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New Members Class

This is an example of our New Members class' Still under construction

Discovering

Church

Membership

 

 

1

Welcome To

Discovering Church Membership

 

We're glad you've chosen to find out more about Greater Hope Ministries!  Part of the role of the New Testament church family is to teach and disciple its members concerning the instruction of Scripture. This class is the basic introduction to our church family and is a requirement of all people that wish to join our church family.   Since we have members from many different church backgrounds, this class was designed to clearly explain who and what our church is. Discovering Church Membership is divided into three sessions of approximately 45-60 minutes each and is taught by one of our pastors or other designated representative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adapted for Greater Hope with permission by Saddleback Valley Community Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PURPOSE AND MISSION OF

GREATER HOPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

 

Our purpose, individually and corporately, is to glorify God by enjoying him forever through a personal relationship characterized by love, integrity, obedience and faith. Greater Hope Christian Church exists for the purpose of:

 

   Magnifying Jesus Christ through worship, fellowship and the Word.

   Moving believers in Jesus Christ toward maturity and ministry and

   Making Jesus Christ known to our neighbors and nations.

 

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we seek to accomplish this goal through evangelism,

discipleship, ministry, fellowship, worship, prayer, missions and Christian Education.

                                                                                      

The Basics for This Class

2

 

"...You are a member of God's very own family...and you belong in God's household with every other Christian."  Eph. 2:19 (LB)

 

Key Truths:

 

1.    The church is a .....................................................................................................

 

2.    God expects you to be......................................................... of a church family.

 

3.    A Christian without a church family is.......................................................... .

 

 

The Goal of This Class

 

That I will commit myself to the ______________________________ of Greater Hope Christian Church and become part of the ongoing ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Makes Greater Hope A Family?

 

 

THREE things unite us:

 

 

Our Salvation (What God has done for us)

 

       

Our Statements (Why we exist as a church)

 

               

Our Structure (When and where we fulfill our purpose)            

 

 

                                                                                               [1]

 

 

CLASS OUTLINE

 

 

 

Session One:  Our Salvation

5

 

                What it means to be a Christian?

                The symbols of salvation: Baptism and Communion

 

Session Two:  Our Statements

6

 

                Our Purpose Statement

                Our Faith Statement

                Our Lifestyle Statement

              

 

Session Three:  Our Structure

 

                How our church is structured

                Our affiliation

                What it means to be a member?

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Session One

 

 

9

Our Salvation

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

"For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by Him.  We are no longer Jews or Gentiles, or slaves or free men, or even merely men or women, but we are all the same - we are Christians; we are one in Jesus Christ."

 

Galatians 3:26-28 (LB)

[2]

 

 

What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?

11

 

 

Most people live their entire lives without ever knowing "WHY?"  They exist year after year with no idea of why they live or what God's purpose is for their lives.  The most basic question a person can ask is, "What is the meaning of life?"

 

Everyone wants to be happy.  People try many ways:

 

        ...Some look for happiness by acquiring possessions.

        ...Some look for happiness by experiencing pleasure.

        ...Some look for happiness by gaining prestige & power.

 

I.         Why Am I Here?12

 

 

1.        God made me to................................................................................ me!

 

God says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love!"  Jeremiah. 31:3

 

"Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be His through our union with Christ...because of His love.  God had already decided that through Jesus Christ He would make us His children - this was God's pleasure and purpose."  Eph. 1:4-5 (GN)

 

 

2.        We were created to............................................................. a personal relationship with God and to all of the rest of God's creation!  This makes us special!

 

"So God created human beings, making them in His image.  He blessed them, and said, live all over the earth and bring it under control.  I am putting you in charge."  Gen. 1:27-28 (LB)

 

"God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."  1 Tim. 6:17

 

Jesus said, "I have come in order that you might have life - life in all its fullness!"  John 10:10

 

 

3.        When we know and love God, and live in harmony with His purpose for our lives, it produces tremendous benefits in our lives:

 

Clear Conscience

Rom. 8:1

Life & Peace

Rom. 8:6

Help with Weakness

Rom. 8:26

 

Purpose

Rom. 8:28

Confidence

Rom. 8:31

Security

Rom. 8:39

 

Power & Strength

Phil. 4:13

Fulfillment

Phil. 4:19

Freedom

John 8:32,36

                   [3]                    

 

II.        What's The Problem?

13

 

Man has a natural desire to................................................... and to ignore God's principles for living.

