What We Believe
To glorify God, help His followers to grow, and help others to hear about Jesus in the greater Minerva area.
We Dream of Becoming a Church Where:
- The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is our greatest priority. We want to see people commit their lives fully to Jesus Christ and as a result become all they were created to be. It is a dream of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- We live in an authentic community inspired by teaching that focuses on life change, by participative, modern worship services, and by relationally driven small groups.
- Everyone feels welcomed and valued as we encourage each other to take the next step in our journey of getting to know and follow God.
- We are welcoming an ever-expanding number of members into the fellowship of our church family—loving, learning, laughing, and living in harmony together.
- We discover, sharpen, and implement our God-given talents and gifts in ministry to help each other, our community, and the world.
- We understand and become convicted that we are fully loved and accepted by God through Jesus Christ and then we live with a sense of courage and destiny.
- We live out our faith in our homes, our workplace, and by participating in servant evangelism efforts in our community.
- Our leaders function as an effective team at every level and area of ministry.
- Our leaders never stop growing and developing, and our church never stops growing, developing, changing, and adapting to an ever-changing world.
- We are sending our members on short-term mission projects to those areas targeted by Encompass World Partners. It is the dream of starting new churches in Ohio with the cooperation of Vision Ohio.
- We have at least 20 acres of land on which will be built a regional church for reaching our Tri-County area—with beautiful, open, bright, modern, yet simple facilities including a state of the art worship center seating 1200 people, a counseling and prayer center, classrooms for bible studies and training lay ministers, a children’s wing and nursery that is creative, spacious and able to meet the needs of a first-class children’s ministry, a spacious foyer with a modern café and bookstore, and a recreation area that includes a kitchen and gymnasium.
All of this will be designed to minister to the total person—spiritually, emotionally, physically, and socially,—and set in a peaceful, inspiring landscape.
We believe this dream can be a reality because our God is the God of the impossible!
The result of this dream is that in a very practical way, we will bring glory to God and allow Him to advance His Kingdom through us.
Intimacy with God
We believe that our connection with God is vital. Everything flows from our relationship with God. We develop intimacy by spending time with God. God primarily speaks to us in His Word. We talk to Him in prayer.
We believe people matter to God and therefore they matter to us. It was Jesus' top priority. Jesus risked His reputation for people who were away from God and so will we; as a church and as individuals. Jesus gave all and held nothing back in accomplishing His mission to seek and save the lost. We will do the same. We will do anything short of sin in order to be "all things to all people so that we might win some". Grace Chapel is called to lead this generation and the next to God and help them pursue a relationship with Him.
Application of Scripture
We believe the Bible is God's Word. It is the ultimate authority for our lives. Therefore, we must live and practice the life-changing principles we discover. God gave us His Word in order to equip us and change us for His glory and benefit.
We believe that real authenticity is best described as openness with others about our strengths and weaknesses. At Grace Chapel, you do not have to be perfect, or pretend that you are.
We believe life change happens best in small groups. Therefore, we will grow larger and smaller at the same time. We will help people find their way from the large group (weekend experience) into relationally authentic small groups.
Creativity and Innovation
We believe the Bible is the most exciting book ever written, and we seek to share its message in relevant environments. We will create appropriate, modern, relevant environments for our nursery, preschoolers, grade school children, middle and high school students, as well as our adults. We will maintain the incredible message of Scripture and endeavor to deliver it in the most culturally relevant way possible. So, whether it's our publications, our messages, or our conversations with friends, we want to engage 21st century people in a 21st century way.
We are most like Jesus when we serve. The Bible says that He came "to serve not to be served". We believe God has equipped every Christ follower with gifts and passions so they can make a difference in their world for Jesus Christ. We will encourage everyone to use and develop their gifts and talents in service to our church, community, and the world. We believe a great benefit of serving is that it changes us. We are more fulfilled when our eyes are off ourselves and on God's bigger plans. Our life becomes meaningful and purposeful. We discover that God created us for more than just personal success, but for eternal significance.
We believe excellence honors God and inspires people. The lack of excellence communicates to people that God is not important or that we don't care about them. We want to be excellent in all we do, but not perfect. We want to give our best, but we will also offer grace generously when mistakes happen. Excellence is so important that in most cases we will only start or continue something if we can do it with excellence. Whether it's our communication, music, how we hold babies in the nursery, or how we set up and tear down our services, we want to bring our "A game".
Our God has been extremely generous with us, and so we want to be generous with the world around us.
Our strategy answers the question of how we will fulfill our mission.
We will accomplish this corporately by creating modern, relevant environments that invite and help people (those whom the Holy Spirit is drawing and working in) to take their next step in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
We Have 3 Primary Environments
- The Foyer
The weekend service is our "foyer environment", crafted to make everyone comfortable and relaxed. The foyer is the place in your home that serves as the welcome area for guests and new friends. It's the first step, and it is often your only chance to make your guests feel comfortable enough to return. Our cafe, children's ministry, and the worship service are where most people will experience Grace Chapel for the first time, and they serve as the perfect place to introduce newcomers to the life of our church.
(P.S.—By “comfortable and relaxed’ we are speaking of the general experience of the environment. It is casual, not formal. It is a mentality that says, “we are expecting guests and we value them”. We do not mean that God’s Word will be made more palatable. We will preach the whole word of God, when it is popular or unpopular. We will call people to a full commitment of their lives to Jesus Christ. We call people to grow out of their comfort zones and selfishness.)
- The Living Room
At Grace Chapel, our "living room" environments are where you connect with people like yourself. When guests arrive in your home, you do not leave them in the foyer, but invite them into the living room. Likewise, we welcome our guests at the weekend, but invite them to come experience friendships with us.
Our living room environments include: G1, One-To-One Discipleship, Meet-N-Greets, outreach events, recreational gatherings, and other events.
These gatherings are smaller and more interactive than the foyer environment and offer genuine opportunities to begin friendships... just like the living room in your home.
- The Kitchen
What is the most popular room in your home? Where do you end up when friends or family come over? The kitchen. This is where friendships are made. And that is the kind of environment we are striving for in our LifeGroups.
LifeGroups are where people meet regularly for Bible study, prayer, friendship, and support. It's a place to open your heart, share your life, and ask tough questions.
It's a place to love and be loved, to care and be cared for, to serve and to be served, to minister and be ministered to.
LifeGroups are the place where life-change happens best at Grace Chapel. And we want to help you get there.
We will accomplish our strategy individually by challenging our people to 5 primary pursuits.
Knowing Jesus Christ
- I am regularly attending weekend worship
- I have committed my life to Jesus Christ and have been baptized
- I have completed the G1 Class: Introduction to the Grace Chapel Family
Growing In Jesus Christ
- I am regularly attending a LifeGroup
- I am spending time daily with God
- I am giving my financial resources
Serving Jesus Christ
- I am serving in a ministry
- I am mentoring a potential leader
- I am a continual learner
Sharing Jesus Christ
- I am intentionally building relationships with those who do not know Christ
- I am sharing my story
- I am bringing my new friends to Grace Chapel
Honoring Jesus Christ
- I am pursuing, knowing, growing, serving, and sharing Jesus Christ
Our Statement of Faith
In Essential Beliefs — We Have Unity
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ”
In Non-Essential Beliefs — We Have Liberty
“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.”
In All Our Beliefs — We Show Charity
“And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. ”
The Essentials We Believe
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
About Human Beings
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
About Eternal Security
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.