Statement of Faith

What We Believe

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; of they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and of they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. read more
Money-accounting

George O. Wood: Out-of-the-Box Accounting Methods

A serious church management issue presented itself when I became a pastor in Costa Mesa, Calif. All the financial records were stored in a shoebox in a closet at the treasurer’s house. The record-keeping was not even close to being up-to-date, and the board received no reliable financial reports.

Although it took a while, we got the finances out of the shoebox and into the church office, and we began putting together regular accounting reports.

With bookkeeping in such a mess, the church had never had a budget either. I was no accountant, but I knew any church needs a budget.

We had to have a way to report financials, so I created a simple system using Roman numerals I and II. These represented the church’s two basic areas of expenditure: ministry to our community and ministry to our world. read more

Elated-pastor

7 Exciting Things a Pastor Experiences

Pastors get to see the best and worst of life it seems, but there are many positives.

Obviously, seeing someone become a follower of Christ or baptism of a believer, has to rank as a highlight of the pastor’s experience. That’s what we are called to do. But, that experience isn’t unique to pastors. Every believer, hopefully, gets excited about seeing people’s entry into faith. That’s the call of the church; not only pastors.

So, my list is beyond those experiences to things that may be somewhat unique to pastors. I’m not saying only pastors get excited about these experiences, but to pastors, these are especially exciting. Also, different pastors will have different answers. That’s where the comments section makes this post even better.

Here are seven exciting things pastors experience: read more

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Why You Want Discipline as Your Best Friend

Sitting at the airport in Singapore en route to home. After Sydney, we flew to Melbourne and had a lovely time with Pastor Kevin Conner and his wife, Rene. Now 86 years old, Pastor Kevin is a good friend of our ministry and has been a mentor of sorts to many of us through his teaching and writing.

Over dinner I was reminded of the many times this humble man of God has impacted my life and the lives of many others. Once, we asked him for his greatest tip for successful living. His reply was one word: Discipline. I couldn’t forget that learning moment with him.

When you think about it, discipline sounds very similar to disciple. I don’t know where we get the idea that in order to be a follower of Christ, we won’t need this important word that affects every facet of life. read more

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Rick Warren: Show You Believe By Belonging

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35, NLT)

The Bible says a Christian without a church home is like an organ without a body, a sheep without a flock, or a child without a family. It is an unnatural state. The Bible says, “You belong in God’s household with every other Christian” (Ephesians 2:19b, LB).

Today’s culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans—“bunny believers” who hop around from one church to another without any identity, accountability or commitment. Many believe it is possible to be a “good Christian” without joining (or even attending) a local church, but God would strongly disagree.

The church is so significant that Jesus died on the cross for it: “...Christ loved the church and gave his life for it” (Eph. 5:25 GW). read more

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Learn the Difference Between Personality and the Holy Spirit

A pleasant personality can look like the fruit of the Spirit. There are people who are just simply nice. They are sweet, friendly and cheerful. They are the type of people you want to be around all the time. At times their pleasant personalities can put Christians who have been saved for years to shame.

However, sometimes in their case an aspect of God's common grace is substituting for the Spirit's manifestation. Their pleasantness may have nothing whatever to do with the fruit of the Spirit. Actually, they acted the same way before they were converted.

It can be difficult to convince people like this of their own need to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. But sooner or later their self-righteousness will surface if they haven't been convicted of sin. If you recognize this problem in yourself, I urge you to do two things: read more

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Did You Miss This in the News?

Check out some links below to recent stories from Charisma News that you'll find interesting and informative. You can also sign up to receive stories on your smart phone by signing up for the free Charisma News app by clicking here.

Leaders Are Readers

Books and Resources to Empower, Equip and Edify

In Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity 
(Charisma House), Brian Zahnd, senior pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Miss., explains why “our task is not to protest the world into a certain moral conformity, but to attract the world to the saving beauty of Christ.” Despite the gains of the 21st century, which include technology and prosperity, causalities have occurred, he says—reminding believers that the story of the life, death and resurrection of Christ is not only the greatest story ever told, but also is the most beautiful.

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Richard G. Lee, founding pastor of Atlanta’s First Redeemer Church and general editor of The American Patriot’s Bible, believes that many of the same social and religious provocations that spurred the colonists toward the American Revolution are present today. Sensing that America is on the brink of a new revolution, Lee seeks to inspire his readers to fight and win the battle for personal and national freedom in The Coming Revolution: Signs From America’s Past That Signal Our Nation’s Future (Thomas Nelson), which features a foreword by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

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Modern-day teaching on prosperity often focuses on excess, but in Supernatural Provision: Where God Guides, He Provides (Destiny Image), Mark Hendrickson, formerly a worship leader at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., and now with Dwelling Place Ministries in Kansas City, sets out to equip believers with faith and a new understanding of God as their provider. Recalling the Old Testament story of Abraham preparing Isaac for sacrifice, Hendrickson recounts how the Lord showed Himself in that moment as Jehovah-Jireh, a name derived from a Hebrew word meaning “God Himself will see to it.”

