Below are foundational beliefs for our church. For further questions feel free to email us. Also, feel free to browse our “distinctives” section for further information on beliefs and ministry practice.
Doctrine of God
We believe in one God eternally existing as one essence and three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, each of whom is fully God, yet there is one God.
We believe in one God eternally existing as one essence and three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Each person is fully, equally and eternally God, yet there is one God. Each person has precisely the same nature and attributes and is worthy of precisely the same worship, honor and praise. The entire Christian faith is bound together with the confession of God’s Trinitarian nature (Matt. 28:18-20).
We believe in God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth. We believe in the Son, God from God, eternally begotten but not made, who in history assumed to Himself a human nature for the sake of our salvation (John 1:14; Heb. 1:3). He is fully God and fully man. Through Him, all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him, all things hold together by the word of His power (Col.1:15-20). He suffered, died, was buried, resurrected, ascended and sits at the right hand of the Father until He returns for the final judgment and consummation of the Kingdom. We believe in the Holy Spirit who eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son and is sent by the Father and Son to give new life (John 15:26-27). The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, dwells within the regenerate, and empowers them to edify the Church and witness to the Gospel (Eph. 1:13-14, Luke 24:49). The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshiped as God, the third person of the Trinity.
The triune God, Father, Son and Spirit, is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible. As the immortal and eternal Creator, He sustains and sovereignly rules over all things (Ps. 24:1). God, according to His providence and foreknowledge, brings about His eternal good purposes to redeem a people for Himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.(Rom. 11:32, Eph. 3:10-11)
Doctrine of Revelation
God has made Himself known to the world in Jesus Christ, the Scriptures and creation.
We believe that God has made Himself known to His creation. He has revealed Himself to us in His Son, the incarnate Word (Heb.1:1-2), in Scripture, the inspired Word (2 Tim. 3:16), and in creation (Ps. 8; Rom. 1:20).
We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the perfect revelation of who God is. Jesus Christ is the “image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15), “the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3) and a perfect reflection of God the Father (John 5:19).
We believe the Scriptures, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God and are therefore without error in their original writings. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and free from error. The Scripture is sufficient for all that God requires for us to believe and do and is therefore to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises (Is. 40:6-8). As God’s people hear, believe and obey the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel (Rom. 10:14-17). The unified theme of the Scriptures is the gracious, redemptive work of God in restoring falling creation through Jesus (Lk. 24:27).
Doctrine of Providence
We believe that God created the world from nothing and governs all things at all times in all places.
God created the whole world from nothing (Gen. 1:1-2; Ps. 24:1). God’s creative work is the overflow of the love present within the Trinitarian fellowship. Creation, according to the design of God, was good (Gen. 1:3-31). God doesn’t let the world exist, He makes the world exist. He upholds the universe by the word of His power, and He holds the world together in himself (Col. 1:17).
Doctrine of Humanity
We believe that all humanity is created in the image of God and possesses intrinsic dignity and worth.
God made humanity—male and female—in His own image (Gen. 1:27-30). Set apart as His image bearers, every human being is sacred. All men and all women, bearing the image of God, are meant to represent God in His creation (1 Cor. 10:31). God declares the created order to be very good, distinguishing men and women as His agents to care for, manage and govern over it. They enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union in the covenant of marriage that establishes the only God-ordained pattern of sexual relations for men and women. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways.
Doctrine of the Fall
Although mankind is distinctively made in the image of God. In Adam all humanity is fallen and in need of redemption in the person and work of Jesus.
Through the temptation of Satan, humanity transgressed the command of God and fell from their original holiness and righteousness (Gen. 3). Now the entire human race inherits a corrupt nature that is opposed to God and His law (Rom. 3:9-20). Man’s sinfulness is deeper than an action or decision. Man’s sinful actions are the natural outflow of a corrupted, sinful heart (Ps 51:5). Man can no more rectify his fallen condition than a garden can rid itself of the weeds that grow in it. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to the mind, will, body and affections. Unregenerate humanity lives under the dominion of sin and Satan (Eph. 2:1-3). He is at enmity with God, hostile toward and hateful of God (Rom. 8:6-8). Therefore, all humans stand condemned finally and irrevocably to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself.
