Position Papers

What Is Baptism?

As we examine what the Bible says about baptism, there is a clear command for the church to baptize, " Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20).

"Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in Jesus Christ, performed once as the initiation of such a believer into a community of believers, the church.” - Thomas Nettles

The Gospel Truth of Baptism

  • Baptism identifies us with Christ.
  • Baptism doesn’t save; it announces salvation.
  • Baptism is an individual and public announcement.
  • Baptism follows belief.

Our Gospel Response as Mission Church

Mission Church believes baptism is a significant act, displaying a believer’s walk with Jesus.

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38).

We invite every believer to follow the biblical command to be baptized as a symbol of Christ’s saving work. We believe baptism does not seal or secure salvation, but it is an act of obedience and a public declaration of a changed life and a decision to follow Jesus.

Baptism is also an affirmation made by Mission Church. The church does not have the power to grant or complete salvation. However, it does have the delegated authority to baptize believers in Christ based on their declaration of faith.

Is baptism required for salvation?

No, the Bible makes clear that the penitent woman in Luke 7, the paralytic man in Matthew 9, the publican in Luke 18 and the thief on the cross in Luke 23 all experienced forgiveness of their sins apart from baptism.

Is baptism required for church membership?

No, however every member of Mission Church affirms that they have been baptized or will follow the biblical command to be baptized (Luke 3:21-22).

What method of baptism does Mission Church use?

Mission Church practices baptism through water immersion. The word baptize, in Greek baptizo, means “dip” or “immerse.” Most scholars agree that this is the way the early church practiced baptism, and other methods came later. Baptism in any form is not salvific, so the method of the ordinance is one of tradition supported by Scripture.

Does Mission Church affirm those who have been baptized by another method?

Yes. While Mission Church does not require a new member to be re-baptized, we welcome a member to reaffirm their baptism through immersion if they are led by the Lord to do so.

Does Mission Church have an age requirement for children to be baptized?

No. We do not want to discourage a regenerate child from being baptized, however it is the duty of the church to avoid baptizing a child before they are able to understand, articulate, and embrace the Gospel and believer’s baptism. It is the duty of church leadership to work with the child and their parents to ensure they are ready, and then the duty of the entire church to shepherd the child to grow in Christ and mature in the faith.

Mission Church does not practice infant baptism. We offer dedication services whereby a family can profess their commitment to raising their child with an understanding of the gospel. The practice of family dedication also allows the church body to make a public commitment to train up the child in the faith. Mission Church does not consider this to be a replacement for “believer’s baptism”.

Resources Used

What Is Communion?

The Lord’s Supper, communion, is one of two ordinances celebrated at Mission Church, with the other being baptism. An ordinance is a symbolic representation that exemplifies and verifies the spiritual truths and promises found in the gospel.

The bread and wine used at the Lord's Supper symbolize Christ's broken body on the cross and His shed blood for sin atonement. Faith in Christ as the one who died for their sins is required of those who partake in the Lord's Supper. Apart from faith and remembrance, the act of this ordinance is meaningless.

Jesus Christ instituted the Lord's Supper. Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples in the upper room just before He was crucified. He broke bread and shared it with them during the meal, saying that doing so would serve as a reminder of His own body being broken for them on the cross. He then gave them wine to drink as a reminder of His sacrificed blood for their sins. A new covenant was established between God and all of Christ's followers via this bloodshed.

The Gospel Truth of Communion

In Mark 14:22-25 it says “And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

In communion, we are giving thanks and praise to God by breaking bread in thanksgiving and sharing a cup as we bless God’s name. Communion always points us back to the finished work of Jesus Christ. We can therefore draw the conclusion that communion is advantageous for both our horizontal relationships with other Christians and our vertical relationship with God.

Our Gospel Response as Mission Church

We most deeply experience the ordinance of communion when we understand its layers of meaning—including that Jesus died for us, that we experience His presence in the Lord’s Supper, and that we look forward to communing with Jesus and all the saints in the new heaven and earth.

How Often Should We Partake?

The New Testament does not give a conclusive answer to how often the Lord’s Supper should be held. Since the Bible does not give us specific instruction as to frequency, there is some latitude in how often a church should observe the Lord’s Supper. It should be often enough to renew focus on Christ, without

being so often that it becomes routine. At this time Mission Church’s pastors and elders have elected to serve communion roughly every four to six weeks.

Who can Partake?

In 1 Corinthians 11:28-29, it states that each person should “...examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”

At Mission Church, we ask that believers in Christ should self-examine our conduct with respect to the unity of the church and with respect to other members of the body of Christ. If we have unresolved issues related to the body, we should confess and reconcile as appropriate before participating.

