Beliefs & Governance
Philosophy of Ministry
We believe there are three primary movements in the Christian life:
- The movement of our relationship to God – corporate worship and each believer’s life of devotion (Luke 10:27, Psalm 100).
- The movement of our relationship with other believers – fellowship, nurture, community, training in Christian discipleship (Hebrews 10:23-25, Luke 10:27, Galatians 6:2, II Timothy 2:2).
- The movement toward the world – outreach to unbelievers, mission to various human needs (II Corinthians 5:17-20, Luke 10:27-37, Matthew 28:18-20).
Each of these movements is significant and important to a well-balanced Christian life. Taken together, these movements define our ministry, in which our primary goal is to bring glory to God.
We believe that the work of the ministries which facilitate these three movements is primarily the responsibility of the laity. This is God’s plan (Ephesians 4:11,12). This type of service is the key to the healthy growth of the body and of the individual believer. The pastor’s primary call is to equip believers for such ministry.
We believe that God gives to each believer at least one spiritual gift to utilize in the ministry of Christ’s body, the church (I Corinthians 12:1-30, Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:7-13). Further, we believe that God grants burdens, dreams, visions, and vocations for the utilization of those spiritual gifts in ministry. The Spirit is the dynamic of ministry, but the gifts and visions of the members of the body are the mechanic through which He works (Acts 2:17,18). Therefore, we believe we are to trust the body and the members thereof. It is natural for gospel ministry to arise from the “grass roots” level of members’ concerns.
We believe that Christ has promised to build His church upon the faith of His followers (Matthew 16:16-19). Therefore, we believe that the role of prayer is primary to the ministry and growth of this church (Acts 4:24-31).
We believe that leadership within the church is primarily of a spiritual nature. Both clergy and lay persons of giftedness, wisdom, prayer, and spiritual maturity are confirmed by the body to lead the church (I Timothy 3:1-13). Leaders are gifts to the church given by the Risen Lord (Ephesians 4:7-13) and are to be trusted to lead (Hebrews 13:17). However, Biblical leadership is first and foremost marked by an attitude and practice of servanthood which is sensitive to the needs within the body (Peter 5:1-15, II Timothy 2:23-25).
We believe that the employment of a staff of gifted ministers is an appropriate investment in leadership to help equip the body pursue effectiveness and excellence in fulfilling its mission.
We believe that the organizational form or structure of this church best conforms to the principles of Scripture when it allows the church to function as God calls it to do so, to adapt to changing needs and situations, and to reflect its cultural context whenever possible (Acts 6:1-7).
The Emmaus Church Covenant
We promise by the aid of the Holy Spirit to forsake the ways of sin and to walk together in Christian love, unity, and in the paths of righteousness. With this in view we engage to strive together for both the peace and purity of this church; to sustain its worship and steadfastly to cherish and hold its ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute as faithful stewards such time, talent and money in the measure that God prospers each of us, that the responsibility for the work of the Local Church and world-wide ministry of spreading the Gospel be faithfully and effectively discharged.
We also seek to maintain family and private devotions; to teach the Bible to our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to be just in our dealings and faithful in our engagements; to be exemplary in our deportment, in accordance with the Holy Scriptures (Galatians 5:13-25, Ephesians 4:25-32, Ephesians 5:1-20); to combine zeal and knowledge in our efforts to advance the cause of our Savior; to make Christ first in all things both spiritual and temporal.
We further seek to give and receive admonition with meekness and affection; to remember each other in case of sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and, mindful of the Scriptures, to seek it without delay; to encourage one another in the blessed hope of our Lord’s return.
We moreover seek that when we move from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some local church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of the Word of God. Amen.