God’s grace opens the doors of River City Church to all, no matter where they are on their spiritual journey. We welcome those who are still searching for spiritual truth and have not yet begun a relationship with Jesus. We welcome those who believe in and follow Jesus, whether or not they affirm every article of faith in this statement. We seek to embrace diversity, respecting differences of belief in non-essentials that are not divisive or disruptive to the mission of River City Church.
Although agreement with our statement of faith is not required to attend River City Church, we worship, proclaim, teach, minister, counsel, and seek to live based upon the core beliefs and values expressed in this document.
VISITORS: Thank you for your interest in River City Church! Reading about our beliefs and values may be helpful, but this information alone cannot adequately convey who we are. The best way to learn about River City Church is to experience it relationally by worshipping with us and connecting with us in the life of our church family. We desire for you to come as you are and have an authentic experience of Jesus in all His love, wonder and beauty. Everyone is welcome here!
Two Streams/One River
River City Church is made up of people from many different church backgrounds, as well as many people with no church background at all. As to matters of doctrine (what we believe), we can be characterized by two primary faith traditions: evangelical and charismatic. These “streams” complement one another as each draws upon a particular, crucial facet of the "whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27); each offers a dimension of the Christian life that is normative for every Christian.
Taken together, these traditions call us to embrace the abundant life of Jesus in all its fullness, to “be strengthened with power through his Spirit in [our] inner being, so that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith—that [we], being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
We are evangelical.
We affirm the evangel – the “good news” – the gospel of God’s love and redemption, embodied in Jesus Himself, accomplished through His death and resurrection, rooted in the Word of God, and ultimately expressed through the lives of those who follow Christ and are called to go out into the world to share this good news with love, power and joy.
We are charismatic.
We affirm the charismata — the supernatural "gifts" of the Holy Spirit. We affirm that all the biblical gifts are alive in the world today. They offer access to the presence of God through His Spirit and empower and equip us to build up the body of Christ and extend the Kingdom of God in love.
We are River City Church.
Out of these two traditions, we embrace certain distinctive values that shape how we relate to each other, to the world and to God in the context of this particular time and place. These values guide and motivate our ministry behavior and activities. They capture our unique DNA as a church family.
This document is an attempt to provide a summary of who we are and what we believe:
- Our Statement of Faith provides the foundation for all that we are.
- Our Core Values give meaning to all that we do.
- Our Mission Statement is a concise affirmation of why we exist.
Our intent is not to use these as exclusionary barriers but rather for transformational truth. We want to remain approachable, open, and humble, and to deal with doctrinal issues redemptively rather than judicially.
Statement of Faith
Our statement of faith provides a description of those truths which we hold as foundational to the Christian faith as guided by Scripture.
We believe there is one God who lives eternally in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— who love and glorify one another. They are co-equal in fundamental nature but distinct in function. We believe that God not only created the world but also now upholds, sustains, governs, and directs all that exists, and that He will bring all things to their final completion in Christ Jesus to the glory of His name.
God the Father is the first Person of the three-person God, of whom the Son is eternally begotten and from whom the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds through the Son. The Father, who made all things through the Son, sent the Son to rescue us and gave the Holy Spirit for our rebirth and adoption as children of God.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, fully God and fully man. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven where, at God's right hand, He intercedes for His people. He will return again someday to earth to reign over the whole world.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and Son. We believe that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church at Pentecost in power, baptizing believers into the Body of Christ and releasing the gifts of the Spirit to them. He lives in every Christian from the moment of new birth, and desires to continually fill each believer with ongoing power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us for spiritual worship, building up the Church, and gifting us for ministry.
We believe that the Bible is God’s revealed Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the essential record of God's self-disclosure; it is the only infallible source of truth and the final authority in all matters of Christian beliefs and living.
We believe that Satan was originally a great and good angel who rebelled against God. As a result, he was cast out of God's presence, taking a host of angels with him. As a usurper of God's rule and the enemy of God and His people, he established a counter-kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth.
