Our statement of faith coincides with the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.
According to the teachings of Jesus, the life of every Christian is to be marked by service (Mark 9:35). However, the New Testament also speaks of the specific office of deacon. The word deacon (gk: diakonos) denotes a helper or servant who serves (gk: diakoneo). Before a man may be appointed as a deacon, he must be tested for the qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The tasks of a deacon are primarily that of meeting the physical and material needs of individual believers and the congregation as a whole. If the deacon serves faithfully, he obtains for himself a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:13).
EVERY MEMBER MINISTRY
Every Christian in the local congregation without exception has been given spiritual gifts, which they are commanded to employ for the edification of the entire congregation. The administration of such gifts by every member is necessary for the proper growth and ministry of the church.
SMALL GROUP MINISTRY
One of the greatest outlets for every member ministry is our Small Group ministry. Such fellowships are employed to evangelize the lost, equip the saved, and minister to the individual needs in the body. Christianity is not a spectator sport.
The purpose of Grace Life Church is to glorify God by obediently making and equipping disciples of Christ, in the Shoals and throughout the world, by the power of the Spirit. The primary means employed to disciple believers are expository preaching, Small Group interaction, accountability, and personal one-on-one discipleship.
COMPASSIONATE CHURCH DISCIPLINE
Although church discipline is a foundational doctrine in Baptist history, it is now almost non-existent among “contemporary” Baptists. This forgotten and often misunderstood Bible doctrine is still practiced at Grace Life Church. We believe that if we truly seek to honor God, and if we truly care for the well being of His people, we will obey Christ’s commands to practice church discipline. When practiced biblically and compassionately, it is a powerful tool to restore the fallen and to preserve Christ’s honor in the church and the unbelieving world.
PARENT-DRIVEN CHILD MINISTRy
Parents are primarily responsible for the discipleship and discipline of their children. The church should not usurp the authority of godly parents, nor assume the responsibilities of parents who are lax in their duties. The church should give itself to teaching the biblical principles of parenthood and to holding parents accountable to carry them out in the context of families. While we have an active program for children, it should be viewed as an extension of the parents’ roles, and it is never to replace them.
PARENT-DRIVEN YOUTH MINISTRY
The youth ministry is not designed around the presumed unique needs or desires of young people, but it is centered on God’s will for young people as revealed in His Word. Our youth ministry is parent-driven. Our goal is to strengthen parents in their God-called responsibility to “bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). The so-called “generation gap” and the “adolescent years” are a result of sin and should not be encouraged by the church or youth ministries. Our youth ministry is not centered on music, drama, comedy, or other entertainments but on the faithful preaching of God’s Word and Small Groups for application of Scripture, meeting personal needs, and one-on-one discipleship and accountability. While other activities may be allowed, they must never take the place of or de-emphasize the preaching of the Word or the leadership of fathers to disciple their children.
We believe that dating as it is practiced in our contemporary culture is an unbiblical practice that has led to untold misery among the people of God. Although the Scriptures do not specifically address courtship in every aspect, it does give us countless sound principles by which our young men and women may guide their relationships with the opposite sex and discover God’s will for marriage.
Christians are children of grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), and that grace should be expressed in their financial stewardship. Joyous giving reflects the God of grace who has saved us. Stinginess is antithetical to Christianity. We believe that Christians should tithe of their income to the local church. We do not tithe under the Law, but we tithe under love. Tithing is the beginning point or the “training wheels” of giving. God’s primary means of financially supporting His work on earth is through the giving of tithes and offerings to the local church. (1 Corinthians 10:31, Ephesians 3:21)
PERSONALIZED WORLD MISSIONS
The Great Commission is a great command. Personal involvement in world missions is not a suggestion or an option, but it is demanded of every true believer. The entire local church family should be personally and strategically involved in world missions, mobilizing laborers, prayer, and finances to the end of glorifying God among all peoples. We are either called to go down into the well (be a missionary) or to hold the rope for those who are going down (support missionaries). Either way, our dedication must be costly and enduring.
The following are the core beliefs of Grace Life Church of Pryor based on the foundational truths taught in the bible. All of our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows out of these biblical doctrines.
There is one eternally existing God who has three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is the creator of all that exists, both visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy of all glory and praise. God is perfect in love, power, holiness, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, justice, and mercy. He is unchangeable and therefore is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
God has revealed himself to us through his son, Jesus Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God, the holy scriptures, and through all of creation itself.
Humans, both male and female, were created in God's image for His glory. The first humans, Adam and Eve, were created without sin and appointed as caretakers of the rest of God's creations.
When Adam and Eve chose not to obey God, they ceased to be what they were made to be and became distorted images of God. This caused them to fall out of fellowship with God, and fractured all of creation ever since that time.
Jesus Christ came to reconcile us with God. He lived a life without sin and willingly died on the cross to pay the penalty for our transgressions. God raised him from the dead and now, by grace, offers as a free gift eternal life to all who follow Christ, by faith, as their Lord and Savior. That is why salvation can be found in Christ alone.
The Church is meant to be the visible body of Christ, sent into the world to glorify God and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is returning one day to judge both the living and the dead and to usher in the fullness of God's kingdom on earth.