Looking forward to our church plant in Austin, next year, I want to emphasize six crucial foundations for our church. These are foundations that I hope to lay well in the early years of our church plant. These will define our success, our faithfulness, as a church. They also will define our priorities. The overarching value statement is:
Under the Authority of God’s Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be a gospel-centered church that worships God, loves one another, and proclaims the gospel to the world.
Let me expand on that second phrase now.
By the Power of the Spirit (Ex. 33:16, Psalm 51:11, Zech. 4:6, Mark 1:8, Acts 1:8, Rom. 8:15, 1 Cor. 2:12, 1 Cor. 12:1-11, Galatians 5:22-23, Eph. 5:18)
We want to be a church that is desperately and confidently dependant on the power of the Holy Spirit for all that we do. Christians, and churches, are not intended by the Lord to be self-sufficient. We will delight in his promises of Spiritual strength to carry us onward in the calling he has given us. Practically, this means that our Sunday gatherings will delight in and respond to the reality of God’s promised presence in our midst. We do not worship a distant God or merely recite truths to one another out of God’s earshot. We encounter a God who is living and active and among his people, enlivening their praises and empowering them to serve Him and one another. We believe in the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in spiritual gifts, to be used under the authority of God’s Word, for the edification of his church. This conviction about God’s Spirit also means that we will be a church of prayer—dedicating ourselves in private and in public to ongoing prayer as a declaration of our need for God’s presence within us and among us.
Amen! May the Spirit work powerfully in us and through us for the glory of Jesus Christ.