Our distinctives help to convey the positions, practices, and personality of Spring Creek Bible Church. Every local church has distinctives whether or not they are in print. We have chosen to articulate and publish our distinctives as a means of candidly informing visitors and potential church members where our church stands on important issues pertaining to church life. We believe this is very important and helps people to make a well-informed decision relative to choosing a church home.
1. Our High View of God
We believe that SCBC exists for the primary purpose of knowing and glorifying God. We strive to know the one, true, holy God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. We want to grow in our reverence, awe, worship, obedience, and love of God. We agree with A.W. Tozer when he writes, “The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted it for one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly un-worthy of thinking, worshipping men. The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us.” To accomplish what God wants for SCBC we believe we must start and finish with a high view of Him.
2. Our High View of the Bible
We believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and totally sufficient Word of God. We believe the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Although cultures and human philosophies change, God’s Word, His character, His commands, and man’s fallen nature never change. Therefore, we believe that the timeless Word of God is relevant and completely reliable for anything a person faces no matter where or when he lives. Because we embrace this high view of Scripture we seek to study and apply it faithfully in every facet of our ministry and church life.
3. Our Form of Church Government
We believe that Christ is the head of His church, and that He mediates His rule in the church through biblically qualified elders. It is essential that the congregation affirm only those men who qualify, aspire, and faithfully serve in the function of an elder. Elders are commanded to oversee and shepherd the flock, and the congregation is commanded to submit to their loving leadership. The church functions best when the shepherds/elders function in unanimity and the flock follows submissively.
4. Our Commitment to Equip Ministers (You)
We are committed to discipling and equipping people to prepare them for ministry, not just plugging warm bodies into empty positions. Our programs will only be as strong as the people who serve in them. We desire that every ministry position be filled by a growing disciple who is equipped, called, burdened, and committed to serve in that capacity. Following this pattern produces joyful, confident ministers, and more fruitful ministry.
5. Our Lay Shepherding Style of Ministry
While it is the responsibility of every elder to shepherd the flock, we recognize that people can only receive adequate nurture if there are many people within the body offering pastoral care to one another. God calls each of us to minister the “one anothers” within the church family. In order to both give and receive personal care, we exhort our members to actively assimilate into the church through faithful attendance, small groups, classes, serving in ministry, and other body-life opportunities.
6. Our Commitment to Marriages and Families
Building strong Christian families is a priority at SCBC. We believe in the sanctity of marriage, and that God hates divorce. We believe that parents are responsible for the consistent training, discipline, and protection of their children. Our programs may assist, but never replace, parents as the primary disciplers of their children.
Recommended reading: “Our Divorce and Remarriage Policy”
7. Our Cross-generational Mindset
At SCBC we strive to cultivate an environment that mingles all ages together as much as possible. Age segregation is the invention of secular humanists, not biblical Christianity. While the popular trend is to segregate into peer groups, greater maturity is fostered by blending mature saints with younger, immature believers. Therefore, we do not promote the formation of “youth groups” or “singles groups.” We are building the body of Christ, not cultivating a separate youth/singles culture. We particularly encourage parents to be actively involved with their sons and daughters into adulthood.
Recommended reading: “Our Teen Discipleship Philosophy”
8. Our Position on the Roles of Men and Women
The Scriptures teach that men and women are equally created in God’s image, and in relation to salvation and spiritual position in Christ, both genders are equal. Although equal, men and women have distinct roles in the home and church as designed by God. In the home the man is to provide loving headship and servant leadership. He is responsible to love, nurture, and protect his wife and children, as well as provide for the physical needs of his household. The priority for the woman is within her home. She is to submit to her husband and work at home serving her family (it is recognized that singles and women without children in the home have unique freedom for employment and perhaps more extensive ministry). In the church, men and women are to use their spiritual gifts in ministering to the body according to biblical design. One notable
limitation is that women are not to teach men or have authority over men in the church.
