A Proper View of Scripture

The Scriptures are the very Words of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21) and for that reason they are inerrant. The truths of God's Word do not change and are therefore absolute. Scripture is the foundation of truth upon which the church is anchored. Therefore its content is what guides the church in how it functions internally and what it proclaims to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or nationality. Scripture is the final arbiter, judge and jury of every ministry carried out within the church. To suppress the voice of Scripture in the church is to suppress the work, wisdom and blessings of God. 

  • Inspired – Scripture is “breathed out” by God. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
  • Inerrant – The Word of God is void of error. God conveyed truth to divinely chosen individuals. What is written has not strayed from the original formulation of truth as it existed in the mind of God. (Psalm 19)
  • Authoritative – That which Scripture says requires obedience from the believer. Every aspect of ministry (whether a sermon, Bible study, program, or activity) must be driven by an understanding of the authority of Scripture and must bring Scripture to bear upon the lives of believers (Luke 8:21, 2 Timothy 3:16, James 1:22-25).
  • Sufficiency –2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” This verse proclaims that the Word of God is sufficient for all areas of ministry, including preaching, teaching, and counseling believers unto godliness. Anytime the church gathers, the emphasis must be on the proclamation of God’s Word and the exhortation to obey it. (1 Timothy 4:13) 
  • Relevance – Scripture is relevant for every situation (Psalm 19; 119:105; Isa. 40:8, 2 Tim. 3:17). Although it may not give explicit answers to every trial Scripture will always give us the principles in which we can glorify God in every situation. 

A High View of God

  • God is holy, righteous, and just (Ex. 15:11, Lev. 11:44; 19:2, 1 Sam. 2:2, Ps. 7:11; 9:4; 11:7; 19:9; 50; 96:10-13; 119; 145:7; 29:1-2; Is. 6:1-13; 57:15, Dan. 9:14-16 Zeph. 3:5 Rom 2; 3:21-22, Eph 4:22-24, 2 Tim 4:8, Heb 10:30-31, 1 Pet 1:15-16; 4:5, Jas 4:12, 1 Jn 1:7; 2:1; 2:29; 3:3; 3:7;
  • We must seek to exemplify His communicable attributes since we are image bearers of God (Gen 1:26, Eph. 4:32-5:1; Col 3:9-10, 1 Jn 4:7).
  • A failure to have a high view of God leads to toleration of sin and a focus on man. A poor view of God tends to manifest itself in the church through faulty and/or heretical teaching and man centered programs that are not designed with the goal of achieving the maximum glorification of God. As a result the church reflects a humanistic mindset that seeks for man’s approval rather than glorify God (Gal 1:6-12, 1 Thes 2:4, 1 Cor 10:31-33, 1 Tim. 1:3-7, 2 Tim. 1:8-14; 3:1-9; 4:1-5).
  • A high view of God will lead the church to view His Word as the compass for our lives (Ps 19; 25:4-5; 86:11; 119; 2 Tim 3:16, 1 Jn 2:3-6).

 

A Low View of Man

Mankind is totally depraved. On his own man can do nothing that is good in the eyes of God (Romans 3:10-18). Mankind is unable to understand or accept the things of God apart from the enlightening grace of God that turns his eyes to the truth (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14; Hebrews 6:4). Ultimately, the seat or will of man (the heart) is bent toward wickedness and his goal in life is selfish satisfaction (Gen. 6:5; Eccl. 9:3; Jer. 17:9-10). Therefore, no matter how good one may appear in the areas of charity, loving one’s neighbor, sacrificing for the good of others, advancement in education for the betterment of humanity, or serving in an office for the public’s good, the core of man’s heart is driven by selfish gains not from a pure heart and clean conscience (Psalm 24:4; 36:1-5; 14:1-3; 1 Timothy 1:5)

Man is corrupt. Wickedness radically permeates man’s entire being to the point that he is enslaved to it and no amount of eloquence on the part of the Christian evangelist’s is able to grant him life (2 Peter 2:19). Man is spiritually blind. The Christian evangelist’s only hope as he seeks the conversion of the lost for the regeneration of their soul is found in the sovereignty of God (John 3:1-10; Rom 1:16-17; 9:6-13, 2 Cor 4:1-5).

