Grace Presbyterian Church desires to produce disciples of Jesus who are growing in their love for God and love for their neighbor.
We believe that a right understanding of the following core beliefs is essential for Christian life and ministry:
The Bible is God’s word and is reliable, understandable, authoritative, and sufficient. The written word of God is intended to point us to Jesus Christ.
God declares me to be in right standing with Him by crediting the record of Jesus to my account. I receive this right standing through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Sanctification, or Christian growth, is a process. And it’s messy. Growth doesn’t come as quickly as we would like. And isn’t always in a straight line. But by God’s grace, as we abide in Christ, practicing daily faith and repentance, we are made more and more like Jesus.
If our purpose as a church is to reach people for Christ and equip them to serve in His kingdom, how do we know if we are achieving that purpose? What will a reached and equipped person look like?
The answer to those questions is expressed in our goals.
Our goals direct us toward the external fruit we believe will be produced in our church as we proclaim and apply our core beliefs. Through the Holy Spirit’s strengthening and enabling, we hope by God’s grace to be a church that:
Loves Our Neighbors
This love of God and neighbor will be fostered specifically through:
Worship that is rooted yet relevant (the focus of our Staff and Music Team)
Community that is vulnerable and loving (the focus of our Community Team)
Discipleship that is intentional and relational (the focus of our Discipleship Team)
Outreach that is winsome and wise (the focus of our Reach Team)
Connecting visitors to the church in ways that are genuine and welcoming (the focus of our Connect Team)
Just as our physical body is made up of many parts with unique functions, so our church body is made up of teams with different priorities in achieving a common goal.
Our values are what are important and distinctive to us as a particular church. These values shape the way we uniquely do ministry in Spartanburg.
We value our heritage and affiliation. We are . . .
We are not making up our beliefs as we go, but celebrate our rootedness in the doctrines established and confirmed by the Protestant Reformation. While Scripture alone is our only authoritative rule for faith and practice, we value the ancient creeds, and our church’s doctrinal commitments can be found in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms.
We are not autonomous. We have accountability, through our affiliation with our denomination (the Presbyterian Church in America) at both a regional level (presbytery) and a national level (general assembly).
We value our place and local community. We have . . .
Trust in God’s Providence
We believe He determines where we live, work, and play. He has given us different gifts, callings, and interests. We hope to reach and serve where he has placed us as we go about our everyday lives.
Love for Place
We hope that our members will develop a heart for the nations while recognizing that God calls us to love the city in which He has placed us. Our particular focuses in our community include:
University presence – Spartanburg is home to numerous college campuses. We support and minister alongside Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) at Wofford College. We also hope to reach students on the other campuses of our city.
Multicultural Growth – Spartanburg is home to people from a variety of races and cultures. We hope and pray to be a church that increasingly resembles the multicultural community in which we live and that reflects the beautiful diversity of God’s people.
Mercy – Spartanburg is home to many people who are suffering from physical needs. We expect that loving our neighbor will lead us, as it did Christ, to loving those like us, those different from us, and those who are “the least of these.”
We value accessible worship. We hope that . . .
Our worship is rooted yet relevant
We want to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us while realizing that it is 2018 not 1518. We gather weekly and, as we worship, we explain what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We strive to create a worship service that is understandable both to those with lots of church in their background and those who have never attended. Our dress tends to be casual generally, but wear what you like. Your presence is what matters to us.
We value people, both in and out of the church. We even make up words to do so:
We believe that the Christian life is lived out in the ordinary things that God calls us to do every day: walking the dog, washing the car, playing with our children, sharing a meal, praying, laughing, and singing...day to day stuff. In fact, we believe that the most radical thing many of us will ever do is believe the gospel, love our families and neighbors, and do our jobs well…and that’s a glorious thing. Everyday life is where we learn, grow, and live out our faith.
We want to take the time to build relationships and community with one another within the church but also take the time to build relationships and community with people who don’t look at the world the same way we do. We value shared meals over shared programs; that is to say, we’d rather have less church-y type events so that our people have margin enough to pursue friendships outside of the church.
Often churches don’t feel like safe places to be honest about your doubts and struggles. Who hasn’t felt the need (when asked) to say, “I’m fine.”? At Grace, we don’t pretend to be “fine.” We have messy lives, and we need a great Savior. We know that we have been made right with God through the work of this Savior and not through our own work. This frees us to take off the masks we’ve been wearing and to be honest about who we really are. And oddly enough, owning up to the broken place in our lives is actually where Jesus begins to heal us.
The Learning Process of Discipleship
Discipleship is relational and involves the process of becoming and doing: learning to be more like Jesus and doing as He instructs in His Word. We believe at Grace that all believers in Jesus are disciples, and the local church is uniquely equipped to facilitate growth in Christlikeness. Discipleship happens through a process we call TDOEE. This involves effective Bible-saturated teaching, demonstrating or modeling of the Christian life, observing what’s going in in one another’s lives, evaluating our growth (through self-evaluation and careful mentoring), and encouraging each other as we press on, fall and get back up.
We value God’s Spirit at work.