The Gospel is the good and true story that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and satan through his life, death, and resurrection. God’s kingdom was ruined by sin. We as human beings stood with our first parents and continued to sin like them, living in rebellion to God’s rule – people, society, and culture in bondage to sin. But God so loved the world that he gave his Son to redeem it. He would not abandon his creation but work powerfully to redeem all things in Christ. Personally, socially, and culturally, creation would be redeemed. God’s rule would once again come upon the earth. For a broken, hurting, addicted, suffering, and dying world, this is good news. The gospel has massive implications for the whole creation while also being deeply personal for needy people like you and me.
THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL TO SAVE
The gospel has profound implications for those who put their faith in Jesus. It is good news that through Jesus we have been saved from the penalty of sin (justification), are being saved from the present power of sin (sanctification), and will be saved from the presence of sin (glorification). The gospel is not only answering the question of “how do I get to heaven” but becomes the very foundation of everything we do. We find that the gospel meets our every need and reshapes the totality of our world. We don't move beyond it but are being transformed and shaped by it.
UNITY IN THE ESSENTIALS
Center Church aligns with historic Christian faith, a faith well-stated in the Apostles Creed. On matters of doctrine, we embrace the maxim “In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials diversity, in all things charity.” In other words, we believe that all doctrine is important, but that common adherence on all points of doctrine is not necessary for salvation or partnership at Center Church.
OUR THEOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVES
1. GOSPEL-CENTERED THEOLOGY
God is the initiator of Salvation and Jesus is the Hero. God doesn’t respond to us – we respond to God’s initiative and calling. He saves and secures us for salvation and we respond only because of and by his grace. Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension and sending of the Spirit are the center and fulfillment of our faith. It is through him, because of him and in him that we come to be God’s people, are transformed, and have hope for final restoration.
2. Holy Spirit empowered ministry
We believe the Holy Spirit is alive and active in regeneration, empowerment and ongoing filling for the purposes of God in this world. We believe all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still available today, but not one of them in particular is required to give evidence of the baptism or filling of the Spirit.
3. INAuGURATED ESCHATOLOGY
We believe the Kingdom of God was inaugurated in Jesus’ first coming and will be consummated in his second coming. We live in the already not yet where we can experience the reign of Jesus while longing for its completion as we also experience the reality that things are not yet fully as they will be within the new heaven and new earth. We acknowledge the variety of views within inaugurated eschatology and allow for this variety within our family.
4. MISSIONAL ECCLESIOLOGY
We believe the church is the family of God sent by the Spirit to make disciples of Jesus to all nations throughout the world. We are saved by God’s power for God’s purposes to bring him glory in all things wherever we are. The church is always being sent by God to accomplish his mission. This mission is carried out through the proclamation of the gospel in both word and deed.
5. missional communities AS PRIME ORGANIZING STRUCTURE
We believe the most irreducible and effective structure for making disciples as the church is a Gospel Community on Mission (GCM)—aka Missional Community (MC). This is a smaller group of people who gather regularly and engage in everyday life on mission throughout the week with a commitment to reaching a particular people and place together with the goal of making disciples and multiplying into more missional communities.
6. ORDERED EQUALITY IN SHARED MINISTRY
We are complementarians in that we believe men and women are created in the image of God equally, yet with distinct roles in the family and church. Men and women are called to use their gifts fully in the ministry of the church under the leadership of biblically qualified male elders (plural). In the marriage relationship husbands and wives are called to display the Gospel story of Christ laying down his life for his bride the church and the church respectfully submitting to Christ. As such, husbands are called to sacrificially love their wives as the head of their home, while the wife is called to respectfully submit to her husband.