We exist to glorify God by being and making faithful disciples of Jesus Christ
To that end, we’re especially committed to pursuing the following ministry priorities. We’d like to emphasize that this isn’t what we claim to have achieved but what we’re striving for. In fact, we fall far short in many ways, but we praise God for his continued faithfulness and grace. JPBC was originally established in 1962 and cooperates with the SBCV, but above all we simply wish to be known as a church belonging to Jesus Christ, united with all those who in every place call on the Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours (1 Cor 1:2).
We want Christ and him crucified to be at the heart of everything we do as a church. We believe that the gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ saves sinners through his perfect life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection, whereby he became a most perfect Substitute, Redeemer, and Mediator for all who believe. We believe that this wonderful news is the grand theme of all Scripture and that we as Christians need to continue to hear it regularly in order to grow in Christ.
Our goal is to preach God’s word and not our own ideas. We believe that starting with a passage of Scripture rather than a topic helps us do this most faithfully and better ensures that we preach the whole council of God with biblical balance. We also hope that it helps the congregation learn to study the Bible on their own, interpret passages in context, and better understand the unfolding storyline of Scripture.
Our greatest treasure is knowing God, and we believe that studying theology is a vital means of knowing him more. Therefore, we’re striving to systematically teach all that God has revealed in his word and especially all he’s revealed about himself—the Trinity, Christology, his attributes, and his self-revelation through the unfolding narrative of Scripture. We’re aiming for theological “soundness,” so we strive not to go beyond what is written and tremble to stray far from historically well-worn paths. We particularly appreciate the work of the Protestant Reformers and affirm the five sola’s of the Reformation as well as The Doctrines of Grace.
Our greatest goal is to bring maximum glory to God in all we do. Therefore, we’re striving to set aside our preferences and worship God as his word prescribes: we sing the word, pray the word, read the word, preach the word, and practice the word via the ordinances. In particular, we strive to sing theologically rich songs in which the voice of the congregation is the primary “instrument.” Overall, we hope to encourage worship that’s reverent, joyful, reliant on the Spirit, and focused on Christ.
We’re striving to be a church that’s rightly dependent on God, and we want to tangibly express that dependence through prayer. We want this dependence to be evident in our corporate gatherings as well as our personal lives, and we want to be faithful to the hard work of intercessory prayer while also growing to treasure prayer as a means of communing with Christ and experiencing God’s all-sufficiency.
We believe that our character must reflect the holiness, humility, and love of Christ. God empowers this through the regenerating work and indwelling presence of his Spirit, and we’re responsible to make use of all the means of grace to continually grow in sanctification. Therefore, we don’t want head-knowledge without heart-change, and we’re especially striving to walk in love, which is the greatest commandment, the highest virtue, and the distinguishing mark of Christ’s disciples.
We understand membership to be integrally tied to the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and we view it as a significant responsibility in which we commit to meet together regularly, care for one another, and strive to fulfill our mission as a church. We think every Christian needs accountability and that Scripture grants special authority to the gathered assembly (Matt 16:19, 18:15-20). Therefore, we’re striving to help one another embrace these responsibilities and love Christ by loving his church.
Our union with Christ unites us to one another, so the more diverse our backgrounds, cultures, and social statuses, the more wonderfully we believe God’s glory is displayed by our union in Christ. Therefore, we’re striving to maintain unity, but not create uniformity, and we’re committed to preserving each believer’s freedom of conscience wherever Scripture doesn’t bind it. We also strive to cultivate gratitude for other local gospel-preaching churches and to stifle any condescension toward those who differ on secondary matters.
Our church is led by a plurality of men called elders, or pastors, whom we expect to shepherd the flock by being examples of humble service. As Jesus said, “let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:26). We hope our leaders shape our church-culture and that we’ll be a body who welcomes and cares for the broken. We also hope to prioritize the training of future leaders who will humbly serve and shepherd God’s flock.
Jesus calls every follower to help others follow him (Matt 28:19), and God gifts church leaders so that they can equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph 4:12). Therefore, we’re striving to help every member learn to disciple others and use his or her spiritual gifts for the edification of the body. We also strive to equip believers to embrace their particular God-given roles as men and women, husbands and wives, parents and children, employees and citizens.
We’re striving to be an outward-looking church that passionately reaches out to the lost with the gospel. We don’t want to sit back and wait for the lost to come to us but find ways of engaging our community and building relationships with our neighbors. We believe that God alone changes hearts but that every Christian has the responsibility to boldly and lovingly share the gospel.
We’re striving to regularly emphasize the global scope of God’s plan and our responsibility to be involved in it. We’re committed to regularly praying, supporting, and sending workers to promote the spread of the gospel worldwide, and we want to help every member understand his or her responsibility to either “go down into the well, or hold the rope for those who do.”
Jesus has told us that he’s coming back and we need to be ready (Matt 24:44). Therefore, we’re striving to cultivate an eager expectation and hopeful yearning for the return of Christ. We hope that this will help us hold the things of the world loosely, proclaim the gospel urgently, and pray fervently as we await the full consummation of the kingdom of God on earth.