Vision Statement

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14 – NASB).

Our vision for Braidwood is that we might exist for the praise of God’s glory. We believe this is achieved through the following emphases.[1]

1. Expositional Preaching. “This is preaching whose objective is to expound what is said in a particular passage of Scripture, carefully explaining its meaning and applying it to the congregation… A commitment to expositional preaching is a commitment to hear God’s Word.”

2. Biblical Theology. “Sound teaching includes a clear commitment to doctrines often neglected yet clearly biblical. If we are to learn the sound doctrine of the Bible, we must come to terms with doctrines that may be difficult, or even potentially divisive, but that are foundational for understanding God’s work among us… We can allow some disagreement over matters that seem necessary neither for salvation, nor for the practical life of the church… the closer we get to the heart of our faith, however, the more we expect to see our unity expressed in a shared understanding of the faith.”

3. A Biblical Understanding of the Good News. “When I present the gospel to someone, I try to remember four points. Have I shared with this person the truth about our Holy God and Sovereign Creator? Have I made it clear that we are creatures made in the image of God and yet fallen, sinful and separated from Him? Does the person I’m talking with understand who Christ is – the God-man, the only mediator between God and man, our substitute and resurrected Lord? And finally, does he understand that he must respond to the gospel, that he must believe this message and so turn from his life of self-centeredness and sin?”

4. A Biblical Understanding of Conversion. “If our conversion is basically understood to be something we do ourselves instead of something God does in us, then we misunderstand it… One result of misunderstanding the Bible’s teaching of conversion may well be that evangelical churches are full of people who have made commitments at one point in their lives, but who evidently have not experienced the radical change which the Bible presents as conversion… It must evidence itself by its fruit if it is to be what the Bible regards as true conversion.”

5. A Biblical Understanding of Evangelism. “Biblically, evangelism is presenting the good news freely and trusting in God to convert people… If a church’s membership is markedly larger than its attendance, we should ask what kind of evangelism has been practiced that would result in such a large number of people who are uninvolved in the life of the church, and yet consider their membership in good standing as evidence of their own salvation?”

6. A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership. “By identifying ourselves with a local church, we let the members of that church know that we intend to be committed in attendance, giving, prayer, and service. We increase others’ expectations of us in these areas, and we make it known that we are the responsibility of this local church. We assure the church of our commitment to Christ in serving with them, and we call for their commitment to serve us in love and to encourage us in our discipleship… A recovered practice of careful church membership will make our witness to non-Christians more clear. It will make it more difficult for weaker sheep to go straying from the fold, while still considering themselves sheep. It will help to give shape and focus to the discipleship of more mature Christians. It will aid our church leaders in knowing exactly who they are responsible for.”

7. Biblical Church Discipline. “Biblical church discipline is simple obedience to God and a simple confession that we need help. Here are four positive reasons for such corrective church discipline. Its purpose is positive for the individual disciplined, for other Christians as they see the danger of sin, for the health of the church as a whole, and for the corporate witness of the church.”

8. A Concern for Promoting Christian Discipleship and Growth. “Some today think that one can be a ‘baby Christian’ for a whole lifetime. Growth is seen to be an optional extra for particularly zealous Christians. But growth is a sign of life… It can appear in many different ways: through growing numbers being called to missions; by older members beginning to get a fresh sense of their responsibility in evangelism; by increased praying, and desire for increased preaching; by church meetings characterized by genuinely spiritual conversation; by increased giving, and by givers giving more sacrificially; by more members sharing the gospel with others; by parents rediscovering their responsibilities to educate their children in the faith.”

[1] These are taken from Mark Dever’s Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Centre for Church Reform, 2002)..