipleship – we strive to teach, train and produce disciples and disciple makers. We are committed to encourage men toward shepherding leadership in the home and in the church and encourage women to fulfill their role according to Titus 2:3-5. We want to assist and equip our parents to fulfill their biblical mandates as it relates to their children. (Eph 4:12; 2 Tim 2:2; 3:16-17; Prov 22:6; Eph 6:3)
- Personal Holiness – with Christ as our model, we want to be individually characterized by personal holiness, being doers of the Word and not hearers only and to truly exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We want to express the joy of the Lord in how we live, knowing that His commandments are not burdensome. (1 Pet 1:16; Jas 1:22; Gal 5:22-23; 1 John 5:3)
- Fervent Prayer – we desire to be a church that is dependent on God through personal and corporate prayer. We exhibit our faith in God as we pray, trusting that He hears and answers our prayers in accordance to His own sovereign will. (Matt 7:7; Luke 5:16; Acts 2:42; Jas 4:3; 5:16)
- Compassionate Outreach – we desire to be a light in our community. We want to be pro-active in sharing our faith, proactive in challenging others to walk with Christ, and proactive in engaging the community at-large in meaningful dialogue about Jesus Christ. We fully embrace the Great Commission and will eagerly invest our time and resources in local and global evangelism. We will endeavor to equip, train and encourage our body to boldly share the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and we will endeavor to assist those in need. (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Col 4:5-6; 1Pet 2:9; 3:15)
- Spiritual Maturity – as Spirit indwelt and empowered believers we want to run together the race of the Christian life and pursue spiritual growth and maturity. We want to grow up in all aspects into Christ. We want to be the body of Christ, utilizing our spiritual gifts to the glory of Christ and for the edification of each individual part. (Eph 3:20; 4:12-16; Heb 12:1-2; 2 Cor 5:7).
- Meaningful Fellowship – we desire to foster and facilitate fellowship opportunities inside and outside the walls of the church building, encouraging meaningful interaction, investment, and hospitality among our people. We are committed to the assembling of ourselves together as a family of believers motivated by a sincere love for Christ and each other striving to stimulate one another to good deeds. (Heb 10:24-25; 1 John 1:3; 1 Pet 1:22; Acts 2:42; 1 Thes 5:14-15)
- Corporate Unity – in God’s design He assembles a diverse group of Christ-followers in a local church environment where He commands unity. Unity occurs when there is a proper recognition of, and submission to, God-ordained leadership in the church. Love, humility, obedience, service and selflessness are essential in a church that is unified and committed to Christ. (Phil 2:1-4; 1 Cor 1:10; 1 Thes 5:12; 1 Pet 5:1-3; Acts 20:28; Heb 13:17
- Welcoming Environment – We want to promote a welcoming and inviting atmosphere in our church that clearly displays our love and care for people—all kinds of people. We want to minister to all those the Lord brings into our assembly and not hold to an attitude of personal favoritism. Yet while we desire to minister to people right where they are, and invest in their lives, we always desire to speak the truth in love, never excusing or ignoring unrepentant sin or unrighteousness. The church consists of the “called out ones” and is to remain pure and blameless before the Lord. (Jas 2:1-3; Eph 4:15; 5:27; 1 Cor 5:1-13; Matt 18:15-17; Gal 6:1)
For a summary of GraceLife Church's beliefs, read Our Doctrine.