Our Mission, Method and Mandate
Our Mission, Method and Mandate
Worship - is the proper response of all moral, conscious beings to God; attributing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because He is worthy. Such worship therefore manifests itself both in adoration and in action, both in the individual believer and in corporate worship, which is worship offered up in the context of the body of believers.
Biblical fellowship involves being committed to Christ first and then to other Christians. Fellowship with God is initiated by believing in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. Fellowship with God's family is identified by being baptized in water. Followers of Christ not only believe in God, they choose to belong to a spiritual family. One's quality of life is improved by connecting with other believers in small groups. It is in this context that Biblical accountability and personal responsibility to one another can be nurtured.
The process which we, by systematic Bible study, acquire an accurate understanding of who God is, so as to follow Christ more closely in order to become like Him in all areas of life. The goal of Discipleship is transformed lives. This happens when the mind is renewed by the truth contained in the Word of God and applied to everyday life.
Goal: Transformed lives. Process: Renewed minds. Source: Bible study.
You were shaped for serving God. As you mature in Christ, you will likely develop a desire to serve God by committing to a Ministry that fits your unique S.H.A.P.E. Your S.H.A.P.E. is a combination of your Spiritual Gifts, Heart or passion, Abilities, Personality, andExperiences. By discovering and understanding your unique S.H.A.P.E., you can find and commit to a specific Ministry that is a “good fit” for you. This will lead to a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment of purpose as you serve Christ and others in ministry.
The purpose of Evangelism at HCC is to nurture our local community of Christians in the love of God’s word (the Bible) so that they are fluent in the Gospel of Christ, thereby having a ready answer for anyone who asks about the hope they have in them which has been given freely to all who call upon "His Name"; Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
1 Peter 3:15 Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you.
We Believe in the Bible as God's only inspired, inerrant, and authoritative revelation of Himself to man in written form. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
We Believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (1 John 5:7 NIV/New King James)
We Believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1), His virgin birth (Matthew 1:18), His sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21), His miracles (Acts 10:38), His vicarious death as the only sacrifice for the sin of the world (1 John 2:2), His bodily resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:39), His ascension to the right hand of God as our intercessor (Hebrews 7:25), and His future return in glory, first to rapture His church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) and second, to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth. (Revelation 20:6)
We Believe in the finality of Christ's mediatorial work for the redemption of mankind and the present freedom of access to the Father. (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:14-16)
We Believe in the new birth as the only means of receiving eternal life. The new birth involves a cleansing and deliverance from the penalty and power of sin. It is effectuated through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from sin. (John 3:3,5,7; Ephesians 2:8,9; 1 Peter 1:18-20)
We Believe in divine healing for the total man, spirit, mind and body and that this healing is accomplished in the redemptive work of Christ on the cross and appropriated in the believer's life through prayer. (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24; James 5:13-15)
We Believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an endowment of power for all believers. This infilling is subsequent to salvation and may be evidenced by speaking in tongues. This baptism enables a deeper expression of spiritual fruit, a greater growth in Christ-likeness, a genuine manifestation of spiritual gifts, and a more effective prayer life. (Acts 19:1-6; Acts 2:4,38-39; Acts 10:44,45; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22,23; I Corinthians 12:1-11; II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:26,27; Philippians 2:13; John 15:5)
We Believe in the process of spiritual development (sanctification) accomplished in the believer's life by the Holy Spirit through yielded-ness and obedience. This growth involves a daily dying to sin and living unto righteousness (Romans 6:1-23), finds expression in a holy life (Hebrews 12:24) and will be perfected at the return of Christ. (1 John 3:2)
We Believe in the resurrection from the dead. First, the righteous unto eternal life and second, the ungodly unto eternal damnation. (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15)
We Believe in the sacraments of the Church established by Jesus Christ our Lord: the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26- 30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) and baptism by immersion as a witness of the new birth. (Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 3:20-22)
“Let there be real harmony so that there won’t be splits in the church …Be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 (LB)
Assumption – A “groove” is literally a natural or human creation used to guide the needle of a phonograph, or water through the ground. In slang terms, a groove is a settled routine, or activity that one enjoys, or is well suited to. The quality of a groove can be recognized by how well people interact with each other. I am using the word groove to outline 10 consistent dispositions toward our work in ministry. If we study and commit to practice these 10 “Grooves” HCC will grow.
