According to the Barna Research Group, one in seven adults changes churches every year and one in six attends a handful of churches on a rotating basis. Attendance is based on which church has the best child care, which church has their favorite style of music, which church has the strongest recreation program, and which church is the friendliest. A consumer mindset rules the day and churches are giving consumers what they want. Following the marketing strategies of big box companies, where you can buy everything from Doritos to a casket under the same roof, churches are busy with many ministries and offering many services.
Here at Bible Baptist Church, by God’s grace, we are refusing to run in the rat race any longer. It is our desire not to attract consumers but fellow believers who are committed to worshiping the Father in spirit and in truth and who are committed to building up the body with their spiritual gifts.
We have three core values that translate into three commitments for all those that would seek to join us in membership.
In Colossians chapter 3 Paul makes it clear that true worship is centered on the Word and saturated with the Gospel. The Word of God should be on our lips as we gather. We’re not interested in opinions when we gather together, rather we are coming to meditate on the Word. The Word of God is the content of our reading, singing, and preaching at Bible Baptist Church. We’re not striving to be a “traditional” church nor are we striving to be a “contemporary church.” We’re striving to be a word centered church, a church where Christ is high and lifted up and the Gospel oozes out in our worship. Our worship is primarily expressed through our Sunday morning worship service. We’re not in a hurry when we come to worship, rather we set apart much time for singing, Scripture reading, and the preaching of the Word. If as members we are not gathering together weekly to take in the spiritual sustenance that worship provides our other areas of involvement will greatly suffer. So this corporate gathering together to worship is something we anticipate throughout the week and it’s the first commitment we ask of all members
Spiritual growth is sourced in God. From the moment of salvation God begins the process of molding us into the image of Christ. He is in the process of restoring us. He will finish what He started in us, Philippians 1:6. Spiritual growth is anchored in Jesus Christ, yet at the same time we are told to “stir up one another to love and good works.” God intends the church to be an instrument of growth which is why we are called to regularly assemble together to stir up, to edify. In the New Testament there are 59 verses about “one anothering.” These commands range from “love one another,” to “serve one another,” to “teach and admonish” one another. So when the pastor says “amen” our work as a body of believers has just begun. This is the heart behind our transformation groups. We meet together in transformation groups to edify, to keep each other accountable, to stir each other up to love and good works. Growing through transformation groups is the second commitment we ask of our members.
The distinction that is commonly made between clergy and laity is not a distinction found in Scripture. We often separate those in the church into groups that are in “full time ministry” and those that are “laymen.” In John 4 Jesus makes clear that we are all in full time ministry and whether you get a paycheck from Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, or a church is beside the point. It took the Samaritan woman all of a few minutes in John 4 from becoming a convert to actively taking part in discipleship. At Bible Baptist Church the third commitment we ask of our members is that they be involved in discipling others. Whether that’s through one on one Bible study, mentoring of teen moms, teaching, or serving in the nursery we must be committed to discipleship as followers of Jesus.