A Time to Remember

A TIME TO REMEMBER:  

At various times within the flow of our services we observe Holy Communion and water baptism. These are practices Jesus instructed His disciples to follow.

COMMUNION Communion is observed regularly in our church. This observance of the Lord’s Supper is open to all who have accepted Jesus as Savior, both member and visitor alike. This solemn commemoration reflects on the loving sacrifice of Jesus, remembering His suffering, His death, and His glorious resurrection. When receiving communion, partakers are asked to prayerfully examine their own lives, making sure they are spiritually right with God. They are then given bread signifying His broken body, and juice as a symbol of His shed blood. Communion serves as a worshipful reminder of the great price Jesus paid for our salvation and encourages deeper devotion to Christ        (1 Corinthians 11:24-26).

WATER BAPTISM Water baptism is another symbolic step Jesus commanded of new believers. In our church, baptism is reserved for older children and adults because it always follows a conscious decision to accept Christ’s offer of Salvation. We baptize believers by immersing then in water. This process does not save a person, but serves as a public testimony signifying the death of the individual’s sinful past and their new birth in Jesus Christ. It’s an important event in the life of the believer, confirming the changing power of Jesus Christ and a new identity in Him (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Romans 6:4).

(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)


History of Our Fellowship

HISTORY OF OUR FELLOWSHIP:  

Like any group, people want to know our origins-where we came from, and how we began.

REVIVALS IMPACT WORLD Our fellowship, the Assemblies of God, grew out of the Pentecostal revival, which began in the early 1900s in places such as Topeka, Kansas, and the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles, California. During times of prayer and Bible study, believers were baptized in the Spirit like the 120 followers described in the Book of Acts. Accompanied by speaking in tongues, their experience aligned with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Jewish feast of Pentecost (Acts 2). Soon participants in the Movement were called “Pentecostals.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit , these believers received strength to live holy lives and boldness to share their faith with others. The Pentecostal Movement has grown from a handful of Bible school students in Topeka, Kansas, to an estimated 600 million Spirit-filled believers in the world today.

THE NEED TO UNITE Many participants who were baptized in the Holy Spirit during revivals and camp meetings in the early 1900’s were not welcomed back to their former churches. These believers started many local churches and soon considered banding together for the purpose of fellowship and doctrinal unity. Other concerns included facilitating missionaries, chartering churches, and forming a Bible training school.

A NEW FELLOWSHIP IS FORMED Some 300 Pentecostals met at an opera house in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in April 1914, and agreed to form a new fellowship of loosely-knit independent churches. These churches were left with the needed autonomy to develop and govern their own local ministries, yet they were united in their message and efforts to reach the world for Christ. So began the General Council of the Assemblies of God-a cooperative Fellowship. Since the beginning, the organization has operated from the grass roots, allowing the local church to choose and develop ministries and facilities best suited for its needs.

(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)


Learning and Fellowship

OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEARNING AND FELLOWSHIP:
 

Discipleship Our church provides opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship. These groups are designed to teach the Bible and strengthen believers. The smaller informal environment of Sunday School and small groups give opportunities for learners to ask questions, share comments, pray for each other and build friendships in ways beyond those provided in the typical worship settings.

Ministry Groups We also offer unique ministries and opportunities for involvement based on age and interest. We have groups for men, women, youth, and children to name a few. These ministries meet the specific needs of individuals and offer them opportunities to reach out to others.

(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)


Our Guide for Living

THE BIBLE:

We believe the Bible is the standard rule of faith for all Christians and is God’s message for mankind. We believe its inspired words are timeless, providing a guide for all cultures and generations. Furthermore, we believe the Bible is without error, and is the only true, holy standard for measuring faith and conduct.
 
We generally interpret God’s Word literally, accepting its truths as recorded. From this perspective we believe God performed every miracle and supernatural work mentioned in Scripture. For example, we believe in the creation of the universe and man as stated in Genesis. We also believe that the Flood and the ark, the feeding of the 5,000, the parting of the Red Sea, and the many healings listed in the Bible all happened as recorded. Furthermore, we believe the events outlined in the final book, Revelation, will transpire in the near future.
 
