We believe church should be exciting and passionate, grounded in Scriptures and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our ambition is to help people rediscover Jesus’ love and unique plan for their lives.
We will love people toward increasingly centering their lives around knowing, trusting, and serving Jesus.
What We Believe
The Bible is true.
The Bible is inspired by God and, as it was originally written, is completely true and error-free. It is a fully sufficient and effective guide to how we should live and is the authoritative standard for all beliefs, values and practices.
Deuteronomy 4:2; Joshua 1:6-8; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:11
God is triune.
There is one holy, everlasting and almighty God existing in the three persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1:1; Leviticus 19:2; Isaiah 6:3; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 1:18-20; 1 Peter 1:2
Humans are loved and prized.
Humans are God’s prized earthly creation. God designed them in His own image and made them to live in a perfect, harmonious relationship with Him and to reign over the rest of nature.
Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 2:16-17; Genesis 3:8; 1 Timothy 2:3-4
Humans are a fallen version of what they were meant to be.
Though loved and prized, humans are born with a sinful nature. Our first parents chose to abandon God and rebel against God’s values and authority. As a result, creation was plunged into a state of separation from God, resulting in strife, suffering, death, and hell.
Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12; Romans 8:20-22; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; 1 John 1:8
Only Jesus can save and restore people to God.
Even in the midst of our rebellion, God loved the world so much that he sacrificed his only son, Jesus Christ, as payment for the sins of all people and graciously made that sacrifice available to everyone.
John 3:16; Ephesians 2:1-5; 1 Timothy 2:1-6; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2
Everybody needs Jesus.
The only way for humans to be saved from the consequences of their rebellion against God is to lay aside any claims to self-righteousness or self-sufficiency and to place their trust fully in the sacrifice Jesus made by willingly submitting to Jesus as their Lord and Savior forever.
Luke 9:23-26; John 1:12; John 3:16; John 12:32; John 14:6; Romans 1:16-20; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 4:10; James 2:14, 17, 19, 20
The Church isn’t a place, it’s a people.
The true church is composed of all those individuals who have appropriately committed their lives to Jesus Christ and have consequently received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38; Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 2:11-22; 1 Peter 2:4-10
The agenda of the Church is to make disciples.
The mission of the true church is to go throughout the whole world and lead all who are willing into a mature relationship with Jesus Christ through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 9:23-26; Acts 2:37-47; 1 Peter 4:10-11
The proof of being in Christ is God-produced character change.
The mature church of Jesus Christ is characterized by an intimate relationship with God, resulting in conformity to God’s character, perspectives and values. As a result, the mature church lives out God’s truth, love and power in a way that impacts the world.
Matthew 22:37-38; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-15; Acts 2:37-47; 1 Peter 1:15-16
The Torch Code
The Torch Code is our cultural compact.
It’s our values agreement. The code is what we’re saying we’re really stirred up about. These are the things we’ll take a bullet for, we’ll bleed for, and we’ll go down with the ship for. Whatever else we DO, this is who we’re going to be.
Acceptance is where the conversation begins.
We will severely inconvenience ourselves to help people find their way back to God.
We can’t give what we don’t have.
The rested are smart and strong.
The best ‘u’ is in community.
The culture of the kingdom is honor.
Bring it further, make it better.
Ministry is a stewardship, not an identity.
Current solutions for current problems.
No church can have more than one vision.
What is The Torch’s opinion on _______?
The following are subjects that we find people are interested in when they sit down with us to talk about The Torch Church. The following statements represent the feelings of the leaders, and so we believe The Torch Church will reflect them. We should hasten to add, that there are those who are a part of The Torch Church who do not agree with us in all these areas, and they are thriving at The Torch. Few would agree totally with every word that we have used, you might not either. Consider the general tone of the statements, rather than viewing them rigidly.
On Church Growth
We believe that if Christians band together and determine to do the things God has asked them to do, there will be numerical growth in our church. Therefore, we expect growth and plan for it. We see it not as our primary objective, but as a fruit of accomplishing our objective of making disciples.
