Purpose: To establish a policy to be used as a guide for all who will be presenting the gospel and teaching God’s Word, in a group setting or individually, in all of our ministries.
Applicability: All full-time, part-time, and temporary staff members and all volunteers seeking volunteer staff status.
Policy: We recognize that even with agreement on our statement of faith, there are areas of doctrine that are disputable, upon which true believers faithful to God’s Word may differ. This possibility intensifies since we are committed to involving staff and volunteers from different denominations, cultures, and backgrounds. In this policy we are seeking to establish a common ground that can be used as a guide. We expect those in ministry with us to keep their teaching, whether in a group setting or one to one, within the common ground.
Common Ground (What We Believe & Live)
1. There is only one God, and He is for all people. There is no other God and no other way to Him or to salvation except through His Son, Jesus.
2. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct, co-existent and co-equal persons within the one God.
3. God has unlimited power, knowledge, presence, and authority.
4. God has given us His written Word (OT & NT) alone as our spiritual authority and this Word is practical for our day to day lives.
5. God created all people, men and women of all races and nationalities, in His own image to live in relationship with Him.
6. Our sin nature and personal acts of sin have broken our relationship with God. We are unable to restore that relationship through any effort of our own.
7. Jesus died on the cross to provide a payment for our sin, to rescue us from the judgment we deserve, to restore our relationship with God, and to give us eternal life. This salvation is by grace alone and through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
8. We must repent (turn from sin) and believe (trust in Jesus’ provision on the cross) to receive forgiveness and a restored relationship. We believe this to be an individual choice of the heart and not the result of church membership, family heritage or participation in the sacraments.
9. When we believe, God comes to live in us through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live holy lives and gives us gifts to use in service to others.
10. We are to pattern our lives after the example of Jesus and the commands and principles found in the Bible. This is the cornerstone of our recovery and discipleship program
11. We believe God has given us the responsibility to bring others into relationship with Him and disciple them into maturity.
We acknowledge that sincere and earnest Christians do disagree on some things and agree to return our focus to what we hold in common. For some of us, not teaching a certain doctrine may feel like we are betraying the Lord. However, if we sneak or we attack, we are usually violating a much more certain Biblical truth. If we step outside the common ground and pursue our own agendas, we can add to the confusion and hurt that many of the people to whom we minister have already encountered in their spiritual journey. If we can function within these boundaries and gently correct those who cross the line, we can be a shining light to those who have criticized Christianity for its divisiveness or have been hurt by the church.
It is the policy of The City Mission that all staff and volunteers limit any and all teaching to the common ground that we have identified. The intent of this policy is to maintain peace and unity among co-laborers in ministry while at the same time encouraging those to whom we minister to become well-grounded in the basics and fundamentals of the faith and not get sidetracked on disputable matters.
Any staff or volunteer who promotes teachings outside of these parameters may be warned and encouraged to focus on the common ground. If they persist, they may be disciplined up to and including termination and/or asked to forfeit their involvement with The City Mission.
I have read, understand, and will concur with this policy.
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