Our core values at St. Paul’s are the unwavering foundations upon which we seek to build Christ’s church. We stand firmly on the values of being “Biblically-Minded, Christ-Centered, Holy-Spirit Driven.”
We believe that God’s word is more than just an ancient collection of sayings or a helpful series of books offering us good advice. The Bible is much more than that! The Bible is good news, not good advice. At St. Paul’s, the Bible is our rule of faith, authoritative and inspired, containing “all things necessary for salvation.” The Bible is God’s truth breathed out to the world. It has stood the test of time and continues to speak powerfully, still today.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
We believe that the entire Bible is about Jesus. Each book of the Old and the New Testaments, either points us toward the coming of Jesus, tells us about the work of Jesus, or points us forward to His work made complete as he makes “all things new” again (Revelation 21:5). Jesus is the author of our salvation and the chief end of our worship. He is our advocate, mediator, and Lord. Jesus is the “chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). Without the Jesus of the Bible, the church falls.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the power of the church. The Holy Spirit gives us direct access to the Father, and to the Son, when we pray. The Holy Spirit brings joy to the heart, and sanctification to the soul. The Holy Spirit birthed the church, and sent her people to preach the Gospel with power, forgiveness, and grace. On Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended afresh, the church grew like wildfire across the ancient world. The Holy Spirit then directed the church on where to go in her mission and ministry (Acts 16:6).
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (ESV)
Our purpose at St. Paul’s is the same one that Jesus gave to all Christians in the Great Commission.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This is both the purpose of the church (go and tell) and her process (disciple making). We initiate new Christians through Baptism and saving faith. We then teach them and form them as disciples. Finally, we send them out to make more disciples through sharing God’s word and caring for souls.
So for us at St. Paul’s, our purpose and process are inextricably intertwined in these three phrases.
“Connecting to Christ – Growing in Grace – Serving His world.”
We exist to connect people to Christ. Connections may happen in worship. They may happen at ALPHA, our famous Tea Room, an oyster roast, our newcomers drop-in, a men’s hike, or through our Exploring Membership series. We have many avenues for people to connect to Christ and to begin to connect with His people – the church.
But the discipleship process doesn’t stop with finding Christ or finding a church home. Disciples must continue to “grow” or they die spiritually. Our Life Groups (community groups), Sunday School classes, Bible studies, and our Men’s and Women’s ministries, are all great places to “grow”.
Once someone begins to “grow,” inwardly and personally, it is time for them to serve Christ! We serve Christ through serving His people and His world. Whether we serve through our food distribution, free medical clinic, the Home of Hope, world missions, or simply by helping to maintain the church grounds, Jesus is honored and glorified as we serve “His World.” (Matthew 25:45).