In this section you will find more detailed information about who we are.
Hopefully the information provided will help give you a fuller picture of what
Windy City Community Church is.
In this section you will find more detailed information about who we are.
Hopefully the information provided will help give you a fuller picture of what
Windy City Community Church is.
We believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is supernaturally inspired, so that it is inerrant in the original manuscripts. We believe that every word of the whole Bible is inspired by God, and the Bible is the sole divinely authorized rule for every age and every life. (1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)
We believe the Godhead eternally exists in three persons - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - having each the same nature, attributes, and perfections, worthy of the same worship and confidence, and these three are one God. (Mt. 3:13-17; 28:19,20; Jn. 1:1-14; 10:30; 14:15,16; Heb. 1:1-3)
We believe in God as absolute and sole Creator and sustainer of the universe, and that creation was by divine command, from nothing (Acts 17:24 - 28; Gen. 1 - 3)
We believe that God, by His sovereign choice and out of love for men, sent Christ into the world to save sinners. (Jn. 3:16; 1 Tim 1:15)
God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ in the flesh was fully God and fully human, that He was born of a virgin and that He lived a sinless life, in which He taught and performed mighty wonders and signs exactly as revealed in the four Gospels, that He was crucified, shed His blood, and died as the penalty for our sins and was raised from the dead bodily on the third day. Forty days later, He ascended to the Father's right hand, where He is head of the church and intercedes for believers. From there, He is coming again personally, bodily, and visibly to this earth to set up HIs millennial kingdom. (Heb. 1:1; 2;
Lk. 1:30,31; Jn. 1:1-14; Col. 2:9; 1 Cor 15:3; Eph 4:8; 1 Thes. 1:6; 1 Cor 2:4)
God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, is God, and possesses all the divine attributes. He convicts of sin, regenerates, indwells, baptizes, and seals all believers at the moment of their salvation. In the life of the believer, the Holy Spirit empowers, guides, teaches, gives gifts, and creates the fruit of joy - all with the goal of conforming the believer to the image of Christ (Jn. 15:26; Jn 16:7-11; Jn 3;5; Eph 1:13; 4:30; 1 Cor 12:13; 6:19; Eph 5:18; Eph 3:16; 1 Thes 1:6; 1 Cor 2:14)
We believe that humanity was created in the image and likeness of God with an eternal soul, but that in Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and that all humans are morally corrupt, and, of themselves, utterly unable to remedy their lost condition. Because of their sinfulness, all humans are under the wrath of God and doomed to eternal judgment (Gen 1:26,27; Rom 1:18-3:23; 5:12; Eph 2:1-3, 12)
We believe that salvation is a gift of God and is received by each individual through personal faith in Jesus Christ, in His sacrifice for our sin and resurrection for our righteousness. Those who accept their own sinfulness must flee for rescue to Christ as their only hope. A person is justified by grace through a radical encounter of faith, regardless of their works. Salvation is entering into a personal relationship with Christ through a radical encounter of faith, and is life transforming. It is inevitable that all those who are truly saved will demonstrate the reality of their salvation in their manner of life. It is equally inevitable that all those who are truly saved will be securely held in the Father's hand for all of time and eternity. (Acts 13:38, 39; Rom 4:5; 6:23, 8:1,38,39; Jn 10:27-30; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Pet 3:18)
We believe that the true Church is composed of all persons who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit through saving faith in Jesus Christ, and that they are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is Lord and Head. The Church exists in separate local assemblies, each with the task of equipping saints, glorifying God, making disciples, and enjoying fellowship with God and with one another. The visable Church exists to do God's work in the world of reconciling men and women to Christ, promoting righteousness, and acting to create peace and understanding by means of holy and sacrifical living. (Acts 2:41, 42; Rom 12:5; Eph 1:22,23; 5:23,24; 1 Cor 12:12-14; 2 Cor 11:2; Acts 14:27)
The Christian Life
We believe that a Christian should walk in holiness and devotion to Christ, with the goal of being conformed to the image of Christ, so that we might please Him in every way This is the work of the Holy Spirit as the Christian walks in faith, in a growing knowledge of God, in obedience to Scripture, in prayer, in regular fellowship with the saints, and in a life of service. We believe that the Christan will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, there to have his or her life evaluated according to his or her deeds. (Gal 5:16-26; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:29; Heb 11:6; 12:1,2; Jn 17:17; Eph 6:18; Heb 10:25; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom 4:14)
The Return of the Lord
We beieve in the personal and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting happiness and joy with the Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. ( 1 Thes 4:13 - 18; 1 Cor 15:51,52; Titus 2:11-13; Jn 14:1-6; Mt 25:46; Rev 20:11-15; 2 Pet 3:10)
The Practices of the Church
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ceremonies ordained by God for believers. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation. (Mt 28:19,20; Acts 2:38; 8:12, 35-38; Lk 22:19,20; 1 Cor 11:23-29)
Everybody has a certain style, a way of expressing their own tastes and values. Someone's style makes them unique and distinct. Your style makes you a one-of-a-kind person. This shows the world what makes you tick, and what your inner personality is like.
