That All Saints Presbyterian Church would be a local expression of the body of Christ in Brentwood that is: always growing, but never big; a place where everyone can know one another and be known; intentionally focused on ministering in the neighborhoods of Brentwood where we live; committed to corporate worship that is biblically and historically informed and full of reverence and awe; and trusting that God will grow His church through the faithful application of the ordinary means of grace (the preaching of the Word, the sacraments, and prayer).
These are core values that we seek constantly to instill in our community.
Gathering together to worship the triune God on Sunday mornings and evenings is the very heart of who we are. Everything else we do as a church flows out of this. At All Saints, we want to worship God according to his Word. Our worship isn't shaped primarily by the culture around us (though we want to be sensitive to that culture when we're able). Instead, it is informed by Scripture first and foremost, and then the historical practices of the Church.
Expository Bible Preaching
The Bible is God's revelation of himself to his people. As such, everything we need to know for salvation and how to live as Christians in the world is found in the Bible. For this reason, our worship is centered around reading and explaining Scripture. The sermons at All Saints are tied to the text of Scripture that we are considering each Sunday. And though we will sometimes have short topical series of sermons, we will usually work our way through a book of the Bible from beginning to end.
Most people know that Christians sing a lot when they worship. We're no different. When we sing, we will sing hymns of the faith that have proven over time to be excellent hymns. We will also sing Psalms from the Bible.
A Theology of Lord's Day Experience
We believe, together with the majority of Christians throughout history, that the Sabbath, or what has been called the Lord's Day since Christ's resurrection, is a gift for God's people and includes the entire day. This is sadly being lost in the Church in America today. We want to call our flock back to it, not through an emphasis on rules, but by teaching the principle of the Lord's Day from Scripture, displaying the beauty of it in our worship, and calling our members to rest in the finished work of Christ, setting aside all the busy-ness and rushing around in order to worship, rest, and engage in deeds of mercy. God has given us six days to get all of our other work and play done. He calls us to worship and rest on the seventh day for our good. This is what he meant when Christ said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Another aspect of rich Christian piety that is becoming less and less common is family worship. Most Christians attend worship on Sundays. They also recognize that there is such a thing as private worship, something many gladly engage in especially when they are someplace beautiful. But God also calls us to family worship. Worshipping as families helps us carry the gospel out of corporate worship on Sundays and into the rest of our week. It also prepares our hearts to worship together on the coming Lord's Day. Have you ever felt like your faith is only something for Sundays? Or have you ever arrived at worship on Sunday with your mind anywhere but in worship? Regular family worship helps you avoid this. It also serves as an opportunity to teach your children the faith. We want to be a community that practices this, and encourages and equips one another in and for it.
Prioritizing the Gospel in Missions
At All Saints we believe that missions work is about proclaiming the gospel, planting churches (at home and abroad), and preparing the next generation of church leaders. To this end, our missions resources are heavily focused on and directed towards these things. Rather than provide a little bit for many missionaries, we choose to invest heavily in a few, not only financially, but with our prayers and presence. We want our congregation to know the missionaries we support and know the challenges they face. We want to be genuine partners with our missionaries in their work. God has not called or formed any institution on Earth to plant churches but the Church. And we rejoice to be engaged in the work.
Our vision for All Saints is that it will always be a community where everyone can know and be known. We don't want the church to ever be so big that people feel lost or disconnected. Part of knowing and being known is also being a church where people can be honest about the things they struggle with. None of us is perfect. Pretending to be perfect is exhausting. However, the cure isn't to rejoice in the ways we're broken and sinful, but instead to rejoice that we have a Savior that has covered those sins, that we can confess those sins and repent of them boldly. And that we can count on our brothers and sisters to love us even though they may know about our sin.
A Biblical Understanding of Community Service
We recognize that the world is full of need and hardship. Many churches, with good intentions, focus a lot of their energy and resources on meeting these needs. At All Saints, we believe this is the calling of the Christian in his or her everyday life, not the calling of the local church. For this reason, we call our members to be actively engaged in service in their community and we equip them for this service by maintaining a list of organizations that are doing excellent work meeting the needs of the community. We also have, or are seeking, a volunteer for each of these organizations who serves as an advocate for that organization in our church. This is one way our members are fulfilling their calling to love their neighbor.
We hope this has given you some idea about All Saints - who we are and who we hope to be. Please come visit us and get to know us and let us get to know you! We look forward to meeting you soon!