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 a faithful restatement of the Bible’s mandate for the Church (Matt 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8).
The word gospel means good news. The Bible teaches that the gospel is the good news about what God, in his unmerited and free grace, through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, has done to deliver His rebellious people from His wrath and bring them into His Kingdom through repentance and faith in Jesus.
When we use the word gospel it can have both a narrow sense and a broad sense. In the narrow sense, the gospel simply refers to the emphatic announcement of the historical life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins in fulfillment of Scripture (1 Cor 15:1-4). It is this gospel, this good news, that offers Christ to us as our Savior and it is this gospel, when it is believed, received, and rested upon personally, brings people into a right relationship with God.
In the broad sense, we can use the word gospel as a sort of shorthand for all of the benefits and implications that Christ’s life, death, and resurrection have on every aspect of our lives.
We believe the whole Christian life is centered around the gospel in both of these senses—relying on Christ’s finished work for our salvation and working out the implications of Christ’s finished work in our lives so that we grow to become more like Him.
For a basic summary of the gospel, visit Two Ways to Live.
Disciples Who Make Disciples
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. Relying on the gospel alone for their standing with God, disciples are increasingly marked by lives of loving God, loving others, living out their faith, and making disciples.
The method that God has given the church for gospel advancement is making disciples. When we say we want to "make disciples," it simply means we want to actively work for more people to become forgiven followers of Jesus who grow to become more like him. We believe that each Christian is a minister of the gospel to others, so we are to be prayerfully and purposefully speaking the truth of the gospel into the lives of others so that they will trust, follow, and grow to become like Christ.
What kind of church are we? Sometimes you can search long and hard for a basic explanation of what a church is about and still come up empty. We, however, want to be very clear up front on what kind of church we strive to be.
Our core commitments are a shorthand way to communicate what is most important to us as a church. These are the basic building blocks of our ministries and they give you a snapshot of the kind of church we desire to be. (For a very similar set of "foundation stones" held by our denomination, click here).
Based on the Bible
The most important piece of our identity as a church is the conviction that the Bible is God’s Word. This means that we weekly read and preach directly from the Bible and that we seek to follow it in our beliefs, lives, and ministry.
Centered on the Gospel
We center everything we believe and do on the Bible’s core message: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and how he can bring us into a right relationship with God as a free gift. This means we talk about Jesus and his grace—a lot.
Devoted to One Another
Followers of Jesus are called to be devoted to one another in love. In order to cultivate this, we encourage everyone at our church to be a part of a regular smaller gathering of Christians to love, serve, encourage and teach one another.
Focused on the Mission
We believe that every follower of Jesus is called by God to be a part of the Church’s mission. This means that our ministries are aimed at equipping everyone to be engaged in advancing the gospel in our community, in our region, and around the world.