1. God speaks through his Word.
- Scripture is God-breathed. It helps us overcome error and grow in truth so that we become who God intends us to be. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Reading, understanding, delighting in, and meditating on God’s Word produces growth and life. (Psalm 1)
- Christians are meant to believe and obey God’s Word. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Therefore, we focus on Scripture and help people love, understand, read, and apply it.
2. The gospel is the foundation of discipleship.
- The gospel — the good news of what God has done through Jesus to rescue his people and creation — is the key to spiritual growth. It gives us everything we need to grow. (2 Peter 1:3-11)
- The gospel is not just an abstract idea. It’s about the beauty and the glory of the triune God, and the life we have in Jesus. (Colossians 3:1-3)
Therefore, we keep returning to the gospel and its implications for our lives.
3. The church is central to the Christian life.
- God doesn’t intend for us to live as isolated individuals. He places us within his people, the church. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
- We don’t grow in the abstract church, but in actual, committed, local, in-person gatherings of believers. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- The church — the ordinary, humble church — is more than we realize. It’s the household of God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. It’s how God shows his wisdom to the unseen world. (Ephesians 3:10; 1 Timothy 3:15)
Therefore, we emphasize the importance of the church to the Christian life.
4. The urgent task of the church is discipleship.
- The church has been commissioned, with the promise of Jesus’ help and power, to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
- The church is designed to equip believers for ministry and maturity. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Therefore, we help churches make disciples.
5. Discipleship includes every part of our lives.
- There’s no “spiritual” part of our lives. God wants us to love him with all of who we are. (Matthew 22:37-40)
- Discipleship is about what we desire, not just what we do. (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
- Discipleship affects everything: our walk with God, our relationships, our work, our money, our leisure. (Romans 12-14)
- We don’t find happiness by looking for it. We find happiness by seeking God.(Psalm 16:11)
- Self-denial, not self-actualization, is the path to life. (Matthew 16:24-25)
Therefore, we help people love God with the entirety of their lives.
6. Godly habits help us grow.
- Scripture teaches us work out our salvation with God’s help. We work as God works within us. (Philippians 2:12-13)
- Scripture commands us to take repeated actions in order to grow and obey, and emphasizes the importance of discipline. (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; 1 Corinthians 9:27)
- Habits are important, but they’re not the point. The point is ongoing spiritual growth and intimacy with God. (Luke 11:42)
Therefore, we help people build godly habits.
7. God uses ordinary churches and believers.
- As we’re strengthened by the grace that’s in Jesus, we can entrust what we’ve heard to others, who will teach others. (2 Timothy 2:1-2)
- Every believer plays a role. (Ephesians 4:12)
- People learn as they imitate others. We need knowledge and relationships to grow. (1 Corinthians 4:15-17)
Therefore, we encourage churches and believers. With God’s help, they can make disciples.