In the same way, every church has its own style. Some churches are loud; others are quiet. Some churches are formal, others casual. A church emphasizes some things and de-emphasizes others. Some are primarily classroom churches; some are primarily life-application churches. Some churches focus on getting a spiritual "high". Others focus on social action. Every church has its own style.
This "style" represents the church's philosophy of ministry. The philosopy of ministry is simply the church's way of doing things. It makes this church different from other churches. This is different from our doctrine. The doctrine of our church flows from the Bible. In our view, everybody should believe the same primary, fundamental doctrines (you can read about them here). But not all churches should have the same style, the same philosophy of ministry. Just as there is variety in the body, so the world needs all different styles of churches. No one style will reach everybody with the gospel of Jesus. As you read the BIble you'll see that while God does tell a church what to believe and think, he never tells the church exactly how to operate. The church is free to creatively operate within biblical teachings and principles.
This Philosophy of Ministry states as clearly as possible our style. It is designed to help you understand our church better. It is also intended as an aide in planning various ministries within our church. We're not claiming that this is doctrine for everybody to agree on. Rather, this is style for everone to accept. This is what makes us what we are.
As you read, I hope you see that our goal is reaching the lost world with the Good News of God's grace. Like Paul the Apostle, at Windy City we are willing to become all things to all people that by all means we might save some (1 Cor. 9:22).
In Christ's Grace,
1. We are committed to giving broad DECISION-MAKING POWER to the members of the body.
At Windy City Community Church we are committed to unleashing God's people to do great works of service. We believe that one of the keys to commitment is envolvement. People are committed to a plan to the degree they helped to shape that plan. Can you imagine the thousands of fantastic ideas sitting out in our church every Sunday? Can you picture the passions and desires of all our people, channeled into the great work of fulfilling the Great Commission? That is our goal: to decentralize planning and decision making. Power to the People! We want to give you, the body of Christ, the power and authority to reach this city for Christ. The Elder Board of our church is the governing board, and we are committed to delegating as much authority as we can to you, gifted believers in Jesus.
2. We are committed to incorporating EVANGELISM into the ingredients of every ministry.
Just as Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10), so the Church is in the world for exactly the same reason. God sent us here to transmit the gospel to the world. So wherever it is possible, and wherever it makes sense, we want to intetionally build evangelism into our ministries. This means that whatever we seek to do, we should have an open attitude and an outreaching sprirt. To do this, we must meet people's needs; we must accept people who aren't like us. We should never turn up our noses at people because of their past failures or weaknesses. We are a safe harbor for al in need. Our Sunday morning service is a worship service for believers. Yet many people come to Christ as they watch the church worship! (1 Cor. 14:25) Though the service is not directly evangelistic, we do incorporate evangelism into it. This is our desire for all our ministries.
3. We are committed to SMALL GROUPS as the basis of church life.
We believe that the church is people, not programs. God has a great goal in the church: He is creating a society of people committed to each other, enjoying his grace, and proclaiming his greatness around the world. That society of people is us. We are commanded to love one another, to pray for one another, and to bear one another's burdens. To accomplish this, we see ourselves s an assemblage of small groups. Whether the groups focus on ministry (like leaders of our children's clubs), prayer, Bible study, support, or fellowship, doesn't matter. We want every Christian to benefit from the dynamics of a regular face-to-face fellowship with others. You have something to give, and you haeve something to receive when you become part of a small group.
4. We are committed to opening our circle of involvement to NEW MEMBERS.
One of the alst things we want is for the same old people to do the same old things. At Windy City we recognize that you bring a wealth of experience and ministry with you. We don't want to create a bunch of hurdles for you as you seek to get involved. If you are in leadership, one of your primary goals is to seek the involvement of men and women who have just started with us. This way we will never become ingrown and stale in our thinking.
5. We are committed to LAY-MINISTRY.
The Bible teaches that every Christian is a minister (Eph. 4:12). Therefore, the leadership and staff of Windy City take it as our primary mission to equip YOU to do the work of ministry. This means that evangelism, counseling, hospital visitation, and other traditional "pastoral" ministries will be done by lay people. Our staff and pastor are to focus on leading, training, teaching, and praying. Staff members are equippers. Church members are ministers. This also means that where vounteers do not step up to do certain ministries, those ministries will be laid to rest. If God is calling us to do a ministry, he will raise up willing, gifted workers to do it.
6. We are committed to HOME-BASED ministry.
Since the church is not a building, but people; the church can meet effectively just about anywhere. Space is an important issue for the church of today. Church buildings, though a blessing from God, are costly. Plus they often present obstacles to unbelievers. Therefore, as much as possible, we should plan our ministries around homes, parks, offices, anywhere people can meet.
7. We are committed to GROWTH and the CHANGE that comes with it.
We hope that next year we are in many ways a different church from today. We have a passion to grow -- multiply disciples and churches. Now, some peple find growth threatening. But if you are in a small group, you will not feel lost in the crowd. We should grow because that way we will reach out to more and more people in Chicago and around the world.