You will find our music style to be broad, with new and old, traditional and not so traditional. Our overall bent is towards the music of today, but we sincerely appreciate and use many styles. You will notice we encourage a variety of individuals and groups to lead us in this aspect of our worship. Our giftedness and context will find us at being better at some styles than others.
On Ministry Style and Volunteerism
The best ministry is decentralized, that is, the rank and file of the Church carry it out. We view each person as playing a vital role in the life of the church. Therefore, if you call Harvest home we hope and expect that you will serve and play the role that God has designed for you to play.
On Pastoral Roles
The key role of church staff is to equip and mobilize the people for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).
People of character implementing their leadership gifts should lead the church diligently and selflessly. Moreover, Jesus taught that to lead is to be the servant of all.
Jesus taught us to tell the whole world about him. Therefore, our vision is to develop a world attitude in our people that leads us to impact our neighbors, our city, and our world.
We believe that the training of Children is one of the most important responsibilities parents have. Recognizing the special needs of youth, we aim to provide a broad-based ministry to teenagers that will complement what parents are doing. It will also be geared to reach out to, and impact teenagers who are not from Christian homes. We anticipate that this will involve paid staff and priority budget considerations.
On Social Issues
We are all born in sin and act sinfully in many ways. We will turn to the Bible and teach right and wrong even if it is unpopular with our culture.
It seems to us that alcohol is not inherently wrong and that moderate use is Biblical. We believe that drunkenness is wrong. Abstinence is a viable position, and in certain cases is the proper position.
On Certain Holidays
We recognize that certain holidays have pagan roots, most notable Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. We also recognize that to many Christians, it is not right to enter into any form of participation in these events. We believe that there is no clear Biblical mandate on these matters and that this is a matter of individual conscience.
On Church Discipline
We recognize that a church has the Biblical responsibility to hold its members accountable in love. Though this task can become unpleasant, it must be done.
Every believer has the responsibility to give as “God has prospered him or her.” We call this “proportional giving.” We believe that the term “tithe,” representing a 10% regular gift, provides a practical “proportion” for us to use in evaluating our obedience. We believe that it is essential in terms of our people’s relationship to the IRS to keep exact records on giving. In plain English, we keep track of who gives what to the Church. Receipts will be issued annually and in certain circumstances more frequently.
On Church Buildings
Buildings are not essential to the body of Christ. Given our freedom in this country, our opportunity, and the need of our community, we believe buildings are essential to carrying out the work we envision for this church. As God provides, we will build so that we can minister more effectively, but we have determined to make the buildings we build serve us.
On Public Education
Parents have the primary responsibility to educate their children. We may choose to delegate portions of that responsibility to the public schools, private Christian schools, or we may choose to home school. In each instance, the individual believer must decide this issue in accord with the particular needs of their children.
On Alternative Medicine
We recognize that many forms of medicine and the practices of medicine have origins in non-Christian and even anti-Christian philosophies. However, with the freedom that we have in Christ, decisions like whether or not to use alternative medicine are to be based on our own biblically informed convictions and preferences. As with everything,
Christians are to be wise and discerning. We are free to follow our convictions as long as they are biblically sound. Therefore, we need to be careful to not force our own convictions on others, especially in debatable areas such as alternative medicine.
On Women in Ministry
The spiritual gifts are not gender-specific, and so it stands to reason that all ministries should be open to those who are qualified to carry them out. In terms of the Biblical offices in the Church, the office of Elder is not open to women, the office of deacon is. For more on this check out this podcast episode and accompanying show notes.
There are many in our culture who have suffered through the agony of divorce. We believe the church should be a place where hurting individuals can find peace, healing, and friendships. We recognize the institution of marriage has come under attack and that the church and its members need to hold marriage in high regard. We urge couples to view marriage as a lifetime monogamous commitment and to work hard to keep this commandment.