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Our Identity


Vision, Strategy, & Structure.

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Our Identity


Vision, Strategy, & Structure.

OUR COMMISSION

At Fellowship, our vision and our mission as a church comes from our Commission. Our commission flows from the Great Commission, which Jesus gives believers in Matthew 28, and is uniquely expressed in our context here at Fellowship, in our city, for our time. 

The five core convictions that make up our Commission, form our identity as a church, our plan for personal action individually, and our heart for Gospel Renewal in our city. 

These are the core convictions of the Commission of Fellowship Jonesboro.

Grace Changes Everything - Grace has a name, and His name is Jesus. Grace changes how we relate to God, see ourselves, and love the world. We believe Grace is big enough to change our city.

Love is our Highest Calling - We love because God first loved us. Because we have been loved extravagantly, we want to extravagantly love without distinctions and without conditions. 

People Matter to God - Because all people were created by God, all people matter to God. Every person has a story and every story matters to God. 

We All Have a Part to Play - We believe it is vital for every person to use their gifts and creativity for us to accomplish our mission as the church. Each one of us is needed. The church is to be the home of the deepest relationships, and the source of the greatest hope to the world. We all have a part to play.

God is Making Everything New - We believe the good news of Jesus addresses every form of brokenness in our city, so we: Pursue and Celebrate Racial Diversity, Labor for every orphan to find a home, actively care for the poor, and fight injustice in our city and the world.


Our Strategy

God has designed discipleship to find its home and strength in the local church.  Mission flows from the church and results in the church.  At Fellowship Jonesboro, we want to see disciples making disciples, churches planting churches, and the establishment of strategic partnerships with like-minded churches for the advancement of the Gospel.


Our Structure

We GATHER to encounter the presence and glory of God through the Gospel, and we SCATTER to spread the presence and glory of God through the Gospel.

When we Gather, our worship involves...

1) Biblical Expository Preaching - Preaching is central to our Gatherings.  The Bible sets the agenda.  This is not necessarily a line by line teaching through the Bible so much as letting the main idea of the text determine the main idea of the sermon.  This may mean we preach through a book of the Bible or occasionally preach over a topic such as 'Marriage & Parenting' or 'Financial Stewardship' that involves looking at what the Bible has to say about these issues.

2) Passionate Liturgical Worship - We want to have our Gatherings be shaped by the Gospel as much as possible.  This means each week we have a Call to Worship - Confession or Lament - Assurance - Benediction, which reflects the Gospel Narrative of Creation - Fall - Redemption - Restoration.  We sing loud upbeat, joyful songs as well as somber, reflective laments. In the midst of these movements, we sing, pray, and read scripture - often together out loud as a unified community speaking the Gospel to one another.  We also loosely follow the traditional church calendar which helps us remember important Christian themes such as Pentecost, Trinity, Advent, and Easter.

3) Observing the Ordinances - Baptism & the Lord's Supper are the two ordinances given to the church to participate in.  Every week we partake in the Lord's Supper and throughout the year we celebrate the baptism of individuals who have received new life through Christ Jesus.

4) Generous Giving - We worship a generous God who gives us grace upon grace.  We also seek to be a generous people who give our finances, time, energy, and other resources for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God through supporting our local church, our city, and church planting efforts elsewhere.

When we Scatter, our worship involves…

1) Gospel Communities - A Gospel Community is more than a small group (but not less than one).  Our Gospel Communities gather weekly to apply the sermons and seek to live in authentic, Biblical community that challenges and encourages each person to grow in following Jesus.  These groups are about more than existing primarily for ourselves and instead seek to engage the lost as part of our mission.  Gospel Communities are not just based on our season of life but who we are in Jesus.

2) Missional Living - God has called us to be witnesses to the greatness of the Gospel and to make disciples who make disciples. Because of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, everywhere we go is now the mission field.  Our schools, jobs, neighborhoods, restaurants, stores...all are pathways for us to reach the lost with the grace found in Jesus Christ. We seek to intentionally build relationships with lost friends who we long to see come to Christ.

3) Cultural Engagement - Not only are we stewards of the Gospel message, but God has placed us in our city to be a blessing to the city itself.  We are passionate about seeing Gospel Renewal in the areas of society such as arts, education, government, social services, healthcare, and family.  We believe there is no such thing as a ‘secular/sacred’ divide. Jesus is Lord over all, and we want to see his glory displayed through the engagement of culture-specific issues approached with Gospel truth & love.

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Pastors & Elders


Pastors & Elders


Click each picture below to view more info about each of our Pastors & Elders.

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Networks & Partnerships


Networks & Partnerships


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Beliefs & Distinctives


Beliefs & Distinctives


Beliefs

God is Triune                                       

 There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the Godhead, there are three Persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God— Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is the foundation of Christian faith and life.             

