Love God. Grow Together. Serve All
"Because life isn't simple."
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The Lakes Community Church of the Nazarene
Love (God), Grow (Together), Serve (All)
“Because life isn’t simple.”
Love God (and Others): Love is an action, it is a verb, and it is something we do. We believe God is actively showing His love to us and we are called to live lives that reflect love back to Him. This love that is shown to God is shown in our acts of devotion to Him, but also by the way we love others. It is as Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22). Our measure of love for God is seen in the way we love others. We believe learning how to Love one another and Love God is one of the central aspects of being a part of a faith community and it is central to who we want to be.
Grow Together: Life is better together than alone. All throughout the Scriptures we see God calling people to connect and grow together. We desire to connect with each other, with our community and people we don’t yet know. It is as the writer of Hebrews says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” (Hebrews 10). We want to connect and grow with all people as a way of building relationships; we hope that as we grow together we will be a part of changing the world in real and tangible ways. We want to grow as men and women, as parents and children, as grandparents and grandchildren, as people who desire to be a part of God’s redeeming work in the world, as a people helping to set things right.
Serve All: When we attempt to follow Jesus as one of His disciples it does not take us long to see that he came to serve us and that we are called to serve others. This call of service is seen in the way the church was called to take care of widows and orphans, the way in Acts 2 they shared and took care of one another, or we see it in Jesus’ own words, “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20). We want to be a people who have hearts of servants. We hope to find ways to serve both disciples of Jesus and those who are not disciples of Jesus. We believe service is an expression of bringing Heaven to Earth now. It is in the words of Jesus “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
We value discipleship. We are called to make disciples by introducing others to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Matt 18:19-20). We are also called to become better disciples of Jesus throughout our lives as Christians (Phil 3:12-14). To help us answer these clear calls in Scripture, our church provides numerous and varied opportunities to learn about Jesus, to know more of God's Word, and to live out our Christian faith. Sunday School, Bible Studies, Small Groups, Youth Group Kidz Ministry, mission trips and worship experiences for all ages are some of the things our church provides so that we can grow together to become better disciples of Jesus.
In order to "make disciples" of Jesus (Matt 28: 19) we need to reach out to those who don't know Him in our community and around the world. All of us are called to be Jesus' hands and feet to others—investing our time, energy, and resources to meet their needs. Our desire is that our sincere efforts to help others will result in opportunities for us to introduce them to a saving knowledge of Jesus (Matt 25:34-40). We are committed financially to the work of our denomination through Nazarene Missions International, and to various missions projects for all age groups. We are also committed to feeding and clothing needy people closer to home and offer regular opportunities for people in our church to serve in that way.
Ministry also includes work done within the church to enable it to function as it should. We encourage everyone in our church to be involved in some significant way in areas of ministry both inside and outside of the church walls.
We recognize that worship is a way of life (Rom 12:1), but our corporate services of worship are very important as well. We value worship that leads us into transforming encounters with God. In worship we learn of the mighty works of God and find our place among the purposes and people of God. The primary theme of our worship is the saving work of God accomplished for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This saving work is made real in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit who works within us, corporately and individually, to make us holy (Lev 11:45; Rom 12:1). We value preaching that teaches the Word of God in ways that are both encouraging and challenging. We strive for worship services that are welcoming and engaging, times when we participate together as the Body of Christ in praise, prayer, and the sacraments of the Lord's Supper and Baptism.
We believe that the Christian life is meant to be lived in community, a place where we "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep" (Rom 12:15-16). We strive to be a loving, supporting, generous community of faith that welcomes into our family people from all walks of life, and all ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. We invite people to come as they are to our fellowship. We believe that others will come to know the love of God by seeing how it is expressed among us (John 17:22).
It is in community that we worship, become better disciples, and serve the Lord by serving others. Our community is formed and sustained by the narratives of Scripture as we journey together, discovering all that it means to be disciples of Jesus, a holy people, followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.