The Functioning Model for Ministry
at Pollock Pines Community Church
(Adopted by the Elder Team on 6/8/2022)
PART 1: WHO WE ARE
Our PURPOSE (Why we exist)
The Purpose of PPCC is to Glorify God by...
Celebrating...The living God by worshiping Him in spirit and in truth resulting in changed lives
Cultivating...Personal growth in Christ by providing opportunities for spiritual enrichment and fellowship
Caring...For one another by helping to meet one another’s needs and bearing one another’s burdens
Communicating...Christ to others by sharing the Gospel in the Pollock Pines area and around the world
Our MISSION (What God wants us to do)
Our Mission is to....
Proclaim the good news of salvation to people from all walks of life, and equip all who respond to become faithful and fruitful followers of Jesus Christ
Our VISION (What God wants us to become)
Our Vision is to…
Become a beacon of light in our community that draws an ever-increasing number of people from all walks of life to experience the love of God in Christ
Our VALUES (What we consider important)
P – Personal Faith in Christ
That each member of our fellowship will have a personal relationship with Christ
P – Practical Application of our Faith
That each member of our fellowship will live an authentic and contagious life
C – Corporate Worship and Prayer
That each member of our fellowship will worship and pray regularly
C – Church Fellowship Rooted in Love
That each member of our fellowship will honor and serve each other in love
OUR DOCTRINAL CONVICTIONS
Our doctrinal convictions are similar to those of other Bible-believing, evangelical churches. Realizing that there are differences of opinion regarding some doctrinal issues, we have chosen to focus upon the essential beliefs of the Christian faith, and not upon those less significant issues that tend to divide us. We believe that our doctrinal convictions are broad enough to include the beliefs of people from a wide variety of Christian backgrounds, yet narrow enough to remain distinctly and exclusively Christian.
All of our beliefs are drawn from the Bible, which we believe is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. If you take some time for your study, we are confident that you will find that our convictions are consistent with the clear teaching of the entire Word of God.
The Word of God
We believe that the Bible, including both the Old and the New Testaments, is the authoritative and inspired Word of God. We believe that the Bible alone is the supreme and final authority in all matters of history, doctrine, and conduct.
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father knows all things, including the thoughts and intentions of every human heart. He is perfectly holy and just, and extends His love to all mankind. The Son was fully God and fully man, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life and performed many miracles that demonstrated His deity and authenticated His ministry. He died on the cross, was buried, bodily rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven where He serves today as our Great High Priest. The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and He regenerates, sanctifies, and preserves all who put their faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that He indwells every believer at the moment of conversion, thus becoming their abiding helper, comforter, teacher, and guide.
We believe that every human being is a sinner by nature and by choice, and is spiritually dead and alienated from God. Salvation from the penalty and power of sin is a free gift of God’s grace, apart from any human merit or religious practices. We believe that salvation was purchased by the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ through the shedding of His blood on the cross, and that only those who repent of their sins and place their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins are redeemed and possess spiritual and eternal life.
We believe that the supreme purpose of every believer is to glorify God by pursuing a life of godliness and by becoming increasingly conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in every aspect of life, including their character, conduct, and their calling to minister to the needs of others.
We believe that Jesus established Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as ordinances for the church to observe. In baptism, a believer publicly declares his death to the old life and resurrection to a new life in Christ. In the Lord’s Supper, the believer is dramatically reminded of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. We believe that these ordinances are not means of salvation, but acts of devotion and obedience to Christ.
We believe that Jesus Christ fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies regarding His first coming as a suffering servant to die for the sins of mankind. We also believe in Jesus’ promise that He would return as a conquering king in power and glory. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, and that every human being will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ where those without Christ will be eternally separated from Him and those who have been saved by His blood shall enter into eternal life.
PART 2: HOW WE MINISTER
Pollock Pines Community Church was founded on November 3, 1946, just after the end of World War II. The Charter Membership consisted of 47 individuals from a wide variety of church backgrounds, including Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Covenant, and United Brethren. Being a “Community Church,” we continue to draw people from a wide variety of church backgrounds who find a common faith in the biblical convictions that we hold dear. At the same time, we are grateful that many of those with no former church backgrounds are finding new life in Christ and worshiping with us.
PPCC is, and always has been, an autonomous, self-governing church, with no ecclesiastical or denominational entity having authority over us. However, recognizing the biblical pattern of interdependence and the need for fellowship of like-minded churches, we have chosen to fellowship with the Venture Church Network, which finds its roots in the Conservative Baptist Association of Northern California. At the same time, we fellowship with other evangelical churches and Christian groups, and whenever possible, cooperate with them to promote the spread of the Gospel in the Pollock Pines area and around the world.
