I admit, when we first started the work here in Charlotte seven years ago you could say we were a “copy & paste” ministry. From our purpose statement to our church manual, in most cases, we would borrow from other ministries what sounded good or duplicate procedures that worked well. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but over time you begin to watch God fashion your church ministry into its own unique identity.
An example of this was in our purpose statement as a church – our strategy and focus. When we began I read in a book (Simple Church, I believe) some helpful focal points presented by author, Thom Rainer. After reading the statements, I liked it and adapted it. It was simple: the church should be connecting, growing, and serving. “That’s it,” I thought. “Here’s our strategy and purpose! Who are we? A fellowship of connecting, growing, and serving.” So, what did we do? We borrowed another ministry’s graphical icons for the borrowed purpose statement from Thom Rainer (“copy and paste”). 🙂 Now, nothing about that strategy has changed. We still desire to connect people to Christ, His Word, and His church. We want to see believers grow through discipleship, preaching, and relationships. We are still foused on serving in evangelism, local church ministry, and world-wide missions. At the core of every church should be these defining purposes. But now it’s time to renew our purpose with something original to us. Not so much copied and pasted.
The Lord has fashioned our church over the last seven years to take on certain focuses that define who we are as a church family. Strategies that I believe are descriptive of the first century church in the New Testament. These pillars are at the heart and core of who we are. It’s nothing new or anything that we are changing, it’s simply areas in which Laurel Baptist Church has placed our deepest passions. Since these statements define who we are I want them to be seen in and around our ministry to be reminded of our purpose. So, you’ll begin seeing them on our church sign, bulletins, website, and publications. What are they? There are three of them.
LBC is a place of teaching truth. Verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book we always have and always will be a church that intentionally teaches the truth of God’s Word systematically and expositionally. After all, this is what the church is…the pillar and ground of the truth. Story-telling will entertain the church while opinions will divide the church, but only sound biblical preaching will edify the church. God has entrusted us with the responsibility to teach truth. Paul said,
“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4
According to the teaching of Jesus whenever we assemble as a local body of believers we are to make His house a house of prayer. Corporate prayer was at the heart of the first century church, and we are committed to making it the heart of LBC. Praying corporately, together, not only influences the heart of God it edifies and encourages the body of Christ. What makes a church attractive is genuine believers pursuing the presence and power of God through passionate prayer. We read of the early church that…
“They lifted up their voice to God with one accord.” Acts 4:24
LBC is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission (go into all the world, win people to Christ, baptize them in identification with Christ, and disciple them as followers of Christ). We will continue to reach others by witnessing daily, sharing our testimony of salvation with friends and family, participating in church outreaches, and serving through ministry and mission opportunities. Reaching others is not limited to a scheduled time slot on the church calendar, it’s to be the mission of our life. Jesus said,
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
This is who we are, our DNA…Laurel Baptist Church is a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church that is committed to teaching truth, praying together, and reaching others. And when people come to Laurel Baptist Church they can expect an environment that is grace-centered, gospel-focused, and Christ-honoring.