A Community Which is Gospel-Centered gathers for the sake of the gospel. There are many reasons to gather together. Some gather over shared interests, others over relational ties or common views. We believe the purpose we gather together is the gospel, or good news, of Jesus Christ. It is as a result of the gospel, and it’s transformational change in our lives, that we gather together. BridgeCity is not simply a community focused around shared interests or beliefs. BridgeCity exists as a community built around the power of the gospel changing the hearts of sinful people.
We commit to keeping the gospel central to all that we do; in our worship services, in our groups, in our interaction with the community, in our interaction with the nations, in our homes, and in our hearts. We believe that proclaiming the transforming truth of who Jesus is and what he has done, is the mission of the church (Acts 2:42-47). Therefore, we strive for the gospel to be the fundamental purpose of every decision, every effort, and every motivation at BridgeCity.
Pursuing an Intimate Knowledge of Jesus requires a desire to know Jesus intimately. This is achieved through worship and prayer, both corporately and individually. A growing intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ helps believers to love that which he loves, and hate that which he hates. We resolve to resist the temptation to remain stagnant in our relationship with Jesus. We regularly gather to worship God, to acknowledge him with thankfulness, and give him glory through our words, actions, and heart attitude. We regularly remember what he has done for us through the sacrament of communion, through the reading of scripture, and through corporate proclamation or musical worship. These disciplines, along with fasting, local evangelism, foreign missions, and compassionate service, strengthen our trust in God and our sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We believe God desires to engage our hearts, on an emotional level, with his mission to proclaim the gospel to all nations. We are to passionately worship Jesus with authenticity; to earnestly desire the lost to be saved; and patiently wait for the return of Jesus with genuine longing. The point being, we are not to be disciples of Jesus with disengaged hearts.
Pursuing an Accurate Knowledge of Jesus requires a desire to know Jesus accurately. This is achieved through a regular intake of Scripture by means of individual study & reading, small group study, and corporate teaching and preaching.
We believe “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) This core conviction of the Authority of God’s Word, exclusively the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments (Statement of Faith, Article I), effects every area of the church. Those who lead, do so under the authority of God’s Word as the final authority in faith and life. The songs we sing, the studies we participate in, and the words preached from the pulpit are tested to the standard of God’s Word. Scripture will be central to our worship gatherings, discipleship process, evangelism methods, and activities organized or endorsed by BridgeCity Church. Our Sunday morning preaching schedule is determined by Scripture and includes the proclamation, explanation, and application of God’s Word for God’s people. God’s Word is the highest authority over what we do at BridgeCity Church.
We believe God desires to engage our minds, on an intellectual level, with his mission to proclaim the gospel to all nations. We are to test everything by the standard of God’s Word; to submit our thoughts and feelings to the authority of God’s Word; and be prepared to give an answer to the skeptic with the power of God’s Word. We believe God requires both the heart and mind of a believer to be fully engaged in the christian life. One is not of more importance than the other. Continual maturity of heart and mind is part of the sanctification process.
Proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ requires both the desire to see the lost saved and an accurate knowledge of the gospel as declared through all of Scripture. At BridgeCity we resolve to point to the gospel at opportunities given us by the grace of God.
Our corporate activities, evangelistic or community building in nature, are to contain elements of the gospel. If the event focus is loving our neighbor, community event or service event, we acknowledge that it is the gospel which compels us to love and serve our neighbor, but we also conclude that we are to proclaim the gospel with our words endorsed by our actions. Actions alone are insufficient, the gospel must be proclaimed (Romans 10:14-17). In partnered events where open proclamation of the gospel is discouraged, we resolve to constantly look for gospel moments to arise; conversations with individuals, creative public gospel proclamation, or consistent invitation to be presented with the gospel. If an activity consistently discourages gospel opportunities, then the elders are to prayerfully evaluate our continued involvement.
Along with corporate opportunities for gospel proclamation, we also encourage individual gospel proclamation from members. Part of our resolve to be a gospel-centered community is the commitment to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to those around us. We resolve to be a welcoming community; inviting those outside of the family of God into the community of the church, praying for the Holy Spirit to work in their lives, and expecting God to save those whom he will save as he has promised (Isaiah 55:11; Romans 1:16–18, 3:23–25; 1 Corinthians 1:18; Ephesians 2:8-10).
At BridgeCity, we believe the church is the community of all true believers for all time¹ and exists to know God² intimately and accurately so that we may proclaim him confidently. We believe that the role of the church is to make much of Jesus, not of ourselves.
We also believe it’s the responsibility of the church to proclaim this gospel to people according to the truth of Scripture. In proclaiming this truth, we must also be submitted to it ourselves, which means our lives must also reflect our words. This is a bit more difficult as we are broken wonderers away from God’s ways. Which is exactly why we need the gospel.
¹Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology pg. 853 | ²View definition of God