We practice expository preaching (2 Tim 2:15). Expository preaching is the explanation and application of a particular biblical text with a view to personal life application. This is accomplished primarily by systematically studying through books of the Bible. The greatest value of expository preaching is the potential to let the biblical text speak for itself and change our lives. Another value is the inability to avoid difficult issues when they present themselves in the biblical text.
We emphasize the importance of prayer (1 Thess 5:17). Without prayer we can do nothing of eternal value (John 15:4-5). Therefore, our aim is to be a “house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17). To do this, we must be “devoted to prayer” (Rom 12:12; Col 4:2). We pursue this goal in our Bible studies, prayer chain, email prayer team, and in worship service.
We promote active participation in the body of Christ (Rom 12:4-8; 1 Pet 4:10-11). The church is a living body and must have working parts. Every follower of Christ should be involved in a ministry and, at WG there are numerous opportunities for us to put our gifts and abilities to work for Christ. No service for Christ is insignificant; all is valuable. Our desire is for members to be established and thriving in a ministry they are passionate about.
We encourage relationship evangelism (John 4:7-30). We urge our members to share their faith with their family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances. We seek to assist and partner with our people in reaching those with whom they currently have relationships. This means we will do everything we can as a church to encourage our people to do the work of an evangelist (2 Tim 4:5).
We welcome theological diversity within the confines of evangelical, Bible-believing theology (Eph 4:1-6). While we may hold positions on debatable doctrinal issues (e.g., charismatic gifts, women in ministry, divorce and remarriage, end-times, etc.) we love and appreciate those who do not necessarily share our views. Fellowship should not be avoided in light of these issues. Our union with Christ is the basis for unity with one another within the confines of evangelical Christian orthodoxy.
We strive to grant one another biblical freedom in non-essential areas (Rom 14:1-23). We adhere to the maxim: “In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, liberty, in all things, charity.” Every believer is free in Christ (2 Cor 3:17), but we must be careful not to use our freedom to indulge ourselves (Gal 5:13; 1 Pet 2:16). As followers of Christ, we are commanded to be holy in all our behavior (1 Pet 1:14-16).
We pursue unity and cooperation with other evangelical churches (Ps 133). An evangelical believes at least three essential truths: (1) the Bible is God’s authoritative Word, (2) Jesus Christ is the only way to God, and (3) salvation is by grace through faith. Although we may not share other doctrines, we can still unite as brothers and sisters in Christ. Biblical unity is not uniformity; it is a commitment to love and accept other believers in spite of our differences (John 17:21-23; Phil 2:1-4). This entails a humble declaration that we are finite people, limited in our understanding of God’s Word (1 Cor 13:12; Eph 4:13).
We believe in elder-directed church government (1 Pet 5:1-5). The overall vision, decision-making, and leadership of the church is the responsibility of the elders. This in no way diminishes the importance of the congregation. God speaks through His people, and we seek to provide opportunities for the congregation to provide input and feedback. We voluntarily submit to the servant-leadership of our elders.