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"... those who worship Him must
worship in Spirit and in Truth."
— The Bible, John 4:24
At West Oaks Fellowship
, we are committed to the biblical principle of "speaking the Truth in love," which, we trust, will constantly be displayed in such a way as to ensure those present in our worship services the following:
Our freedom in worship will never surrender to fanaticism.
We are free to demonstrate our love and devotion to our Savior through our voices and our actions, but we make a distinction between the sound of praise and the noise of people. We worship as a called out assembly of believers who are one in Jesus Christ, and not as individuals competing to show more praise and worship than the next. We worship in "Spirit and Truth" with freedom, but, in unity under the leadership of God's chosen Under-shepherds, Pastors and Elders. It's refreshing to praise aloud with us, for we will worship together in the beauty of holiness; however, we will strive to prevent both actions of prideful formalism and personal fanaticism.
Our openness to one another will never exploit anyone.
We desire an atmosphere of transparent and authentic sharing based on mutual trust and respect for one another. We recognize that true fellowship is impossible without the foundation of a personal relationship in Christ Jesus, from Whose eyes we cannot hide one thing. Therefore, we share our deepest needs, hurts, failures, and hopes with one another, knowing it is held in sacred trust. We believe that all who minister the life of Christ to one another do so in the power of God's Holy Spirit, motivated by our love for Christ. That love is eternal, unconditional, and non-manipulative. It always covers weakness and sin with strength, forgiveness, and mercy.
Our welcome to spiritual gifts and manifestations
will never violate God's Word.
Knowing that where two or more are gathered in His Name, He is in their midst, we invite Christ to make Himself known among us in our worship services, and to distribute gifts among us according to His will. We believe all the gifts of the New Testament Church are present in today's Church. Every believer is urged to be free and responsible to receive, as well as minister those gifts, as motivated by His love and empowered by God's Holy Spirit. We desire manifestations of His Holy Spirit, recognizing it is our biblical mandate to examine all things, clinging to that which is good, while carefully recognizing that not every demonstration is genuine. We believe it is our biblical imperative to submit all our worship, service, operations of spiritual gifts, and manifestations of His Spirit to the guidelines established for us in the Bible.
Our joyousness will never degenerate to mere excitability.
The Lord asks us to have a childlike faith, but not be mere children. The joy and release we feel in worship often expresses itself in applause, shouting, tears, or jubilance, but we also know true freedom is as thoughtful as it is liberating, and we choose to walk in that truth. We will not allow our worship to be carried along by excited or sensational emotions; instead we will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, knowing "the Father seeks such to worship Him." Whether our worship is expressed in sensational means or quiet reflection, it will always be based on Biblical Truth as directed by God's Holy Spirit and not dictated to us by our culture's expectations.
In all, our prayerful desire is to be like the early New Testament Church.
"So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house,
Adapted from pages 207-209,
they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all
the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."
— Acts 2:46-47
Glory On Your House, by Jack Hayford
CHURCH ON THE WAY - VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA
Used by permission
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Houston, Texas 77082
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