Partners in Vision
We are so happy you are considering making TLC your church home. Everyone has a need to belong and God has a special place for each one of us as we join together in serving Him. It is vital in any endeavor that expectations and responsibilities are well communicated and understood. Please take time to sit down with your bible and read through this document. It is a statement of what we believe, the core values we hold and a framework of how we can relate together as church members. As you read, please jot down any questions you may have so we can discuss them at our PIV membership orientation class.
1. The Church
• Is not a building, we are a people - His body - not an organization, an organism (1 Peter 2:4,5).
• The church was birthed on the day of Pentecost - It was God's idea. The church is designed to be the visible representation and expression of Jesus Christ on earth. He is the head, and we express the fullness of His body through spiritual gifts, gospel preaching, works of kindness etc....
• Mt. 16:18 Jesus said; "I will build My church..." Eph 1:22,23 "God has given Him to be head over all things for the church which is His body."
• There is one church (body) many parts. Baptist, Pentecostal, Nazarene, etc. Unity is the key issue, not uniformity (diversity is our strength). We are united in our love for Jesus who is the only mediator between God & man. Please look at the tenants of faith (See attachment "These Things We Believe") which is the primary factor doctrinally in validating a church as a credible expression of Christianity. There are many cults popping up and it is vital that we know what we believe and why. Our belifs and functions should always line up with the pattern of the Word of God.
2. Church membership
• Why have a membership?
o To bring organization that will help us to fulfill the vision before us.
o Release ministries in a safe environment.
o To bring a flow of life and authority.
• What membership is not:
o Salvation - A person is saved and becomes a member of the body of Christ by putting their faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. At this point, they are born again and a member of His body.
o Voting Privileges - The biblical form of church government is not government by the people: The bible describes the church as His body with Jesus being the head. His headship or rule is delegated to anointed gifted leaders as described in Ephesians 4:11. However, a good leader will listen for the voice of the Spirit in the people of the church.
o Elite society - There are not two classes of people in the church, members and non-members. Membership simply gives us a clear way to make ourselves available and raise the level of effectiveness and accountability among us.
• What membership is:
o Relationship (Biblical word -Koinonia = communion - fellowship, sharing in common) Philippians 1:5 "...you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now."
o Identity – Membership helps you clarify where your commitment is. Presuming on one another creates frustration and confusion. Through willing partnership we make ourselves available and accountable.
o Commitment to;
a. Doctrine - (Acts 2:42 " All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.) Note that doctrine is mentioned first in order and is related to what follows. The Word of God is final in matters relating to faith and practice. The commitment to doctrine is referring to the essentials of the faith. (the trinity, salvation through faith in Christ's atoning work on the cross etc) In regard to secondary issues - (non essentials) we ask that the order of the house be respected and that we commit to respect and give room for the varying viewpoints of scriptural interpretation.
b. Leadership – God doesn’t want His body disjointed and unfocused. He has set leaders in the midst of His body to bring a unified effort to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 5:1-6 Shepherds of the flock are encouraged to follow Christ's example and in turn be examples to the flock. The key to fulfilling His plan for His church is submission (vs 5), "Be submissive one to another." Scripture teaches us to submit to God, (yielding to His authority), then to one another, making ourselves available to serve one another to achieve the goals He has set for us.
c. Discipline - The scriptures give us guidelines in matters of discipline. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
d. Support – Our commitment is expressed many ways – one of the ways we show our commitment to Him is through the giving of our tithes & offerings. (the scripture teaches that a tithe is 1/10 of your income, offerings are above and beyond the tithe) Mal 3:8, Phil 4:13-19, 1 Cor 9:1-14, Heb 13:15-16.
3. Trinity Life Center Governmental structure
Church Government - 1 Cor 14:28, "God has set in the Church... government." See Eph 1:22, Col 1:18. The New Testament form of church government is theocratic, i.e. Divine Government. The headship of Christ is communicated and administered through appointed and anointed pastors and elders. It is also expressed through the many members of the Body of Christ. 1 Cor 12:12-27, Eph 4:11, 14-16. It has been said, "The Holy Ghost has not been given to set up democracy, but to maintain the Lordship of Christ."
Servant Leaders; The mark of true New Testament leadership is servanthood. Jesus is the supreme example: Jn 13:1-15, Phil. 2:5-11.
4. Our History (this area will be covered in the PIV orientation class)
• Roots of the apostolic movement
• TLC Beginnings
• Ascension Fellowships International – Our Covering and affiliation
5. Our Mission
We exist to;
• Unite people in a relationship with God
(By creating an environment where people meet with God
Being loved, healed, encouraged, equipped and taught.)
• Develop Christ likeness in them through servant ministries
(Servant ministries provide a fertile ground for the growth of the fruit
of the spirit to radiate Christ in us.)
• Advance Kingdom impact in our city and beyond
(Impact our city and beyond by evangelism, prayer, worship, sending,
supporting and networking.)
6. Our Vision
“To be recognized as a vibrant life-giving church for all people”
To connect God’s people with God an each other through discipleship and fellowship.
To be prayerfully and actively involved in Church planting.
To be a family oriented church.
Become a regional ministry center.
To be catalyst for unity in the body of Christ.
To function as a New Testament Church
To embrace all nations in Christian love
To be a “missions minded church”
To fulfill our unique God given calling and destiny being a good steward of the people, property and gifting he has entrusted to us.
7. Our Values
Prayer: We see prayer as the underlying strength in all we do.
Word of God: We believe the Word of God to be the absolute authority.
Team Ministries: We recognize the importance of utilizing the variety of spiritual gifts that contribute to balanced, effective ministry.
Relationship/Fellowship: People are to be loved and encouraged.
Worship: Is our privileged ministry to God .
8. Finding Your Place in the body
a. First step is to become a PIV. This enables us to identify those who are willing to be involved in body life.
b. Faithfulness in little things by becoming a servant. (Lk. 19:17)
c. Building relationship with God’s people – Like precious faith. (2 Pet 1:1)
There are many opportunities to connect at TLC. Life Groups, Marriage classes, Discipleship classes, church fellowship dinners, and other events make this very important concept of connecting and belonging a real possibility.
d. A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men. (Prov. 18:16) Take time to let your leaders know what is in your heart. If you don’t know where you fit, ask the Lord for clarity. You will only grow as a Christian as you are actively involved.
9. Qualifications for membership
a. Personal testimony of salvation.
b. Acceptance and adherence to the teachings of the church.
c. A commitment to fellowship & submission to leadership.
d. An openness to discipline if necessary. Note: Commitment gives the freedom to address issues in the lives of ministers and members without being presumptuous.
e. A willingness and commitment to support the Vision, Goals, and Financial Needs of the local church.