God-Centered Worship is Our Highest Priority
At Christ Church Presbyterian, worship is considered the highest priority and privilege of the Christian Church. Christ Church encourages the flock to worship in a three-fold manner, namely, in public, family, and private worship. Indeed, we believe our confession when it states that:
“God is to be worshipped everywhere, in spirit and truth, as, in private families daily, and in secret, each one by himself; so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or willfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto” (Westminster Confession of Faith: XXI. 6).
We promote the simple Christian life, that is, one where private and family worship are central in everyday home life. Private worship (personal devotions) and family worship help prepare the entire household for a more God-centered, Christ-exalting, and Spirit-filled observance of the Lord’s Day.
The Means of Grace Are Central
One of the primary tasks of the leadership of Christ Church is to keep the means of grace central in the life of the church. The means of grace (Word, sacraments and prayer) are the means that God Himself has personally appointed and promised to bless for the salvation, sanctification, and comfort of His people (c.f. Acts 2:42). It is through the Word (read and preached), sacraments, and prayer that God’s people are united to Christ and, in Him, nourished and kept unto eternal life. The unadorned means of Word, sacrament, and prayer are spurned by the world as a foolish waste of time (I Corinthians 1:18, 21). The means of grace are viewed by pragmatic church growth experts as ineffective and irrelevant. However, we understand the Word, sacraments, and prayer to be the very means by which the Holy Spirit unites sinners, through faith, to God’s crucified and risen Son (c.f. Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 88).
Christian History and Tradition are Valued
Someone once said that the future never needed the past more than it does today. We believe that this is true of the Christian Church. Indeed, when the Church loses touch with her past, she easily forgets who she is and why she exists. This is precisely what has happened over the past half-century in evangelical America. The contemporary church has experienced a real loss of identity and connectedness to her roots. This ahistorical mindset has helped to foster high levels of superficiality and ignorance in the American evangelical church.
Since according to the Scriptures, the Christian Faith “was once delivered to the saints,” (Jude 3) and, therefore, does not change with every passing generation, we believe that we have much to gain from 2000 years of Christian history and tradition. For Christians to turn a cold shoulder to their rich theological and ecclesiastical heritage shows a kind of modern arrogance (C.S. Lewis called it “chronological snobbery.”) Indeed, there is much we can learn from those who went before us. The ministries of our church will seek to cultivate a greater appreciation for our Protestant and Reformed roots. Our corporate worship on the Lord’s Day, in particular, is an expression of our appreciation for the rich liturgical and musical heritage that has been handed down to us through the ages.
Evangelism / Mission is Important
We are committed to personal and corporate evangelism. However, we understand evangelism and mission to be more than just an event facilitated by a church or the handing out of a gospel tract. Gospel proclamation primarily entails the faithful reading and preaching of the Scriptures in the gathered public worship of God on the Lord’s Day. Worship is doxological evangelism. The Gospel is also proclaimed when God’s people scatter throughout the week to their homes, neighborhoods and vocations and share the gospel with others–– thus being salt and light in a corrupt and dark world (Matthew 5:16).
The end goal of our evangelistic endeavors, whether at home or abroad, is not simply to get people to make a decision or pray the sinner’s prayer. Rather, it is to lead people to committed church membership and a lifetime of repentance and faith in Christ through the ordinary, yet life-transforming, ministry of the Word, sacraments, and prayer.
The Body of Christ Loves One Another
Our Lord Jesus Christ says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). At Christ Church we encourage strong unity and loving hospitality. We firmly believe that as Christ and His Word remain central, God’s people will stand faithfully with, and for, one another.