(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)


Our Place in Christian Circles

OUR PLACE IN CHRISTIAN CIRCLES:  

You may be wondering where our church and Fellowship fit in the larger picture of Christianity, or about our affiliations with other national and global religious organizations. Several descriptions help define us…

TRINITARIAN PROTESTANTS Like most christian groups we believe in one God who exists in three persons-the Father, Son(Jesus), and Holy Spirit. We believe all three are alive and active today. We also believe this God of three persons is the “one and only true God”(Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:21,22; 2 Corinthians 13:14). As a result of Christ’s death and resurrection, we believe everyone can have direct fellowship with God through His Son Jesus without any human intermediaries. This provides a personal and meaningful relationship with Him. While we are less formal in our worship to God than many Protestant denominations, we are very similar in faith, with the exception of our Pentecostal doctrine (Ephesians 2:18; Hebrews 6:20; 7:26-28).

EVANGELICAL We are notably classified as Evangelical. The church is distinguished as such because it places high priority on the inspiration of Scripture and its mission to win others and bring people into a saving knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ.

PENTECOSTAL The most definitive identification of our church is Pentecostal-one where the fullness of the Holy Spirit is welcomed, nurtured, and taught. This includes speaking in tongues as the initial physical evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Other manifestations of the Holy Spirit embraced by the church include messages in tongues with interpretations, prophecies, word of knowledge, and the complete offering of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit as indicated in the Bible. Among Pentecostal churches, our fellowship, the Assemblies of God, is the largest worldwide with over 63 million constituents.

AFFILIATIONS The Assemblies of God is a member of four national and international Christian organizations. These include the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF), and the World Assemblies of God Fellowship (WAGF). the church’s leadership also participates in many subgroups of these organizations. The Assemblies of God is not affiliated with either the World Council of Churches or the National Council of Churches.

(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)


Our Structure

OUR STRUCTURE AND FORM OF GOVERNMENT:

 
Every church needs accountability, and our church is no different. As part of the Assemblies of God, we follow a biblical framework for organization and church government.

CHRIST THE HEAD In our Fellowship, Christ is recognized as the head of the church. He is supreme; and His life is the pattern for all ministry and conduct of the Church (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18).

ELECTED LEADERSHIP Our pastor is elected locally by our congregation, and leads through preaching and teaching of the Word, as well as by example. Our pastor of also responsible for much of the public ministry and day-to-day functions of the church. We also elect a board of deacons to assist the pastor in spiritual matters and to help conduct the business operation of our church

(Ephesians 4:11, 12; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).

SOVEREIGN MINISTRY Our church, like others in our Fellowship, is designed to be autonomous. In reaching the point of being self-supporting and self-governing, we build, purchase and hold title to our own property, and develop ministries locally that best serve our church and community. In this process we continue to adhere to our Fellowship’s Statement of Fundamental Truths and a biblical approach to ministry.

(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)
 


Our Worship

OUR WORSHIP – EXPRESSIONS OF THANKSGIVING:
 
Spirit-filled worship is a special blessing that we enjoy. We believe all Christians should give God praise, bringing glory and honor to Him. In our services people often pray and thank the Lord audibly during times of corporate prayer and thanksgiving. While some pray silently and express little outward emotions, others will respond aloud with raised hands, often communication their love and affection through tears.
 
Raising hands are common in our worship, showing approval and pleasure for the things God is doing in our lives. To the believer it is an outward sign of praise and surrender to His will. These visible gestures are not for the benefit of others, but rather personal expressions of worship. Regardless of style, each sincere expression is welcome (Psalm 47:1; 134:2).
 
(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)
 

OUR SERVICES:  

Singing, worship, and preaching are important…but without the presence of God they are meaningless. For this reason we are committed to creating an atmosphere where the Lord’s presence is welcome and realized each time we meet. Though we schedule and plan each service, we quickly yield to any sovereign move of the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to minister as needed.

SINGING AND WORSHIP Our Sunday morning service typically opens with worship. This includes singing and times of praise. Following or sometimes during the song service, the congregation will join in prayer. It is not unusual for individuals to pray aloud during these times (Psalm 30:4; 96:1-9; Ephesians 5:19,20).

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER At some point there will be corporate prayer when we pray for special individual needs within the congregation. Those who are hurting either physically or emotionally are often anointed with oil and prayer for at this time in the service (James 5:14-16).

THE MESSAGE Usually following prayer or special music is the sermon. Because the message is based on God’s Word, it speaks to people on many levels, encouraging believers and challenging the hearts of all who listen (Matthew 10:7; Mark 16:15; Acts 10:42).

A TIME OF COMMITMENT After the sermon, the pastor or speaker typically closes with an invitation for those who need forgiveness to come forward and accept Christ as Savior. Others come to pray about personal needs and concerns in their lives. Deep emotion and excitement may or may not be demonstrated at the altars, but everyone who calls on the Lord in faith receives something special (Psalm 25:16-18; 34:17-19; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 4:23).

(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)