While we often fall short of our ambitions, at Providence we attempt to maintain certain priorities in our church culture. Beginning with Lord’s Day worship, all of ministries aim to be undertaken with truth, beauty and goodness in order to capture the imagination of our humanity and tempt us to joyful gratitude. Some of the ways we try to shape our church culture are:
The Truth of God’s Story
The story of humanity unfolds from Genesis to Revelation; from Adam dwelling in the garden to the redeemed dwelling with God in the new heavens and the new earth. The Scriptures teach that the only way that sinful man can get from here to the new creation is through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Further, the Bible teaches that if anyone is going to know God, He is revealed through the person and work of His Son, Jesus.
Therefore, at Providence we are committed to preaching the Gospel of Christ from all of Scripture in order that we might know Christ and make Him known.
The Goodness of Community
God created man in His own image and since God has always existed as a community (one God, in three distinct persons) it comes as no surprise that we were created to dwell in community as well.
One of the most painful results of the fall is that our sin divides us from one another. We see divisions in our own culture based on race, age, gender, socio-economic status and political affiliation. Christ came to join together that which was formerly divided and has chosen to reveal Himself to the world through this united community.
Therefore, at Providence we do not break our services apart according to style preferences or peer groups but we worship as a single congregation; the young and the old, the contemporary and the traditional, the white collar and the blue collar, those who seemingly have it together and those who do not. For in each of these the riches of Christ’s grace are shown forth.
Christ makes himself known in the present world through the ministry of the church and through the existence of a people living in restored fellowship with God and in true relationship with one another.
Therefore, at Providence we seek to be a community that makes Christ known by sharing our lives with one another; rejoicing with each other, grieving with each other, encouraging each other, forgiving each another, and feasting with each other. All as visible manifestations of Christ’s work in us. As the Psalmist said, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when the brethren dwell in unity!”
The Beauty of Liturgy
People do not normally associate the terms “beautiful” or “Christ-centered” with the word “liturgy”. Yet at Providence, we believe that through the liturgy Christ and the beauty of the Gospel are made known. In the worship service, we get an opportunity to express our praise, our gratitude and our love to God but, best of all, we also get to hear God’s assurance to us that, in Christ, we are forgiven and beloved. Through the shape of the liturgy, Christ is made known as the pattern of the Gospel gloriously unfolds before us every week.
In the service God calls us to Himself, cleanses us from our sin, consecrates us by His word, communes with us at His table, and commissions us to serve Him in the world by serving others. It is through the drama of worship that God reorders our loves as He reveals Christ to us as “altogether lovely”.
Therefore, at Providence we seek to know Christ and make Him known through the beauty of a service based on God’s Word and shaped by the Gospel.