We also ask that only believers take communion, and that both children and adults who have not confessed a saving faith wait until they have taken that step.

How is Communion Served?

The Lord’s Supper was meant to be taken in community. Thus, we hear the word of God, corporately and individually pray, and partake of the elements. Mission Church may change the method of serving the elements depending upon the type of worship service.

Resources Used

What is Church Discipline?

On occasion, Christians will wander away from the fellowship of other believers and find themselves ensnared by sin through ignorance or willful disobedience. It then becomes necessary for the church to actively seek the repentance and restoration of that individual. As in Jesus’ parable in Luke 15:3-8, it is a time of joy, both in heaven and within the church, when the wandering Christian truly repents.

One means by which Mission church seeks to lovingly restore wandering believers is the process of church discipline. Broadly, we define church discipline as correcting man's sinful nature according to the gospel. We do this in two primary ways; formative correction (referring to teaching/encouraging) and corrective discipline (referring to correcting sin and restoring the body).

Formative Correction

Formative correction helps to form/correct the disciple through encouragement and instruction. Because of our tendency to forget God's truth, formative correction allows us to remind each other of the inerrancy of Scripture. This not only increases our faith in the good news, but also increases our gospel fluency. It is simply the process of bringing people to maturity in Christ through positive instruction and teaching—through formation. When the word is proclaimed and we are convicted, or when Christians encourage each other, that is formative correction (Ephesians 4:11-12; Hebrews 10:24-25; and Colossians 3:16). This kind of discipline is crucial because God uses it to prevent the sin that might require corrective discipline. The more the church is shaped by formative correction, the less it will need corrective discipline.

Corrective Discipline

Corrective discipline is the process of correcting sinful behavior among members of a local church body for the purpose of protecting the church, restoring the sinner to a right walk with God, and renewing fellowship among the church members. It also becomes necessary when believers seeking relational reconciliation with one another fails. In this case, church leadership is called to shepherd the unrepentant in hopes to unify the body. When an individual sins, it’s effects can permeate the entire body and damages our witness to each other and the world. It then becomes necessary for the church to actively seek the repentance and restoration of that Christian. As in Jesus’ parable in Luke 15:3-8, it is a time of joy, both in heaven and within the church, when the wayward Christian truly repents.

The process for corrective discipline involves four steps based on Matthew 18:15-17 that seek repentance at each step. If the individual remains unrepentant, church leadership (elders) may remove an individual from membership, participation in the ordinances, serving, or even in extreme cases– service and ministry gatherings.

The Gospel Truth of Church Discipline

Matthew 18:15-17

15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother."

16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed."

17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."

In this passage Jesus has two concerns (1) that the sinner repents and (2) that the number of people involved in the process remain as small as necessary for producing repentance. In addition, there is concern that the church should look different than the world. The text says that Christians are not to live like pagans or tax collectors. To contextualize this, to Matthew’s audience “Gentile and tax collector” would mean those who were outside of the fellowship of the church or those who had betrayed the church. This passage reminds us that church members should live differently than the world and after a series of gracious reminders they don’t than the church should exclude them from its fellowship.

Gospel Response– Mission Church Position Through a Gospel Lens

In Matthew 18: 15-17, Jesus sets forth the four-step process of church discipline: (1) tell him his sin alone; (2) take some witnesses; (3) tell the church; and (4) treat him as an outsider. The church’s goal at the conclusion of each of these steps is restoration of the believer.

Step One (Matt. 18:15). The process of church discipline begins on an individual level. Jesus said, “And if your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private” (v. 15a). Here, an individual believer is to go to a sinning brother privately and confront him in a spirit of humility and gentleness. This confrontation involves clearly exposing his sin so that he is aware of it and calling him to repentance. If the sinning brother repents in response to the private confrontation, that brother is forgiven and restored (v. 15b).

Step Two (Matt. 18:16). If the sinning brother refuses to listen to the one who has rebuked him privately, the next step in the discipline process is to take one or two more believers along to confront him again (v. 16a). The purpose of taking other believers is so that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed” (v. 16b). In other words, the witnesses are present not only to confirm that the sin was committed but, in addition, to confirm that the sinning brother was properly rebuked and that he has or has not repented.

At this point, it should be hoped that the one or two who are brought along to confront the sinner will not have to become public witnesses against him before the rest of the church. Ideally, their added rebuke will be sufficient to induce a change of heart in the offending brother that the initial rebuke did not cause. If this change of heart does occur, that brother is forgiven and restored, and the matter is dropped.

