Every church has its own way of going about God’s “kingdom business.” While the Bible gives us some very specific commands about WHAT we as a church should be doing, it does not in most cases prescribe exactly HOW we are to go about these tasks. We believe this is in keeping with Christian freedom, the creative purposes of God, cultural and generational changes, and the unique personalities and callings of individual congregations in the larger body of Christ.
Because we don’t want people to be disillusioned at HLF, we feel it’s important to explain how we try to do things. Some people may see our methods spelled out in black and white and decide they don’t like our style. If so, that’s okay. We recognize that the body of Christ is large and diverse. As such, each individual comes with a unique set of expectations. Here is a quick overview of our distinct way of “doing” ministry:
We trust that as believers God delights in us! Nothing we do can make us more acceptable to or loved by Him. As such, we do not work or serve in order to earn acceptance and love. Instead, we work from a position of rest, overflowing with the amazing LIFE we have received.
“Every Member” Ministry
If you are looking for a traditional church where the senior pastor is the minister–the only person competent to counsel you, pray for you, encourage you, visit you when you’re sick–you will be disappointed at HLF. We believe and teach that every believer, not just hired staff, is created, saved, called, gifted, authorized, and commanded to minister. We don’t believe a single pastor or even a pastoral staff can meet the many needs of a diverse congregation.
Equipping the Saints
Our worship service is primarily a time for believers (men, women and children) to be challenged and equipped. As the Life of Christ is presented there will always be a call to those who need Him. We gather for worship, teaching, fellowship and encouragement; we scatter Monday through Saturday to “go be the church.” We are called and equipped to release the Life of Christ in all our interactions.
The Bible says that serving, rather than being served, is the heart of the Christian life (Matthew 20:28). We believe and teach that although we do not earn God’s acceptance through works, serving is a natural outpouring of the Grace we have received by faith.
Subsequently, we don’t typically beg, badger, or nag people in an attempt to get them involved. We invite the participation of anyone and everyone who shares our heart for ministry. We will gladly work with anyone who wants to grow and serve, but we don’t feel responsible to try to coerce people into involvement when they are not ready for that level of commitment.
A Dependence on the Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit has provided our local body with all the spiritually gifted people needed to do everything He wants done. Our task is to disciple, train, and support these people in ministry. If we find we are without the necessary resources to fund or “man” a particular ministry, we realize that this may be due to a leading of God to go in a new or different direction. The clear leading of the Spirit of God (not historical precedents or a majority vote) determines what ministries we will engage in and support. We are not an autocratic body that maintains a set-in-stone list of approved ministries; rather, we seek to be a “permission-giving” church, releasing our members into new Spirit birthed ministries that are in line with the body’s needs, individuals’ gifts and desires, and the overall vision of HLF.