       

        "Look out for #1.  Do your own thing."

        "If it feels good, do it - regardless of what God says about it."

        "It's my life and I'll do what I please!"

 

The Bible calls this attitude: .........................................................!

 

"All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, and each of us has turned to his own way."  Isaiah 53:6

 

"If we say that we never sin, we are only fooling ourselves, and refuse to accept the truth."  1 John 1:8

 

Sin breaks our close relationship with God.  It causes us to fear God and try to live our lives outside of His will.

 

"The trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God."  Isaiah 59:2 (LB)

 

"All have sinned and fall short of God's glorious ideal."  Romans 3:23

 

When our relationship to God is not right, it causes PROBLEMS in every area of our lives - marriage, career, relationships, finances, etc.

 

"There are ways that SEEM right to man, but they only end in death."  Proverbs 16:25

 

Even when we know that our deepest need is God; we often try wrong ways of getting to know Him:

 

                "My mother was a Christian so..."

                "It doesn't matter what you believe, just be sincere."

                "I'll give up all my bad habits."

                "I'll work real hard and earn it."

                "I'll be religious and go to church."

       

III.       What's The Solution?

14

 

 

Jesus Christ said, "I AM THE WAY, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father, except THROUGH ME!"  John 14:6

 

God Himself came to earth as a human being to bring us back to Himself.  If any other way would have worked, Jesus Christ would not have had to come.  The Way is a Person!               [4]

 

JESUS HAS ALREADY TAKEN CARE

OF YOUR SIN PROBLEM!

 

"The wages of sin in death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  Rom. 6:23

 

God did this for us because He loves us and wants us to know Him.

 

"God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still separated from God by sin, Christ died for us."  Rom. 5:8

 

"God is on one side and all people are on the other side, and Christ Jesus is between them to bring them together, by giving His life for all mankind."  1 Tim. 2:5

 

God has already done His part to restore our relationship to Him.  He took the initiative.  Now He waits for each of us to individually accept what He has done for us.

 

IV.      What Does God Want Me to Do?

15

 

 

1.        ................................................... that God has not been first place in your life and ask Him to forgive your sins.

 

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from every wrong."  1 John 1:9

 

2.        ................................................... that Jesus died to pay for your sins and that he rose again on Easter, and is alive today.

 

"If you confess that Jesus is your Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."  Romans 10:9

 

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name by which we must be saved."  Acts 4:12

 

3.        ........................................................... God's free gift of salvation.  Don't try to earn it.

 

"For it is by grace you are saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Our relationship to God is not restored by anything we do, but on the basis of what Jesus already did for us!

 

4.        ................................................... Jesus Christ to come into your life and be the director ("Lord") of your life.

 

"To all who receive Him, He gives the right to become children of God.  All we need to do is to trust Him to save us.  All those who believe this are reborn! - Not a physical rebirth...but from the will of God!"  John 1:12-13                                                                 [5]

 

"Jesus says, 'Listen!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..'"  Rev. 3:30

 

You can take these steps by praying a simple prayer of commitment to God:

 

"Dear Jesus, thank you for making me and loving me, even when I've ignored you and gone my own way.  I realize I need you in my life and I'm sorry for my sins.  I ask you to forgive me.  Thank you for dying on the cross for me.  Please help me to understand it more.  As much as I know how, I want to follow you from now on.  Please come into my life and make me a new person inside.  I accept your gift of salvation.  Please help me to grow now as a Christian."

 

"Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved."  Romans 10:13

 

 

 

The Importance of Being Baptized

 

 

16

 

I.         Why Should I Be Baptized?

17

 

1.        To follow the example set by............................................................... .

 

"At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river."  Mark 1:9

 

2.        Because Christ............................................... it.

 

"Jesus said, 'Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.'"  Matt. 28:19-20

 

3.        It demonstrates that I really am a...................................................... .

 

"...many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized."  Acts 18:8

 

"We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands."  1 John 2:3

 

 

II.        What is the meaning of baptism?

18

 

1.        It illustrates Christ's............................................................................. and resurrection

 

"Christ died for our sins...  He was buried...and He rose again."  1 Corinthians. 15:3-4

 

"For when you are baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.  Col. 2:12

 

2.        It illustrates my............................................................................. as a Christian.

 

"When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside.  The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!"  2 Corinthians. 5:17                                   [6]

 

"By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead...so also we may live a new life!"  Romans 6:4

 

Baptism doesn't make you a believer - it shows that you already believe.  Baptism does not "save" you, only your faith in Christ does that.  Baptism is like a wedding ring - it's the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart.

