The Five Pillars of Beacon of Hope
Acts 2:42-47 provides a succinct description of the church by recording the activities fulfilled by the called-out people of God. Contained within the passage are 5 purposes or functions that will serve as guideposts for our church.
Worship and Prayer
We will pursue God-centered worship and prayer, corporately for the congregation, and privately for individuals and families. Our passion is to develop people who honor God, exalt Christ, and joyfully treasure Him as the normal daily experience of their Christian life. With the enabling grace of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, our corporate worship services will focus on Jesus Christ through God-honoring music, singing, prayer, and the exposition of Scripture. We value prayer as foundational for all life and ministry, therefore every worship service will incorporate joyful adoration, humble confession, and purposeful supplication as outward evidence of our inner lives.
Our musical forms will reflect our deep passion to proclaim the excellencies of Christ; therefore we will attempt to reflect excellence in all worship forms. We will treasure not only new and contemporary worship models, but also draw on the rich heritage of the Christian church. We will continually teach and model worship forms that reflect the diverse peoples of the community and the world beyond our own church culture.
If God so chooses to bring members of various ethnic groups into our fellowship, we will intentionally reflect that ethnicity in our worship forms as well.
We will intentionally equip our people with the spiritual disciplines of personal prayer and devotions. We will cultivate the truth that such activities flow out of hearts filled with gospel gratefulness and marked by the hunger that only regeneration creates in true believers. Such prayers are motivated by deep faith and confident hope in our future secured by the Lord Jesus Christ. We will also intentionally help our families understand the importance of family worship and prayer through example and instruction. Personal worship by every member will result in glorious exultation in corporate worship as an extension of the people’s personal devotion to Christ. We will provide opportunities for personal and corporate prayer consistently before, during, and after all of our public worship services.
Learning and Discipleship
The role of learning for the disciple of Jesus Christ cannot be over-emphasized. It is the hallmark of the disciple as we follow Jesus. Therefore we will provide opportunities at all age levels for growth in the Christian life through personal discipleship, classroom instruction, and training opportunities for practical experience in hands-on ministry. The foundations of the Christian faith will be taught yearly thereby creating an annual cycle for new members to become grounded in the basics of the faith. We will pursue the biblical model of older men teaching younger men and older women teaching younger women through ongoing biblical manhood and womanhood seminars and classes. We will foster hands-on mentoring within the context of real-life situations and ministry. One of our goals is to create an attitude of legacy in the younger generation, so that they will intentionally equip their own children who, in turn, will impact the next generation with the gospel.
We will demonstrate our passion for the lost by making discipleship for evangelism an integral part of all foundational classes. We will train teachers to use The Chronicles of Redemption as a core curriculum in evangelistic home Bible studies and foster the desire of members to use their gifts of evangelism and hospitality to host them.
We will give special care and attention to young men as the future leaders of their families and the church. Establishing a clear understanding of gender role and godly character is a primary concern for us so that these young men will become change agents within their spheres of influence: family, school, workplace, community, and society at large for the glory of God.
Fellowship and Community
We believe fellowship in the church is supernaturally created by the Holy Spirit when the lives of believers are brought into koinonia. It cannot be worked up through planned events or potluck dinners. Rather, fellowship is demonstrated when Christians meet one another in joy, deliberately act in response to one another’s needs, and quickly move to alleviate disharmony within the body. We will teach and model the truth that our communication is marked by grace-filled use of the tongue rather than gossip or slander. Like the first-century church, togetherness marked their worship, prayer, song, study, and work. They ate, drank, and ministered together in the joy of Christ, by the power of His Holy Spirit and for the glory of God Almighty.
Evangelism and Mission
It is our desire to build up the church through evangelism rather than relying on transfers from other churches. Therefore we will work at equipping the saints for the work of the ministry and provide both training and opportunities for evangelism in the surrounding communities of Lower Town, East Saint Paul, Oakdale, and Woodbury.
One of the platforms for evangelism will be home-based evangelistic Bible studies. We will use The Chronicles of Redemption, a Scripture-dependent teaching guide. It is designed to build a biblical worldview into which the gospel can then be clearly and boldly communicated. By using key Old Testament and Gospel narratives to illustrate the progressive story of redemption, it communicates complex truth in a simple way. Scripture itself thus educates the conscience of the unbeliever and prepares the way for the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8).
We will intentionally motivate our own people to serve and support strategic ministries around the world, focusing on unreached people groups, theological education for national pastors, and assisting trained national expositors to plant churches in their own countries.
Mercy and Compassion
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8 cp. Galatians 6:10). Beacon of Hope will develop its own unique ministry of mercy by looking at the needs closest to it and meeting them through loving deeds and a spirit of encouragement. We desire to motivate the entire church to do deeds of mercy. As a priority, we will give to needy Christians both intensively and extensively until their need is gone. But we must also give generously to unbelievers as part of our witness to the world and because it reflects the nature of our God who is merciful to all (Matthew 5:45). (Adapted in part from Tim Keller’s book Ministries of Mercy.)