Saturday, March 20, 2010

Parish Distinctives

Along with all the other marks of a Biblical church, the parish model calls for at least four distinctive elements:

1. A reliance upon the "ordinary means of grace." A parish church is one in which the preaching and teaching of the Bible, the celebration of the sacraments, prayer, the fellowship of the saints, and regular, Lord's Day worship take absolute precedence over any and all other ministry forms.

2. A structural commitment to "covenant community." A parish church is one in which efforts to know and be known, to have genuine accountability, and to engage in lively community are practically pursued.

3. A strategic initiative in "missional multiplication." A parish church is a Kingdom-oriented church; it is a church where building bridges of outreach an reconciliation to the world are an essential aspected of everyday ministry.

4. A deep desire to realize "covenantal succession." A parish church is engaged in a wide array of educational enterprises and discipling efforts; it is a church committed to raising up the next generation of faithful men and women.

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