What unites us together is more than what separates us. The following are the beliefs that we hold and think are essential. In these essential areas we have unity, in the non-essentials we have liberty. To view the full NWH Constitution click here.
Our Core Values
1. We believe that the church is people who are united in Christ by a common salvation, and who manifest their membership in God’s family by commitment to, and active participation in, one local congregation.
The church is not a club or an organization, but rather the family of God and “the body of Christ.” Faithfulness and diligence in corporate worship, fellowship, serving, giving and caring for one another is God’s will for each believer and is an essential of the Christian life. Committing to membership in one congregation is an important growth step in our walk with God and strengthens Christ’s church for ministry.
2. We believe that the church is God’s family and that the members of God’s family are to be one, united in love and care for one another.
The Scriptures declare that we “are of God’s household,” His true sons and daughters, and that we should love one another in the same way that Christ loves each member of His family. We are to do good, “especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Therefore, we give high priority to maintaining family relationships and meeting the needs of our family members. We “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
3. We believe that all people, Christians and non-Christians, are precious to God, and that God wants His church to love them, care for them, and show compassion to them in the same way that He has loved, cared for, and shown compassion to those who are already members of His church.
While we will not compromise our Biblical beliefs, we will nevertheless love everyone, including those who do not believe as we do or who do not live in the manner of a follower of Jesus Christ. Loving others means looking upon them as valuable and beloved creations of God, always seeking God’s best for them, proactively and sensitively reaching out to serve them, and welcoming them among us, just as Jesus did during His time on earth.
4. We believe that God has called, directed, and empowers His church to lead sinners to saving faith in Christ, and then to assimilate new believers into Christ’s church and disciple them to spiritual maturity.
The primary ministry of Christ’s church is not merely compassion ministry, but rather evangelism: proclaiming to the world the good news of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and then reproducing fully devoted followers of Christ who continue to proclaim His good news and reproduce disciples.
5. We believe that an essential ministry of God’s church is to send and support missionaries worldwide, in order to make disciples of all the nations.
Jesus stated clearly that His people are to show His love and tell His good news not just locally but globally. Following the example of the early church, we are to proactively pursue global outreach and seize global ministry opportunities as the Holy Spirit leads and directs.
6. We believe that the most effective evangelism happens through personal relationships.
By developing genuine relationships with family and friends, we are best able to tell the good news of Christ to others and to extend effective invitations to our church. Our goal for our congregation is for evangelism to be a normal, natural lifestyle of winning others to Christ, one by one. Our POINT strategy outlines this approach.
7. We believe that God’s church is to be not just a friendly church, but a welcoming church.
In a friendly church, people greet newcomers with a smile and say “hello.” In a welcoming church, people practice hospitality by going out of their way to greet newcomers and include them in the life of the church. Being a welcoming church is one of the essentials for effective evangelism and discipleship.
8. We believe that discipleship is best accomplished through small groups and one-to-one connections.
Corporate worship and large group meetings were important in Jesus’ life and ministry, but He developed reproducing disciples by pouring His life into a relatively small group of individuals. This is the model of discipleship that should be followed by the members of Christ’s church.
9. We believe that God’s church is to be manned like a battleship, not like a cruise liner.
On a cruise liner, a crew is hired to serve the passengers. On a battleship, everyone on board is part of the crew and has a mission to fulfill. So it is in the church. “Every believer is created for ministry, gifted for ministry, authorized for ministry and needed for ministry.” We are committed then, to helping everyone in our congregation to discover their spiritual gifts for ministry and to serve in the ministry of this church.
10. We believe that the ministry of Christ’s church is best carried out by many different ministry groups and teams that remain united to each other to form one whole church ministry.
Diverse groups and teams enable the church to minister more broadly and effectively. However, God did not intend for the various ministries of His congregations to operate as independent satellites, but rather as inter-connected ministries, all committed to the overall purpose, vision, values, dreams and goals of their one congregation, and all supporting the total ministry of that congregation.
