What We Do
Grace Church exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ by his grace for his glory.
We believe that this mission is at the heart of everything we are and everything we do as a church. It is our hope that the world sees Jesus through the way we serve others and speak about the gospel. Jesus calls us to be ministers of reconciliation, a calling we desire to fulfill as we beckon people to be reconciled to God. As this happens, we believe that God will be glorified and his greatness will be made known to all.
Who We Are
Because “making disciples” is at the core of who we are and what we do, we believe it is important to define what a disciple is. We have identified six core identities (characteristics) of a disciple.
At Grace Church, a disciple is a:
1. Student. A disciple is a person who humbly recognizes their need to continually learn from Jesus. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
2. Servant. A disciple is a person who seeks to serve others as Christ has served them. In John 13:1-20, Jesus served his disciples by washing their feet—and thereby illustrating what he was about to do for them through his sacrificial death. After he finished, he explained his desire that his disciples would serve others in the same way: “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”
3. Giver. A disciple is a person whose giving displays the infinite value of Jesus. We give and share what we have because Jesus is our true and only treasure (Mark 10:17-31).
4. Worshiper. A disciple is a person who worships God in spirit and in truth. We see this in John 4:1-42, when Jesus meets the woman at the well. There, Jesus invites the woman to true worship regardless of place or personal past.
5. Family Member. A disciple is a person who is a committed family member of the local church—the “family” of God (1 Timothy 3:15). Before he died on the cross, Jesus prayed that his disciples would be unified together in him. The goal in this unity is so that the world may know that God sent his Son and so that we as God’s people may experience his love together.
6. Proclaimer. A disciple is a person who proclaims the gospel. In this, we join in God’s mission to spread his glory to both our neighbors and the nations. In John 20:21 Jesus told his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Why We Practice Church Membership
While we acknowledge that the words “church member” or “church membership” are not found in Scripture, we believe that the concept is there nevertheless.
First, Hebrews 10:25 commands believers to not neglect “to meet together.” The purpose of this is so that believers may “stir up one another to love and good works” and encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Second, the New Testament gives no less than fifty-nine “one another” commands (i.e. John 13:35, 15:12, 17; Mark 9:50; Romans 12:10, 15:14; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11; James 5:9). Without committed church membership, it is difficult to imagine how a Christian would be able to obey the “one another” commands of Scripture. At some level, believers need a means to apply the relational commands God has given. We believe church membership does this.
Finally, with more than ninety metaphors for the church, a vast majority of the metaphors are corporate rather than individualistic. Some examples are: the church is a flock (Acts 20:28); individuals are stones that together are being built into a temple (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:5); Christians are individual members of one body that is to work in harmony (1 Corinthians 12:12-20); God’s people make up a holy nation and a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9); the household or “family” (oikos) of God (1 Timothy 3:15). These three reasons lead us to believe that church membership is not only practical, but it is also biblical.