The church, as the community of Christ’s disciples on mission in the world, must present itself in history with dynamism and vitality: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18). “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). Therefore, we want to be a church for the city of Lake Charles and its surrounding communities. We want to be a community where God’s worship and Word defines us, His Spirit changes us, and the Gospel of Jesus compels us.
VISION OF THE CHURCH: We want to be a place where people feel welcome, where the biblical truth goes forth with grace, and where friends together pursue Christ-likeness.
OUR CORE VALUES: To fulfill our mission of making disciples and equipping mature Christ-followers for life, three pillars compose our core values:
1 - PREACHING AND TEACHING: God‘s Word is essential for our discipleship. We train and equip believers for personal growth in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus so that we live in holiness and reach Christian maturity. We read and interpret the Bible within the standards of Reformed Theology as taught by the Westminster Confession of Faith, and all with the help and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Bethel makes disciples primarily through preaching and teaching God’s Word.
2 - COMMUNITY AND FELLOWSHIP: We live a life of mutual love, sharing and bearing one another's burdens, caring for each other, according to Christ's command to love one another. We express our love for Christ by loving one another. In this sense, we value community. A community is more than just individual friendships; it is an atmosphere of deep relationships, a place where friends connect in grace and truth. In such a community, believers can authentically challenge each other through words and deeds toward being like Christ.
3 - EVANGELISM AND OUTREACH: Outreach is the practice of looking beyond ourselves to the people around us and sharing the love of Christ as we serve and connect with our community. We share and live the gospel with our words and deeds, in obedience to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:28-30). Our desire is to share the love of Christ across the street and around the world. We want to equip the congregation that God has called us to serve. We want the practice and mindset of the church to be described as a culture of evangelism and outreach, so that we can taste it in the conversations.
WHAT WE BELIEVE: We believe that the Gospel of Jesus is transforming. We hold to timeless, Biblical truths (not so that statements and facts are an end to themselves, but because they best express the wonders about our God and the amazing story of His rescue mission to an unworthy people). Therefore we worship not as people who have it all together, but who are grateful and thankful that in our brokenness, Jesus rescued us.
The Bible is the inspired word of God. It is without error in its original manuscripts, and contains everything we need to know about having a right relationship with God and our fellow human beings. The Bible is the basis for all of our essential beliefs (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God is one (Mark 12:29), yet mysteriously exists in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), who are to be equally loved, honored, and surrendered to (Matthew 28:19).
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human. He is the sole Mediator able to restore the broken relationship, and the resulting alienation, between God and people (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
The Holy Spirit is God, the third Person of the Trinity. He is alive and active. He indwells followers of Christ, working in unison with the Word of God to guide them in all truth. He is the power that enables Christians to live as new creations in Christ and empowers believers for service (John 16:7-14; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 6:17).
People are created by God and in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). On this basis, all people must be treated with dignity, honor, love and respect (James 3:9-10). At the same time, in their quest for independence and the centrality of self, all people begin their lives alienated from God, and in this condition are without hope and under judgment, a condition that can only be cured through God’s loving, gracious, and saving intervention (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1). As the image of God, we are most alive when our trust, affections and allegiances center on Him.
Restoration between God and people (also called ‘salvation’) happens when the Holy Spirit gives people a new heart, leading and enabling them to trust in Jesus alone for salvation (John 1:12-13). Because God loves His creation, He will also restore the entire universe to a condition of beauty, rest, joy, perfection, and freedom (Romans 8:18-30). God’s world, which began as a promising Garden (Genesis 1:27-31), will find its fulfillment in a perfected, life-giving City in which there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:1-8).
Good works do not and cannot make us acceptable to God (Ephesians 2:8-9), but are the natural outcome of authentic faith in Jesus (James 2:17). We become more fully human—the very best and most healthy version of ourselves—to the degree that we follow God’s loving commands. His commands, properly understood, are neither limiting nor oppressive but life-giving. Obedience to God’s commands is an essential prerequisite for true human flourishing.
The Church is the family of God and consists of those who place their functional trust (faith) in Jesus. God wants all members of His worldwide Church, together with their children, to be active in a local church which meets regularly to worship God, serve each other, and be a life-giving presence in their local community and world (Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25).
We believe that God has created men (male) and women (female) equal in their essential dignity and human personhood, but different and complementary in their functions; He also created marriage to be exclusively the covenant union of one man (male) and one woman (female), and designed intimate sexual activity to occur exclusively within that covenant union.