Doctrine of the Gospel
We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
The Gospel is the good news that despite man’s fallen state, God has made a way through the death and resurrection of Jesus for man to be forgiven for the wages of sin, declared righteous in God’s eyes, and restored into a personal relationship with God (Jn 3:16, Rom. 6:23, Heb. 10:19-25). This act of salvation is one of grace, through faith (Eph 2:8-9). This good news is biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), theological and salvific (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God), historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved).
We believe that when a person is born again through belief in the Gospel the Holy Spirit imparts a new nature and a new spiritual life, not before possessed, and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus (Gal. 2:20). The mind is given a holy disposition and a new desire to serve God, the dominion of sin is broken, and the heart is transformed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God.
Doctrine of the Church
We believe that the Church is made up of those who personally trust in the Gospel of Jesus for salvation. The Church is God’s witness of His plan of redemption.
God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful humanity into the fellowship of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:12-31). By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that newly redeemed humanity. The Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The ministry of the Church is an extension of the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Spirit.
The ultimate mission of the Church is to bring glory to God by making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). The Church is called to make disciples through worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances, fellowship, the exercise of our gifts and talents, and the proclamation of the gospel both in our community and throughout the world.
We believe there are two ordinances of the Church. One is that of baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the other is the Lord’s Supper.
Water baptism is in obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the Church, oneself and the world, believers are baptized by water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that a former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts the release from the mastery of Satan, sin and death.
The Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we come to the table with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body.
Doctrine of Resurrection and Consummation of the Kingdom
We believe that Jesus Christ is returning to the world in the future to judge the living and the dead.
The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the glorification of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, is finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment (Rev. 20:7-15), but the righteous, in glorious bodies, will live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then the eager expectation of creation will be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God, who makes all things new (Rev. 21:1-5).
The distinctives are matters of doctrine and practice within Gathering Church’s Statement of Faith that distinguish Gathering Church from other churches who would affirm the basic doctrines already presented. These distinctives indelibly shape the ministry and direction of Gathering Church. We do not expect all partners to embrace all aspects of these distinctives, but partners should expect that the distinctives will be maintained in all ministry environments at Gathering Church, and partners may not teach contrary to them.
Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value but are distinct by divine design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church. As it relates to the church, men and women are both expected to lead; however, the office of elder is reserved for qualified men (1 Tim. 3; Titus 1).
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit that we see on display in the New Testament are still active within the life of the church. These gifts did not end with the close of the New Testament or the death of the last apostle (1 Cor. 12:1-11). All gifts are to function in accordance with scriptural parameters and are for the glorification of God, the edification of the Church, and the witness of the Church.
Believer’s Baptism by Immersion
The precedent we find in the New Testament is baptism following conversion by immersion into water. As such, baptism is only intended for those who have received the saving benefits of Christ through the new birth of the Holy Spirit. Baptism by immersion is meant to symbolically depict the believer’s real union to Christ in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:1-14).
The Gathering is Jesus’ church. The Bible teaches He is the ultimate Shepherd of the Church Universal, and its local expressions (1 Peter 5:4). It also teaches God’s design to place a plurality of called, capable Pastors to oversee His local churches. These Pastors share equality and jointly labor together to faithfully shepherd matters pertaining to the whole of the church. Amongst this plurality is a lead Pastor, who will take a leading role. The Lead Pastor is often spoken of as a first amongst equals, likened to James in the Jerusalem church. Elders may be vocational elders or lay elders. Our eldership consists of men who are called to shepherd and who meet the requirements of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
We desire to see people come to faith in the Gospel and to see their faith expressed in growth, community, ministry, and mission.
Each church has a personality that is shaped by the core convictions it holds. Since our church has begun these convictions have shaped who we are and how we minister.
Gospel Centrality is the belief that the message of the Gospel is more than the entry door into the Christian faith, but that the Gospel is the foundation for salvation, at the root of all authentic life change, and is the means by which we will receive an eternal inheritance. Many Christians are versed in the Gospel as a means of doctrine but practically operate each day according to legalism or license in the way they approach God, others, and even themselves. Gospel-centered ministry is saturated in a grace that redeems, a grace that transforms, and is marked by an ever-growing understanding and appreciation for what the believer has in Christ.