What makes First Baptist Church distinct?
Though many churches are similar in structure, worship, and doctrine, the difference can usually be distinguished by philosophy or approach. The ultimate reason why a church grows is the anointing of God. However, God particularly uses churches which understand their own contribution to the Body of Christ.
In keeping with the vision and covenant of our pastor when he was called, and recognizing where God is at work, these easily remembered slogans help to relate our philosophy.
I. "The Bible says it; that settles it" (2 Timothy 3:16).
All that we do is based upon the inerrant Word of God. We are biblically conservative and unapologetic in our stand for truth.
II. "Let’s get in on what God is up to" (John 5:30).Just as Jesus sought to only do the Father’s will, so we adjust our activities to the will and Word of the Lord. We are nothing without Him, but through Christ we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). Our method of operation is not to think up good ideas through man’s reasoning but to receive our directions from God.
III. "We share because we care" (Matthew 28:19-20).
All Christians are to be verbal and lifestyle witnesses for Christ. We share His love with the lost because we truly care. The Great Commission also compels us to go into all the world through missions. Our church seeks to be both evangelistic and missions-minded.
IV. "What the world needs now is God’s sweet love" (I Corinthians 13:8-13).While people may sing, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love," Christians know the importance of God’s love for them, for their family, for the church, and for the lost. Love must prevail in the Body with an attitude of grace and patience.
V. "We’re positive people in a negative world" (Hebrew 10:25).
We seek to be positive in all that we do. Our primary motivation for service is gratitude not guilt. We seek to have the "can do" attitude of a winner who knows that "with God nothing is impossible.
VI. "Everybody is somebody in His body" (Ephesians 4:12).Each member should strive to have a ministry in the local church. First Baptist Church consists of all kinds of people from all over the country. There is unity in diversity. Ministers on the staff equip the believers for the work of ministry. Each person should discover his spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, calling, and ministry.
VII. "Show up, look up, grow up" (Hebrews 10:25 & 12:2).
It is important that each of us show up in loyal, faithful attendance in Bible Study, worship services, and other major activities. We come together to look up to Jesus in warm-hearted worship. We are here to glorify Him in all that we say and do. We mature as we grow up into Christ, particularly growing in obedience and faith. We stress the basic disciplines of prayer, Bible reading, witnessing, giving, and service.
VIII. "Touch people where they hurt" (Acts 3:4-6).As God leads we should recognize needs and meet them and find hurts and heal them. This is how we attract the attention of non-Christians. This is also a part of ministering to the body. We carry out caring, healing ministries which relate to the emotional as well as the spiritual needs of people. Hurting people should find help and then help others in return.
IX. "We’re growing bigger by getting smaller" (Acts 2:42).
In order to minister to people and to keep them from getting lost in the crowd, we need more and more small groups. These groups provide Bible teaching, ministry, and support to care for those in the Body. Each person should be active in a group. We particularly grow bigger in Christ by being involved in these small groups. This particularly involves Bible and Life Groups, but may also involve discipleship groups and support groups.
X. "Where God guides He provides" (Matthew 6:33).
Ministry, not money is our major concern. We have God’s provisions to reach people for Christ. We believe we are to pray, give, and go as we operate in the provision of God’s Spirit and resources (Philippians 4:19).