Grace Community Church exists to evangelize our city, equip the saints, and embrace people of all nations with the love of God.
Our core values are captured by two words, ROOT and FRUIT.
The Root: Belief in the Gospel
The root of the Christian faith is the gospel message, which is the good news of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrificial life, death, and resurrection on our behalf. Through faith in the gospel, Jesus provides us access to the Father (Jn. 14:6) and sends the Holy Spirit (Jn. 15:26) to permanently indwell the believer (Jn. 14:16, Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13-14). People cannot properly relate to either the Father or the Holy Spirit without belief in Christ’s finished work on the cross. It is our core mission at Grace Community Church to connect people to this message of grace without drifting into institutionalized religion.
The Fruit: Life in the Spirit
On Jesus’ final night with His disciples, He taught them saying, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). Subsequent to faith in the gospel, God imparts the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell and empower us to grow and bear spiritual fruit. In light of this, we offer opportunities for spiritual growth through things such as teaching, discipleship, evangelism, fellowship, prayer, praise, giving, and observing the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and baptism. However, out of these things our main emphasis is on three:
EVANGELIZING OUR CITY by communicating the gospel through word and deed
EQUIPPING THE SAINTS through studying and practicing God’s Word
EMBRACING PEOPLE OF ALL NATIONS with the love of God.
Christianity believes that truth is knowable and absolute, that God exists, miracles are possible, and that the Scriptures are historically reliable. Yet, these issues are where Christians are being challenged everyday in universities, government institutions, the media, the workplace, and even our own homes. In order to defend the faith and articulate the gospel to our lost neighbors, our goal is to follow the Bible’s command to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5) and to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pt 3:15). We accomplish this by offering opportunities for and encouraging evangelistic training and outreach. We also support missionaries who are preaching the gospel “even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Our goal in the equipping process is not simply to transfer information, but to initiate deeper transformation in Christ. In the Bible, this equipping process is accomplished through two different types of discipleship, corporate and personal. We emphasize both at Grace Community Church.
We take the Bible seriously and gather together to study it because it contains principles to live a life pleasing to the Lord in every way. Expect every message to communicate biblical truth in order to bring believers to maturity.
While gathering together for times of study fulfills the believer’s call to corporate discipleship, there is also another personal side to discipleship. This component involves the need for a younger believer to discuss their unique needs to a more mature believer. In a sense, this is more like “spiritual parenting,” as modeled by Paul and his companions in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 where it says: But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us… You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. In order to facilitate this process, we intentionally offer small group opportunities for these types of relationships to develop.
We cannot divorce the importance of embracing others in personal relationship from discipleship and evangelism. We encourage our members to not only take time to become involved in small groups with other believers, but to also pursue meaningful relationships with sinners, regardless of their age or ethnicity, in order to demonstrate with their words and deeds the gospel of grace. Many of us have come through deep emotional, physical, or spiritual struggle, and by sharing our lives together in authentic relationship we can encourage others with stories of how God brought us through and thus be the healing community God has called us to be.