Two core beliefs guide the way we do things at Grace: a belief in the priesthood of all believers and a belief that worship is a 24/7 response to God’s grace in our lives.
Worship is our lifestyle response to the way God has reached out to each of us in His grace. That response will include being more fully the people He’s created us to be and offering all of who we are for His service. We trust that God brings the unique people He wants to this church in order to shape our community according to His plans. We believe that every member is called to serve in a unique way and that the church body builds itself up in love and knowledge as each individual uses the unique gifts God has given them. We have found that spiritual gifts most freely emerge in the context of relationships that foster the safety and freedom to venture out and use those gifts.
Because of all this, we are not very program driven. We try to allow ministries and programs to flow out of the unique relationships and gifts of our community rather than imposing pre-set programs onto the community. On a regular basis, we gather together in various structured and unstructured settings to support each other and search the Scriptures together so that we might be sent out into the community to be salt and light within our everyday contexts.
A frequent question asked around here is “who’s the head pastor, anyway?” Rather than ask one person to carry the weight of the entire church, we have adopted a shared-model of senior leadership. This allows us to equip and empower our staff according to their unique giftedness, without requiring any one of them to be all things to all people. We work hard to provide our staff with an environment that is healthy and a schedule that is sustainable over many years of ministry.
The responsibility of our elders is to oversee the church as shepherds would oversee a flock of sheep by ensuring they have enough "food" and "water," (i.e. instruction and encouragement from the Bible) for the strengthening of their belief and obedience. Together the elders prayerfully seek to lead and oversee the church with the understanding that Jesus Christ is our chief shepherd and leader.
A plurality of elders leads Grace Fellowship Church, offering prayer, instruction, and guidance to the various ministries. In addition, the elders consistently meet together to discuss and lead the overall ministry at Grace. Existing elders prayerfully choose additional elders to whom God has given the desire and ability to shepherd, as recognized by the whole church. The role of elder carries personal and spiritual qualifications as described in I Timothy 3, Titus, Hebrews 13, and I Peter 5.
In the Bible the word "deacon" denotes a servant who leads. While every Christian is given a role by God to serve others, deacons particularly help other Christians to serve in the very practical issues of life and various ministries at Grace. Servant leaders, like elders, must be men and women of good character as described in I Timothy 3:8-13.
The Scriptures teach that all who authentically believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior from a heart changed by God immediately become members of the universal church. Therefore all those who have authentic belief in Jesus Christ and attend Grace are "members" of this church.
We give financially as part of our worship to God. As worshippers, we are called to bow all of who we are before all of who God is, and that includes the area of our treasures. We believe that the giving which pleases God comes from a heart of gratitude and from an understanding that all we have comes from God. While we don’t pass offering plates, we have offering boxes in our sanctuary and encourage regular giving of all members within the context of worship.
We affirm the sacraments of the believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper as practiced in the New Testament.