9. Our Commitment to Biblical Counseling
We believe that all of the answers to man’s problems are found in the person of Jesus Christ and His Word. Therefore, Jesus Christ is central in all counseling. We believe in the total sufficiency of the Bible in dealing with every problem. Our trust is not in the vain philosophies of man, but in the power of the Holy Spirit (the “Counselor”) in using Scripture to both save and sanctify sinners. Therefore, counselees are exhorted to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, take personal responsibility for their problems, and commit to obeying biblical patterns/commandments in their thoughts, words, and behavior.
10. Our Worship Philosophy
Our goal in our worship services is to glorify God, not to entertain people. We believe that acceptable worship to God comes from an obedient life and a pure heart. Our desire is to direct people’s focus toward God, rather than observing a performance. In order to guard the purity of our worship, we ask only spiritually qualified individuals to lead in our services. We only use hymns, choruses, and songs that are doctrinally sound. Without apology, our worship services are conservative, relatively speaking. However, we do believe that a variety of instruments and both traditional and contemporary songs can be utilized to the glory of God. We encourage all members of our congregation to exercise deference in regard to issues of personal taste and preference in worship.
11. Our Perspective on Church Growth
We do not embrace the modern church growth movement that tends to assess growth in terms of attendance numbers, budgets, and buildings rather than the development of spiritual maturity and fruit. We believe a church is growing when its members are increasing in their knowledge of God, personal holiness, and obedience to biblical mandates. Evangelism is not the primary goal of our typical worship services. While every member should strive to make visitors and unbelievers feel warmly welcomed, our focus is on pleasing God with acceptable worship and faithful preaching. We gather for worship and edification, and scatter to evangelize.
12. Our Non-charismatic Theology
We believe that certain spiritual gifts had a unique purpose in the first century church, and gradually ceased as the New Testament scriptures were completed. These are often referred to as “sign gifts” (tongues, healing, miracles, etc.). We do not teach or allow the promotion or practice of the sign gifts at SCBC. Our position on this issue is not intended to belittle our charismatic brethren. However, we do believe that a person whose theology and practice differs from SCBC on this point may likely be more fulfilled in a charismatic congregation.
13. Our Practice of Church Discipline
The local church has the dual responsibilities of encouraging virtue and repressing vice. Jesus Christ commanded the church to discipline itself following a specific pattern. Discipline should be a regular, normal practice that begins with the loving confrontation of sin and is primarily the
responsibility of the individual believers in the body (not the leadership) toward one another. The goal of church discipline is the purity of the church and the restoration of the sinning believer. The severity of the discipline depends on the nature and circumstances of the sin. Becoming a member of SCBC is a person’s statement of submission to the practice of church discipline.
14. Our Missions Support Philosophy
It is our vision to equip, commission, and support missionaries from our own congregation. We refer to these people as our “home church missionaries.” While we continue to support other missionaries that SCBC has been associated with for many years, we only increase the
financial support of our home church missionaries. Over the long term this philosophy will promote: closer relationships between missionaries and our members, greater financial support for SCBC missionaries, more restful furloughs, and more personal involvement in missions on the part of our members. Our commitment to evangelism is not limited to the foreign field. Acts 1:8 commands us to witness to our “Jerusalem.” Every member of SCBC is exhorted to be an ambassador for Christ in his/her sphere of influence.
Recommended reading: “Our Missions Policy”
15. Our Stewardship Policy
SCBC is committed to biblical principles of avoiding the sin of defaulting on borrowed money, and of steadfast contentedness in God. Our church’s conservative guidelines on borrowing and the use of resources can be found in our Stewardship Policy. The Stewardship Policy discusses many aspects of debt and borrowing and states that SCBC will not enter into unsecured debt. Avoiding unsecured debt has many benefits: it obeys many biblical principles, it strengthens faith, it allows God one more way to direct our plans, it is a good example to our families, it is safest, it helps us avoid an unhealthy emphasis on money, and we feel it is the best way to operate our church and glorify God. In view of this policy it is incumbent upon our members to give faithfully, and the congregation to plan and save wisely, in order to pay for large projects.
Recommended reading: “Our Stewardship Policy”