As this growth comes, our church will sometimes seem chaotic, like a roller-coster ride. So let's not worry about this. Change and chaos are part of the price for growth. King Solomon observed, "Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox" (Prov. 14:4) In other words, upheaval is often the price of progress. So strive to grow. Live and minister with a healthy disssatisfaction with the present. Take joy in what God is doing today, and eagerly desire that He will do more. It is our stated policy at WCCC: we would rather try something new, and have it not work than -- because of the fear of failure - not try at all.
8. We are committed to a CULTURALLY-RELEVANT style.
When a missionary goes into a foreign culture, he or she attemps to communicate Christ in the language and style of the people. We see America today as a mission field. So, we must learn to communicate Christ using a style that the people around us can appreciate. Paul had this in mind when he wrote, "I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some" (1 Cor. 9:22). We need to meet people where they're at. Too often we erect barriers between Christ and his lost sheep - and our job is to tear down those barriers! So, without getting into fads, let's be culturally relevant. Avoid cliches and unfamiliar terms. Don't scold. Be creative and bold. Strive for high quality in literature, signs, promotionals, meetings, and get-togethers. The world evaluates our message, in part, by the care we take in presenting it, and it part by the way we effectively communicate to today's secular mind. Along with this, we prefer to use gender-inclusive language in our literature and meetings, though we use masculine terms when referring to God.
9. We are committed to SEEKING THE HOLY SPIRIT"S LEADING AND POWER.
We place a high priority on prayer, and the Holy Spirit is central to our ministering. Nobody can make a church grow except God. He causes the growth by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to cooperate with what God is doing, to become fellow-workers with God (1 Cor. 3:6-9). If the power is God's, then really the only limitations in us are limitations we put on ourselves. Luis Palau preaches, "Dream big dreams and do great works for God." So, as we plan and develop our ministries, we must undergird everything with prayer. When we pray, we should spend time asking God for direction, Then we should spend time seeking to know exactly how God feels about the people we're trying to serve. Finally, we should ask for his Holy Spirit's power to work though us to meet real needs. When we serve God his way by his power, we will not cause burnout to families or leaders, and we will find an inner sense of joy in ministry. "'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit', says the Lord" (Zech. 4:6)
10. We are committed to working through SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
God has wired us all differently, giving us different desires, passions, and gifts. You have a spiritual gift (or gifts). You have something unique to contribute to the body of Christ. When you begin to serve God according to your spiritual gift, you will have extra motivation, extra power, and extra effectiveness. So, when we plan our ministries, and design our leadership teams, be sure to work within people's spiritual gifts. And as you get involved in ministry, pay attention to your level of motivation and effectiveness. Work within your gifts. (Rom. 12:1-8; 1 cor. 12)
11. We are committed to putting PEOPLE FIRST.
We are excited about the magnificent potential of every person because we belong to Christ Jesus. Christ stands ready to live his life through us; as ministers and workers, our job is to help people become what God wants them to become. Our job is to help people figure out their own God-given dreams and passions, and to stimulate people to move torword their goals. To do this, we must help one another find emotional healing. We must avoid making people so busy for the church that they have not time for Jesus. Our programs must serve real needs in the lives of adults, children, and families,and if they don't - rather than sacrifice the people, we will sacrifice the program.
12. We are committed to building GOD"S KINGDOM, not our own.
As Christians, our first loyalty is not to a church, a plan, a style, a method, a program, or even to ourselves. We have no loyalty above loyalty to Christ and His kingdom. Our church is simply a tool that God is using today to help build His kingdom. We love every church that proclaims the gospel of grace, and honors the authority of Scripture. There is no competition among churches, and we want to be a blessing to other churches around us. In our private lives, we are committed to displaying radical, authentic Christianity. Regardless of the price-tag on the lifestyle, we will do it because the world around us needs Christ and is watching us. Event if we need to go against the flow, we'll do it, because we are so thankful to God for what he has first done for us. Our little kingdoms come and go, but the Kingdom of God will endure forever. (Daniel 4)
13. We are committed to BLUNDERING FORWARD.
We aren't out to create a perfect church or to pretend that we are perfect Christians. We learn by trial and error. We believe in laughing at ourselves, apologizing for our wrongs, admitting our humanness, and never giving up. To blunder forward means to forgive ourselves and others and our church as we seek to move forward for God's kingdom. We need to keep blunder and forward together. Blunder allows us to make mistakes. Forward forces us to be doers, and not just planners. Together, Blunder and Forward causes us to fall forward again and again into the measureless grace of God. We pray that next year our church will have made progress in both quality and quantity as we keep on blundering forward.
14. We are committed to achieving our MISSION.
The mission of Windy City Community Church is very simple. This is our agenda for you, and for every person who enters our church: OUR MISSION IS TO BUILD UP A COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS MARKED BY A PASSION FOR JESUS CHRIST, INSPIRED BY THE GRACE OF GOD, AND GUIDED BY A KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WORD.
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