Who We Are and What We Believe
Church of the Lakes is a congregational church, meaning that the congregation makes its own policies and calls its own staff members. We are not affiliated with any particular denomination; we welcome all believers and seekers, regardless of their denominational background and thus we call ourselves "nondenominational".
The congregation elects a Board of Elders once a year that is responsible for directing the operation of the church and its programs. The Deacons/Deaconnesses serve with the Elders to make certain that the physical and spiritual needs of the congregation are met.
Each Elder and Deacon is asked to specifically serve one of the Church Pillars: Worship, Study, Prayer, Fellowship or Sharing as well as serving on the Finance and Buildings/Grounds committees. Every member of the congregation is asked to select one of the Pillars to serve on, using their individual God-given spiritual gifts.
Since we have been told in the New Testament that every Christian has been given one or more spiritual gifts, we encourage our members to identify their gift(s)** and to use them in ways that build up the church. We believe that it is not through membership in any church that salvation is received (rather, salvation is a free gift of God given to us through faith), but what we do with our gifts that will determine the rewards that we will receive in Heaven.
We have patterned ourselves after the New Testament Church as it is described for us in Acts 2:42-47.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
As we examine this passage, we discover that the New Testament Church was devoted to five key areas, which we call the Five Pillars. These are:
1. Worship (to give God the glory to which He is entitled)
Typically, worship is the main reason for our Saturday night and Sunday morning services. The music in our (seasonal) Saturday night services is very contemporary; our first Sunday morning service is as blended service with hymns and praise choruses being sung, and our second Sunday morning service is a contemporary service.
2. Study (to learn to obey those things which God has given us as instructions)
We believe in learning as being an integral part of our Christian walk. We offer numerous adult education opportunities all through the week. Our Youth and our Children's ministries also offer many experiences for our young people to participate in studies and service projects.
3. Prayer (to put ourselves in the position of having God minister to and through us)
Through our prayer times in our services, to our Prayer Chain, to our annual Prayer Vigil, we encourage our congregation to open themselves up to God in prayer. We recognize that it is only as God moves that good things happen and we are committed to prayer as "that mysterious force that moves the finger of God."
4. Fellowship (to grow in our love and commitment to one another as fellow believers)
The New Testament teaches us that the way we treat each other is a direct reflection of our love for and commitment to Jesus. We strive to be a warm, caring and concerned congregation that prayerfully and carefully lifts one another up.
5. Sharing (missions, benevolences and evangelism)
We recognize that all that we have is but a trust from God and that He will hold us accountable for what we did with what He gave us. As a church, we put 10% of our income back to work in the community and around the world. We believe in the Great Commission where Jesus said, "Go into all the world." We encourage our members to participate in mission opportunities locally and internationally. We also realize that we have been entrusted with the Greatest Story Ever Told and it is our desire to "Know Him and Make Him Known."