Advancing the Gospel by making disciples who make disciples
Our mission statement outlines the reason for our existence and the goal of our ministry. Riverstone Church exists to advance the gospel by making disciples who make disciples. We believe this is simply another way of stating the biblical mission of the Church—the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21--23, Acts 1:8).
What is the Gospel?
WE ARE GREAT SINNERS AND CHRIST IS A GREAT SAVIOR
The word gospel means good news. The Bible teaches that the gospel is the good news about what God has done, in his unmerited grace, through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, to deliver rebellious and sinful people from His wrath and bring them into eternal life through repentance and faith alone in Christ alone.
The gospel is not only the power of God to save us by grace, however, but it is also the power of God to change us by grace. The entirety of the Christian life is centered around the gospel and its ongoing implications for our convictions, character, and conduct.
To say it differently, the gospel can be summarized in these two affirmations: we are great sinners and Christ is a great Savior.
What is a disciple?
FORGIVEN FOLLOWERS OF JESUS WHO ARE GROWING TO BECOME LIKE HIM
When a person trusts in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, they become a disciple. A disciple is a forgiven follower of Jesus who is growing to become like Him. In the Bible, the words disciple and Christian are synonymous—every Christian is a disciple.
True disciples are marked by lives of abiding in Christ and his Word (John 8:31), loving one another as Jesus has loved them (John 13:34-35), and bearing much fruit to the glory of God (John 15:8).
How are disciples made?
GOD'S SPIRIT + GOD'S WORD + GOD'S PEOPLE + TIME
God not only commissions us to make disciples, but also tells us how this is to be done. The basic ingredients that go into making disciples are God's Spirit, God's Word, God's People, and time. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God, the gospel, through the ministry of the people of God, the church, over time to bring people to become forgiven followers of Jesus and grow to become like Him.
Our aim is that this biblical process of prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit, the centrality of God's Word. the ministry of all of God's people, and patience over time will permeate the entirety of our ministry as a church and lead to more disciples being made, matured, and multiplied.
Our Ministry Convictions
DEPENDENT ON THE SPIRIT
We believe that God the Holy Spirit is the One who brings about spiritual life and growth through his sovereign grace. While we participate in the work of advancing the gospel by making disciples who make disciples, the results are brought about by God. This means that our ministry as a church must be marked by a humble and trusting dependence on the working of God's Spirit through prayer.
ROOTED IN THE BIBLE
We believe that the Word of God is the primary tool that the Holy Spirit uses to do the work of bringing people to become forgiven followers of Jesus and cause them to grow to become like him. We base all of our ministry around the Bible as authoritative and sufficient. This means that we read and preach directly from the Bible every week, as well as seek to organize all our ministry around the Word of God.
CENTERED ON THE GOSPEL
We believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation in every tense: past, present, and future. We need the gospel just as much now as believers as we did before we knew Christ. We seek to center everything we believe and do on the Bible’s core message: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and its implications for our lives. This means that we talk about Jesus and the power of His gospel—a lot.
DEVOTED TO ONE ANOTHER
We believe that while being a follower of Jesus is always personal, it's never private. Discipleship happens in the context of commitment to a local church, in which we can be devoted to one another in love. This means we encourage everyone in our congregation to be devoted to regular relationships with other Christians in which they can love, serve, encourage, teach and grow with one another.
FOCUSED ON THE MISSION
We believe that healthy disciples will make disciples. Every follower of Jesus is called by God to be a part of the Church’s mission of multiplying disciples. This means that our ministry efforts are aimed at equipping every Christian to proclaim and teach the gospel and to live out its implications in our own lives, our homes, our congregation, our community, our region, and around the world.