1. To be Salubrious
2. To be Honest
3. To be Accountable
4. To Provide Safety
5. To be Noble
6. To have Integrity
7. To be Relaxed
8. Take the Initiative
9. Be Self-managed
10. Be Eternally Motivated
A: HCC leads in the gender conversation with the following principle, Christians are to follow Jesus’ lead in welcoming all into the grace of the gospel, because Christ’s gospel is applicable and available to all (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9). So, we gladly offer genuine love to anyone struggling with gender confusion (Mark 12:30–31). But as Christians, we’re also required to confront the challenges of our broken world with biblical truth, even if that truth goes against current cultural rationale. HCC believes that the gender confusion people may be suffering is something God wants to help them navigate through to clarity and peace. Therefore, anyone struggling with gender confusion is welcome to chart a new course toward a biblical theology of sexuality in the loving gracious context of HCC. Click here for more information.
A: HCC believes that the institution of covenant bond (marriage) between a man and woman was originated by God during the creation account found in Genesis 1&2, and described in Ephesians 5:21-33. This covenant bond is sacred and should be tenaciously preserved by the couple, church and culture. In keeping with this high view of sacred marriage we are very committed to marital health including reconciliation when trauma and or separation occurs. Click here for more information.
Because marriage is sacred to God and HCC, only HCC Covenant Partners will be married at HCC. An HCC covenant couple will meet with the pastor and proceed through a rich mentoring program before their wedding. Based upon this holy view of marriage, and Genesis 2:24 that states a man and woman should leave their mother and father to become one (“one” being understood to be marriage), HCC is opposed to living together as a romantic couple without formally covenanting together in holy matrimony.
HCC is dedicated to lifting each other up through accountability, with grace and understanding. If a couple embraces HCC’s vision of sacred marriage, the church will come alongside to help and encourage every Christian couple as they conform their life into the original design of biblical marriage.
A: WHEREAS life originated in the creative work of Almighty God; and
WHEREAS man himself is created in the image and likeness of God; and
WHEREAS God assigned special value to human life; and
WHEREAS divine law forbids the indiscriminate taking of human life, exacting heavy penalties of those who violate this commandment; and
WHEREAS contemporary society demonstrates a low esteem for the sacredness of life; and
WHEREAS abortion-on-demand now receives serious consideration as a means of birth and population control; and
WHEREAS abortion is a vicious attack on the weakest and most helpless form of human life; and
WHEREAS the unborn are unable to speak in their own defense; and
WHEREAS intense pressure is being brought upon state and national legislative bodies to liberalize abortion laws; and
WHEREAS it is the duty of the church to raise an authoritative moral voice concerning this vital issue;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the General Assembly of the Church of God, reaffirm our historic commitment to the sacredness of human life; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we stand opposed to the use of abortion as a means of birth or population control; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge our entire constituency to actively oppose any liberalization of abortion laws by state legislatures and by the Congress of the United States; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that no individual should ever consider abortion as an option except in the gravest circumstances, after medical and religious consultation of the most serious nature.
A: Heritage Community Church (HCC) believes that God created all human beings in His image and likeness with dignity, equality, value, and worth. Therefore, we believe that people are not commodities to be bought or sold for any form of commercial exploitation to include, but not limited to labor, organs or sex.
