Philosophy of Ministry

Our Philosophy of Ministry is to grow committed followers of Jesus Christ who live to glorify God, exhibiting fruit in their lives by:

  • Building Relationships with God and One Another
  • Bearing Responsibilities for Evangelism and Discipleship
  • Being Rooted in Christ and His Word

The Philosophy Explained

A. The "Definition" of a Committed Follower
B. The "Arena" of Ministry: Where all of our ministry takes place.
C. The "Content" of Ministry: What supplies our various ministries with their responsibilities.
D. The "Support" of Ministry: The structure of the church that enables ministry to take place.
E. The "Process" for Growing Committed Followers of Jesus Christ

  • A. The "Definition" of a Committed Follower

Committed followers of Jesus Christ are believers dedicated to loving Christ, becoming more like Him, and doing His will. Committed followers are devoted to prayer and to growing in knowledge, understanding, and application of God's Word. They are obediently growing in Christ-like character and in the ability to minister to others.
This ministry includes evangelism, service, and building up other believers, demonstrating Christ's love, which leads to making more committed followers of Christ.
As Jesus declared, "This is to my Fathers glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:8

B. The "Arena" of Ministry: Where all of our ministry takes place. 

The purpose of every activity of our church is to ultimately produce and further develop committed followers of Jesus Christ who live to glorify God. We see this expressed in Paul's purpose for the church in Ephesus, "...that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ," Ephesians 4:12-13. Therefore we will evaluate every activity by its effectiveness in contributing to this mission and will modify or discontinue ineffective activities.

Ministry is all about "building relationships", for that is the context in which the discipleship process takes place. We recognize that different size groups build relationships in different ways. We call this the "Arena" of ministry, where all ministry takes place. We will provide the settings for unlimited-sized groups (i.e. worship services) for unity, large-sized groups (i.e. adult classes) for fellowship, and small groups for deeper relationships.

1. Unlimited-sized groups are utilized primarily for worship where it does not matter how many of God's people gather together. Our desire is that in our Worship Services we will be growing together in unity with God, expressing our praise to Him through music, prayer, thanksgiving, and the proclamation of God's Word in a manner that is challenging, warm, and accepting of newcomers.

2. Large groups are utilized as the primary method for building fellowship with one another through instruction of God's Word, outreach, assimilation of newcomers, meeting needs corporately, challenging believers in discipleship, and serving our community. Ministries where this size group is found: Adult Bible Fellowships, Ladies' Bible Study, Women's and Men's Ministries, Student and Children's Ministries, Adult and Youth Choirs, and Body Life Events.

3. Small groups are utilized as the primary method for building closeness with each other, encouraging openness, accountability, commitment, growth in godliness, meeting needs individually, developing Christian habits, and serving our community. This is all part of the disciple-making process. Our small groups will utilize Bible study, prayer, fellowship, evangelism, and other ministries to help the members become more like Christ. Ministries where this size group is found: Small Groups, Accountability Groups, Ladies' Bible Study, Student and Children's Ministries, Stephen Ministry, and Grace Groups.

C. The "Content" of Ministry: What supplies our various ministries with their responsibilities. 

Our responsibilities are three-fold: evangelism, discipleship, and missions; "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others," 2 Timothy 2:2. Our desire is to see every ministry bearing these three responsibilities in various ways.

1. Evangelism
We seek to equip and encourage each individual believer in the church to share their faith in Jesus Christ as a way of life with their normal daily contacts. We will vary our approach to planned evangelism according to each specific audience. We also plan attractive outreach events where people can invite their non-Christian friends to hear the gospel.

2. Discipleship
  • We desire that all of our adults be involved in the disciple-making process, where they are being discipled and are involved in ministries where they are discipling others.
  • The student and children's ministries will supplement parental teaching and modeling of a relationship with Christ, with the goal of salvation and personal spiritual growth for each young person. These ministries will provide Biblically based instruction appropriate to each age level which challenges them to mature in Christ.

3. Missions
We seek to have our total congregation involved in missions by praying for our missionaries, giving towards our missions budget and special projects, and being involved personally by going, be it locally or beyond our sphere of influence.

  • D. The "Support" of Ministry: The structure of the church that enables ministry to take place.

Our ministry-supporting structure involves all of God's people in four levels of service. This Biblical structure can stand firm because it's rooted in Jesus Christ and His Word. As Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus: "you are...members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit," Ephesians 2:19-22.