We believe that God made man — male and female — in His own image, as the crown of creation so that man might glorify Him through enjoying fellowship with Him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God and fell from grace, bringing sin, sickness and death into God’s good creation. We all are marred by this condition of disobedience toward God, separated from God, captive to Satan's kingdom of darkness, and corrupted in every aspect of our being—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
We believe that the Gospel is the good news of what God has accomplished for us through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. We are made right with God by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we receive forgiveness of our sin and the gift of eternal life. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also enables us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight so that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ.
We believe that the Kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s rule in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. It is an inbreaking of power that is now present in the church and in the life of each believer through repentance and faith. The Kingdom of God will be fully realized over the whole world after the return of Jesus Christ when He delivers all things to the Father.
We believe that Christ’s primary call on our lives is to be a people who are centered on Him and seeking His Kingdom. We believe God’s purpose in creation and redemption is for a people who are conformed to the image of Christ, transformed to be like Him. We seek God’s Kingdom presence in our families, at work, in leisure, and in the family of the church. We want to preach, live and demonstrate the gospel of the Kingdom.
We believe that God is on a mission to demonstrate His love to His world through His Church, the Body of Christ, the primary instrument through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the earth. We believe in the one, holy, universal church, the Body of Christ, a spiritual organism made up of all genuine followers of Jesus Christ, called to work together in unity and honor in preaching the Gospel to all nations. We believe the local church exists to worship and glorify God and to creatively engage the contemporary culture through the church's ministry, worship, and proclamation of the Gospel, demonstrating it in every aspect of culture and society, promoting justice and love. We recognize believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper as scriptural means of testimony for the church.
We believe that the life of God comes to us through the Holy Spirit. We affirm that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we encounter God’s presence, personally and corporately, and that we minister to the world around us. We see the Holy Spirit’s ministry and gifts in the life of the believer and the church as central to spiritual growth and experiencing the promised fruit of the Spirit, and that these gifts are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines. We believe that all the biblical gifts of the Spirit continue to be distributed by the Spirit today and that the ministry of the Spirit in signs and wonders continues to be as broad, tangible, and powerful among believers today as it was in the early church.
We believe that worship stands at the center of our life of faith. We gather to glorify, magnify and bless God, to offer Him the worship He deserves; as we worship, the King of kings is “enthroned” in our praises. His promise is that when we gather together in His name, He comes into our midst through the presence of the Holy Spirit. In His presence, we are blessed, set free, transformed, healed, and empowered. His presence propels us to live lives of worship, of service to Him as well as ministering to Him every day.
We believe in the personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgment, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal separation to those who have refused to receive eternal life, and establish a new heaven and new earth.
Our Core Values
Our core values, birthed out of our core beliefs, are characteristics that we believe are essential to our unique ministry calling. They shape the culture and strategies of River City Church and answer the fundamental question: why do we do what we do? We have identified four distinctive values for River City Church:
Encountering the Love of the Father
We believe that knowing the Father’s overwhelming love for us is essential to an intimate relationship with Him and each other. We eagerly seek to experience His love, individually and in community.
Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit
We desire to move in the undeniable power of the Holy Spirit, exercising all the gifts of the Spirit, and experiencing ever-increasing transformation and freedom.
Participating in the Kingdom Mission of Jesus
We see the Kingdom of God as rooted in the words and works of Jesus. His love compels us — to love all people, to bring hope and healing in His name, to seek justice and mercy, and to reflect His heart for the poor and broken-hearted. We are committed to making the Good News of the Kingdom tangible, understandable and accessible.
Building the Family of Faith for Continued Growth
We desire to cultivate authentic relationships in loving community. We seek to nurture and equip the body of believers through disciple making, leadership development and church planting.
It has been said, “The church of God does not have a mission; the mission of God has a church.” This mission, to “go therefore and make disciples,” is articulated in unique ways according to the context of where God has placed us and the gifts and resources He has brought together in and among us. Our mission statement answers the questions: who are we and what are we doing?
We are a community of followers of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit and grounded in God’s Word. We passionately and prayerfully seek to bring glory to God our Father as we participate in His mission, which we distinctly express for River City Church as:
Awakening People to the Transforming Presence and Power of God's Love
Our Guiding Scripture
"When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:14-21, NLT)