OUR LIVING ROOM
Layman Church exists to glorify God by making disciples who make disciples. As a church, we have been called to REACH - TEACH - GROW - GO.
We want to REACH people who are far from God. We want to bring healing to those who have been hurt by churches and religious people by helping them reconnect with God and His people.
We are called to TEACH God’s truth with grace and love without apology.
As we come together in a community of believers and learn God’s truth, we GROW.
We become fully devoted followers of Christ who GO back into our world to reach more people.
Alright, a proviso: A church can list great doctrinal beliefs, yet not live those out in its practice. They can have incredible purpose statements and contradict those statements with their actions. So rather than give all the right answers in great detail, what follows is the Cliff Notes version of our beliefs. We are not looking to have really impressive documents and statements but changed lives by God’s grace. If the Cliff Notes version is not enough, drop us a message and we’ll be glad to get back to you. If you want to argue about beliefs or push a particular belief, drop an email to: AnyOtherChurch@SomewhereElse.com (said with goodwill and sideways smileys).
God’s Word to us is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. If the preacher contradicts the Bible, always go with the Bible, not the preacher. Sola scriptura (as opposed to solo scriptura; just Google it, dude!).
We are Trinitarian and out of the closet about it! God is Eternal, Creator, Self-Existent, Holy, Love, and so much more!
God in the flesh. Sinless life, sacrificial and vicarious death, atonement through His shed blood, bodily resurrection.
God’s empowering Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Regenerates, seals, empowers for service, gifts believers. And that’s just for starters!
HEAVEN AND HELL:
Conscious eternal existence. Through Jesus, we deserve one but get the other.
Umm, we’re for it! People become believers in Christ by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. However, profession without expression is not a basis for confidence in eternal things. Translation: Praying a prayer or walking an aisle in church (or even being [gasp!] baptized) does not make you a believer. Faith in Christ will bear fruit, or it’s not real faith at all.
God’s truth is woven throughout the fabric of existence. Even nature itself almost shouts His name. Meaning: All truth comes from Him. He alone is fully true. And we can often find the thread of His truth in all of creation as well as in popular music, movies, art, and drama. (Yes, we can find the opposite as well within pop culture.) But truth itself comes from God.
The Bible is divided into the Old Testament (Covenant) and the New Testament (Covenant). The story of Jesus is the story of God ushering in a New Covenant in which everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, is given equal standing before God through faith in Jesus. Christians are under the New Covenant rather than the Old (Hebrews 8:7-8, 13; Hebrews 10:8-10; Romans 10:4-5). Christ did not come to destroy the Law but fulfill its righteous requirements so that all who are in Christ through faith have fulfilled the Law through Christ and are no longer under the Old Covenant Law code. Jesus is “the end of the Law for all who believe.”
Our entertainment-oriented culture has conditioned us to expect to be served rather than to serve. To “get from” rather than to “give to.” When we carry this attitude into a worship service, we tend to judge the entertainment quality of the music, the message, and the overall service from the perspective of what we’ve received. These concepts are foreign to biblical worship. In the Bible, God always expected people to “present themselves” for worship. To “bring and give” rather than “receive and sit in judgment of.” Yeah, we want to continually strive to do our best in leading you into worship and the Word. But the reality is you’ll never grow or become like Jesus if your whole mindset is geared towards what you can get. People seldom love everything about a service. But God-centered people are seldom sitting in judgment of the entertainment. Instead, they’re busy presenting their hearts in worship and gratitude to God and opening their hearts to His Word. Dare ya to pray, “God, help me to approach worship looking to give of myself this Sunday instead of trying to get from you and your people.” See what happens!
OUR CORE VALUES
Six values. Six hills we die on. These core values we decided on years ago, and we haven’t wavered in our beliefs.
Love means seeking the best interests of the other person. Even when they don't deserve it. And when it costs to do so. Jesus modeled this by seeking our best interests- a relationship with God. While we were undeserving, walking sin. And it cost him greatly. This, then, is love. “If I [insert self-sacrificing action here], but don't have love, it means nothing at all” (1 Cor. 13).
We take God at His Word and trust Him for the results. A faith that has to see the outcome before taking action isn’t faith. Faith is only as good as its object. Our faith is in Jesus alone. And is built on seeking God’s will in the Scriptures and in real times of prayer. We don’t make major decisions based on what’s in the checking account. We seek God and act as He leads. And this pleases God. (Heb. 11:6)
Freedom is the ability to be exactly who God is making you to be. And to make your own decisions in the areas the Scriptures do not specifically address. In areas the Bible does address, we teach and encourage one another to follow after Jesus. But we absolutely respect the differences in conviction that each of us have. We reject “clone-making,” which comes from the self-deceived notion that "if you believe exactly like I do in every single area of conviction, you’ll be as righteous as me." Jesus came to set us free, not further enslave us in the religion of men. (Gal. 5:1)
God’s people coming together for God’s purposes while respecting each other’s different plans. We will “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). We walk away from gossips if they refuse to stop. We will shut down a business meeting and resume the following week rather than let it become a divisive, tension-filled argument. (We haven't had to do that yet, thankfully!) Because we love God. And we love you. We won’t do partisan politics or divide over non-essentials (music, sports teams, who you voted for, which Bible version you read, etc). Jesus alone is our unity.
We become what we commit to. All of us are committed to something: our own desires, what makes us feel good or look good in front of others. We seek to commit to Jesus first and most. To carrying a cross. To making our word our bond. To the Scriptures as the ultimate authority. To one another to seek each other’s best and speak the truth in love in order to help one another grow in Christ. Commitment is what brings maturity. (1 Cor. 3:1-9; 2 Cor. 8:5; Luke 9:62)
We believe God’s Spirit is a Spirit of change. We have new natures, we “sing a new song unto the Lord,” and we have a new heaven and a new earth waiting for us. We live under a New Covenant. We don’t embrace change for the sake of change. But we will not reject what God wants to do for the sake of our comfort, traditions, or preferences. The history of Layman has been a history of change. Not in the Truth of our faith. But in its expression. By the way, we seek God together for any major changes before we step out in faith as He leads.