 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9

 

III.       Why Be Baptized By Immersion?

19

 

Because................................................... was baptized that way.

 

"As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water."  Matthew 3:16

 

Every baptism in the............................................. was by immersion.

 

(Example)  "...then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  When they came up out of the water..."  Acts 8:38-39

 

The word "Baptize" means to .................................................... water".

 

The Greek word Baptizo means "to immerse or dip under water".

 

It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection!

 

The founders of denominations agree:

 

Martin Luther..."I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies."

 

John Calvin..."The word 'baptize' signifies to immerse.  It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church."

 

John Wesley..."Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church."

 

 

IV.      Who Should Be Baptized?

20

 

Every person who has............................................................ in Christ.

 

"Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized..." Acts 2:41

 

"Simon himself believed and was baptized..." Acts 8:13

 

"But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News...and the name of Jesus Christ,    they were baptized both men and women."  Acts 8:12                                      [7]

 

At Greater Hope, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.

 

Some churches practice a "baptism of confirmation" for children.  This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child.  The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ.  This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed.  This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe.  The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.

 

At Greater Hope, it is a membership requirement that every member must be baptized the same way Jesus Christ was baptized, even though many of us were "confirmed" as children.

 

 

V.       When Should I Be Baptized?

21

 

As soon as you have believed!

 

"Those who believed...were baptized...that day!"  Acts 2:41

 

"Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus.  As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, 'Look, here is water!  Why shouldn't I be baptized right now?'  Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.'  The man answered, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'  So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him."  Act 8:35-38

 

There is no reason to delay.  As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized.  If you wait until you are "perfect", you'll never feel "good enough"!

 

 

 

 

Can my family be baptized together?

 

Yes!  If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time.  It is a wonderful expression of commitment.  However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition.  It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children.  This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.

 

What should I wear when I am baptized?

 

Women should wear shorts or anything that is comfortable except a swimsuit.  Men should also wear shorts or anything that is comfortable..  Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet clothes.  We provide changing rooms.

                                                                                                   [8]

Will I have to say anything?

 

Yes.  At the beginning of the service, one of the pastors will briefly explain the meaning of baptism.  You will wait at the edge of the pool for your turn to be baptized.  One of the Pastors will introduce you, ask you if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior. After you answer in the affirmative,  he will say upon that confession in Christ I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and briefly lower you just under the water, and then you can leave the pool, dry off, and watch the others.  Later you will receive a certificate of your baptism. and a bible from the church to commemorate this special occasion.   We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.

 

Special Needs?

 

Any of our Pastors can perform a private baptism in special circumstances. Just let a pastor know that you are requesting a special circumstance baptism.

 

 

The Meaning of the Lord's Supper

22

 

Jesus never asked His disciples to remember His birth.  But He did instruct them to remember His death and resurrection.  He gave the church two visible symbols (called "ordinances") as reminders of His death.  These two ordinances are: Baptism and The Lord's Supper.  The Lord's Supper is an object lesson that represents a great spiritual truth for believers.

 

I.         What Is the Lord's Supper?  (1 Corinthians. 11:23-26)

23

 

 

            1................................................................................................................................ It is a    .

 

"...and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; eat it in remembrance of me.'" (vs. 24)

 

            2................................................................................................................................ It is a    .

 

"In the same way, He took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; drink it to remember me.'" (vs. 25)

 

 

            3................................................................................................................................ It is a    .

 

"For whenever you eat the bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes back." (vs. 26)

 

 

II.        Who Should Take the Lord's Supper?

24

 

Only those who are already................................................... .  (Mark 14:22-26)

 

"For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment upon himself."  2 Corinthians. 11:29                                                  [9]

 

 

III.       How Do I Prepare Myself for the Lord's Supper?

25

 

"Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  A person ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup."  1 Corinthians. 11:27-28

 

By...

 

1.  Self-Examination

1 Corinthians. 11:27

2.  Confessing My Sins

1 John 1:9

 

3.  Recommitment

Rom. 12:1

4.  Restoring Relationships

Matt. 5:23-24

 

Iv.       When and how often should we observe The Lord's Supper?

26

 

 

Jesus never said when or how often believers should observe The Lord's Supper.  He instituted it on a Thursday night.  Since it is a 'supper', it may seem more appropriate to observe it at an evening service.