Step Three (Matt. 18:17a). If the sinning brother refuses to listen and respond to the confrontation of the witnesses after a period of time, those witnesses are then to tell it to the church (v. 17a). This is most appropriately done by bringing the matter to the attention of the elders, who in turn oversee its communication to the assembly as a whole.

The elders at Mission Church avoid carrying out the third or fourth stage of church discipline until they are absolutely certain that the erring believer has truly sinned, or is continuing to sin, and that he has refused to repent when appropriately confronted.

Step Four (Matt. 18:17b). The fourth and final step in the process of church discipline is removing an individual from church membership, participation in the sacraments, or service and ministry gatherings. If a sinning believer refuses to listen even to the church, he is to be removed from the fellowship. Jesus said, “treat that person as a Gentile or tax collector” (v. 17b). To Matthew’s audience “Gentile and tax collector” would mean those who were outside of the fellowship of the church or those who had betrayed the church. Jesus’ use of these terms doesn’t mean that the church is to treat these people badly. It simply means that when a professing believer refuses to repent, the church is to treat him as if he were outside of the fellowship. They are not to let him associate and participate in the blessings and benefits of the church.

When should restoration occur?

The man involved in the 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 passage that was involved in the Corinthian church’s discipline later repented, and Paul encouraged the church to restore him to full fellowship with the church (2 Corinthians 2:5-8). The restoration process should occur when the individual repents and the Mission Church elders witness a consistent pattern of repentance and turning away from their sin.

Resources Used

  • Matthew 8:15-17, Titus 3:10, I Corinthians 5:1-13, II Corinthians 2:5-8
  • I Timothy 5:20, Ephesians 5:11, II Thessalonians 3:14-15, Galatians 6:1
  • Crossway. (2012). Church Discipline - How the Church Protects the Name of Jesus (9 Marks). Wheaton, IL: Crossway
  • www.9marks.org/article/class-i...
  • www.thegospelcoalition.org/blo...
  • www.gracechurch.org/about/dist...
  • https://www.gotquestions.org/c...
  • John MacArthur (1988). The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16-23 Chicago, IL: Moody Press
  • John MacArthur (1991). The Master’s Plan for the Church. Chicago, IL; Moody Press
  • Stuart Scott and George Crawford (N/A). Restoring the Wandering Sheep. (Unpublished paper)

In a time when views of human sexuality and marriage are rapidly changing, we believe it is necessary and helpful to state clearly and compassionately to the Church and the world our beliefs about God’s design for human sexuality. We wish to do so with love toward all as we attempt to imitate God’s love for us. We long for the Church as well as society to conform to biblical standards of sexuality; but our ultimate desire is that, through the gospel, all may come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives and receive His gift of eternal life. We also know that having come to believe in Him, we enjoy His blessing by walking with Him according to His Word. We believe the Bible to be God’s Word and that to understand and obey His will leads to the greatest human flourishing.

The Scripture teaches that God initiated, created, and blessed human sexuality. The first two chapters of the Bible deal directly with this topic. We are also made in His image according to Genesis 1:27, male and female created He them. Sexual differentiation is therefore created by God. There is no hint of functional superiority or inferiority by male or female. Both are equally immediate to the creator and His act, and both are to share alike in the blessing and responsibility of procreation.

The Gospel Truth of Sexuality

The Scriptures present a grand vision of husband and wife mirroring the intimate fellowship of Christ (bridegroom) and His church (bride). In this profound mystery, we discover God’s purposes for His will for how we are to express our sexuality.

In His boundless wisdom and love, God designed male and female as the two distinct biological sexes in his world (Genesis 1:27) that do not change from birth.

When God created Adam and Eve, He told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28). God performed the very first marriage when he brought Eve to Adam in Genesis 2:21-25. They became one flesh (Genesis 2:24), a unity sealed via their sexual union. So, they are no longer two, but one according to Matthew 19:5-6. When the husband and wife become one flesh, their God created individualities are not lost but enriched by each other.

It is in marriage only that a man and woman legitimately become united in one flesh. Apart from marriage, sexual union is illegitimate and contrary to God's purposes for His people (1 Corinthians 6: 16-20). This illegitimacy applies to non-Christians as well, for marriage is God's design and oversight. For Christians, however, a husband and wife's sexual union seals the covenant a marrying man and woman enter into before God (Malachi 2:14, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5).

As true of the original couple Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:1-2), the one flesh union of marriage also creates a new family unit which we regard as the fundamental unit of society: husband, wife, and children. At the fall of humankind, recorded in Genesis 3, we began to distort and misuse the gifts of God, including our sexuality to our own demise, but through His gracious redemptive work in Jesus Christ, God is leading us from brokenness and rebellion to a full and beautiful restoration of our relationship with Him and of our human dignity and purpose.

