Doctrine & Philosphy of Ministry

My Doctrine and Philosophy of Ministry

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. As you test yourselves, I hope you will recognize that we have not failed the test of apostolic authority. We pray to God that you will not do what is wrong by refusing our correction. I hope we won’t need to demonstrate our authority when we arrive. Do the right thing before we come—even if that makes it look like we have failed to demonstrate our authority. For we cannot oppose the truth, but must always stand for the truth. We are glad to seem weak if it helps show that you are actually strong. We pray that you will become mature. (2 Corinthians 13:5-9, NLT)

Beliefs Regarding the Purpose of the Church

I believe that the church exists, first and foremost, to glorify God. My supreme desire is to know Christ and to be conformed into His image by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am non-denominational in my thinking. Not that I am opposed to denominations as such, only their over-emphasis of the doctrinal differences that have led to the division of the Body of Christ.

I believe that the only true basis of Christian fellowship is His (agape) love, which is greater than any differences we possess and without which we have no right to claim ourselves to be Christians.

I believe that worship of God should be Spiritual. Therefore, I think it is important to remain flexible and yielded to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit as we gather to worship Jesus Christ, be taught by His Word and grow in our love for one another.

I believe worship of God should be Inspirational. When we come to worship Him it is because He is worthy to receive glory, honor and power and has created all things. Therefore, I believe it is important to emphasize music and songs of worship and praise.

I believe worship of God should be Intelligent. As a church, Christians ought to be taught by His Word because it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, leading us to a knowledge of Him. Therefore, I think it is important to place great emphasis on the Word of God. In Worship, that plays out in selection of many "Scripture Songs" that enable the body to memorize the Word.

I believe worship of God is Fruitful. We come to grow in our love because it is His commandment that we love one another, and by this the world will know that we are His disciples. I look for His love in my life as the supreme manifestation that I have truly been worshipping Him.

In worship, I enjoy services that focus on a "personal relationship" with God through song worship and prayer and the teaching of the Word of God. I enjoy teaching and hearing both expository and topical studies. While I am what many would call a charasmatic, I do not believe the church should allow speaking loudly in tongues or the interruption of services with prophesy if there is a Bible Study in progress. It is not that I do not hold to the using of these gifts, but I believe that everything should be done decently and in order. I believe that God will not interrupt Himself.

Statement of Faith

I believe in all the fundamental doctrines of the orthodox, evangelical Protestant Christian church.

I believe the Bible to be the inspired and only infallible, authoritative Word of God, inerrant in the original writings.

I believe there is one true and living God, eternally existent in three separate persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I believe that God the Father is the personal, transcendent, and sovereign Creator of all things.

I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He is fully God and fully human. I believe in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

I believe that for the salvation of the lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is essential, and that repentance from sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the only way to come into a relationship with God. Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

I believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life; I further believe His power and gifts are available to believers today. I believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

I believe it is important to uphold the Scriptural practices of the early church like water baptism (adults, immersed) and the regular taking of communion. I do not believe that either of these practices is essential for salvation, but that they serve as a demonstration of our living faith in Christ.

I await the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, and I believe that the second coming of Christ with His saints to rule on the earth will be personal, pre-millennial, and visible. This motivates me to strive for holy living, heartfelt worship, committed service, diligent study of God's Word, regular fellowship, and participation in baptism and communion.

I believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible, and their exercise today, but always decently and in order, and with the primary emphasis on the Word of God which ought to be our primary rule of faith. To quote Pastor Chuck Smith of
Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, "We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Scriptures, and that they are valid for today if they are exercised within the Scriptural guidelines. We as believers are to covet the best gifts, seeking to exercise them in love that the whole Body of Christ might be edified. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without this love all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless."

I believe in participating in and supporting evangelistic outreach ministries in our own communitiy as well as communities all over the world. However, my main belief concerning evangelism is that "healthy sheep beget sheep." I am convinced that as pastors continue to feed the flock of God by teaching them the Word of God, that they will "naturally" lead others to Christ. The Worship Team plays a major role in the Sunday morning services. When healthy sheep bring their friends to church, often one of the first things a new visitor notices is "the band". As such, it is important that the team plays skillfully and to the best of their abilities. Note: It is not a requirement that the team member be a virtuoso, just a willing vessel, called to lead others in worship.

The Role of the Worship Leader or Worship Pastor

A Worship Leader or Worship Pastor is to meet the needs of all those who choose to fellowship at the Church in which he serves and to help every believer become a functioning member of the body of Christ, particularly with those whom God has called to participate in the Worship ministry. The pastor's calling is expressed in Ephesians 4:11-12, and I believe it applies to the Worship Leader as well. "Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ."(NLT)

It is therefore my goal to help those that are a part of the Worship Minsitry to mature in Christ so that they can do "the work of ministry." To accomplish this, I place a high emphasis on the teachings of the Word of God regarding worship and the role of singers and musicians in worship. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT)  Accordingly, the Worship ministry under my leadership is reliant upon the authority of Scripture for direction and the empowering of the Holy Spirit for success.

(Compiled from many sources, mostly Calvary Chapel related sites, and personalized by Greg Skodacek)

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