Likewise, we believe that God created sex as an exclusive sharing of the physical body between a man and a woman within the sacred covenant of marriage. As a result of humanities’ separation from God, the gift of sex as designed exclusively for the sacred covenant of marriage has become perverted in our modern society as a consumer-driven commercial enterprise, i.e. human trafficking, pornography, gender discrimination in the workplace, etc. We believe such practice is in opposition to God’s design for human dignity, sex and sexual intimacy. Therefore, Heritage Community Church stands against the practice of buying and selling individuals for sex, whether sanctioned by a government as in “legal prostitution” or forced through illegal means such as human trafficking.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS REGARDING MINISTERING TO THOSE IMPACTED BY SLAVERY: The Amazing Grace Ministries believes that every person is in need of God’s saving grace. The mission of Amazing Grace Ministries is to share the message of God’s love as revealed through Jesus Christ to the hurting and the broken, allowing the redeeming work of Christ to set the captives free in body, mind and spirit; and through the work of the Holy Spirit to restore their God-given worth and value.
REFERENCE MATERIALS IN PREPARING THIS STATEMENT: From an article written by Mark Driscoll.
In the Bible, Paul says of the human condition: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
"Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!" Amen (Romans 1:21-25).
All of humanity is in the same boat, writing, "Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things" (Romans 2:1).
And to drive the point home, Paul writes, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Thankfully, he also adds, "and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith." (Romans 3:23-25).
The point is this: as humans, we're all sinners and all in need of God's grace, given freely through Jesus. And apart from Jesus, we all pervert God's good gifts, such as sex.
Mark Driscoll book, "Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together":
· God created us male and female in His image and likeness with dignity, equality, value, and worth. Men and women are different and complement one another (Genesis 1:27-28).
· Marriage is for one man and one woman by God’s design. This is the consistent teaching of the Bible from the table of contents to the appendix and the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself (Genesis 2:24-25, Matthew 19:4).
· God created sex. God made our bodies “very good” with “male and female” parts and pleasures. When our first parents consummated their covenant, God was not shocked or horrified, because He created our bodies for sex. The reason that sex is fun, pleasurable, and wonderful is because it is a reflection of the loving goodness of God who created it as a gift for us to steward and enjoy (Genesis 2:24-25).
· Sex outside of marriage is a sin. Sinful sex includes homosexuality, erotica, bestiality, bisexuality, fornication, friends with benefits, adultery, swinging, prostitution, incest, rape, polygamy, polyandry, sinful lust, pornography, and pedophilia (I Corinthians 6:9-11,18-20, Hebrews 13:4).
· Sex is to be done in such a way that there is no shame (Genesis 2:25; Proverbs 5:18-23). Many people experience shame in regard to sex. Sometimes shame is a gift from God in response to our sexual sin, sometimes it is the devastating feeling we bear because we have been sexually sinned against, and other times we have not sinned or been sinned against sexually but feel shame because we have wrong thinking and feelings about sex in general, or a sex act in particular.
A. Permeating the western hemisphere is a current culture that makes no distinction between men and women. Although all people are created equal with regard to value and honor the Bible recognizes important distinctions between male and female. One such example of this distinction is that God delegates men and women unique equal yet complementary roles of responsibility and leadership. Particularly in the New Testament this distinction of role is evident as it relates to household and church leadership (Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Peter 3:1-7). Therefore, in keeping with the original human distinctions found in Genesis 1 & 2, and biblical leadership roles apparent in the NT Christian home and church; the Lead Pastorate and Eldership at HCC will only be available to men. However, men do not have a monopoly on leadership and wisdom.
James 1:5 directs any Christian who is lacking wisdom to ask God for it. The word for wisdom in that passage is the Greek word “Sophia”, which is the feminine version of the noun. The definition of “Sophia” is a broad, un-restricted flow of wisdom. Therefore, it is wise for the primary male leadership of HCC to ask God for wise women to help them lead. Consequently, our interest is to harness the broad un-restricted flow of wisdom from both men and women in the church for the sake of nurturing a salubrious community. This collaborative model of leadership is clearly seen in the Christian home according to the household codes found in the books of Colossians and Ephesians, which can be generalized to the local church.
