ABOUT COMMUNITY CHURCH
AND OUR DENOMINATION
"What we believe our church is and should be"
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"We are the church - our building is our meeting place"
OUR PURPOSE STATEMENT
Who are we?
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has approximately 2.4 million members, 11,100 congregations and 14,000 ordained and active ministers. Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
Why we exist as a church.
Simply stated, the purpose of Community Church is to bring people to Jesus and membership in his family, develop them to Christ-like maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the Church and life mission in the world, in order to magnify God's name.
WE SEEK TO ACCOMPLISH OUR PURPOSE BY...
Practicing the Character and Presence of God.
Worship is central to the life of the Church. It should not be dull or boring. It is celebrating life in Christ and experiencing God's presence in our lives. We seek to provide an atmosphere that encourages worship as a lifestyle, where people can come together and worship the Lord in song, prayer and the teaching of Holy Scripture . "true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth...- "(John 4:23)
Promoting Personal Growth in Christ.
It is our desire that every Christian be growing and changing to be more like Christ. This requires a strong emphasis on the teaching of God's word and training in a balanced Christian life. Our goal is the spiritual maturity of every believer. " ... until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13)
Praying for one another through Fellowship and Service.
People are important at Community Church. One of the chief characteristics of a mature Christian is an active love in the context of a caring and meaningful relationship. This is one of the reasons we believe it is important for everyone to become involved in a Ministry Team or Bible Fellowship Hour context. "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:10)
Proclaiming Christ to Our Community and to the World.
We deeply sense our responsibility to share the message of God's Good News in our Community and around the World. Christ has called us to share the gift of eternal life with those who are without God and without hope in this World. "... go and make disciples of all nations.... " (Matthew 28:19)
OUR VISION STATEMENT
What we are striving for
The vision for our Community Church is:
To make Community Church an equipping station that helps individuals in their quest to be Christ-like in their lives and competent in their commitment to Christian services so that together we reach for Christ those in Howey-in-the-Hills, Lake County, the State of Florida, our Nation, and the World.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
What we are to do
To faithfully promote the Word and Ministry of Jesus Christ to our Congregation and the communities we serve.
To encourage peace in human hearts and relationships within our Community and our World and to actualize the truth and spirit of the Gospel as presented in the Confessional standards of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH
What we believe
In essential beliefs, we have unity. "There is one body and one Spirit ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and Father of all." (Ephesians 4:4-6)
In non-essential beliefs we have liberty. "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls...So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God...so whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God..." (Romans 14:1,4,12,22)
To all our beliefs, we show love. "If I ... hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all." (I Cor. 13:2)
About the Bible
We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be inspired by God and the final authority for Christian faith and life.
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each member of the Triune Godhead is equal in power, glory, and substance.
About Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. He was buried and arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of God the father He is now our High Priest and Advocate.
About the Holy Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to convict humanity of their sinfulness, regenerate the elect, indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service
We believe that humans were created in the image of God, but that image was marred by sin and they are thereby lost. We believe that only God's intervention in individual's lives can quicken them, and hence, bring them into God's family.
We believe that the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection provide the only ground for the salvation of all who believe, and only those who receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God.
About the Church
We believe that the true Church is composed of all people who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been baptized into the Body of Christ (Church); they are united together and are under the Headship of Christ.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead and that believers will enjoy everlasting life with God.
PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY
Directing ourselves to the life-changing needs of the community.
Working towards leading people through a journey of faith to reach their potential.
Believing in consistent prayer and worship and realizing it as a vital element of spiritual growth.
Providing teaching, preaching and leadership that points people toward Christian maturity.
Understanding the fact that we were formerly self-centered and want to become others - centered by centering first on God.
Working with other churches to accomplish the expansion of the Kingdom.
Accepting people to a loving environment where they can receive comfort.
Providing a safe place where individuals can hear and see the love and joy that God provides.
Bring comfort to the broken hearted,
Strengthening of families
The priority of effective Bible teaching.
Prayer is foundational to everything we do.
Lost people matter to God, and thus must matter to us.
The Church is responsible to be culturally relevant, while remaining doctrinally pure.
True worship of God by definition, should be enjoyable and understandable.
True discipleship, leading to changed lives, best occurs in small groups.
Excellence is honoring to God and inspiring to people.
The Church must be a unified body of ministers, each using his or her spiritual gifts. The pastor's role is not to do the majority of ministry, but to train front-line ministers in the congregation.
The primary ministry of the church does not take place on Sunday mornings, but rather, Sunday worship is when we are prepared for ministry, which then takes place in our homes, our neighborhoods and workplaces throughout the week.
Continual public celebration of what God is doing in our midst honors God
and encourages His People.
Full devotion to Christ and his cause is normal Christian behavior.
Decisions involving the future direction of the Church must always be determined by principle
over preference and/or tradition.
UNDERSTANDING OUR STRUCTURE
OUR MINISTRY ROLES
The head of the Church is Jesus Christ.
Community Church belongs to Jesus Christ not to any person or group. The Bible clearly teaches that Christ is the head of the Body, which is Christ We therefore, submit ourselves to his ultimate authority and leadership. "...(Jesus) I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18) "and he is the head of the body, the church..." (Colossians 1:18)
The Body is His Church.
Every member of our church is an important part of this body or family. Along with the responsibility of membership you have the privilege of having a voice in its future. Here at Community Church we practice a representative form of government in which you have the opportunity to elect Elders who represent the church as ordained officers. Additionally, there are several matters (e.g. calling a pastor) which you as a member of the congregation may cast a vote.
The Pastor is the Shepherd and Spiritual Leader.
The Pastor/s are given the primary responsibility of leadership within the church. They are to be men and women of godly character who lead by example, and provide the spiritual direction for the church. They are to teach the Word of God and train God's people for ministry, The Bible uses five different words to describe this function: shepherd , pastor, elder, overseer, and bishop.. "It was he who gave .... some to be pastors, and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up," (Ephesians 4:11-12)
The Elders are your representatives.
Elders are ordained officers in the church which come together and form the Session (Church Board). Their ordination is life-long and they typically rotate on and off the Session every three years. They represent you the member and assist the Pastor in administration, shepherding, preparing for the sacraments (baptism and the Lord' s Supper), and overseeing committees within the church
The Members are God's ministers.
The role of the church members is not to simply attend church and soak in the teaching. Every church member is to be a minister in the lives of people and the ministries of the church. The pastor's role (as mentioned earlier) is to instruct the members to do the work of the ministry. The church cannot move forward on leadership alone. It requires the involvement of its people. " to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Ephesians 4:12)
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