Vision & Emphases
The uniqueness of The Village is not in our doctrinal views, organizational charts, or personal charisma. Rather, it is in the way that we apply our convictions to the world in which we live. We believe in majoring on the majors, and minoring on the minors. Jesus clearly stated that evangelism and discipleship are the things the church should be majoring on with his last words to his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20, "18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” With this statement, Jesus clarified that all Christians are to build their lives around personal evangelism and personal discipleship. We believe that much of the ineffectiveness and even boredom in the modern church comes from moving away from these twin overriding purposes. As a result, we gear everything we do around equipping people to become effective in evangelism and discipleship. The Village exists to multiply disciples and house churches that embrace the following emphases:
When we say that The Village is an evangelical church, we convey that we are a Protestant church that orients its ministry around the revealed truth of the Bible. The Village strives to be faithful to the Bible's mandate that the church live out and spread the message of grace to all people.
We strongly believe that the heart of our ministry is content-rich biblical teaching. We are convinced that the Word of God is, as Hebrews 4:12 says, "living and active." Because we have a high view of those we influence through our ministry, we believe that they want to be challenged by a reasonable, applicable presentation of the Bible. Furthermore, it is our conviction that spiritual growth and authentic Christian service must be based upon a strong foundation of knowledge of the Scriptures.
We believe that God works differently in the life of each Christian, but always with his forgiveness and transforming love as the foundation. We all come to a relationship with Christ with different sins, habits, burdens and concerns. At The Village, we are committed to helping one another embrace our new identity in Christ, and we believe that all healthy work for God flows out of this grace-based identity.
The Village places a heavy emphasis on self-giving fellowship and the priesthood of all believers. Our vision is to develop a church where the vast majority of the ministry is performed by well-trained, unpaid, volunteer workers and leaders. Team-Led House Churches are at the core of our ministry structure. Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals will be typically performed by House Church leaders rather than by specialized paid staff. We believe that this model of ministry will not only be most effective in equipping and reaching the most people, but also that it is the biblically-prescribed method of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 2:9-12; Romans 12:1-8).
We believe that a plurality of accountable leaders best reflects the New Testament's design for the church. We also believe that public reporting of church activities and financial matters is important.
We are a church with a clear, outward focus. We recognize and affirm our biblical position as “ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20).
We are deeply motivated by God's grace to share the message of God's grace with others, and also to grow in our experience of this grace personally and corporately. God's grace not only gives us the security of being His children, but it also frees us to take action for the cause of Christ. Since our status with God is secured by grace, we don't have to live in the fear of failure or rejection. We believe this view will enable us to overcome the "country club Christianity" and "paralysis by analysis" that handicap many believers and churches.
Burdened For Students
We have a special burden for young people. In the “post-Christian" West, most children grow up facing tough decisions without a Christian foundation. We believe people who are student-aged are uniquely open to the gospel. This focus is especially relevant since The Village is a church in a college town.
It is a well-known fact that America is the wealthiest, and likely most materialistic, country in the history of the world. Our material wealth affords us special comforts and also special responsibilities. Materialism highlights the comforts, while minimizing the responsibilities. This is a serious problem. In fact, we believe that materialism is akin to the air we breathe -- it saturates our lives so completely that we are not even aware of its presence and impact. As a result, The Village seeks to train people to generously steward the resources God entrusts to us, while also intentionally exposing the spiritually-destructive nature of materialism.
Our ministry is rooted in the profound awareness that God has delivered us from the destructive course of the world and is continuing to restore us to wholeness through His Spirit. We seek to express our appreciation and gratitude corporately and individually.