11.We believe that excellence is the standard to pursue in the ministry of Jesus Christ.
We pursue excellence because we serve an excellent God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who is worthy of our best. We honor God when we practice excellence, and by excellence we become more effective in ministry. Pursuing excellence means giving God our best performance, and being willing to constantly improve for the sake of the ministry of Christ.
12. We believe that prayer is vital for accomplishing the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Only by God’s power are we effective in ministry, and the means by which we receive God’s power is prayer. As Jesus showed us and the Scripture instructs us, we must be “devoted to prayer.”
13. We believe that the spiritual health and maturity of Christ’s church depends upon His people regularly feeding themselves from God’s word.
God has supplied His Word in the Scriptures not only that we might know Him, but that we might also receive spiritual nourishment from Him. Whenever we open the Bible with humble and receptive hearts, the Holy Spirit meets us to minister the Word to us. We grow spiritually and stay spiritually healthy by feeding regularly on this “fresh bread” from God. Strong disciples are capable and disciplined to feed themselves, rather than being dependent upon others to feed them.
14. We believe God wants His church to be full of people who practice stewardship of material resources and who give generously to God by financially supporting the ministry of His church.
Stewardship means recognizing that all that we posses belongs to God, and that we use our money and possessions for God’s glory and God’s priorities. Generosity means that we give freely and cheerfully out of love for God and our neighbors. A church is not really mature and effective in ministry until its people practice stewardship and generosity, including generous giving to support the ministry of one’s own congregation.
15. We believe that God desires a spirit of encouragement and edification to prevail in His church, rather than a spirit of criticism and destruction.
The Scriptures instruct us to put aside all selfish and judgmental attitudes, as well as all harmful words and deeds that would tear down the church of Jesus Christ. Instead, we are to be “of the same mind, maintaining the same love,
united in spirit, intent on one purpose,” doing “nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,” but with humility of mind regarding one another as more important than ourselves. In all that we say and do, we are always to build up the body of Jesus Christ.
16. We believe that every activity of the church is to glorify God and is for His glory alone.
The church is not our church but God’s church, the head of which is Jesus Christ. He is the founder and owner of the church, and it exists for Him. Though we enjoy the benefits of the church, the church does not revolve around us but rather around Him. All that we do as a church is to please, honor and magnify God, not ourselves.
Our beliefs from the Bible
We have examined the Scriptures to seek out the truths concerning the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith and their applications to life. It is recognized that some of the doctrines stated herein go beyond the essentials of salvation, although we believe them to represent the message of the Bible. We are convinced of and deeply committed to the following basic truths:
1. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were verbally inspired by God the Holy Spirit, are completely inerrant in the original writings and serve as supreme and final authority in faith and life. II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20
2. There is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14
3. Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit, was born of Mary, a virgin, is true God and true man. He died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and God justifies all who believe in Him on the basis of His shed blood. Matthew 1:18-23; I Peter 1:18-21; Romans 3:24, 25a; 4:5
4. Man was created in the image of God. He sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. All human beings are born with a sinful nature and in the case of those who reach the age of moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word and deed. Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3
5. The crucified body of our Lord Jesus was resurrected. He ascended into heaven, and presently intercedes for us as High Priest and Advocate before God. Likewise, there shall also be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust, an everlasting blessedness of the saved and an everlasting conscious punishment of the lost. I Corinthians 15:1-4; Hebrews 4:16; I John 2:1-2; John 5:24-29
6. There shall be the imminent, personal return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13-14
7. All who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are born of the Holy Spirit and thereby become sons of God, a relationship in which they are eternally secure. John 1:12; 10:28-29
8. Church members, including deacons, are subject to discipline in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17. Elders are subject to discipline in accordance with I Timothy 5:19-20. All church discipline is to be exercised in the spirit of Galatians 6:1.