We believe that God is One person and yet simultaneously is three persons in the unity of the Godhead.
- God The Father: Always Was, Is, and Shall Always be; the Creator of All Things, Almighty, All-Knowing, All Present.
- God The Son: God in the flesh, God’s Only Son was with the Father from the beginning. He was, is, and always will be, Born of a Virgin, Taught the World of the Father, Crucified, Rose Again, and now sits on the right side of God the Father in Heaven. One day will return for the final Victory and Savior for all who believe in Him; Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth. We believe God is in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, through the sacrifice of the Cross if we come through faith and trust in Him and the victory over the Cross.
- God the Holy Spirit: God with us now in Spirit, which enters our lives as we surrender ourselves to God’s Lordship, Christ living within us to empower, bless, and guide our lives.
We believe that Christ established His Church to continue His work by proclaiming to the world God’s desire for all of mankind’s repentance and God’s gift of Saving Grace by faith through Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.
We believe that regardless of denominational and some doctrinal differences, the Church of Jesus Christ is universal; that where Jesus Christ is the center of faith, there is then an oneness of the church in and through Jesus Christ.
We believe that there are two sacraments, which Jesus instituted for the church to continue to lift throughout its ministry.
- Baptism: Baptism is an outward sign of an inward dwelling spirit and a statement to God and those in the faith of Christ that God is ours. Most of all, we belong to Him and are in His abiding care.
- We observe all three styles of baptism: “immersion, sprinkling, and pouring”. Baptism is a sign of new birth.
- Holy Communion: We celebrate the participation of the Cup and Bread of Holy Communion in remembering our Savior’s “Last Supper” and His Sacrifice/Passion/Suffering on the Cross of Calvary for our sins. These elements are symbols of Jesus’ Body and Blood. All persons coming with a repentant heart are welcome to the Lord’s Supper.
We believe “original sin” is born into the nature of all mankind; that man’s life is sinful. Our environment is inclined to evil, which is from Adam. Thus mankind has fallen and separated from fellowship with God. Apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ and our faith upon that work of grace.
We believe that the accurate Word of God is contained only in the Old and New Testament. It is useful for teaching, for the training of persons, in proclaiming the truth (its truth is flawless and everlasting), in revealing God to us, in leading all to Christ Jesus, and in equipping the saints (God’s disciples).
We lean upon Reason, Tradition, and Experience for guidance for truth, but The Holy Scriptures is The Truth and Primary for the understanding of the truth. Therefore they are our final authority for guidance and truth.
Values we hold dear at Goshen First United Methodist Church:
- We believe that God loves each of us and desires a personal and growing relationship with each of us. (John 3:16; Phil. 3:1ff))
- We believe that lost people matter to God (those who know not Christ Jesus as Savior), and thus they matter to us. (Luke 5:30-32; 15)
- We believe that loving relationships should permeate every aspect of and every relationship of the church. (John 17, 1 Cor. 12 & 13)
- We believe that the church of Jesus Christ, to fulfill Jesus’ prayer and the image of God the Father to God the Son, should function as a unified community of faith and servanthood with men and women alike using their spiritual gifts for the common good of all. (1 Cor. 12, Rom. 12)
- We believe the ministry of the church and the will of God needs everyone in service to fulfill His plan for us in this time in eternity and history. (1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4)
- We believe that excellence in our service and worship brings honor and glory to God. (Proverbs 27:17, Mal.1:6-14, Col.3:17)
- We believe that God’s vision for His church always precedes resources, but that in God’s infinite ability, He will also always provide the material, financial, intellectual, and spiritual resources in and through His people to fulfill that vision. (Heb. 11:1 ff)
- We believe that Biblical authority is primary to who we are as individuals and as the church, and yet we must also be culturally relevant. In this way, as ambassadors for Christ, we are “in the world” and yet not “of the world.” (1 Tim.4:13; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Pt. 1:16-21; Rev. 22:18-19)
- We believe participation among each other in the body of faith is essential to the maturity of individuals. (1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4)
- We believe that Biblical Study and Prayer produces maturity which is essential for the spiritual growth of the body and the strength of its ministry. (2 Tim.3:16,17; John 17; Col,1:9-14, Heb. 13:18-19)
- We believe it is important for each person to be ready to give an account for their lives, for the return of Christ, “perhaps today,” could be experienced this very day. There is much work to be done. (Mt.24:3 ff, Rev 1-22)
- We believe that cooperatively as the church or individually, we cannot fulfill our mission and callings of ministry alone. We need God’s Presence. We are the church of Jesus Christ by His Grace, and to be all that God desires of us, we must be empowered by His Spirit. For us to accurately know God and faithfully serve Him (Him alone), we must be indwelled with Divine power and Divine wisdom, not humanity’s power or wisdom. We must never allow ourselves to be a form of religion without His power. (Acts 1,2,3 ff)
To be true Disciples of Jesus Christ, Goshen First United Methodist Church seeks:
- To be a Biblically-based community in everything we do and say is based on the authority of the Scriptures.
- To cooperatively and individually lift up, “to exalt”, the name of Jesus Christ in the worship of the body and in whatever arenas of opportunities may be in God’s plan.
- To accept the commission to “go into all the world…” as the focus of every outreach ministry, to lead those without a knowledge of Jesus Christ to a place where they can see, hear, and experience the love-grace-and redemption offered them by Jesus Christ.
- To train and educate all members of the church to first become contagious in their Christian faith and Christian witness. Also, we want to create in all members the knowledge of and the usage of his/her Spiritual Gifts for the ministry of Christ, thus fulfilling their God-given callings and purpose in God’s perfect plan. It requires both Biblical maturity and growth, as well as creating opportunities beyond the daily coincidences for the usage of each person’s ministries and gifts (volunteers on a mission).
- To be the example in our society as authorized through the scriptures in both obedience and proclamation.
- To proclaim justice and mercy of God that is offered unto all persons regardless of circumstances, and to express with Godly compassion.
Our Philosophy of Ministry:
- The most important aspect of our church is making disciples. A disciple is a mature, growing believer who walks with God, lives the Word, contributes to the work, and impacts the world.
- The senior pastor’s role and commitment are to give direction, train leaders, teach the Word, and be a model disciple. The senior pastor oversees the work of the church as primarily carried out by the laity. The pastor is part of the leadership team meeting the ministry needs of the congregation. The role of other staff members, as members of the leadership team, is the same as that of the senior pastor (pastors) in that staff member’s area of ministry.
- The role of lay leadership is to model discipleship, grow their ministry skills, and to equip the rest of the congregation for ministry.
- The church member’s commitment is to grow as a disciple, to be trained to use his/her gifts, and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the role of ministering to Christians and pre-Christians. The church will encourage and enable members to be creative, pro-active, need-oriented, and involved in disciple-making. The church will grant authorization and give resources whenever possible to train all members, so this may continually occur in the life of every member.
- We recognize servant gifts as being equally important as leadership gifts in building a healthy, disciple-making church.
- All staff, policymakers, and group leaders must be growing disciples committed to the church’s philosophy of ministry.
- Leaders must be persons of character who are willing to use their gifts in service.
- All leaders of key ministries will take part in on-going leadership training events regularly to continually improve the gifts God has given them.
- Church Programs: The purpose of every activity of our church is to develop and strengthen disciples intentionally. We will evaluate every ministry and modify it as needed based on its effectiveness in making disciples.
- Through Church Programming, we will offer small groups and other ministries at multiple commitment levels to develop sequential growth for disciples.
- We believe a healthy, mature, and growing disciple is also a more contagious Christian whom God will use in taking Jesus Christ to those persons they meet in this lifetime.