 

We take The Lord's Supper as often as the Elder Board feels we need to observe it.  We may observe it during a service or we may observe the Lord's Supper at retreats or banquets and/or in our cottage prayer meetings and/ or in our community or home group meetings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                        [10]

 

 

Session Two

 

 

27

The Greater Hope  Statements

 

28

 

 

 

"Let there be real harmony among you so there won't be any split in the church.  I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose."

 

1 Corinthians 1:10 (LB)

 

 

 

 

 

Our Purpose Statement

Why We Exist As A Church

29

 

The purpose of our church is summarized in a single sentence based on two key scriptures:

 

"We believe a fervent commitment to both the great

...............................................................................................................  and the

great.................................................................................................. will

grow a great church!"

 

The Great Commandment: "Jesus said, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart...soul...and mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.'"  Matt. 22:36-40

 

The Great Commission: "Jesus said, 'Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."  Matt. 28:19-20

 

        To "Love God with all your heart" is "WORSHIP".

 

      To "love your neighbor as yourself" is "MINISTRY".

 

      To "go...make disciples" is "EVANGELISM".

 

      To "baptize..." is to "INCORPORATE INTO FELLOWSHIP".

 

      To "teach them...all things" is "DISCIPLESHIP".

 

                                                                                    [11]

 

Greater Hope Christian Church Exists:

 

 

1.    To................................................................. God's Presence (Worship)

 

2.    To................................................................. God's Love (Ministry)

 

3.    To................................................................. God's Word (Evangelism and Missions)

 

4.    To................................................................. God's Family (Fellowship)

 

5.    To................................................................. God's People (Discipleship)

 

 

 

I.         We Exist To Celebrate God's Presence

30

 

Worship:

 

"Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only."  Matt. 4:10

 

"...The Father seeks worshipers...and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth."  Jn 4:23-24

 

Expressions of Worship

 

                Singing (Eph. 5:19)

                Commitment (Romans 12:1-2)

                Praying (Ps. 95:6)

                Hearing the Word (John 17:17)

                Giving (1 Corinthians. 16:1-2)

                Baptism (Romans 6:3-4)

                Meditating (Hab. 2:20)

                Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians. 11-23-26)

 

Greater Hope Worship Style

 

"Celebration"

Psalm 122:1

"Inspiration"

Isaiah 40:31

"Preparation"

Eph. 4:11-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                           [12]

 

II.        We Exist To Communicate God's Word

31

 

Evangelism and MISSIONs:

 

"His intent was that through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known..."  Eph. 3:10

 

"Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  But who can ask Him to save them unless they believe in Him?  And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him?  And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells him?"  Rom. 10:13-14 (LB)

 

Why Our Church Must Never Stop Growing

 

1.    Because...................................................................................................................

 

"The Lord...is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance."  2 Pet. 3:9

 

2 Corinthians. 5:14, Luke 15:3-10, Matt. 9:12-13

 

2.    Because...................................................................................................................

 

"Go out into the country...and urge anyone you find to come in, so that My House will be full."  Luke 14:23 (LB)

 

"...you will be my witnesses..."  Acts 1:8

 

 

3.    Because...................................................................................................................

 

"Under Christ's control, the whole Body is nourished...and grows as God wants it to grow."  Col. 2:19 (GN)

 

"(Jesus) I will build my church."  Matt. 16:18

 

Unbiblical Excuses For Not Growing:

 

                "God isn't interested in numbers."

                "Our church wants quality not quantity."

                "Large churches are impersonal"

 

We believe our church must grow ......................................... and........................ at the same time.

 

"And the Good News of the Kingdom will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and THEN the end will come."  Matt. 24:14

 

 

                                                                                              [13]

III.       We Exist To Educate God's People

32

 

Discipleship:

 

"Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity..." 

Heb. 6:1

 

"Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."  2 Peter 3:18

 

"(God has given)...some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of ministry, so that the Body of Christ may be built up until we all...become mature...like Christ."  Eph. 4:11-13

 

 

IV.      We Exist To Demonstrate God's Love

33

 

Ministry:

 

"By this shall all men know that you are my disciples - that you have love for one another."  John 13:35

 

1 John 3:16-17, Matt. 25:34-40, Heb. 13:16, Rom. 12:13

 

The heartbeat of Greater Hope Christian Church is our .............................  and our ................ groups. .

Every member needs to be a part of both of these groups.

