What We Believe

FBCWJ is a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) affiliate.

Mission & Vision Statements

The mission of FBCWJ is to grow in Christ’s likeness. 

 

The vision of FBCWJ is to be a harbor of God’s love and a beacon of Christ’s hope. 

Three years ago the Constitution and Bylaws Committee (C&BLC) and the Deacons began the process of reviewing our current constitution and by-laws. This process began as a result of the completion of our church’s Envisioning Team and the work of the congregation of First Baptist Church West Jefferson (FBCWJ). The desire of the C&BLC is to align the guiding documents of our congregation with our new vision, mission, and core values. After much prayer, many conversations, the work of key leadership teams, writing, editing, rewriting, and review from the Deacons and the Envisioning Team, we have a draft of The Guiding Document and Bylaws, that we believe accomplishes this work of alignment and reflects who we are and who God is calling us to be. Therefore, the 2014/2015 C&BLC presents to you, the congregation of First Baptist Church West Jefferson, The Guiding Document and Bylaws for your review and consideration. 

 

Guiding Document, Cover Letter

 

Guiding Document, Final Draft

 

FAQ for the Guilding Document

 

By-Laws

 

 

Pre-Existing FBCWJ Constutition and By-Laws

"Aren't those statements vague?"

When people hear or see our church’s vision and mission statements, they often ask, “Is that it?!” People are shocked to find that these statements are so short. But they are intentionally this way. In our envisioning process a few years ago, we set out to discover who we were as a church, and what God’s purpose was for us. In the process, we developed statements that we believe are encompassing of our life together. This was actually the hardest part of the process. But it was work well worth it.

 

It’s like in the Gospels when Jesus was asked to sum up the Jewish Scriptures and he essentially said, “Love God. Love people.”[1] We took the same approach with our church’s vision and mission. In just a few sentences we cast a dream for our life together. It’s a dream that we believe helps create imaginative and faithful Christian living. To be committed to embodying what it means to be a harbor of God’s love and beacon of Christ’s hope, and to attempt to grow in Christ’s likeness challenges us as individual Christians and as a body of believers to be all that God created us to be. And that’s it.

 


[1] Matthew 22: 36-38; Mark 12:29-31; Luke 10:26-28

Mission Initiatives

Our mission is to grow in Christ’s likeness:

1.     through worship

2.     through fellowship

3.     through discipleship - by following Jesus in the spiritual disciplines

4.     through acceptance and care for all in the fullness of God’s grace

5.     through service to the global community in the Spirit of Christ

6.     through invitation to be a part of the kingdom of God

Identified Core Goals

Acceptance:

  • We believe:

    • The Gospel of Jesus Christ includes everyone. 

    • God created all people in God’s image. 

    • God calls us to celebrate the diversity of people and gifts that comprise the body of Christ.

  • Our promise to the community:

    • We will accept and respect one another in the fullness of God’s grace, without judgment or condemnation.

 

Freedom:

  • We believe:

    • Freedom is at the core of who we are in Christ.

    • Freedom in Christ includes the freedom of every individual to:

      • Read and interpret  Scripture

      • Discern the movement of the Holy Spirit

      • Respond to God without pressure

      • Be who they are through the expression of ideas, questions, and inquiries.

    • As a church, we are free from outside authority.

  • Our promise to the community:

    • We will exercise our freedom to witness for God

    • We will extend to individuals the same freedoms we enjoy.

 

Community:

  • We believe:

    • That as the body of Christ, we are called by God to live together in community.

    • In community, we study, worship, serve, fellowship, play, support one another, and hold one another accountable.

  • Our promise to the community:

    • We will follow God’s command to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”

 

Compassion:

  • We believe:

    • Because of God’s great compassion for us, God calls us to have compassion for one another.

    • That the world will know we are Jesus’ disciples by our love for one another.

  • Our promise to the community:

    • We will build relationships on a foundation of love, care, and forgiveness for one another.

    • We will extend Christ’s compassion to everyone, remembering that “just as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it for me.”

 

Initiative:

  • We believe:

    • Following the initiative of Jesus and the movement of the Holy Spirit, God calls us to make progress toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ vision “on earth as in heaven” – the Kingdom of God.

  • Our promise to the community:

  • We will continue our tradition of community leadership, humbly illustrating the best of what it means to be “First.”

  • We will intentionally seek to apply Jesus’ vision to our future. 

 

Spiritual Growth/Formation:

  • We believe:

    • God’s call is to love God with our whole being.

    • God’s call is to love our neighbor as ourselves.

    • That all we do, say, hear, and experience as individuals and as a community forms us Including: worship, missions, personal prayer and study, discipleship groups, and fellowship – even committee meetings.

  • Our promise to the community: 

    • We will faithfully follow Jesus, growing in Christ-likeness through our love of God and neighbor.

 

Fellowship:

  • We believe:

    • God calls us together to delight in one another.

    • This community is our family.

    • Our spirits receive nourishment as we gather in worship and around table to share food and story.

    • Our hearts find healing in one another’s laughter and support.

  • Our promise to the community:

    • We will share as we have received.

    • We will receive the stranger as Christ.