– BELIEVE –
To believe in Jesus is more than intellectual assent; it is placing our reliance and trust in Him. Therefore, it is both a personal decision to believe in Jesus as the Son of God for the forgiveness of our sins, and it is also a way of life. Believing and trusting is a continual process that never ends until our last breath. Baptism is the external expression of that internal decision to believe in Jesus and enter the lifelong process of following Him.
Acknowledge that we are sinners far from God. This means owning our sin, turning from it, and turning to Jesus for forgiveness, salvation, and the strength to change.
Open our hearts and lives to receive Christ so that we may become adopted children of God.
Be baptized by immersion as a public act of obedience, a sign of our commitment to follow Jesus as Lord, and a symbol of the internal change God is accomplishing in us.
Share the good news with others by investing in relationships with non-believers, inviting them to a place where God is present and working, and informing them of our personal story and God’s will.
– BELONG –
Model friendliness to those we do not know and build friendships with those we are getting to know in order to make Richwoods a welcoming place for all.
Come to weekend services regularly and participate in corporate worship.
Join with others in GroupLife (Home 2 Home, Men 2 Men, Women 2 Women, or GroupEdu) and be part of other church events and activities as we are able.
To belong is to connect with Christ and other believers in open, authentic relationships through which we grow stronger in our faith and learn to love others. While our faith is very personal, it is not meant to be private. It is lived out within the context of a healthy faith community where we listen well and speak the truth in love. Here we both give and receive encouragement, accountability, and care.
– BUILD –
To build is to actively participate in the life of the church by serving in ministry, which allows us to be the hands and feet of Jesus as He builds His church. In this way, we enable the church to be effective in carrying out its mission, and we help encourage and support each other in our individual walks with Christ. This involves a conscious change as we move from consumer to contributor.
Regularly serve in a ministry of the church.
Model servants’ hearts by building one another up through words of encouragement and acts of kindness.
Provide constructive input with a positive spirit (without gossip, divisiveness, or dissension) in the hope of helping the church become healthier so that it is better able to carry out its mission and have greater impact for God’s Kingdom.
Devote ourselves to being generous, not only by giving our time and talents to the church, but also by being faithful in our financial contributions.
– BLESS –
Engage in a lifestyle of worship that intentionally recognizes God for who He is and gives Him the honor and praise due His name.
Follow the Lord’s prompting to live generous lives by serving and blessing the individual people He brings across our paths and by participating in an organized Richwoods mission activity at least once a year.
Support the church and others serving in mission activities with our resources and prayers.
To bless means consistently, creatively, and intentionally looking for opportunities to reflect God’s generosity both inside and outside the walls of our church with our time, abilities, and resources. As followers of Christ, we understand that we are blessed to be a blessing to God and to others.
– BECOME –
To “become” means simply to be with the God who is always with us so that we become more like Christ for the glory of God, the sake of others, and the spiritual abundance of self. We partner with the Holy Spirit as He works in and through us in this lifelong process, and as we do, we will steadily abandon self-obsession, bless others, and come fully alive in a new way. This involves a heart transformation, not simply a behavioral change, which is why the Spirit must accomplish it in us.
We engage in the first four elements of the discipleship process, and as we believe, belong, build, and bless, we consciously behave in ways that allow the Spirit to work in and through us.
We allow the Spirit to turn our assumptions about spiritual maturity upside down as we learn about spiritual growth. One way do this is by taking Richwoods’ Foundations for Spiritual Formation class, where we will learn about the basic principles of the spiritual formation process, including the seven dimensions of Christlikeness, the five characteristics of the spiritual formation journey, the three environments for spiritual growth, and the basic beliefs that form the foundation for our relationship with Christ. This class will help us commit more fully to our beliefs and enable us to embrace a holistic vision of what it means to become like Jesus.
We commit to abiding with God in relationship, recognizing that spiritual formation is an internal transformation that happens as we live out our relationship with Him and that we do not control it—He does. As we learn how to abide with Him in devotions, prayer, and other aspects of the discipleship process, He will help us begin to see all circumstances and relationships as opportunities for growth as we experience them in the context of our relationship with Him.