God the Father            

God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same word, He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all and, together with the Son and the Spirit, is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him and, in His unfathomable grace, gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for mankind’s redemption. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with Himself.        

Jesus Christ            

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through Him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him all things hold together by the word of His power. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, and in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

He is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having shed His blood and died a vicarious death on Calvary’s cross. By His death in our place, He revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, on the third day, He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and, for a period of 40 days, appeared to over 500 witnesses, performing many convincing proofs of His resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all, awaiting His return. He is the Head of His body and the Church and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.

The Holy Spirit            

The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit, a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshipped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity.        

The Scriptures            

We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is an essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.

Man            

God made man—male and female—in His own image, as the crown of creation so that man might glorify Him through enjoying fellowship with Him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone.

The Gospel                    

Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel. His resurrection is the power of the gospel, and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel.

Man’s Response to the Gospel                    

The proper response to the gospel is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a faith that is naturally accompanied by repentance from sin. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life, and saving faith is evidenced by kingdom service or works. While neither repentance nor works save, unless a person is willing to deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Christ, he cannot become His disciple. This response to the gospel is rooted and grounded in the free and unconditional election of God for His own pleasure and glory. This gospel of grace is to be sincerely preached to all men in all nations.

Man’s Inheritance Through the Gospel                    

Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin, an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes His child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and via the miracle of regeneration, liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.

Sanctification                    

The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality as we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. All believers are exhorted to persevere in the faith, knowing they will have to give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession, are a vital means of grace in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve His people until the end, which is most certain.

Empowered by the Spirit                    

 The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling them to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually fill each believer with power to witness and imparts His supernatural gifts for the edification of the body and the work of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first century are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in an orderly manner. The gifts are essential to the mission of the Church in the world today.                     

The Church                    

God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will on earth. This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world for a testimony. The ultimate mission of the Church is worship, and the means by which this is accomplished is the making of disciples through the preaching and embracing of the gospel. When God transforms human nature, this becomes the chief means of society’s transformation. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer.

All members of the Church are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the Church (including prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body so that it might mature and grow. Through the gift ministries, all members of the Church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of the ministry. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world.

Ordinances of the Church                        

 Water baptism is only intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the church, oneself and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that his former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts a person’s release from the mastery of sin.

As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of faith and self- examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body.

The Consummation        

 The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, is finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God, who makes all things new.

 

Distinctives

1. Gospel Centered

We believe the gospel is the good news of what God has graciously accomplished for sinners through the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, namely our forgiveness from sin and complete justification before God; this gospel is also the foundation for our confidence in the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom, and the consummation of his purpose for all creation in the new heavens and new earth.

This gospel is centered in Christ, is the foundation for the life of the Church, and is our only hope for eternal life; this gospel is not proclaimed if Christ’s penal substitutionary death and bodily resurrection are not central to our message.

This Gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the truth and power by which people are sanctified; it is the truth of the Gospel that enables us to genuinely and joyfully do what is pleasing to God and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ. The salvation offered in this gospel message is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; no ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved.

2. Reformed 

We affirm that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith but unconditionally, according to his sovereign good pleasure and will.

We believe that through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will draw the elect to faith in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the gospel so that they will most assuredly and willingly believe.

We also believe that these, the elect of God whom he gave to the Son, will persevere in belief and godly behavior and be kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith.

We believe that God’s sovereignty in this salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people to believe in Christ nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the ordained means by which God accomplishes his ordained ends.

3. Complementarian

Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ.

Men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilize their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God.

Both husbands and wives are responsible to God for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, but God has given to the man primary responsibility to lead his wife and family in accordance with the servant leadership and sacrificial love modeled by Jesus Christ.

The Elders/Pastors of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight and to teach/preach the Word of God in corporate assembly for the building up of the body. The office of Elder/Pastor is restricted to men.

4. Continuationist 

We believe the Holy Spirit is alive and active in regeneration, empowerment and ongoing filling for the purposes of God in this world. We believe all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still available today, but not one of them in particular is required to give evidence of the baptism or filling of the Spirit.

5. Missional

The church has a clear biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus mission is not an optional program in the church but an essential element in the identity of the church.

We are called to make Christ known through the gospel and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring his lordship to bear on every dimension of life.

The primary way we fulfill this mission is through making disciples who make disciples, the planting of churches that plant churches, and the training of their leaders. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of our church and the churches God enables us to plant around the world.

We also believe we are responsible neither to retreat from our culture (to create a Christian subculture) nor to conform to it (by simply adopting the values and practices of the culture).  Instead, with humility, through the Spirit and the truth of the gospel, we are to engage culture boldly as we seek its transformation and submission to the lordship of Christ.  The culture is transformed and renewed to the degree that individual lives are transformed by the Gospel and the implications of the Gospel are lived out in public as well as in private.