St. Paul Fellowship longs to bring Good News to a dying world. This Good News, revealed in the Bible, is that although we have all turned away from God and are suffering the deadly effects of sin, God has freely shown us mercy and has sent His Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins by dying on a cross. Without Jesus’ saving work for us, we are destined to a life of false hope, at best, and to a death that will remove us forever from the presence of God. But if we trust in Jesus’ work for us, then God will work in us to bring about joyous new life, and through us to bring others to Himself and to restore His creation.
The evidence of God’s work in the life of an individual is a changed heart; a transformation of the mind, will and emotions to become more like Jesus every day. We long to see God radically change our hearts and the hearts of all those who will join our fellowship.
The way God changes our hearts is by giving us His Spirit – His real, personal presence in our lives – to make us new, to lead us, to empower us, and to assure us that He will complete the good work that He has begun in us. We long each day to live less by our own strength and more in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Toward this end, we are committed to becoming a praying, Bible-saturated people.
God’s Spirit can be seen most clearly in the relationships of love that He brings about. Into this dark world, with its loneliness, selfishness and isolation, the Spirit brings the light of love, urging us to move toward one another to form deep, lasting friendships. We long to see miraculous friendships develop – friendships that reach out across all boundaries of race, class and ethnicity to show the world that God is at work.
God is working to renew His creation, and He invites us to join with Him in this labor. We long to see a renewed relationship between God and His people, and to see renewed relationships among families, friends, neighbors and co-workers. We long to see physical renewal – to see God’s healing hand at work on our hurting bodies. We long to see the city renewed, to see houses repaired, businesses thrive, the arts flourish, and a spirit of peace to reign in the streets. Finally, we long to see renewal of the environment, so that God’s glory in creation may shine in the beauty of our parks and lakes and boulevards and gardens and front yards.
Church Planting and Missions
Historically, God has chosen to bring countless people to Himself through church planting. We long to continue the church planting movement that Jesus instituted two thousand years ago. Although our primary concern is with our own city, God also calls us to use the amazing wealth and resources we have as Americans to share His Good News with the world through foreign missions. Along with the entire church around the world, we are committed to doing our part by investing our money, our time, our talents, our prayers, and even our lives to support church planting and world missions efforts.
Worship is the goal of all of our efforts, because we believe that worship is the end for which we were created. We long to worship God in all of our actions, each and every day. We also long to provide our city with the opportunity to worship God together, passionately, in public services that enable believers to pour out their hearts to the Lord, and enable unbelievers to catch a glimpse of a God who is more beautiful than they ever imagined. We long for our worship to be a preview of what it will be like one day when people of every tribe and tongue and nation will bow before the throne in praise to God.
Prayer is the life-blood of our church and of our personal relationships with Christ. We long to be a people who pray – both corporately and privately. We want to experience deeper intimacy with God, to magnify His holiness in our lives, to access his healing power for our church, to see His power at work in the city – in short, to see His kingdom come in power as a result of our prayers. Toward this end we, as a body, are crying out, “Lord, teach us to pray!”