Community Bible Church exists to be a tool by which God transforms the world. Growing crowds, expanding facilities and a recognizable name are meaningless unless people are truly encountering God and being changed because of that encounter.
Anything that has a history has a culture — an assumed way of operation or feel. A library should be a quiet place for reading. A basketball gym is should be a rowdy place for cheering. No signs are necessary, neither is an explanation; it is simply understood. Community has a culture as well. While we are always changing, our purpose is stable. Changes we make along the way are made by choice and not by chance.
At first glance, we could say that our culture is relaxed. There is no pressure for first-time guests or for long-time attenders. We allow people to make decisions in their own time. Our dress is casual. Our worship services are fun. Our small groups are informal and down to earth.
You may have had a past experience with a church that is pretty rigid in these areas. Dress is formal. Behavior is dictated. And sometimes appearances are maintained at the cost of honesty. This is not so at Community. On issues where some congregations are dogmatic, we are pretty relaxed; however, on issues where some congregations are pretty relaxed, we are quite dogmatic:
- We refuse to communicate a gospel of legalism.
- We refuse to allow people to be treated as second-class citizens because of past mistakes.
- We refuse to accept any form of racism or sexism.
- We refuse to allow the end to justify any means.
- We refuse to exchange a syrupy facade with real faith.
- We refuse to manipulate others for our own good.
- We refuse to respond to gossip or criticism spoken in a hurtful manner.
- We refuse to be a part of any action not founded on love.
Whether it is tradition, heritage, creedal statements, denominational alignment, money, organizational structure, personalities or any of a dozen others—every church is empowered by its own vision and values. That particular philosophy, whether hidden or apparent, provides both purpose and identity for a local congregation and serves as bedrock for the foundation of all that the church attempts or accomplishes. Community is no exception.
The mission of Community Bible Church has never and will never change. From day one our desire has been to live transformed lives, and for those lives to transform the world. In the early days we said it in a different way, “to be fully devoted followers of Christ and to assist others to do the same.” No matter what our terminology, the objective is still the same. The mission of all churches should be derived from the charge of Jesus to his disciples.
To be transformed ourselves (Matthew 22:36-38): “Which is the most important commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind’ (Deuteronomy 6:5). This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18). Everything that is written in the Law and prophets is based on these two commandments.”
To facilitate transformation in others (Matthew 28:19-20): “So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”