 

"Now God gives us many kinds of special abilities.. and there are different kinds of service to God (ministry)...  All of you together form the one Body of Christ and each of you is a separate and necessary part of it."  1 Corinthians. 12:4-5, 27 (LB)

 

At  Greater Hope Christian Church...

 

                Every member is a:

                Every task is:

                Every member is a "10" in:

 

 

 

Our Statement of Faith

What We Believe

34

        In essential beliefs - we have unity.

 "There is one Body and one Spirit...there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all..."  Eph. 4:4-6

 

        In non-essential beliefs - we have liberty.

 "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters...  Who are you to judge someone else's servant?  To his own master he stands or falls...  So then each of us will give an account of himself to God...  So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God."  Romans 14:1,4,12,22

                                                                                     [14]      

        In all our beliefs - we show charity.

 "...If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains - but have no love, I amount to nothing at all."  1 Corinthians. 13:2  (Ph)

 

The Essentials We Believe:

 

1.        About God

35

 

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe.  He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three are co-equal and are one God.

 

Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22;  Psalm 90:2;  Matthew 28:19;

1 Peter 1:2;  2 Corinthians 13:14

 

2.        About Jesus Christ

36

 

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is co-equal with the Father.  Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross.  He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death.  He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

 

Matthew 1:22, 23;  Isaiah 9:6;  John 1:1-5; 14:10-30;

Hebrews 4:14,15;  1 Corinthians 15:3,4;  Romans 1:3,4;

Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15;  Titus 2:13

 

 

3.        About the Holy Spirit

37

 

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God.  He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ.  He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation.  He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.  He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved.  As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.

 

2 Corinthians 3:17;  John 16:7-13, 14:16,17;  Acts 1:8;

1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16;  Ephesians 1:13;  Galatians 5:25;

Ephesians 5:18

 

4.        About the Bible

38

 

The Bible is God's Word to us.  Human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote it.  It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living.  Because God inspires it, it is the truth without any mixture of error and without contradiction. We believe that out of what we do know, we can trust what we don't know.

2 Timothy 3:16;  2 Peter 1:20,21;  2 Timothy 1:13;

Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6;  Proverbs 30:5

                                                                              [15]

 

5.        About Human Beings

39

People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character.  People are the supreme object of God's creation.  Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin".   This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.

Genesis 1:27;  Psalm 8:3-6;  Isaiah 53:6a;  Romans 3:23;  Isaiah 59:1, 2

 

6.        About Salvation

40

 

Salvation is God's free gift to us but we must accept it.  We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works.  Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. 

When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved.  Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

Romans 6:23;  Ephesians 2:8,9;  John 14:6, 1:12;  Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26;  Romans 5:1

 

7.        About Eternal Security

41

 

Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity.  If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot "lose" it.  Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.  It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.

John 10:29;  2 Timothy 1:12;  Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14;  1 Peter 1:3-5

 

8.        About Eternity

42

 

People were created to exist forever.  We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation.  To be eternally separated from God is Hell.  To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life.  Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.

John 3:16;  John 14:17;  Romans 6:23;  Romans 8:17-18;

Revelation 20:15;  1 Corinthians. 2:7-9

 

 

Our Lifestyle Statement- What We Practice

43

 

Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions.  Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:

 

Bible as Our Sole Authority

44

 

"The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right."  2 Tim. 3:15

 

Since God's Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living.  Our first question when faced with a decision is "what does the Bible say?"  We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization.  The Bible is the basis for all we believe.                                                                                  [16]

 

Autonomy of Each Local Church

45

 

"Christ is the head of His Body, the church.  He is the source of the Body's life..."  Col. 1:18 (GN)

 

Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization.  While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control.

 

Priesthood of Every Believer

46

 

"Christ loves us, and by His death He has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve God..."  Rev. 1:6 (GN)  "You are...the King's priests...God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God."  1 Pet. 2:9 (GN)

 

The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to "full time" Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation.  We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry.  Every believer has direct access to God through prayer Bible reading.

 

Tithing

47

 

"A tithe of everything you produce belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord."  Lev. 26:30

 

At Greater Hope we practice tithing for the support of Christ's body, the church, as God commands.  We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the Biblical standard of giving.

 

Immersion

48

 

"For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ..."  Col. 2:12 (GN)

 

We practice baptism by immersion under water - the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.