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Insecurity and inferiority were imparted to mankind in the Garden of Eden and are the underpinnings of all other evil, according to author Steve Foss in Satan’s Dirty Little Secret ... The Two Demon Spirits that All Demons Get Their Strength (Charisma House). After giving a short background on how this revelation came to him personally and impacted his ministry, Foss eagerly asserts that understanding this and getting the victory over insecurity and inferiority will release believers from bondage and empower them in a greater way. Foss lays his arguments out from Scripture for the cause of the problem as well as the prescription. The solution, he says, is most clearly depicted in Paul’s prayer in Ephesians for a deeper understanding of the love of God and the standing He gives His people.

d-MinRead-SpiritWars

After years of personal experience with the demonic realm, prophetic minister Kris Vallotton takes a unique approach to spiritual warfare in Spirit Wars: Winning the Invisible Battle Against Sin and the Enemy (Chosen). Unlike many books, Spirit Wars teaches that we are triune beings composed of spirit, soul and body, each dimension affecting the other. Vallotton writes each chapter with humility as he couples his testimony with the Word of God. A transparent account of anxiety attacks, demonic visitations, physical sickness and a spirit of fear, Spirit Wars identifies why the behavior of the spirit world is so difficult to define.

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The second in the four-book Glory to Glory Sisterhood series, Princess Warriors: Engaging Spiritual Warfare (Destiny Image) by Robin Kirby-Gatto discusses the fear of the Lord and spiritual warfare, aiming to equip women to win the battle for their own life, family, destiny, church, community and nation. Kirby-Gatto instructs readers on the basics of spiritual warfare, including how to hear the Holy Spirit, use the keys of the kingdom and possess a warrior mentality.

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With an emphasis on leadership in the church today, best-selling author Leonard Sweet urges believers to opt for counterculture and focus on following. In I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus (Thomas Nelson), Sweet says that following is “the most underrated form of leadership in existence.” Arguing that the word follower has become a second-class term or even a term of derision, Sweet challenges church leaders to invite people into a fellowship of followers rather than to come under their leadership. read more

Our Banana Tree Christmas

Facing a 'different' Christmas while in Africa, our family discovered new meaning in the season

by John and Elizabeth Sherrill

"Christmas is the time when nothing ought to change."

Our newly married daughter Liz put into words what all of us were feeling. We had come from out home in New York state to spend the holidays with her and her husband Alan (ninth generation Massachusetts) in their new apartment in Tucson, Ariz. Outside, on the day before Christmas, cactus-wrens hopped about the mesquite bushes beneath a glorious desert sky, while indoors the four of us gulped iced tea and thought of pine woods and falling snowflakes.

"Home in Leicester," Alan recalled, "we'd generally go skating about now."

"And tonight there'd be the midnight service at St. Mark's!" said Liz. "Remember, Mom and Dad, how you can see your breath, walking in from the parking lot?"

We did remember. We wanted every time-hallowed tradition just as it always had been. No changes. Not at Christmas.

Andy yet ... we remembered one very different Christmas. A Christmas when we'd learned something important about change—whenever it comes. We doubted that Liz could recall many of the details, since it happened years ago. So for her, as well as Alan, we related the story of our Banana Tree Christmas.

We'd been sent with out three children—Scott, then 12, Donn, age 9, and Liz, 6—on a year-long magazine assignment to Uganda. Except for one elderly German couple who lived a quarter-mile below us on a jungle hillside overlooking Lake Victoria, our neighbors were Baganda people, living in mud and thatch houses. Everyone in the family was reveling in the differentness of Africa.

That is, until December. As the Christmas season drew near we began to realize that this was the time of year when we treasured tradition, not contrast. In his own way, each of us began to mourn. We became positively maudlin about the Christmases we had known, lamenting that here on the equator we could never hang our stockings by the chimney with care—there were no chimneys.

Above all, how could we have Christmas with no Christmas tree—that beautiful evergreen symbol of the undying Life that came to earth at Bethlehem? Stringing the lights, hanging the stars, setting the Herald Angel on the topmost branch—every stage of this joyous family activity had been an occasion to talk about the coming of God's Son. But of course evergreen trees do not grow in the tropics. read more

Why Your Church Needs a Bookstore

Offering the gospel through merchandising is an effective ministry

During my early years in the ministry, I had visions of where I wanted my church to go. I wanted to minister to the community by offering a Christian preschool and also a K-12 academy, if possible. Everyone seemed to like that idea. 

However, I had another vision—one that wasn’t as popular. I wanted a Christian bookstore in our church. Not a book table—a bookstore. 

I believed that a bookstore would be a dynamic ministry in the church and a unique outreach to the community. read more

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