God created man to glorify Him and rule over His creation. But because of sin man sought and even now continues to seeks his own glory and tear down the glory of God (Genesis 1:26; 2:19; 6:3, 4-12; Psalm 8:1-9; 86:1-13; Rom 3:23).

The goal of all true God-centered ministry is to lead man to a relationship with God through obedience to His Word (1 John 1:1-4).

 

A Correct View of the Church 

The church is comprised of all who have repented of their sin, confessed with their mouth Jesus is Lord, believed that God has raised Jesus from the dead and participated in believer’s baptism, and placed their faith in Christ alone for their salvation (Acts 2:38; Romans 10:8-10). 

The church can be viewed in two different dimensions: the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ. 

As the Body of Christ, the church is the physical representation of Christ in the world (1 Cor 12:27, Eph 1:23). This state of the church is not the eternal state of the church, but it is the earthly state of the church.

As the Bride of Christ, the church is made up of all who have been, are being, and shall be born again (Jn 3:3, Rev 19:6-9). It is composed of those who are united with Christ (Col 3:1-4). This is the eternal state of the church, and even now Christ is purifying His church and preparing her for joyful eternal union (Eph 5:26-27). Only God’s elect are included in the Bride of Christ.

Christ so loved the Church that he died for her (Eph 5:25). Christ both nourishes and cherishes the church (Eph 5:29). He is head over His bride and has established her as being “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph 2:20, 23, Col 1:18). The church is the means by which believers are instructed for the purpose of maturing into the full stature of Christ (Eph. 4:11-16)

Believers are to edify one another with their spiritual gifts given by Christ for the church (Rom 12:6-8; 1 Peter 4:10-11). Believers regularly assemble together for teaching, for fellowship; for the equipping of ministry and corporate edification of the body (Acts 2:42; Heb 10:24-25; Romans 15:1-13; 1 Cor 12:1-11; 14:26). Therefore, church ministry must seek to foster a deepening love for and commitment to one another (the church body).

  • The church exists to worship and glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31; Heb. 13:15)
  • The church exists to be a storehouse of divine truth. (1 Tim. 3:15)
  • The church exists to provide a context of loving fellowship for the purpose of edification (Eph. 3:16-19, 4:12-16)
  • The church exists as a training center where people can grow through the application of teaching (Matt 28:19-21, 1 Cor. 12-14; Rom. 12; Eph 4)
  • The church exists to be a light in this dark world, for the evangelization of God’s elect (Matt 5:13-16, 28:19-20; Titus2:11-15)
  • The church exists to provide accountability (Matt. 18, Gal. 6:1-3)

We recognize that within the corporate gathering of the church, a distinction can be made between 2 types of people: Disciples of Christ who have been born again, and disciples of Christ who have not yet been born again but are being drawn by the Father to learn of Christ. 

Those who are not yet born again should not be ashamed and are not of less worth. Instead, they should keep learning of Christ and seeking Him until God births them anew. 

Those who have been born again should walk with all who enter the church regardless of their standing before God, loving them, teaching them, and seeking to restore them to repentance when they sin (Gal 6:1-2, Jude 22-23)

 

A Scriptural View of Leadership

Spiritual leaders are not masters but servants. Their servant leadership comes from  their divine call to serve (Acts 20:29) Elders or overseers have a responsibility to equip (Eph 4:11), care for (Acts 20:28) and teach (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9) the members. The members are to respect (1 Thess. 5:12) and submit to these leaders (Heb. 13:17), but not to treat them as infallible (1 Tim. 5:20)

  1. Leaders must reflect the character of Christ to be models for the flock (1 Thess. 2:4-12; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5)
  2. Leaders must adequately equip their people to do the work of the ministry (Eph 4:12)

Scripture makes clear that spiritual leadership is not a light matter, and those who take on that responsibility should not be chosen hastily (1 Tim 3:6, 5:23-24). Those who are selected by the elders or pastors for spiritual leadership must meet certain qualifications laid in scripture. 

