We are a gospel-centered, Bible-saturated, and Spirit-empowered community of believers
Further, all that we do, believe, teach, and think is to be rooted in the Word of God, the “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16) Scriptures that were written so that a believer would “know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). This value is seen in the preaching, teaching, and mutual encouragement (Hebrews 3:13) that happens throughout the life of the church. We want the Bible to saturate all that we do.
None of this happens through our strength, so we rely on the Spirit of God and the Word of God. The Spirit of God empowers the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3-11) and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) evidenced throughout the life of the church. He is the source of all spiritual life and growth, and we want his presence, power, and gifting throughout every aspect of Risen Life Church.
1. We Worship God
As such a community, we are seeking to live a certain kind of life together. First on this list is worship.
We are committed to a life of worship. Worship is the great obligation for all creation, which exists to bring glory to its Creator (Psalm 33:1-9). Worship is therefore to be a central passion for us all: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Worship is also the central call of the church itself, the “chosen race” and “royal priesthood” that exists to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). We acknowledge his greatness in this way by sacrifice (Philippians 4:18), obedience (Romans 12:1), and praise (Hebrews 13:15).
These mark our whole lives, but the high point of this whole-life worship is our Sunday gathering. This is when we gather to sing his praises, to experience spiritual gifts, to share the Lord’s Supper, to baptize believers, to hear the preaching of God’s Word, to give our tithes and offerings, and to encourage one another as we have opportunity.
2. We Love One Another
We are also committed to a life of fellowship (Acts 2:42) or the myriad of ways that believers are to “keep loving one another earnestly” (1 Peter 4:8). As believers we do not merely hold similar beliefs about Jesus Christ; nor is being in a church merely about attending a common weekly gathering. Rather, we are to live a life of “fellowship”, a biblical word that has to do with our partnership in the gospel (Philippians 1:5), our unity in the Spirit (Philippians 2:1), and our relationship to God and to each other (1 John 1:3-7). It also encompasses the dozens of “one another” commands in the Bible, summed up by the call to “love one another” (John 13:34), “serve one another” (Galatians 5:13), and “build up one another” (Romans 15:2).
In this shared life we “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:1) and use the spiritual gifts God has given us to bless others (1 Corinthians 14:26). A key expression of this shared life is our commitment to living out in our home groups the “one another” commands in the New Testament.
3. We Grow as Disciples
We are committed to grow as disciples. The Bible calls us to personal growth and change and sanctification. Jesus taught the church to be “teaching…to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20; Romans 8:29), and we want always to be maturing in this obedience.
Our growth also leads to ministry because it means growing in the gifts God has given each of us to serve others. Our whole life is ministry (Romans 12:1), but God has gifted every believer uniquely and he wants us to walk in these gifts (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:3-8; Acts 6:1-7). In fact, part of the role of pastors in God’s church is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). We deeply desire such every-member ministry: every member equipped and walking in the ministry God has given them.
4. We Serve the Needy
Our growth is not the only end, however, for a commitment to discipleship is a commitment to being “salt” and “light” in the earth, and it means letting “your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).
Our goal in serving the needy is to point every individual to Jesus Christ. We partner with local ministries who are committed to serving the poor and homeless of our city as we give (both financially and materially), serve, and praying for much gospel fruit.
5. We Evangelize the Lost
We also believe that we are called to proclaim a message to the world around us, the “good news” of the gospel. Thus, evangelism- individually and corporately- and church planting are additional commitments of ours. We follow this from the Great Commission where Jesus commanded us to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:18-19). In other words, we are to be disciples who are making disciples. The primary place we want evangelism to happen is in the lives of our members. As they share the gospel in their families, neighborhoods, workplaces, and more, souls will be saved and disciples will be made. Evangelism also happens on Sunday mornings in our preaching- and as believers are baptized and as we take the Lord’s Supper. We also hold occasional events specifically dedicated to sharing the gospel with the lost.
6. We Plant Churches
We believe that God not only wants us to be a vibrant church here in Melbourne, but also to be a church-planting church. That is how we believe the Great Commission will be accomplished (Matthew 28:16-20). The New Testament gives us a clear picture that the way the gospel is spread throughout our cities and towns (and states and nations) is through the work of evangelism and church planting. This is how the lost are saved and the kingdom of God is spread. We are committed to church planting locally, which is why it is our prayer that, one day, the Lord will lead us to plant another local church in Brevard County. We are also committed to church planting extra-locally through our partnership with Sovereign Grace Churches.