Penknap Providence and Ebenezer West Lavington

Our Vision of the Church Community

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Believing, worshiping and serving together

Each individual  congregation of believers is a local expression of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. The Church is not a building, but a community of people. Here are some of the defining aspects of Church life according to the New Testament.

The Church is a believing community. In accordance with his self-revelation in Holy Scripture, we believe in the one true and living God in three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We endeavour to base all we say and do on the witness of Scripture. As Evangelical and Reformed Baptist Churches, we stand in the mainstream of historic Christian teaching. Our faith is that of early creeds and confessions of the Church and the vital truths rediscovered at the Reformation. We believe in salvation by faith alone, by grace alone and by Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. Our fellowship and co-operation with other Churches and organizations is based on the truth of the gospel. See the FIEC Gospel Unity statement. 

The Church is a worshiping community. If man’s chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever, then the worship and praise of God must be a high priority for Christians. We believe that God should be worshipped in keeping with what he has revealed in Holy Scripture. The Lord gathers his people together to worship him and has promised to be present among them. The church assembles to seek God's face, calling upon his holy name in prayer. God addresses his people by his living and active Word as the Bible is read and its message proclaimed in preaching. The Word of God read and preached is to be received in sincere faith and joyful obedience. We sing hymns and psalms, making melody in our hearts to the Lord. The grand objective of worship is the glorification of the Triune God of the gospel. We gladly confess that he is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and the gracious Redeemer of his people. 

We baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit those who believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord (Matthew 28:19). We regularly gather around the Lord's Table, holding that the Lord’s Supper is a fellowship meal for genuine Christians (1 Corinthians 11: 27). We believe that the risen Lord Jesus is present with his people by his Spirit as they eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of his dying love. 

The  Church is a witnessing community. The risen Christ commanded his followers to "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). We must begin that task where we are, in our own neighbourhood. Preaching is our primary form of evangelism. Paul wrote: "it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." (1 Corinthians 1:21.) This includes preaching in the regular Sunday Services and in the open air. We also distribute gospel leaflets and booklets in our area and arrange special evangelistic events. We believe that every Christian is called to be a living witness to the gospel to a needy world.

We pool our resources together with other local churches to support various mission societies that assist the churches in their task of heralding the good news of Jesus Christ in this country and overseas. See our links page for the organisations we support on a regular basis. 

The Church is a caring community. Jesus commanded his people to love one another (John 13:34). We are to, "Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil to law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) By prayer, mutual encouragement and practical help we seek to enable one another to live the Christian life to the glory of God. We also seek to stand with the persecuted church by supporting organisations that advocate religious freedom and channel aid to believers who are suffering because of their faith. 

The Church is a serving community. Believers serve one another as they devote their gifts, time and energy to the building up of the church as enabled by God's grace. The church also helps to equip Christians to serve as whole life disciples of Jesus in all that they do; serving the Lord in family life, the world of work, and in seeking the good of the local community, the nation and the world (Jeremiah 29:7, Matthew 5:13-16). We endeavour to remember the poor and speak up for those who have no voice such as unborn children and other vulnerable groups.