The Church of Jesus Christ has many parts, yet is one body

1 Corinthians 12:18-20

Who we Are

We are believers in Jesus Christ, people who seek to follow the Lord each day and grow in faith, hope and love.  We are God’s people and we are claimed by God through  faith in Jesus Christ and therefore have hope and joy; knowing that God is in charge and over and above all things and will one day make all things new!  We seek to share our faith and joy with others and to welcome all people to experience and share in the joy of the good news of God's saving power through Jesus Christ; living transformed lives that bring glory to God and express love and care of our neighbor!  We draw strength from the Lord through prayer, worship, service to others, studying God's word and supporting and encouraging one another. 

 

We belong to a denomination known as the Presbyterian Church (USA) [for more info, click HERE].  One of the foundations of our biblical understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ, is that we are interconnected as one body.  Paul tells the Christians in Rome: “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another” (Romans 12: 4–5). Paul expands on this theme in his letter to the Corinthians: “Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body….” (1 Corinthians 12:14–20).  As one body of Christ, we are not a church "all by ourselves" here in Brownstown Indiana, but we are connected to the larger Church so that we can support one another and share in the work of the gospel together!  


We have a representative form of government led by men and women called by God to use their gifts to be leaders in Christ's church.  Our denomination has regional governing bodies called Synods (our Presbytery belongs to the Synod of Lincoln Trails; click HERE for more information).  Beneath the 'Synod' governing body is a smaller more local governing body, called the Presbytery (we belong to the Presbytery of Ohio Valley; click HERE for more information).  Individual churches (like Brownstown Presbyterian Church [BPC]) are part of Presbyteries.  We believe in representative government and are not run by one person but by groups of ruling elders (made up of equal numbers of women and men of strong faith and feel called by God to serve as leaders).  Click HERE for a very brief overview of how Presbyterians lead through biblically based representative government.  


From the way we worship, to the design of the worship space, to how the church is governed, we seek to be faithful to Christ and to the scriptures.  Presbyterians believe that other expressions of Christianity are okay, and good, and to be expected by a God who created humanity with such diversity.  In other words, we do not believe that there is only one way to be the Church of Jesus Christ.  We believe we are following the direction of scripture in how we govern our Church and how to be faithful members of it.  We welcome and invite all people to join  as they feel called!  We belong to a denomination with over 1.3 million members!  We pray for one another, we support one another, and we do the work God has called us to do together, united in Christ Jesus our Lord to the glory of God alone!


What does it mean to be presbyterian?

In a nutshell, it means that we are a church ruled by elders (presbyters; 1 Peter 5) who seek the guidance of Holy Spirit in carrying out the mission of Christ's Church.  It also means that we believe we are faithfully following the precepts of scripture in everything we do; from worship, to our understanding of the meaning and purpose of life (by living out our Christian Vocation), to our motivations in every area of our lives.  We believe that we are called to live lives of GRATITUDE for all God has done for us (Colossians 3:15 / Hebrews 12:28).  We are to respond to God's gift of grace and love by extending that grace and love to others; not to earn favor with God but because we are grateful for what God freely gave to us (and we did not deserve it in the first place; Thanks God! see Romans 8:31-39 / or click HERE for a link to a description of the favor/grace of God).  We believe we are to use our time, talents, and our treasure in grateful response to God and live our lives in ethical ways for  the sake of God's goodness and grace!


Check out more in the Beliefs section!