What is a Stakeholder at Christ Community?
Our heart as a church is to enfold as many people as possible into the life-giving journey of following Jesus. We are actively providing ways for people to connect with and experience this vision through in person gatherings as well as online engagement.
But in order for this expanding vision to be effectively pursued, it needs a significant group of stakeholders—a core group of people who personally “own” the vision, are joyfully investing in this vision, and are theologically aligned with this vision. While any number of people from a variety of spiritual perspectives may be engaging in and benefiting from the ministry of Christ Community, stakeholders provide a crucial foundation for this church to fulfill its unique and God-given calling. We previously used the language of “membership” or “partnership” to describe this level of commitment, but we feel that “stakeholder” more accurately communicates our heart for this commitment.
Why Become a Stakeholder?
Becoming a stakeholder is a tangible way to officially commit yourself to the vision of Christ Community and to own that vision personally. Stakeholders are also able to vote on important congregational decisions like annual budget, constitutional changes, the selection of elders, and the hiring of the senior pastor.
Given the significant influence of leadership at Christ Community, we ask that anyone who is serving in a leadership position (small group leader, youth leader, worship leader, etc.) become a stakeholder.
how to become a stakeholder
By watching the video below you can begin the membership/stakeholder process, engaging at your own pace and time availability. Please take the time to watch the entire video, which covers who we are as a church, our values, our beliefs and our positions. After that, if you wish to move forward, please fill out the stakeholder application.
We place our confidence in a God who “can do above and beyond what we imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). We want to dream audaciously and boldly pursue who God is calling us to be, without fear of failure or risks.
We want to be a people characterized by joy, choosing to celebrate each other, to pause and reflect on God’s goodness, and to tell stories of His work in our lives.
We refuse to be a cookie-cutter church but instead choose to pioneer creatively, take risks, adapt, pivot, and stay relevant in order to help people in our ever-changing culture find Jesus.
Because we follow a Savior who gave His life away for us, we want to be known for what we give away. We choose to compassionately serve our community and to generously give of ourselves and resources to those in need.
Follow The Spirit
We choose to be led by the Spirit of God in our decisions, our ministries and our daily lives. We long to cultivate a listening heart posture through stillness, prayer, Scripture and worship.
We long to be a church where people are empowered and sent, advancing the gospel through a multiplication that impacts our community as well as the world.
We believe that God is completely holy. He is Creator, ruler, and sustainer of the universe, existing eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1, Revelation 4 and 5).
We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word to us and is our ultimate authority in all matters of life and practice (Matthew 5:17-19, 2 Timothy 3:16).
We believe that every person is created in God’s image but is marred by sin and in need of salvation, wholeness, and hope in order to experience fullness of life and to accomplish their God-given purpose here on earth (John 10:10, Ephesians 2:10).
We believe that Jesus Christ is our perfect, only, life-giving Savior, offering salvation, forgiveness, redemption and eternal life to all who repent and trust in Him (I Peter 3:18).
We believe that the Holy Spirit lives in all who have placed their trust in Christ. God’s Spirit fills us, speaks to us, helps us, pours out the Father’s love into our hearts, and empowers us for ministry (Romans 5:5, Ephesians 5:18, I Corinthians 12:4-11).
We believe that the church is God’s forever family and brilliant plan to enfold the hurting, to make disciples, to reach the lost, and to bring restoration to our broken world (Acts 2:42-47).
Christ Community Church is associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America. For a complete version of the EFCA statement of faith, please visit www.efca.org.
Marriage + Sexuality
We believe in the historically Christian view of marriage and sexual expression; namely that marriage is a one-flesh covenant union (Genesis 2:22-25) that reflects the sacred relationship between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-32), and that marriage is between two sexually differentiated persons, as created by God male and female (Matthew 19:4-6).
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to be enjoyed exclusively within this marriage covenant and that any inward cultivation or outward expression of sexual desire apart from the one-flesh bond between husband and wife is out of accord with God’s creational intent and His good and gracious will (I Thessalonians 4:3-8).
At Christ Community, we practice “Believer’s baptism.” We believe that baptism, while commanded by Jesus, is not a requirement for salvation but rather is an outward expression of a person’s faith decision to trust Jesus. For this reason, we do not practice infant baptism.
We have baptism services twice a year in our weekend worship services. We also encourage those who would like to get baptized in a smaller group setting to do so. Click here for more information about being baptized.
women in ministry
The issue of the role of women in the church has been debated for centuries. Godly scholars who are committed to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture can be found on either side of this issue and many places in between. We understand that the complexity of some of the relevant passages as well as the unique cultures in which they were written make any conclusion tentative at best. However, we also realize that the implications for one’s position may have significant impact in terms of church ministry involvement.
In light of this, the elders of Christ Community Church have prayerfully sought to articulate a working policy on this issue—which was not easy in light of the fact that not all of our elders agree on the role of women in ministry. We are not embarrassed by this. It only highlights the fact that the issue of women in ministry is not one of the crucial tenants of our faith. There are a number of gray areas in Scripture—areas in which we can agree to disagree.
