While certainly not comprehensive, the list below will help you understand some of the things we want to prioritize as a church. We believe these are important aspects of healthy church life and deserving of emphasis.
We believe the Bible is the Word of God and that as such it has the power to build the church (I Timothy 3:15-16). It is by the Word that sinners are born again (I Peter 1:23). It is also by the Word that we grow in Christ likeness, come together in the unity of the faith, and become steadfast in the truth (Ephesians 4:11-14). For this reason, we believe the reading, preaching, and teaching of God's Word should be central to the life of the church.
At Houghton Lake Baptist Church we believe that preaching should involve a clear explanation of God's message to His people (the text of Scripture) and practical exhortation to respond appropriately to His message.
We recognize that Christ has commanded His people to love one another and that fulfilling this command identifies us as His followers (John 13:34-35). We value the Lord's Supper as a reminder of Christ's sacrificial love for us and of our responsibility to love our brothers and sisters. We desire love to be shown in our congregation through selfless service, grace filled relationships, and the building up of others in Christ. We also value that love for Christ and His people that is expressed through the appropriate confrontation of sin. While not yet perfect in love we would seek to grow in it for the glory of God.
Knowing that God desires His people to worship Him in spirit (with the heart) and in truth we value reverent, Christ-exalting, authentic worship (John 4:23-24). We believe that church worship should be God centered, not man centered. For this reason, we seek to avoid an "entertainment" philosophy. We desire for God to be pleased with our praises as we worship Him in the beauty of holiness.
We believe that every member of our church has been gifted with at least one spiritual gift that is to be used for the profit of Christ's body (I Corinthians 12:7). Each Christian is an integral part of the body and should seek both formally and informally to advance the edification of the church (Ephesians 4:16). We encourage members to be actively involved not just to "fill a pew".
While last in this list, the spread of the Gospel is certainly central to our efforts. We believe the church has inherited the commission given to the Apostles to "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). We understand this to include both a witness of life as we live out the Gospel in the power of the Spirit as well as a witness with our lips as we tell others that they can be reconciled to God by His Son, Jesus. We also value the baptism and discipleship of those who repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ.