How does a person become a member of the LRC Family?
There are three important things that we ask each person considering to become a part of this church family to do to become a member: 1) be or become a baptized believer in Christ and commit to a lifetime of personal spiritual growth. 2) Share in our church family through participation in a house church. And 3) have a discussion with one of our shepherds to let them know of your commitment to this church family.
This meeting will be set up by your house church leader so that our house church leaders and elders can better know you and your family. It is our desire to support, encourage, and shepherd each person at LRC. This informal conversation will help our leaders know your history as a believer, current needs, and goals for serving in the body. After this visit, each person desiring to be member of the LRC family can be acknowledged and prayed over in our assembly.
We will gladly accept any seeker to our assemblies, but everyone desiring to become a member of our body, and to be shepherded by our elders, is asked to commit to active participation in one of the house churches of LRC.
How is LRC led?
We believe that Jesus Christ is the head of His body, the Church. Everyone in the church is in submission to Him. We also believe that as described in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit appoints men to serve as elders, overseers and pastors of each local church. These men are charged with following Jesus Christ and overseeing the affairs of the church, and shepherding the church family. The New Testament describes another office in the church as evangelist, pastor, or minister. In our context, these evangelists and ministers (some of whom are financially supported by the church) have specialized training and education and are charged by the elders to equip our church in day-to-day mission and ministry.
Is LRC a charismatic church?
Strictly speaking, LRC is not a “Charismatic” church. We do believe that the Holy Spirit has a powerful impact on our lives, primarily to form us into the image of Jesus Christ. We do not, however, practice “speaking in tongues” during our assemblies. It is important to note that we do not consider personal belief or practice in this area to be a formal test of Christian fellowship. We have always had members in our body with diverse views and practices in this area. While those who desire a consistent practice of the Charismatic gifts may not find fulfillment in our assemblies, we in no way want to make those who consider themselves to be “Charismatic” to feel unwelcome in our midst.
Is LRC part of a denomination? Who does LRC fellowship with?
Our intent is to be Christians only, nothing more, nothing less. We therefore consider ourselves non-denominational, since we do not give ourselves any particular label other than that given to us by God, nor do we align ourselves exclusively with any particular denomination. We pursue fellowship with all who have been justified by faith in Christ. It is our preference to live in this world as followers of Christ – simply Christians.
What does LRC believe about salvation and baptism?
We believe that we are saved by God’s grace, through our faith, not by our works—salvation is a free gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-10). Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins so that we can have a reconciled relationship with God (1 John 2:2). We enter into this relationship through faith in Christ (Romans 3:22).
Faith in Christ is demonstrated by obedience to Christ in the New Testament. Christ commands that we repent of our sins (Luke 13:3), confess before others that He is Lord (Matthew 10:32), and be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Baptism represents giving our lives over to Christ. We believe baptism is connected to salvation because of the following Scriptures:
- The Apostle Peter refers to baptism as an act that “now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. . .” (1 Peter 3:21).
- “And now, what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16).
- On the day that the Christian church began, Peter said to the crowd, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
- “We were therefore buried with him [Jesus] through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).
- “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
We believe immersion is the biblical method of baptism, as it “re-enacts” the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for each Christian. We also believe that baptism is only for believers who are old enough to choose it for themselves. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Jesus himself was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15), and we invite others to follow in His steps.
How do men and women serve at Little Rock Church?
The creation story in Genesis teaches us that God made humans in His own image, both male and female, and that they were jointly given ‘dominion’ and responsibility over the earth (Gen. 1:27-28). Later, in the New Testament, in referring to promises made to Abraham, Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female…” All who are baptized into Christ are equally heirs to God’s promises (Gal. 3:27-29).
It is in this context that we strive to honor the teaching regarding men and women, husbands and wives which are found in Ephesians 5, as well as those teachings found in 1 Corinthians 11 and 14, 1 Timothy 2, 1 Peter 3, and other passages. We believe God has given us these teachings to bless us, and as leaders of the church, the elders believe they have been given responsibility to provide teaching on wise applications of the principles in these passages.
We believe that both men and women are called to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in ways that build up the church. Areas of service include overseeing particular ministries of the church and leading in our worship service by leading songs, reading scripture, leading the congregation in prayer, sharing personal testimony and serving communion. Both men and women participate in teaching Bible classes when our church assembles on Sunday mornings – women teach women’s classes, teach in the Children and Youth Ministries, and co-teach adult classes with their husbands. Both men and women serve on the preaching committee to assist the Preaching Minister to plan the direction of his ministry. The guidance of the elders is that only men will preach in our worship assembly and serve as elders in the congregation.
What does LRC teach regarding marriage?
God created males and females distinctly and separately. We don’t pretend to know all the reasons for this, but we do believe that the Bible’s teaching is a blessing to us and gives us the correct understanding of the marriage relationship. One reason was to “replenish and multiply” the human race on Earth, so we understand that central to marriage is the idea of inter-generational love and responsibility.
When Jesus was asked about this in Matthew 19, He said, “at the beginning the Creator made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
We at LRC believe God ordained that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that marriage is to last a lifetime. The Bible contains much teaching concerning interpersonal relationships, including marriage. Those who follow these teachings will bring glory to God by their success in those relationships. Jesus on another occasion (Matthew 5) said that divorce was acceptable to God only in the case of adultery.
LRC Elders stand ready to help any couple that is experiencing difficulty in their marriage. Our counsel to these couples is to obey Jesus and not divorce, unless adultery is involved. Even when adultery is involved, forgiveness and reconciliation is preferable.
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