Purpose of the Church
The Church is a local group of people who have chosen to receive Christ, and put their faith in him for the forgiveness of sins and continual transformation of their lives through the Gospel message. They have publicly professed their faith through baptism, attended Membership classes, as well as signed a church covenant, stating they will follow and obey all of its requirements for being a representative of his church.
They are submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ and his word, but also to the church Elders and Leaders. The church is a holy order that is instituted by God and his word, and is led by a Plurality of Elders in whom the church congregation has set into place. The Church serves a united purpose to bring the Gospel message to all people, both in their own cities as well as to the ends of the earth.
Acts 2:41-42; Mark 16:16; Romans 12:2; Heb 13:17; 1 Tim 5:17; Acts 6:1-6; Mark 16:15; Philippians 1:1; Ephesians 2:19-22; Colossians 1:18
Church Leadership Function
We believe God has created a natural order for the church, and we strive to be as biblically accurate as possible when organizing the Church leadership function. We believe that Elders are to lead the church in preaching, teaching, vision, decision making, and shepherding. Elders must meet the biblical criteria for Elders in Titus and are placed into position by existing Elders and thorough time of testing and teaching. We believe that the word Elder and Pastor are interchangeable. The church is led by a plurality of Elders, meaning that all are of equal power and voting rights. The church consists of both staff Elders, such as the lead teaching Elder, and lay Elders, or those Elders who work outside of the church. We believe in the biblical roles of Men and Women, and that Men are designed and called by God to lead the church in the role of Eldership.
Deacons function as ministry heads and run the operations of the ministry. They are in subjection to church Elders, but also have authority over those serving in the designated ministry areas. They are the ones responsible for the physical and logistical concerns of the church. Deacons may be a Man or a Woman but must meet the biblical criteria laid out for Deacons in 1 Timothy.
Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:8-13; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:1-2; Acts 15:6; Acts 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 5:17; Ephesians 4:11; James 5:14
Extra Church Fellowship
We don’t believe that any Man, Pastor or Church Leader gets it all right when leading a Church. That being said, we believe it is both biblical and super important to be connected to a network as well as to other churches. We believe that we can accomplish more together, than we can accomplish apart. We are called to spread the message of Jesus Christ not only in our own cities, but to the ends of the Earth. We believe this can be accomplished better in a network than it can be on our own. We are committed to the spiritual health and maturity of our members, and do not subject ourselves to oversight of any other church beliefs or leadership. Working together with other churches, we put aside our differences to reach as many people as possible with the good news of Christ.
Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Matthew 28:16-20; Matthew 16:18; 1 Timothy 4:16
Churches Relationship to the State
We believe in the separation of the Church and State. We believe that any and all people should be able to worship how they want with no interruptions from governing authorities. We believe that as Christians, we are responsible to answer to God and God alone for our conscience, as well as the the laws he has written in his word. We don’t believe the state has any right to tax, or impose any penalties of any kind on the Church. We believe that the word of God teaches freedom for people to pursue God and opinions, with no outside force or interference from the State or any Government. We also believe that civil government should be prayed for as well as obeyed, except where they conflict with the word of God.
Rom 14:9-13; Rom 14:4; Rom 13:1-7; Deut 16:18; Ex 18:23; Jer 30:21; Matt 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet 2:13; 1 Tim 2:1-4; Acts 5:29; Matt 28:1-20; Dan 3:15-18; Dan 6:7-10; Acts 4:18-20; Matt 23:10
The people in the church membership have a divine call to represent Christ as his body. Each one of us having a unique calling and gift to contribute. Within that call, is the need for established and practiced church discipline. When a covenant member of the church is living and acting in outward unrepentant sin, the call is for the Church to enact church discipline, to ensure the member is brought back into their God given calling, and restored fully to the community and the body of Christ. This process is laid out for the church clearly in Matthew 18. The call to discipline is a high calling, and involves much prayer and wisdom, but is the means by which the leadership keeps the Church healthy, and reflects Christ in the way that it should biblically. Members of the body of Christ all have a responsibility to kindly and gently keep one another on the path of transformation, and should all be participating in the first step of discipline by confronting one another gently, and in love. If the first steps of discipline are not successful in bringing the member to repentance, the leadership of the church is called to get involved, and the Eldership will confront the sin. The final process of church discipline is one that all members should pray we don’t see, but the reality is it happens as we are all fallen and sinful people. Excommunication will be the final step in bringing someone back into relationship and into restoration. The purpose of church discipline is not to simply enact power or to control people, but to keep the body healthy and reflecting Christ in the way that it should.
Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Galatians 5:9; Matthew 18:15-20; Romans 16:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:13-14; Hebrews 6:6; Galatians 6:1
As Christians, we are called to more than just a personal proclamation of faith, but we are called to a commitment of fellowship and serving in the local church. Although membership is not a word used in the New Testament, the evidence of such outworking is clear in the scriptures. People were committed to fellowship, and to one another, and to playing their part as a member of the body of Christ in his church. Becoming a member is a commitment from you to the church, but also a commitment to you from the church. Christianity is meant to be done in community, and having a family of believers to become a part of, will be indispensable in your life when becoming a member. Times of hardship and trials are promised to each of us, and walking in them together is our call. We are not called to just go to a church, but be the church, to literally be the hands and feet of Christ in serving the community and loving one another.
Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 12:21-26; Acts 20:28; Romans 12:4-5; John 15:12; Ephesians 2:19- 22; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Hebrews 10:25
Baptism is the public proclamation of a believer’s faith, entrance into the Kingdom of God and relationship to Jesus Christ and his Church. We believe that it is the immersion of a believer into water, representing the death and burial of the believer’s old life, and the resurrection of the believer’s new life into Jesus Christ. Baptism is required before entering Church Membership and all of its benefits. It is a representation, as well as a celebration for both the individual as well as the Church. While our convictions rest in believers' baptism, we hold the issue of infant baptism with respect and an open hand, and will allow those who were baptized as children to be members of Rock Church.
Romans 6:3-5; Luke 3:21-22; Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; Acts 8:35-39
The Lords Supper is a celebratory memorial of drinking wine and eating bread, which represents all that Christ accomplished on the Cross, as it memorializes and brings to remembrance both the body that was broken and beaten, as well as the blood that was spilled. As the believer partakes in the Lords Supper, we believe it nourishes their spirit as they participate in the miracle of feeding on the flesh of Christ. We believe that because the scriptures teach us to carefully examine ourselves when partaking, both believers’ baptism as well as Church membership are required before joining the Church in taking the Lords Supper.
Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 10:21; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12
The Gifts of the Spirit
We believe that Paul is clear in his letters to earnestly desire as well as to pursue the gifts of the spirit. We hold to a continuing conviction, that the gifts are for the church today, and that a biblically faithful church practices the gifts as the bible commands, and they do it in a biblical and organized fashion. We believe in spiritual prayer language of speaking in tongues, both regarding public prophecy, as well as the believer’s private prayer language. We believe that we are called to prophecy for the building up of the body. We believe we are called to lay hands on the sick for healing. We believe that the "Charismata” are the gifts of Christ for the local church, and to deny them is to deny a grace from God.
Mark 16:17; 1 Corinthians 14:2; Acts 19:6; 1 Corinthians 14: 27-28; 1 Corinthians 12:8-11; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 Corinthians 14:1-40