Our Beliefs and Core Values
St John Baptist Church in Columbia believes that God is infinitely creative, which is why we express our faith in infinitely creative ways. We’re Spirit-led without being weird, and mission-minded without diluting the message of Jesus. We’re not scared of the culture we live in nor are we seduced by it. Our approach to church isn’t traditional, but our commitment to Jesus shapes everything we believe, say, and do.
We believe God has given us a book, the Bible, that is true and can be trusted. It was written by men but inspired by God — and every part of it points to Jesus.
Everything that’s described below may be helpful, but when the dust settles, the Bible is our statement of faith.
We believe in God. He created everything, including you and me. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, and worthy to be loved with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
We believe God is revealed fully in Jesus Christ, who was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, willingly died on a cross for our sins, and supernaturally rose from the dead, and will return one day to call us home to Heaven.
We believe the Holy Spirit is God in his power and presence, drawing people to Him, saving us, and empowering us with gifts to work for Him and develop fruit in our attitudes and relationships that testify to Him.
We believe all human beings are spiritually lost, wandering around trying to make sense of this life, and consistently messing it up. Only through Jesus can we be found, and this is very much what God wants. If we submit to Jesus’ leadership as Lord, we will be saved — if we continue on our own path, we will end up separated from God forever. This is something God does not want. That’s why Jesus came.
We believe in the church. It’s a community where people can find Jesus and follow Him fully. The church isn’t perfect, but Jesus, our leader, is. God doesn’t want us to experience spiritual life in isolation, which is why he created the church — which He is totally committed to. The church is incredibly important — we have a much better chance of succeeding in our spiritual journey when surrounded by others moving forward in theirs.
Our Core Values
We are an African-American Church, and our worship services reflect our heritage. While we
celebrate the African American experience, we embrace and welcome all cultures. The values listed below speak to our beliefs and commitments to all people without regard to race, gender, or creed.
The scripture basis for our values can be found in Romans 1:16, Matthew 7:12, Luke 15, Corinthians 9:19-23, Matthew 28:19-20, Hebrews 13:18 and Philippians 4:6.
We are passionately committed to the message that God has acted on our behalf in Jesus and that through Him, we can experience a life-transforming relationship with God. The Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible undergird and shape our ministry.
We are passionately committed to loving, affirming, and upholding the God-given worth of each individual. We are committed to treating all people with dignity and respect. We endeavor to identify as deeply as possible with people’s needs.
We are passionately committed to sharing Christ in relevant and engaging ways with those not yet connected to Christ or the Church. Because lost people matter to God, we will strive to reach unsaved and unchurched people with the Gospel.
We are passionately committed to doing and risking whatever it takes within the context of the Gospel to build a church that reaches people for Christ and helps them to grow in their relationship with God and others.
We are passionately committed to training, equipping, and empowering transformed people of all faith levels to experience and enjoy a Christ-centered life.
We are passionately committed to honesty, openness, fairness, and grace in dealing with those in our church — the unchurched, unsaved and members.
We are passionately committed to encasing all we are and do in prayer, seeking God’s guidance in every aspect of our ministry.
We value authentic genuine relationships that result in a loving community of mutually supportive people. We appreciate the diversity that exists among us in age, gender, personality, and perspective. We believe life transformation and loving relationships occur best through small groups.
We believe making disciples is our mandate from Christ. Therefore, we seek to become disciples that make disciples for Christ.
We are called to keep serving the present age and we believe relevance is significant to reaching people. SJBC builds on its past without becoming its slave. We seek to be relevant to the culture in which we live, while not surrendering our core values, beliefs, and behaviors to tradition or culture.
We are passionately committed to assuring that measures are in place so that all SJBC programs operate effectively and efficiently throughout the church and in the community.