This policy represents a mediating position. It is not intended to be the “final word” but rather provides a current framework for ministry in our church. It is our heart that this policy helps release people into ministry so as to further the kingdom. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any elder or pastoral staff member.
I. Gender Equality
We strongly assert the equality of redeemed women and men before the Lord. Both men and women are created in the image of God, equal before Him and both entrusted with the responsibility of furthering His kingdom.
II. Spiritual Gifts
We believe that all spiritual gifts are distributed sovereignly by God, are available to both men and women, and should be used by them to build up the body.
III. Pastoral Staff Positions
All pastoral staff positions, except for Senior Pastor, are available to anyone who is spiritually mature and is qualified—regardless of their gender. We have chosen to restrict the Senior Pastor position to men.
IV. Preaching and Teaching
We encourage women with the gift of teaching to serve the Lord through the exercise of that gift with any age level. In terms of preaching, the Senior Pastor has the primary preaching ministry. However, he may ask appropriately gifted men or women to preach in our worship services as need arises. Anyone preaching in our services is subject ultimately to the authority of the Word of God as well as the elder board and the congregation as a whole.
V. Elder Board
Our Elder Board consists of congregationally elected and spiritually qualified men and women who provide spiritual wisdom and oversight for our congregation.
We realize that there is much difference of opinion on issues related to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Since the EFCA doctrinal statement does not specifically address spiritual gifts, there is a considerable freedom and variety of practice among members of our own church about these particular issues. These differences however need not cause division. We can agree to disagree, as long as we are committed to the essentials of the EFCA.
However, because of the potential impact of these issues, we have established the following document which expresses our basic approach in these areas.
- We believe that every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion (Romans 8:9, Eph. 1:13-14) and is baptized with the Spirit at that moment (I Cor. 12:13). We do not teach that the baptism of the Spirit is an experience subsequent to conversion.
- Because the Holy Spirit is the source of power for Christian life and ministry (Luke 4:18-20), we encourage every Christian to seek the fullness of God’s Spirit. This is not a one-time event but rather a continuous process of seeking and surrender (Eph. 5:18, Acts 4:31).
- Because the Holy Spirit works in a variety of different ways, we should expect fresh experiences of God as we seek Him – experiences which may vary greatly from person to person. We reject any attempts to put God in a box by narrowly defining what He can and can’t do in someone’s life.
- We recognize that tongues is a legitimate gift of the Spirit when practiced Scripturally. However, we do not believe that tongues is the essential sign of the filling of the Spirit or any evidence of spiritual maturity. Due to the divisive nature of tongues, we have decided to place no emphasis on tongues in our public worship services. For those with this gift, we encourage its use in personal, private prayer times.
- We believe that all Christians are to regularly pray for the sick (James 5:14-16, Luke 9:1-2, 10:1-9). Those with gifts of healing will have a greater passion for this ministry and will see more frequent answers to their prayers. We reject any teaching which asserts that we can claim healing if we just have enough faith.
- We believe that prophecy is a legitimate gift of the Spirit but is not to function on the level of Scripture. Prophetic words should be given for the purpose of strengthening, encouraging and comforting the body (I Cor. 14:3) and are always to be tested with Scripture (I Cor. 14: 29, I Thess. 5:20).
- We are committed to being a church that embraces both the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We want to strive to avoid any unhealthy extremes that occur when one of those is emphasized and the other neglected.
There are certainly differences of opinion within the body of Christ on the issue of how involved churches should be in the political arena. In an effort to clearly articulate our church’s perspective on this issue, we offer the following policy. We do realize that unique circumstances may arise which would move us to prayerfully consider making an exception to this policy. Until then, our basic approach to these matters is as follows:
We believe that government is established by God for the purpose of pursuing justice and punishing wrong (Romans 13:1-5). Governmental policies and laws, while restraining evil, can never change the human heart.
We believe that the only thing that can change the human heart (and ultimately a society) is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is the hope of the world. The church of Jesus Christ is uniquely called by God to lovingly and boldly offer to our society this glorious gospel. We without reservation declare that to be our primary purpose and are therefore committed to pouring our energies wholeheartedly into this task.
We are very concerned that when the church becomes associated with a particular political position or party, our ability to share the gospel is weakened and thus our potential for influencing the culture is diminished.
In light of this concern, we as a church have chosen NOT to
- endorse a particular political issue or candidate
- have voter registration drives in our church services
- distribute voter guides
- participate in any boycotts, petition drives or other politically motivated initiatives
We as a church DO commit ourselves to:
- pray for our political leaders (I Timothy 2:1-3)
- sensitively and boldly teach what the Bible says about all issues, including the moral issues of abortion and sexuality—regardless of the consequences.
- earnestly seek God for wisdom should circumstances arise in which the government begins to inhibit the proclamation of the gospel.
We deeply appreciate the freedoms that we possess in our country and we encourage all citizens, including Christians, to participate as individuals in the political arena through voting, expressing opinion and even running for office.