GFC is a self-governing local church that belongs to a global family of churches known as Sovereign Grace Churches. It is a joy for us to partner with our sister churches in Sovereign Grace in the work of the gospel. Sovereign Grace churches are united by a common mission, a common statement of faith, and the seven shared values described below. These values describe our convictions in areas that are debated even among Bible-believing, gospel-centred churches.
We want you to be aware of these values. We do not require anyone to fully agree with all of them in order to be a part of Grace Family Church. But these are the values that will shape our preaching, teaching, counselling and mission.
Our values can be summarized this way:
The Gospel - the gospel of Jesus Christ is central to our teaching and living
Salvation - God acts sovereignly in saving sinners
Spirit Empowered - the Holy Spirit equips and empowers the saints for Christian living and ministry
Men and Women - God created men and women as equal and complementary image bearers of God
Elder Leadership - Jesus has delegated his authority to men qualified in character and gifted to preach the Word of God to lead his Church
On Mission - disciples of Jesus Christ are on mission to grow in the gospel and go with the gospel
United - Jesus' churches are to partner together to advance the gospel
It’s all about Jesus. From beginning to end, the Bible points us to the amazing reality that God has been merciful to sinners in Jesus. By his grace, we want to display God’s glory by celebrating, proclaiming, and living the gospel as a community of believers by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith, but unconditionally, according to his sovereign good pleasure and will. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God draws the elect to faith in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the gospel so they will believe willingly and with confidence. The elect of God persevere in belief and godly behaviour and are kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith. God’s sovereignty in salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people to believe in Christ nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the means by which Christ draws his lost sheep to himself.
To do what Jesus has commanded us to do as his followers, we need power. Thankfully, God himself provides this power through the Holy Spirit who lives in every believer to empower them for life & mission and who gives supernatural gifts to build up the church, just as He did in the book of Acts.
Both men and women are created in the image of God and are therefore equal before God, possessing the same moral dignity and value and having equal access to God through faith in Christ. Within the home, both husbands and wives are responsible to God for the spiritual nourishment and vitality of their family, but God has given to the man primary responsibility to lead his wife and children in accordance with the servant leadership and sacrificial love characterized by Jesus Christ. This principle of male headship should not be confused with, nor give any hint of, domineering control. Rather, it is to be the loving, tender, and nurturing care of a godly man who is himself under the kind and gentle authority of Jesus Christ. When it comes to life in the Church, men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts; therefore, both men and women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilize their gifting in ministry, in service, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God. In regard to Church leadership, the elders of the Church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight of the Church. Because of this, the office of elder is restricted to men.
Jesus Christ reigns as head over His church, and He gives to His church elders (or pastors) to govern and lead local churches under His authority. We believe that men, qualified by both character and gifting, are to serve as elders, shepherding God’s people as under-shepherds of Christ.
We believe Jesus has sent the whole church to do the whole mission of making disciples to the ends of the earth until he returns. Embracing our identity as sent by Jesus is essential to understanding that all of life (at work, at home, in our community) is mission.
No local church is self-sufficient to carry out the mission that Christ has entrusted to his Church. Through our partnerships in Sovereign Grace Churches, we bear visible witness to our union under one head, Jesus Christ, as we benefit from the gifts and wisdom of other leaders and members of the body of Christ. Together, we are better able to safeguard against false teaching and immoral behaviour, work toward a common mission, and benefit from shared resources for the advancement of the gospel.
When you summarize these values under theological headings, our church can be described as evangelical, gospel-centred, reformed, continuationist, complementarian, and missional.
If you would like any further clarification about our values, please contact us.