 

Spirit-led Living

49

 

(Jesus said), "I am the Vine, you are the branches.  If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing."  John 15:5

 

We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God's power within us.  So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God's Spirit to enable us to do what is right.  (Phil. 2:13, Eph. 5:18)

 

 

 

                                                                                       [17]

Telling Others about Christ

50

 

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."  1 Peter 3:15

 

It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact.  We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.

 

Core Values:

 

Core values are the values that under gird the mission of our church. Greater Hope Ministries has decided on six core values that will drive our ministries, sustain our mission and help us to see God's vision for Greater Hope come to fruition.

 

 

1..  ______________ - To meet the practical needs of our community will require integrity in our ministries. We value the bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God and we believe that the bible challenges all of us in Proverbs 20:7 to conduct ourselves with integrity. Proverbs 20:7 the righteous man leads a blameless life. Integrity is our most important core value at Greater Hope.

 

    2. _________________ - We are called at Greater Hope to a ministry of excellence.  We are not called to be perfect people instead we are called to do everything to the best of our abilities. We understand that people will make mistakes in ministry and that is fine as long as we learn from our mistakes. Our goal is to strive for excellence in everything we do. Meaningful service should be done with a commitment to excellence.

       Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord God with all of your heart and with all

      your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this:

      Love your neighbor as yourself.  

 

    3. ___________________ - To meet the needs of our community through social        outreach programs will require genuine heartfelt compassion. The same type of compassion       that was modeled for us by Jesus Christ in Matthew 20:29-34. As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, Lord, Son of David have mercy on us...Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their      sight and followed him. Greater Hope believes in the importance of building caring      relationships with the unsaved and unchurched in order to see them come to saving faith in       Christ. 

 

    4. _____________________ - A Christian's personal relationship with Jesus Christ should be one that is growing and maturing. Several disciplines and practices contribute to one's spiritual development. Regular time alone with God in Bible Study and prayer, consistent lifestyle of obedience and honest intentional accountability to others. Christian growth into Christ likeness is not automatic, but requires time and discipline The Christian life is always becoming, yet never fully arriving this side of heaven. 2 Peter 3:18 But grown in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

                                                                                [18]

   5. ___________ To transform a community will require us to offer programs and

      ministries specifically designed to strengthen the family. The family should be a place of solace and security. The family should be a place where people can be secure in themselves.      At Greater Hope, our desire is to strengthen the individual family unit and in turn strengthen our community. Genesis 2:18 the Lord God said, "It is  not good for man to be alone. I  will make a helper suitable for him."

 

    6. _____________ - To transform our community will require each of us to think of      others more than ourselves. To reach our community for Jesus Christ will take a selfless commitment to put others ahead of ourselves. Jesus told us in Luke 19:10  the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.  Greater Hope has been structured so the continual focus, mission and ministries of the church are directed towards our community. Matthew 28:19-20 therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing tem in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you and surely I am with you always even to the very end of the age.

 

 

     Questions and Answer Session!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                           [19]

Session Three

 

61

The Greater Hope Christian Church

Structure

 

62

 

 

 

"For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace...

Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."

 

1 Corinthians. 14:33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Our Church Is Structured

 

63

 

Culture, business practices, or even denominational traditions should not determine the structure of the church.

 

The nature of the church determines its structure.

 

I.         The Church Is A................................................................................................ .

64

 

"They continued steadily learning the teaching of the apostles, and joined in the fellowship..."  Acts 2:42 (Ph)

 

A top priority in a fellowship is..............................................................................

and ..................................................................... .

 

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."  Eph. 4:3

 

"So let us concentrate on the things that make for harmony and the growth of our fellowship together."  Rom. 14:19 (Ph)

 

ANY attitude that causes disunity is sin.

 

Col. 3:15,  1 Corinthians. 1:10,  2 Tim. 2:14,  Pr. 17:14,  2 Corinthians. 13:11,

Phil. 1:27, 2:1-3,  Col. 2:2,  Phil. 4:2,  1 Peter 3:8,  1 Corinthians. 14:33,

John 13:34-35,  2 Tim. 2:23,  Rom. 15:5-6,  Rom. 12:16-18,

Col. 3:13-14,  Ps. 133:1

 

Implication:  A good structure promotes unity and downplays.... ......................................!

 

"(Often)...your meetings do more harm than good because I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you..."  1 Corinthians. 11:17-18

                                                                                                [20]

"Voting" tends to............................................................................................................. .