This equal and collaborative yet distinct leadership between men and women can also be founded in the prophecy of Joel and the fulfillment event of Acts 2, that on the day of Pentecost God did indeed pour out His Spirit on all flesh, Jew, Gentile, Greek, Scythian, male, female, sons, daughters, young, old, rich and poor. Consequently, proclaiming and teaching Gospel truth is indeed a task for all Christians according to the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, Colossians 3:16 and 2 Timothy 2:2. Yes, sons and daughters will be prophets of the Good News. Phoebe, Junia, Pricilla, are all examples of women who prophetically proclaimed the word of God to the church.
However, while the Bible equates the value of all people and their responsibility to preach and teach the Gospel, it does recognize differences in roles and responsibilities between people, such as parent/child, employer/employee, husband/wife, etc. Therefore, HCC takes its position regarding female roles in ministry from an Ephesians 5 perspective. Ephesians 5:21 equates husband and wife as people, yet in the passage that follows verse 21, Paul identifies particular roles of each without violating their equality.
Husbands are to assume the role of head and the wife is to represent the body, much like the vision of Christ as head of His body the church. The role of the husband here is not a role of authority or dominion as much as it is a role of responsibility, servanthood and sacrifice as seen in Christ our servant/King to His body the church. Indeed, the Head of both Christian men and women is Christ alone. Therefore, the role of the wife is representative of the church body in response to the servanthood and sacrifice of Christ the head of the church. This relationship between head and body is strengthened by the biblical metaphor identifying the church as a bride and Christ as a groom. By the two becoming one in the figure of marriage, both work symbiotically together to accomplish God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. This Ephesians five model of the Christian household Paul says, is actually reflective of church unity (Eph. 5:32-33). Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 1:10 emphasize the importance of unity among church leadership.
Therefore, a counsel of sophia (wisdom) comprised solely of women (generally the wives of Elders) will be gathered as a compliment to male Eldership for the purpose of contributing a feminine perspective and counter-balancing wisdom regarding the challenges facing our church. As in the Eldership program, invitations will also be made annually to women who have been recognized by the Lead Pastor and Eldership as possessing wisdom that God can use to enhance the health and well-being of our church. Formally this group will be called the “Sophia Counsel” (SC). All Elder’s wives are invited to join the SC. Each woman will serve for as long as she and the Lead Pastor believe it to be in the best interest of the church.
An invitation to join the SC requires that the SC candidate attend and successfully complete the Elder/SC Candidate University as a means of training for the SC role. Furthermore, each SC member must maintain a 60% attendance record to be considered an active member of the SC.
While you were not offered any choice regarding membership in the global and local human families, God offers every person the opportunity to become a member of His global family. The Bible says that everyone who believes and confesses that Jesus Christ died and was raised from the dead is given the right to become a child of God (Romans 10:9, 10), and we accomplish this by inviting Him into our lives to dwell personally with us (John 1:12). On a local level, every Christian further chooses whether they want to become a member of a local Christian church family. Belonging to the Heritage Community Church (HCC) family is the result of one such choice.
Joining the HCC family is initiated by attending the HCC Covenant Course. These classes are taught by the Fellowship Pastor or other church leaders, and provides a survey of the church doctrine and culture. Attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with the Lead Pastor and ask questions about the HCC family.
These classes are designed to help you grow in a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church. Being active is vital to church health and as believers we all must guard against complacency and stagnation. The HCC Covenant Course is essential to your continued spiritual health and well being.
MEETS THE FIRST WEEK OF EACH MONTH, EXCEPT NOVEMBER & DECEMBER.
Pastor Steve teaches week one, and we will cover CHURCH 101, discovering church membership at HCC.
MEETS THE SECOND WEEK OF EACH MONTH, EXCEPT NOVEMBER & DECEMBER.
Week two will cover ESSENTIALS 201, developing essential habits of a healthy believer.
MEETS THE THIRD WEEK OF EACH MONTH, EXCEPT NOVEMBER & DECEMBER.
Week three will cover SHAPE 301, discovering your place in the body of Christ.
MEETS THE FOURTH WEEK OF EACH MONTH, EXCEPT NOVEMBER & DECEMBER.
Week four will cover COVENANT CREW 401, joining the HCC ministry team.