How We’re Different
Every church has distinct priorities. Here are ours:
The Gospel. The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, and it is the only way for sinful people to be reconciled to a holy God. Everything in a church flows from its understanding of the gospel, whether preaching, counseling, discipleship, music, evangelism, or missions.
Expository preaching. An expositional sermon takes the main point of a passage of Scripture, makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today. We believe that God’s Word is powerful and doesn’t need fancy packaging. Preaching that makes the main point of the text the main point of the sermon makes God’s agenda rule the church, not the preacher’s.
Theology. Whether you realize it or not, each of us is a theologian, and our theology (beliefs about God) determine our conduct. Every behavior problem is at core a theology problem.
Conversion. A biblical understanding of conversion recognizes that only God can save, and that He saves individuals by enabling them to respond to the gospel message through repenting of sin and trusting in Christ. This clarifies how churches should exhort non-Christians—they should call non-Christians to repent of sin and trust in Christ (rather than simply apply moralistic “bandaids”). It also reminds that us church members’ lives should be marked by the fruit of conversion.
Evangelism. Evangelism is simply telling non-Christians the good news about what Jesus Christ has done to save sinners. In order to biblically evangelize we must preach the whole gospel (even the hard news about God’s wrath against our sin), call people to repent of their sins and trust in Christ, and make it clear that believing in Christ is costly, but worth it.
Church Membership. Church membership isn’t just names on a list or an emotional attachment to your childhood church. It’s attending, loving, serving, and submitting to a congregation of people.
Church Discipline. Should the church look different from the world? The fact that Jesus and Paul commanded churches to practice discipline tells us the answer is “yes.”
Discipleship. Scripture teaches that a live Christian is a growing Christian (2 Pet. 1:8-10). Scripture also teaches that we grow not only by instruction, but by imitation (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1). So we exhort each other to both grow in holiness and help others do the same.
Church Leadership. We believe the Bible teaches that each local church should be ruled by the congregation as a whole and led by a plurality of godly, qualified men called elders.
Cottonwood Bible Church