Six Major Celebrations

Six major celebrations help us focus our strategy as we move along in our mission:

1. Salvation by grace: Through faith - neither prevented nor promoted by our works. The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, and our forgiveness which has come as a result, is the avenue by which our relationship with God is restored. By faith we accept the terms of a trade that was made nearly 2000 years ago when Jesus was executed on false charges.

2. Baptism for repentance: In water - following the example of Jesus - symbolizes

1. Our intent to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ;

2. Our spiritual cleansing;

3. Our hope of sharing in His death, burial and resurrection into eternal life.

3. Baptism for power: In the Holy Spirit - empowerment to be representatives of Jesus Christ by our Godly example and lifestyle. The Pentecostal/Charismatic visitation of the Holy Spirit, with His accompanying gifts, is for the Church today, and the personal visitation of the Holy Spirit on the individual is for each and every believer today and his or her spiritual strength and encouragement. (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12, 14; Acts 2:4)

4. Prayer of faith: For our needs - body, soul and spirit. We're privileged to come before the Father to petition for:

1. Physical healing or other physical or financial needs;

2. Healing, deliverance, wisdom or other divine intervention for needs of the soul - the mind, will and emotions;

3. Deliverance, salvation or other needs in the spirit realm. We anoint with oil and pray in faith, believing that God hears and answers the prayers of his people - is ready, able and willing to bring us to wholeness. (James 5:13-18)

5. Fellowship of His suffering: Communion - the Lords supper. By faith we vicariously share in:

1. His sacrificial execution - the gracious obliteration of our guilt as transgressors along with the subsequent liabilities;

2. His resurrection from the dead - our merciful restoration to a meaningful relationship with the Heavenly Father and our hope of eternal life with Him. In the communion we commemorate this until Jesus returns. (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25)

6. Gathering of the believers: We provide a schedule of worship and celebration encounters, instruction and education encounters, a variety of small group encounters and other special events and programs to facilitate spiritual growth and development in God's people. (Acts 2:42; 5:42; 20:20; Hebrews 10:25)

The word "Church" (ekklesia, Gr.) means: Called out ones; assembly; gathering of the people; community. Our assembly times are for building and strengthening the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4; 1 Corinthians 14).

Two assembly sizes are necessary for our individual spiritual and emotional health and well-being in this gathering process:

1. Corporate gathering - unlimited number;

2. Small group - numbering 12 or less.

Within these two group sizes there are five necessary personal encounters:

1. Worship celebration;

2. Teaching/learning;

3. Care/small group;

4. Intimacy/sharing; and

5. Giving in ministry - time, energy and finances.

This is not to say that everyone will be comfortable in each size or type of encounter, but everyone needs each size and type of encounter to have a healthy growth process.