If you are just getting familiar with Great Oaks, here are a few of the goals we share as a church family:
We want to simply be Christians, followers of Jesus Christ
We desire to be un-denominational, avoiding religious division by trying to just be the church of Christ we read about in the Bible. We take only the name of Christ, honoring Him as the Son of God, the savior of the world, the head of the church, and the center of our lives.
We believe in faithfulness
We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, and we consciously strive to have no human creeds to compete with it. We search the Scriptures and seek to follow them, praying for the courage to change wherever we find we have fallen short.
We believe in mission
We try to take Jesus’ life-changing message seriously, by shining His light through teaching, example, service, and missions – both locally and globally. We want others to join us in receiving the relationship and blessings of Jesus.
We believe in family
Our church family does a lot together, building relationships and encouraging each other. Through worship, study, and spending time together, we strive to help every member and visitor grow in faith.
What Visitors Are Often Interested to Hear About Our Beliefs
Since we try to have no “creed” that hinders Scripture from speaking, compiling a “What We Believe” page can be difficult. But here are a few generally-held beliefs that our visitors are interested in and often find to be distinctive:
We believe Scripture is inspired by God as it claims to be (2 Tim. 3:16), and that God through the Holy Spirit guided the thoughts and writings of those who wrote the Bible to give us His words (2 Pet. 1:20-21). As the word of God, Scripture has the power to shape us, judge us, and strengthen us (2 Tim. 3:16-17), and so we hold it up as the only authoritative voice in religious matters.
Seeking the Majors and the Minors
We believe in trying to keep “first things first,” loving God and loving our neighbor, which Jesus taught to be the first and second greatest commandments (Matt. 22:36-40). But we also believe in striving to please God not just in a few things, but in all things: big, small, and everywhere in between (Matt. 28:20). Jesus’ example shows us that loving God will produce a life that wants to give God exactly what He has commanded in all things (John 14:31).
Desire to be undenominational
We believe Jesus established one universal church (Matt. 16:18) which was not intended to be divided (1 Cor. 1:10-13) by denominational structures or man-made doctrines and practices (Matt. 15:9). Thus, we take only the name “church of Christ,” and have no part in denominational structures.
Baptism as part of receiving salvation through Christ
We believe the New Testament teaching of how to become a Christian is the only teaching that has the promises of God attached to it. Thus, like the apostles in the New Testament, we teach that salvation through Christ comes when our faith in Jesus leads us to take the step of conversion to Christ: in repentance, confession of Jesus as Lord, and baptism into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 2:37-38, Gal. 3:26-27, Col. 2:12-13). Baptism is not a work of merit (Tit. 3:5), but is the act in which God unites us with Jesus and His death (Rom. 6:3-4)
Worship through the acts of worship found in the New Testament
We believe the most faithful and God-honoring way to worship is by modeling our worship after the simple yet meaningful worship practices God has shown us in the New Testament. Among the practices our visitors often find to be unique: we take the Lord’s Supper together every first day of the week (Acts 20:7), and we practice congregational acappella singing (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16).
Elders/Shepherds as our Church Leaders
In the New Testament, Christ is the only head of His church (Eph. 1:23), and under Christ each local congregation is led by a group of elders who are responsible for spiritually shepherding that church family (Acts 14:23, Acts 20:17,28). Scripture gives the qualifications God desires to have in those who may be appointed to serve as elders (1 Tim. 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9).
Questions or thoughts?
We believe in constantly searching the Scriptures to make sure our beliefs and practices are pleasing to God (Acts 17:11). So if you have any questions (or criticisms!) of our practices or teaching, we would be glad to hear from you. Perhaps we can encourage each other to follow God more closely…