Embark Church: Our Vision
Our vision is summed up in our mantra – “Get Fed. Feed Yourself. Feed another. It’s what we do.” In fact, you cannot be around Embark, for any sustained period of time, and NOT hear our vision. It permeates everything about who we are, what we do and where we are going. Listen to pastor Jud explain exactly what it means.
Embark Church: Our Values
Vision shape the values. Values create the culture. Here is what we value:
Discipleship oriented. Embark Church is dedicated to making a spiritual difference in the lives of people. Discipleship, that is helping you develop your relationship with Jesus Christ, is how a spiritual difference occurs. At Embark you will hear the necessity of it, have an opportunity to develop it and experience the freedom of living in it.
Connecting with others. Developing a relationship with others is core to discipleship. Because life-changing discipleship does not occur in isolation, Embark intentionally creates opportunities for people to connect with and get involved in the life of another. In fact, many use the word “family” to describe the community being built.
Authentic / Genuine. Connecting with others and being welcoming are only possible when people are given the freedom to be themselves and feel that they are not being condemned or judged because of their faults. This is why our mantra is “No Perfect People Are Allowed.”
Gift affirming. God has endowed people with specific gifts and skills. Embark intentionally helps people discover these gifts and then use them in meaningful service. We have found that when people use their specific gifts, this gives “life and energy” rather than draining it. As a result, very few people ever serve outside their gift mix.
Targeted Outreach. Jesus commands us in Matthew 28:19 to go out and make disciples. Because discipleship is best accomplished in connection with others and within His church, community outreach is essential in being discipleship oriented. Our community outreach focuses on serving, developing relationships and inviting others to experience Jesus and discipleship at Embark.
Embark Church: Our Beliefs
This statement of beliefs constitute the essentials tenets of what we believe. They are the core doctrines that make us Christian, are derived from scripture and guide us in living out our vision.
In Essentials… Unity
In Non-Essentials… Liberty
In All Things… Charity
At Embark Church believe in one God who simultaneously lives and works in the three different persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three persons work together to guide, sustain and redeem God’s creation, demonstrating the immeasurable love He has for all men and women. The interworking between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, although equal, is one of mutual submission and service that demonstrates reverence, honor and love for the others, thus modeling for us the pattern of human relationships. Most importantly, we recognize that the three-in-one nature of the trinity is a holy mystery. It transcends our finite minds and calls us to rest in what Proverbs 3:5-6 declares, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
At Embark Church believe that God the Father created, established, ordered and continues to work in the world. As such, He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, making Him sovereign over all. This sovereignty means everything is in and under His control and He providentially directs us both in the good of and through the bad of human life. Because we are finite creatures that cannot understand God, we rest in Isaiah 55:8-9 when God proclaims, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
SIN AND CREATION
At Embark Church we believe that God created the world out of nothing and deemed it good. Humans, being made in His image, are the pinnacle and stewards of His creation. Sin however, through the willful disobedience of humanity, corrupted God’s good creation, utterly defaced the image of God in us and infected all of humanity. As a result, humanity lives in an inescapable state of sin that causes us to pursue our own self-interests rather than God. It colors our thoughts, will, mind, emotions, personality and very being, causing alienation between God and neighbor. It affects us in ways we cannot comprehend and instructs us, as Paul describes in Romans 7:14-15, to do the sin we hate over living for God. God cannot tolerate sin in His presence and because of its defiling nature, it must be put to death.
At Embark Church we believe that God the Father showed unfathomable love for us by entering the world in Jesus Christ who, being equal with God, was both fully human and fully divine. In Jesus, God sought to redeem humanity from the inescapable state of sin through His life, death and resurrection. Through His life, Jesus redeemed humanity by gathering people to Himself, teaching them how to live holy lives for God, instructing them that faith in Him leads to eternal life and that we are called to a life of following Him. Through His death, Jesus redeemed humanity by taking upon Himself the death penalty mandated for sin, transferring our sin from us to Him and His righteousness from Him to us. In this gracious act, we are justified in the sight of God, able to come into His presence and enjoy eternal life. Through His resurrection, Jesus redeemed humanity by defeating death, destroying the power of sin and raising us to a new life in Jesus.
At Embark Church we believe God broke into our sinful lives in the person of the Holy Spirit who is fully God, equal with the Father and Son. This breaking in, independent of anything we have done or could do, reveals to us the reality of God, turns our radically self-absorbed heart and mind toward Him and gives us the faith to believe in the triune God as stated in Eph.2:8. We call this God-initiated act regeneration. In addition to this, the Holy Spirit continues to speak and guide us in our hearts, people, scripture and events, spurring us to live a holy life and calling us to be more devoted followers of Jesus. This is called sanctification, the continual process of adopting the mindset, behavior and lifestyle of Jesus in order to become more like Him. We believe that the gifts of the Spirit described in the New Testament are operative today, that individuals are given specific gifts and skills to be used in individual ministry and collectively these gifts empower the church to fulfill its calling and mission.
At Embark Church we believe we are granted eternal life in Christ alone, by grace alone and through faith alone. As a result, we are saved by Christ, shown grace and given faith to believe this. This giving of Christ, grace and faith is a work solely initiated by God. Humans, being completely corrupted in sin, are dead in their transgressions and wholly incapable of choosing God. Only through the saving initiation of God in the life of the believer are we able to seek and know God. While here on earth, when the believer realizes God chose to save them despite their totally depraved nature, gratitude for God motivates us to live for Him and adopt the mindset, behavior and lifestyle of Jesus Christ.
We believe that both the New and Old Testaments were written by humans and inspired by the Holy Spirit. It provides the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of all people and the establishment of His Kingdom to come here on earth. As a result, scripture is inerrant and infallible, being a trustworthy guide for all teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the people of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16). It is the believers’ rule and authority for life, guiding us in faithful living when culture condones thoughts, practices and ways of living that seek to degrade and destroy humanity.
We believe that when followers of Christ receive faith, they become adopted sons and daughters of God and are called into a community of believers. This is the church. These believers, tied together by the Holy Spirit, constitute His body on earth and through the collective interworking of individual gifts, further the mission and kingdom of God through the church. Jesus, the head of this body, is the church’s source of guidance, direction, and power, stating, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) It is in church where spiritual equipping and encouragement occurs, best accomplished through teaching, authentic relationships, worship and use of gifts.
We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both instituted by Jesus Christ, are celebrated in God’s church as outward signs of an inward, invisible grace. They are not means of salvation but public testimonies proclaiming God’s grace and blessings upon His children. Baptism is the public profession that God, in His grace, chose us before we chose Him and through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, we now seek to faithfully follow Him. The Lord’s Supper is the public profession that in the communal sharing of the bread and cup, we are aware of the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that we are called to life with one another and that we are to be followers of Jesus Christ. Both are signs that point to the inward sealing of grace upon our hearts by Jesus Christ.
Embark Church Welcomes You to Share in our Vision, Values and Beliefs! If you live in Bamberg, Bowman, Branchville, Cameron, Cope, Cordova, North, Orangeburg, Saint Matthews, Swansea, Rowesville and Swansea we invite you to come and join us!