Our Purpose and Faith
The purpose of ABC Westerville is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to administer the ordinances of the New Testament, facilitate the spiritual growth of its members and to promote the Kingdom of God according to the teachings of Christ for the people of this community and the entire world.
This church accepts the Scriptures as its authority in matters of faith and practice. Its understanding of Christian truth, as contained therein, is in essential accord with the beliefs of Baptist churches, but it has no statement or creed apart from the New Testament.
-As stated in our Constitution (1968)
What Kind of Church We Are
Baptist churches have historically (since 1609!) considered themselves to be communities of people committed to Jesus Christ and to each other. We express our common and mutual commitment in our Church Covenant.
We believe that churches of different sizes can minister in differing ways. Large churches can minister by offering a complete selection of activities for all ages. They can employ specialized staff for particular groups of interest.
In smaller churches (up to 150 people), such as ours, there is more of a closeness as everyone more or less knows everyone. We are intentional about being a "Community of Practice" in which we aim to help each other be better trainees of Jesus Christ.
In a small church we have to learn to get along since there is no place to hide! This is part of Godís purpose for his people. We seek to respect each other, and to be a congregation in which there is no manipulation, pressure or other dysfunctions. At the same time we are not content with superficial relationships, but to grow in the genuine community that the New Testament refers to as koinonia, heart to heart fellowship.
Another Greek word from the New Testament is also foundational for us. God is love. Godís kind of love Ė agape love Ė fully expressed in Jesus Christ, which we receive continually from him and seek to pass along to others and is:
1. Freely chosen and given, undeserved and unmerited (Deuteronomy 7:7; Ephesians 1:4-5)
2. Impartial (James 2:8-9)
3. Universal, shown to each person (Matthew 5:43-48; John 3:16)
4. One with the truth (1 John 1:5; 4:8; John 14:6)
5. Does nothing but good and all possible good (Hebrews 12:6)
6. Defeats evil with good (Romans 12:21)
7. Unstoppable, never ends (1 Corinthians 13:8)
8. Makes the first move (1 John 4:19)
9. Acts (1 John 4:10)
10. Creates order, beauty and life where there was chaos (Genesis 1)
11. Does whatever it takes to accomplish its purpose (Ephesians 1:10; 5:25)
Our goal is not to be as big as possible, but as faithful as possible to Christ. If we do begin to approach 150 people in the congregation, we intend for a number of them to begin a sister church in another location. In this way we hope to grow as we see many people commit to Jesus Christ, yet preserve the unique ministry and relationship possibilities of the smaller church.