What You Need To Know About Autumn Ridge Church
The purpose of Autumn Ridge Church is to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and serve people.
We believe that a disciple who loves God will value the scripture, commune with God in worship and grow in their faith through intentional discipleship. We believe that a disciple who serves people will live in community with other believers, will seek to identify their giftedness for service and will mirror God's own compassion for the world.
First and foremost, we are an evangelical church.
The word "evangelical" is an anglicized form of the Greek word for "gospel." An evangelical church is gospel-centric. The central images of an evangelical church are the cross and the empty tomb. An evangelical church is driven by a belief in the truth of Jesus' words, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me."
Additionally, we believe that baptism by immersion is the best dramatic portrayal of the process of salvation. We define "Believers' Baptism" as a baptismal event that follows a believer's personal decision to accept Christ as Savior. While baptism is a prerequisite for church membership giving a person voting privileges in the church, we observe "open communion," available to anyone who confesses faith in Christ. All other areas of participation in the ministry of the church are open to non-members.
We are innovative but not trendy.
We embrace fresh approaches to tell the ancient story of salvation. We welcome innovative approaches to worship and discipleship. Leadership has the freedom to fail, as long as we don't repeat our mistakes and learn important ministry lessons in the process. We don't chase fads or do things just because someone else does.
We embrace tradition, but are not bound by traditionalism.
Pelikan noted that "Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living." We value the collective experience of the church, catholic and Evangelical. New ideas are examined for their biblical basis, theological meaning and historical precedents.
We value theological study and reflection.
Our congregation enjoys a diversity of theological views and affords to one another the right of personal opinion. We are dogmatic on the essentials of the faith and extend grace on issues of secondary importance. When considering a new course of action, our decisions are formed by investigating the biblical basis, theological implications and historical precedents of the decision.
We embrace the best of historical theologies.
Because no single theological position has all the answers, we embrace the best of reformed and Wesleyan theologies. We value the truth, beauty and goodness represented by the various expressions of orthodox, catholic and evangelical worship. As an evangelical church, our mission and practice is shaped and driven by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are passionate about local outreach and international missions.
The benediction of worship, "Let us go out in peace to love and serve the Lord" is more than a signal that the worship service is over. The congregation sincerely desires to have worship that translates into active service. Our purpose is to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and serve people.
We are a generous and gracious congregation.
The fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - is evidenced in many ways. We do not see ourselves as being in competition with other evangelical churches. We do not squabble internally over insignificant issues. We believe that our hearts will follow our treasure and so we invest liberally in the on-going work of God.
We are politically diverse and open-minded.
We recognize each individual's right to diverse political opinions and social positions. We do not corporately participate in politics nor will we endorse any candidate or party.
We experience spiritual formation through excellent, God-honoring worship.
All worship must deal with the push of tradition and the pull of culture, but we believe that the fundamental question is not "What does worship do" - as if worship were a means to a higher end - but rather "What is worship about?" Worship is a retelling and reenacting of the story of salvation; the cross of Jesus is the central image of worship. We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. Worship does not exist for the purpose of evangelism; God-honoring worship can be the most powerful evangelistic force in the church.
We are passionate about the discipleship of children and students.
Believing that children are a gift from God, we devote ourselves to the spiritual formation of children and students. The discipleship of children is the privilege and responsibility of parents; the church must train parents for this holy task and support their efforts by providing biblical teaching and modeling Christ-likeness.