The Book of Acts tells us that the first believers received the Word of God and were baptized and continued to gather together regularly, devoting themselves to worship, fellowship, prayer, and the study of God’s Word. They had a sense of awe at what God was doing, a sense that God was in their midst. They shared willingly their financial resources with others as they had need. They continually praised God, being a testimony to everyone as to what God was doing in their midst. As a result, God granted the increase of their fellowship (see Acts 2:41-47). We believe that the general characteristics of the first-century church should be present in our church today.
Unlike the individualism that characterizes today’s culture, members of the early church were completely devoted to one another. They knew that being a member of the body of Christ carried with it certain expectations and responsibilities. They understood that God was not looking for men and women who were complacent spectators, but active participants in the work of ministry, using their gifts and talents in their local assembly to edify and encourage one another. In short, knowing that they were spiritual members of the world-wide body of Christ, they also knew that they were called to be participating members of the local body of Christ. These early Christians did not serve Christ in isolation. The concept of the “Lone Ranger” Christian so prevalent in today’s culture was foreign to them.
In addition, we find no evidence in the New Testament that first century churches had a “formal” church membership program. Their emphasis was clearly on discipleship, not membership. However, although we do not have a “formal” membership program, we are committed to developing faithful disciples who will partner with us in accomplishing the great things God has called us to do. We believe that your decision to join with us in ministry is a decision that must be made in response to God’s leading. If you sense God is leading for you to become a part of our church family, we want you to know what is involved in making such a commitment. We also want you to know that as a member of our church family, we make certain commitments to you as well. These commitments are discussed below.
BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE PPCC FAMILY
You become a member of the PPCC Family by being:
A born again believer in Jesus Christ
Baptized by immersion as a believer in Jesus Christ
Committed to growing as a faithful and fruitful follower of Christ
Supportive of our philosophy of ministry and doctrinal convictions
Actively involved in the life and ministry of our church
Involvement in the life and ministry of a local church is a visible expression of a believer’s love for God and for other members of the Body of Christ. Although we do not have a “formal” membership program, it does not mean that we take membership lightly. On the contrary, membership in the PPCC Family means ministry.
OUR COMMITMENTS TO YOU AS A MEMBER OF THE PPCC FAMILY
As individuals and families are led to make a commitment to the PPCC Family, we consider it our responsibility and privilege to make several commitments to you as well. You can rest assured that our lead pastor and our elders, as well as our ministry staff will:
Pray for and encourage you regularly
Provide sound biblical teaching in every aspect of church life and ministry
Provide abundant opportunities for your on-going spiritual growth and enrichment
Provide a safe place where you can use your gifts and talents in ministry
Manage with faithfulness and integrity the financial resources of the church
MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES AT PPCC
The Apostle Paul tells us that God has given every Christian unique gifts that are to be used for the benefit of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:4-6). Peter also tells us that as an expression of our love for Christ, and for one another, we are to be good stewards of the gifts we have been given by serving one another in love (1 Peter 4:8-11).
A list of the current available opportunities for ministry can be found on the information table in the Fellowship Hall. Take a moment to review the list to see if there is a place of ministry that will fit your gifts, talents, desires, and experiences in life. If you cannot find a ministry fit, talk to one of church leaders about finding a place of ministry for you. The door is wide open for you to get involved. We encourage you to walk through that door.
PART 3: HOW WE FUNCTION
ELDER TEAM – QUALIFICATIONS
PPCC is an elder-led church, overseen by shepherds who fulfill the biblical office of elders as discussed by the Apostle Paul in his letters to Timothy and Titus (1 Timothy 3:1-3, Titus 1:5-9). The lead pastor is a member of the Elder Team who joins with the other elders to accomplish the great things that God has called us to do. These qualifications include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
GENERAL – An Elder must be…
A mature Christian (not a new believer)
Holy and devout in character
Full of good deeds
Respected outside the church
SPECIFIC – An Elder must be…
Humble in spirit, not proud
Gentle and kind to others, not quarrelsome
Patient and disciplined, not quick-tempered
A lover of good, not a lover of money
Self-controlled, not controlled by addictive behavior
THE SCRIPTURES – An Elder must…
Possess a steadfast belief in God’s Word
Know God’s Word
Be able to teach God’s Word
Be able to encourage others using God’s Word
Be able to defend the Gospel using God’s Word
In addition, Elder Team members (and their wives, if married) must be actively involved in the life and ministry of the church. To be considered for leadership, potential Elders must have demonstrated faithfulness in other areas of ministry responsibility and be able to function on a leadership team that values working together above individual preferences so that God’s work will not be hindered.
ELDER TEAM – RESPONSIBILITIES
The members of our Elder Team are to…
LEAD BY EXAMPLE – By setting the pace for what it means to be an authentic and contagious follower of Jesus Christ.
DIRECT THE CHURCH – By managing the affairs of the church by establishing policies and plans so that the purpose, mission, and vision of the church may be realized. They are to consider and act upon all matters of church business and concern.