 

At  Greater Hope  we only vote on:

 

   Annual Church Budget

   Building Programs

   Acquiring and Selling Property.

   Pastor and Ministerial Staff Positions.

   Elections of Elders and Deacons.

   Election of Officers.

   Church discipline issues.

   Receiving New Members.

 

 

II.        The Church Is A................................................................................................ .

65

 

"You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds."  1 Peter 3:8 (LB)

 

Gal. 6:10,  Heb. 2:10-12,  1 Peter 4:17

 

So we operate on the basis of...........................................................................

not....................................................................................... .

 

"Don't reprimand a senior member of the church, appeal to him as a father.  Treat the young men as brothers, and the older women as mothers do.  Treat the younger women as sisters'..."  1 Tim. 5:1-2 (Ph)

 

"(A Pastor) must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.  If anyone does not know how to manage his family, how can he take care of God's church?"  1 Tim. 3:4-5

 

III.       The Church Is A................................................................................................ .

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1 Corinthians. 12:27,  Eph. 5:23,  Eph. 1:22-23,  Col. 1:18, 2:19

 

We are a body - not a business!

We are an organism - not an organization!

 

 

Therefore, we function on the basis of.......................................................

............................................................... not....................................................................... .

 

"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We each have different gifts according to the grace given us."  Rom. 12:4-6

 

                                                                                       [21]

 

 

In an organization, "maintenance" becomes the focus.  But in an organism, "ministry" is the focus.

 

"God gave...some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for works of ministry, so that the body of Christ may be built up..."  Eph. 4:11-12

 

Our Structure

 

            The people are the ".................................................................................... ".

 

            The pastors are the ".................................................................................. ".

 

 

IV.      The Church Is A................................................................................................ .

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 (Jesus' favorite description of the church)

 

John 10:1-30,  Matt. 26:31,  Matt. 25:33

 

Therefore, it is cared for and led by............................................................. .

 

"Jesus asked Simon Peter, 'Do you really love me?' 'Yes Lord,' said Peter.  'Then take care of my sheep.'"  John 21:16-17

 

Three different terms are used in the New Testament to refer to the same church leaders:

 

                "POIMEN"                          PRESBUTEROS"                         EPISCOPOS"

 

"To the elders I say...Be shepherds of God's flock, serving as overseers..."  1 Pet. 5:1-2

 

"Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.  When they arrived he said to them... Guard yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be pastors of the church of God..."  Acts 20:17-18, 28

 

See also Titus 1:5-7, 1 Tim. 5:17

 

Affiliations

68

 

At  Greater Hope Christian Church  we are associated with

 

        The Cumberland  Baptist Association

        50 churches that fellowship together and work together to reach Montgomery County

 

        The Tennessee Baptist Convention

        Over 1,500 churches that fellowship together with the goal of evangelizing our state

 

        The Southern Baptist Convention

        Over 40,000 churches that cooperate together in a worldwide effort of missions           [22]

What is the Southern Baptist Convention?

 

        It is the largest association of Christian churches in Tennessee and in America

        Approximately one out of every 10 churches in America is affiliated with the SBC (over 40,000 churches and 15 million members - more than most other denominations combined).

 

        It is the most diverse association of churches

 

        SBC churches include every race, nationality, and ethnic group.  Each Sunday, services are held in over 80 languages in the U.S.  One out of every three blacks in the U.S. is a Southern Baptist. The Southern Baptist Convention  includes Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Hispanic, Vietnamese, Laotian, Black, Arabic, and Romanian Southern Baptist churches.

 

        It is one of the fastest growing groups

 

        The SBC baptizes over 1,000 new Christians a day in the U.S. and begins nearly 5 new churches a day!

 

"Why not just be an independent church?

 

We are an independent church!  Every SBC church is completely independent.  There is no denominational control or hierarchy, as there are in most other denominations.  Each church is self-governed and determines its own affairs.

 

For example:

 

                Every SBC church chooses its own pastor

                Every SBC church owns its own buildings and assets

                Every SBC church determines its own programs

 

What are the advantages of affiliating

with the SBC?

 

1.    It allows us to identify with other Christians around the world who are known for their commitment to the Bible.  Unlike other groups, the SBC has no man-made "creed".  The Bible is our only authority.

 

2.    It allows our church to participate in the largest missionary organization in the world.  Through the SBC "Cooperative Program" we help support over 7,500 missionaries in 104 countries around the world.