Gospel Response- Mission Church Position Through a Gospel Lens

In light of the gospel, we believe that our sexuality describes us, but it doesn't define us. Our ultimate and primary identity is not in our sexuality, but in our Savior.

The Church belongs to God. He called us out of sin and darkness into the glorious light of His love. He has called us to reflect His glory by displaying His character and proclaiming His Word. As repentant and forgiven sinners, we at Mission Church resolve to teach the biblical truths of Godly sexuality to our members and to all who will listen. To do otherwise would be a failure of love. God helping us, we shall continue, within our church, to teach against and refuse to condone or participate in any sinful form of sexual practice - including sexual abuse, pornography, sexual lust, extra-marital sex, adultery, polygamy, homosexual conduct, same-sex unions and marriage, and gender ideology and reassignment, etc. At the same time, we resolve to continue to love those who have committed these sins and/or suffered from them. And we shall wait with eager longing for the day of our Savior’s return, when all shall be made right with us and the world.

In the name of Jesus, our compassionate Savior, we tenderly welcome all—regardless of their beliefs or lifestyles—to attend our church. Further, we invite into the membership of our church all those who—bruised and broken by the fall through sincere faith and genuine repentance, to commit to live in obedience to the Scriptures, empowered by the Holy Spirit. To God’s Name be glory forever.

Resources Used

Genesis 1:27
Genesis 1:28
Genesis 2:21-25
Matthew 19:5-6
1 Corinthians 6:16-20
Malachi 2:14
1 Corinthians 7:1-5
Genesis 4:1-2

It is easy for Christians in the West to get caught up in political fervor and to think that the government is the key to solving moral problems that plague American society. We believe America’s moral decline is a spiritual problem, not a political one, and its solution is the gospel message of Jesus Christ - not partisan politics.


In this world, people have formed collective societies to establish order, provide security, fulfill daily needs, and solve problems. Because of this, many people become tribal, finding it difficult to differentiate between love of God and love of country/state/city/neighborhood. We recognize that the kingdoms of earth cannot match the kingdom of heaven, therefore, the foundational problems of the world are in need of a spiritual solution, not a political one. We believe this solution was accomplished in and through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Politics is the art of reordering human society on a temporal basis. This is needed in a broken world; however, we understand that God has called the church to be a kingdom of priests, not a kingdom of political activists. We believe this world will, ultimately, reach its end according to prophecy, and while stewardship is mandated, saving a political construct is not what we are called to do. We believe God is sovereign over what is in the world and what will become of the world. Our gospel hope is in a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly one. The apostle Peter instructs us, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Too frequently, we sound [and act] like resident apologists for a Christian America rather than resident aliens of a heavenly kingdom. A politicized faith diminishes our loyalty as well as distorts our priorities. Our primary citizenship is in heaven, not on this planet. It should be noted that none of the Apostles, nor Christ, made politics the center of their message. The heart of the message was and always should remain the gospel. For when hearts are changed, people change.

However, Christ did call us to submit to political authority and pray for political authority, knowing God has ordained it. In Matthew 22:21 Christ said “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's” . And Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."


We are not of this world, but we do reside here. Our gospel response to politics is to fulfill our civic duty in being informed and to support issues that align with biblical truths. We should do all we can to elevate justice and righteousness in the world, but followers of Jesus, whose kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36) should not think that having the “right” person in office or legislation will somehow restore righteousness to this fallen world. We recognize that God’s perfect law couldn’t fix our depravity, so why do we think our laws will? They may restrain the hand, but not the heart.

Charles Colson, Founder of Prison Fellowship said it well - “Where is the hope? The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people. That's where our hope lies in this country. And that's where our hope lies in our life."

Jesus perfectly maintained His Father’s perspective on these matters even though He lived in a society that was every bit as pagan and corrupt as today’s culture. In many ways it was much worse than any of us in Western nations has ever faced. Cruel tyrants and dictators ruled throughout the region. Many of His followers, including the twelve disciples, expected Him to free them from Rome’s oppressive rule, but our Lord did not come as a political deliverer. He never issued a call for political changes, even by peaceful means to “capture the culture” for biblical morality or greater political and religious freedoms.

Mission Church does not place our hope in any political party, but rather in the sovereign hand of God. When appropriate, we will advocate certain positions, with God's Word as our guiding principle and in support of a biblical worldview. Therefore, our call at Mission Church is to first and foremost focus on the gospel and instill that into the hearts of our people. If we want to see true change, it must start at the heart level, not a moral or political one. Politics have their place, which is under the gospel– not in place or beside it.


Exodus 19:6
1 Peter 2:9
Proverbs 14:34
Proverbs 29:2
John 18:36