Deacons

We seek to use the biblical model expressed in Acts 6:1-6 and the qualifications established in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. Deacons will serve under the leadership of the Elders and Senior Pastor. Their main function is to carry out the practical aspects of ministry in serving the saints so that the elders and pastors are able to devote themselves to prayer and teaching. Deacons are to be “men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of Wisdom” (Acts 6:3).

 

Pastors and Elders

Pastors and Elders are the the under-shepherds of the flock of Christ (1 Pet 5:1-5). They are to set an example in godliness for the sheep (1 Pet 5:3). All elders and pastors must meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-5 andTitus 3:5-9, as well as the qualifications for deacons (1 Tim 3:8-13). Though Pastors and Elders are held to the same standard, their role is not the same.

Pastors are more involved in the direct shepherding of the Flock, interacting with the sheep often and being extremely available for their spiritual care. Their time is devoted to the care of the sheep at all times. 

Elders are responsible for the direction of the church as a whole, maintaining and setting doctrine, handling church discipline, and shepherding the flock. They are generally older men with great godliness and experience in the Church. 

 

Structure of Leadership

God has designed for men to fill biblical leadership positions in the church. Scripture does not permit women to fill those positions (1 Cor 14:33-35, 1 Tim 2:11-15). However, women may lead other women or be involved in teaching children (2 Tim 1:5, 3:14-15, Tit 2:3-5). 

There is one head of the Church: Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23, Col 1:18). As such, the whole Church and all that is in it belongs to Him. 

Under Christ’s leadership, we are an elder led church, meaning the elders direct the church as a whole.

Structure of Leadership

God has designed for men to fill biblical leadership positions in the church. Scripture does not permit women to fill those positions (1 Cor 14:33-35, 1 Tim 2:11-15). However, women may lead other women or be involved in teaching children (2 Tim 1:5, 3:14-15, Tit 2:3-5). 

There is one head of the Church: Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23, Col 1:18). As such, the whole Church and all that is in it belongs to Him. 

Under Christ’s leadership, we are an elder led church, meaning the elders direct the church as a whole.

 

How to Understand the POM: Foundational Truth

The principles are guidelines derived completely from Scripture. In essence, we are free to minister in every way conceivable as long as the ministry actions themselves demonstrate to our fullest ability the holiness of God and His holiness being lived out through the lives of His people whom He has inhabited.

Therefore, the POM is truth lived out through a practical methodology for implementation of ministry by our church body which is an offering to God through holy ministry actions / activities.

We emphasize freedom in how we can practically minister to the world. As a church body the most difficult aspect to church ministry is the work of maintaining the balance between demonstrating holiness to the world and the freedom of how we accomplish the task.

 

How to Implement: The How To’s of Church Ministry

In practical ministry we evaluate every action by Paul's guiding philosophy of ministry, 

Source: (1 Cor 10:23; 31-33; Col 3:15-17).

  • All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 
  • Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor
  • Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God
  • Give no offense either to Jew or to Greeks or to the church of God
  • Just as I [Paul] also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.
  • Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 
  • Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 
  • Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father

 

The Goal of the POM: Fellowship

Every thread of practical ministry action is to be tied back to the knot of fellowship that unifies the whole to God through:

  • Scripture
  • Ministry
  • Fellowship

Source: (1 John 1:1-4) 

The most practical aspect of philosophy of active ministry is fellowship.

  • The Preeminence of Scripture: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life
  • How We Minister to the World: The life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us
  • The End Result: What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 
  • Answering the Why: These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

In a Nut Shell: 

  • The Principles of Ministry is the foundational support for everything we do. It is derived completely from the doctrines of Scripture. It is our authority in ministry and our check and balance for our hearts and the heartbeat of the Church.
  • Paul's epistles provide us with the limitations or boundaries for ministry 
    • The What or How to do or not to do in all forms of active ministry. 
  • John’s epistle provides us the Why  we do what we do in all forms of ministry.
  • Fellowship is the end result.