 

 

What It Means To Be A Member

69

 

The difference between "attendees" and "members" can be summed up in one word:_________________.

 

 

                                                                                               [23]

 

At Greater Hope we recognize the need for a formal membership.  We ask you to commit to membership for four reasons:

 

I.         A Biblical Reason:

           Christ is committed to the church

70

 

"...Christ loved the church, and he gave his life for it."  Eph. 5:25

 

II.        A Cultural Reason:

           It is an antidote to our society

71

 

We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything...a job...a marriage...our country.  This attitude has even produced a generation of "church shoppers and hoppers".  Membership swims against the current of America's "consumer religion."  It is an unselfish decision.  Commitment always builds character.

 

III.       A Practical Reason:

           It defines who can be counted on

72

 

Every team must have a roster.  Every school must have an enrollment.  Every business has a payroll.  Every army has an enlistment.  Even our country takes a census and requires voter registration.  Membership identifies our family.

 

IV.      A Personal Reason:

           It produces spiritual growth

73

 

The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth.  You cannot be accountable when you're not committed to any specific church family.

 

What is expected of me as a member?

 

At Greater Hope we never ask our members to do more than the Bible clearly teaches.  We only expect our members to do what the Bible expects every Christian to do.  These responsibilities are spelled out in the Membership Covenant.

 

The GReater Hope Membership Covenant

 

"Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with Greater Hope's statements, strategy and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Greater Hope Christian church family.  In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:

 

I.         I will protect the unity of my church

74

 

...By acting in love toward other members

            ...By refusing to gossip

            ...By supporting the leaders

                                                                                              [24]

"So let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony, and on the growth of our fellowship together."  Rom. 15:19 (Ph)

"Live in complete harmony with each other - each with the attitude of Christ toward each other."  Rom 15:5 (LB)

"Have a sincere love for your fellow believers, love one another earnestly with all your hearts."  1 Peter 1:22 (GN)

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs..."  Eph. 4:29

 

"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.  Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be no advantage to you."  Heb. 13:17

 

 

II.        I will share the responsibility of my church

75

 

            ...By praying for its growth

            ...By inviting the unchurched to attend

            ...By warmly welcoming those who visit

 

"To the church...we always thank God for you and pray for you constantly."  1 Thessalonians. 1:2

 

"Go out into the country...and urge anyone you find to come in, so that My House will be full."  Luke 14:23 (LB)

 

"So, warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified."  Rom. 15:7 (LB)

 

III.       I will serve the ministry of my church

76

 

            ...By discovering my gifts and talents

            ...By being equipped to serve by my pastors

            ...By developing a servant's heart

 

"Serve one another with the particular gifts God has given each of you..."  1 Peter 4:10 (Ph)

"God gave...some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for works of ministry, so that the body of Christ may be built up..."  Eph. 4:11-12

 

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ...who took on the very nature of a servant..."  Phil 2:3-4, 7

 

IV.      I will support the testimony of my church77

 

            ...By attending faithfull

            ...By living a godly life

            ...By giving regularly

 

                                                                                        [25]

"Let us not give up the habit of meeting together...but let us encourage one another."  Heb. 10:25

"But whatever happens, make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the gospel of Christ."  Phil. 1:27 (Ph)

"Each one of you, on the first day of each week, should set aside a specific sum of money in proportion to what you have earned and use it for the offering."  1 Cor. 16:2

 

"A tenth of all you produce is the Lord's, and it is holy."  Lev. 27:30

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//\\//\\

                                                            [26]


 

 

 

GREATER HOPE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

 

(Please turn in to your teacher when finished )

 

 

Name.......................................................................... Date.............................................

Address..............................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................

Home Phone.......................................................... Bus. Phone..............................

Cell Phone .................................................... E-mail ...................................................

Sex....................... (M/F)                     Date of Birth............. /.............. /..............

o Single               o Married                     o Widowed                o Divorced

My occupation is............................................................................................................

Business...........................................................................................................................

I have the following expertise...................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................

......................................................................................................................................

I believe my talents are .....................................................................................

I love to do and be involved in ....................................................................................

........................................................................................................................................

.......................................................................................................................................

I have been active in a church for  1 yr......... 5 yrs........... .10 yrs ..... other .......................

I have been active in the following churches in the past:

Yrs Involved  Name of Church    Location  Member  Position of Service

...............................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................

......................................................................................................................................

......................................................................................................................................

 

How would you describe your current relationship with Jesus Christ?

 

 

 

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