At First Baptist we believe a disciple is someone who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus and engaged in the mission of Jesus (Matthew 4:19). Therefore, we believe disciple making involves a series of intentional, next steps. It is about movement. Simply put, we make disciples by moving people from where they are to where God wants them to be. This is our mission.
Every church must have a set of underlying principles by which they make decisions. While these principles are not doctrinal statements, they do provide the motives and shared convictions for why we do what we do. At FBC we value:
1. Biblical truth – because the Word of God is alive and powerful.
Why do we submit ourselves to the Word of God as the foundation for all that we know and do?
We value BIBLICAL TRUTH because God has spoken to us through the Scriptures, therefore the Bible is our ultimate authority. 2 Peter 1.3 says that by his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.
2. Growth – because what we become is more important than what we do.
Why is it important for people to grow spiritually?
We value GROWTH because we believe that spiritual growth is a natural part of the Christian journey. In Matthew 5.48 Jesus tells us to grow by striving for perfection and therefore live out our God-created identity.
3. Relationships – because we need each other.
Why do we put such an emphasis on getting people connected?
We value RELATIONSHIPS because we believe that God uses other people to grow us and He uses us to grow other people. Galatians 6.2 says that we accomplish all of Jesus’ teachings when we share each other’s burdens.
4. Generosity – because you can’t out-give God.
Why do we reach out to our community, help the poor, and support mission work around the world?
We value GENEROSITY because we believe that to those much has been given, much is required. In 2 Corinthians 9.6 Paul reminds us that the one who plants a generous crop will receive a generous crop.
5. Service – because saved people serve people.
Why do we put such an emphasis on serving others?
We value SERVICE because the church exists to reach those who are not yet in it. Therefore we serve people through generous acts of sacrifice and words of hope. In Mark 10.43 Jesus said whoever wants to be a leader among others must first be their servant.
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Because our mission is to make disciples by moving people from where they are to where God wants them to be, we believe this is best accomplished using the following simple process:
1. ENGAGE people who are far from God.
This is “life on life” discipleship as you engage people and allow them to look into your life, ask questions, and consider following Jesus.
2. CONNECT people who are moving toward God.
This is “life in community” discipleship as you develop meaningful, authentic relationships with people and help them grow in their faith.
3. EMPOWER people to minister and serve.
This is “life on mission” discipleship as you equip and release people to serve and care for others.
VISION — the exciting future … what will it look like?
If we embrace the mission to move people from where they are to where God wants them to be, then FBC will not just be about movement it will become a movement. It will become not just a church that meets on 8th Street, but the church out there.