CARE FOR THE CHURCH – By serving with all humility, guiding the body toward spiritual maturity, and guarding against all harmful influences, including false teachers.
PRAY FOR THE CHURCH – By regularly and diligently praying for the needs of the church, as well as for the physical, material, and spiritual needs of individual members of the church family.
TEACH, EXHORT, AND ADMONISH – By assuring that the body is receiving adequate spiritual food through relevant biblical instruction, and by lovingly confronting those who are teaching or promoting unbiblical doctrines or who are continuing in a pattern of behavior contrary to the clear teachings of God’s Word.
RESTORE “SINNING SAINTS” – By investigating and overseeing matters of church discipline in accordance with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:15-17.
CONSIDER THEMSELVES – By guarding the integrity of each Team member, making certain that they are meeting the qualifications and responsibilities of the office, and taking any internal corrective action necessary.
Members of the Elder Team meet every other week to pray for the needs of the church and consider and act upon routine matters of church business. Special meetings of the Team are called whenever there is a need to act upon major items of church business or concern. Elders serve for an indefinite period of time, realizing that a member may request to leave his position at any time for physical, emotional, or spiritual reasons, family concerns, or when he feels that he is no longer an asset to the Elder Team. Furthermore, being an Elder requires teamwork, and although differences of opinion may arise with any church decision, if a member sees himself in consistent opposition to the decisions favored by the other members of the Team, he may choose to remove himself from his position in order to preserve the unity of church leadership.
At the end of each calendar year or at any time there is a need to add to the Elder Team, active members consider those men in the congregation who meet the qualifications of church leadership. Former Elder Team members may also be considered for return to active status. Any person within the congregation may also request someone for membership on the Elder Team. However, lacking any biblical precedent for the “election” of elders by the congregation at large, new Elders are chosen by the existing members of the Team. Such selection, however, requires a unanimous vote as well as the affirmation of the church body.
Congregational Meetings are held periodically in order to provide information to the church body, as well as to allow discussion and provide counsel regarding major decisions that need to be made by the Elder Team. Such decisions include, but are not limited to: the calling of a senior pastor; the buying or selling of property; construction of buildings; any unusually large allocation of church funds; or any amendments to the Church Constitution and Bylaws. The regularly scheduled Annual Meeting, usually held in January, is a time when the church’s goals and budget for the coming year are presented to the congregation, and new and existing Council members are recognized and presented to the church body.
In addition, any member of the Church family may submit verbally or in writing to the Elder Team any concerns for which he or she feels action needs to be taken. Such concern will be discussed and acted upon at the next regular meeting of the Elder Team, or if necessary, at a special meeting of the Team.
MAINTAINING A HEALTHY CHURCH FAMILY
God desires every Christian to live a holy and pure life in order to bring glory to God and be a shining light in a dark world. However, although every believer is a new creation in Christ, we also realize that our struggle against sin is an ongoing battle with temptation for which the Lord calls us to overcome by making use of the spiritual weapons available to us. Unfortunately, some Christians, either out of ignorance or deliberate disobedience, enter into a life of persistent sin. Such a choice adversely affects their own spiritual well-being and, in most cases, becomes a stumbling block to others, both inside and outside of the church. If such an individual confesses to be a Christian, Jesus Himself made it clear that it is the responsibility of the church to attempt to restore the “sinning saint” to a life of righteousness that is pleasing to God and a testimony to the world.
Jesus provided the guidelines for restoring a “sinning saint” in Matthew 18:15-17. If a believer is known or suspected of being involved in the promotion of discord, teaching false doctrine, or living a life that is contrary to the clear and consistent teaching of the Word of God, he or she is to be personally confronted by the person or persons who have been concerned or offended by such behavior. If such confrontation results in true biblical repentance (if such repentance is indeed necessary), the believer is immediately restored as a brother or sister in Christ.
However, if a pattern of sin is indeed confirmed, and if no repentance is evident, then a verbal or written statement of concern is to be submitted to the Elder Team. The individual shall then be lovingly confronted by at least two members of the Team, and if such confrontation still produces no repentance, then he or she shall be confronted by the Elder Team. If the Team feels that the concern against the “sinning saint” is indeed valid, and if there is still no repentance, he or she shall be asked to leave the fellowship of the church until such time that true repentance become evident. If the individual refuses to meet with the Elders of the church, the Team will draft and submit a letter expressing their concerns to the individual, requesting that he or she not participate in the services and activities of the church until such time as genuine repentance becomes evident.
It is important to understand that as an extension of God’s discipline toward us, all church discipline is to be pursued out of love and concern for the individual or individuals. If should be clearly understood that such discipline is never implemented for the purpose of retribution, but always for the purpose of restoration of the individual to the church body, and to a life of righteousness.