1. The Congregation
  • The role and responsibility of each believer at The Chapel is to grow as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, to know and be trained to use his/her gifts, and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to directly minister to other believers and to those who have not yet come to Christ, all to the glory of God. The church will encourage and seek to enable individuals to be creative, to take initiative, to respond properly to needs and to be involved in evangelism, discipleship, and service both inside and outside the walls of The Chapel.
  • We recognize that the Holy Spirit distributes gifts to each believer in order for them to serve in the body. We recognize that all the gifts are equally important in building a healthy, disciple-making church.
  • All pastoral staff and ministry leaders must be growing disciples, committed to the church's philosophy of ministry.
  • The church body will identify leaders called by God to serve by considering their Godly character both in the home and in the community and the appropriate spiritual gifts required for the specific assignment. Leaders will recognize that they are servant-leaders called to serve the body rather then to be served.
  • All leaders of key church ministries will take part in on-going leader training to continue strengthening their skills in the areas that God has gifted them.

2. The Administrative Committees
  • Each committee chair meets on a regular basis as the Administrative Council, to facilitate cooperation between the multiple ministries of the church.
  • Some of these committees center on administration, i.e. Finance, Facilities.
  • Some of these committees center on ministry, i.e. Missions, Body Life, Discipleship-Evangelism. The administration of all ministries will be delegated to leaders of those ministries. Accountability will be maintained through their relationship to the Administrative Council, leadership training, and normal disciple-making channels. Whenever possible, task forces and discipleship structures will be utilized rather than boards and committees to make decisions and accomplish ministry. It is our objective to maximize the number of persons involved in ministry. The Ministry Leaders' role is to model discipleship, to grow in their own ministry skills, and to help equip the rest of the congregation for ministry.

3. The Elders
  • The Elders' role is to serve as the overseers of the church body and as fellow shepherds with the pastoral staff by setting vision, giving direction, training leaders, teaching the Word, and being model disciples.
  • The relationship of the Board of Elders to the ministries of the church will be to set broad policies, to provide general oversight to the church, and to keep all ministries in line with the doctrinal statement, constitution, and philosophy of ministry.

4. The Pastors
The Pastors' role and commitment is primarily to shepherd by setting vision, giving direction, training leaders, teaching the Word, and being model disciples. 

  • E. The "Process" for Growing Committed Followers of Jesus Christ

In fulfilling our Statement of Mission, we want to see individuals come to know Jesus Christ and then progress in their walk with the Lord, becoming committed followers of Jesus Christ who live to glorify God exhibiting fruit in their lives. We see this being accomplished in four movements:

A. The Learning Phase
  1. Those who make up The Chapel are committed to winning others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through various means: through presenting the gospel in our worship services, through intentional outreach events, and through personal evangelism.
  2. Once a person is born of God we want that individual to begin to move towards spiritual maturity. We encourage them to attend a “Basics of the Faith Study,” being offered in several forms: a small group taught by a pastor or an elder, a study group taught through our Ladies’ Bible Study Ministry, a five-week one-on-one study, or to attend The Chapel’s “Foundations Class” offered on Sunday Mornings. After this, the new believer would then be encouraged to enter another small group which will help him to continue in his walk with Christ.
  3. Those who are new to The Chapel are encouraged to learn about who we are at one of our “Discover The Chapel” Seminars where the philosophy and doctrines of the church are reviewed.

B. The Grounding Phase
  1. As believers are maturing, they should be in an ABF as well as committed to a small group Bible study. Here each believer is growing in their walk in Christ, learning the importance of prayer and Bible study, and developing a heart for ministry to others. We would encourage our women to be a part of our Ladies' Bible Study and our men to be involved in our Men's Accountability Groups, a men’s Bible study, as well as our other Men’s Ministries.
  2. Knowing that it is important for new believers to understand their spiritual gifts, an assessment will be offered through small groups and taught in an Adult Bible Fellowship.

C. The Committed Phase
Through small group involvement, ABF classes, and special training seminars, these believers will be equipped to be more effective in ministering to others, being trained in sharing the Good News of Christ and in how to study God's Word. In this phase these believers should be channeled into an area of service or ministry. By this time, they should be actively serving the Lord, using their spiritual gifts in a task or leadership ministry, and consistently sharing their faith with those who need Christ.

D. The Reproductive Phase
From this point on, these believers should be involved in ministering to others such as leading a small group, being involved in Stephen Ministry, etc., or taking on leadership roles in other ministries of the church. Our desire is that all of our ministries will use apprenticeships to help develop the younger disciple in an area of ministry. All believers involved in the leadership of most ministries of The Chapel will be committed to times of ministry training on a regular basis. This will provide those committed to ministry a time of instruction, vision, encouragement, planning, evaluation, and prayer. Believers at this stage are reproducing themselves in the lives of others.