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We consider Verse by Verse Church (VXV) a teaching church. And we do so with the sole objective of knowing Christ and maturing in Him, that we might then make Him known. The majority of the teaching is expositional with an emphasis on present application. That is to say, expositional teaching endeavors to teach the whole council of God, engaging His written Word systematically, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. We do not go to the Word of God to support our own pre-conceived ideas, but rather we go to the Word of God to inform and develop our theology. There are times when topical teaching is appropriate, but we feel strongly that the main diet coming from the pulpit should be expositional teaching.
The 5 primary reasons for this are as follows. 1. Expositional teaching expresses our belief in the whole Bible as God’s authoritative, living, and active Word. 2. Expositional teaching makes it easier for the hearers to recognize that authority rests not in the speaker’s opinions or reasoning, but in the revelation of God through the text itself. 3. Expositional teaching enables God to set the agenda for our faith community rather than men. 4. A steady diet of expositional sermons teaches the hearers how to read their own Bibles and how to think through a passage to it’s intended meaning. And finally, expositional teaching keeps us away from pet themes and doctrines and exposes us to a greater range of passages and subjects. And what this accomplishes over time for the disciple, is a greater and greater clarity of the centrality and glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to whom all proper exposition points.
We believe in engaging the congregation as fully as possible in the study of God’s Word. We encourage you to follow along in your Bible, take notes, and utilize the weekly outlines and study guides. We’ve found this much easier to do while sitting at a table rather than in a row. Additionally, we believe that sitting around tables with one another is an arrangement that lends itself to fostering a sense of community better than the traditional row or pew seating arrangements.
VXV supports the New Testament example of giving, found in 2 Corinthians 9:7. That is to say, we do not believe giving should be compulsory, but rather cheerfully, in whatever way God has enabled you to give. We seek to mitigate to the greatest possible degree any external or manipulative influence upon a believer’s giving.
Pray – Serve – Give. Pray, pray pray. We believe in the centrality and efficacy of prayer to the fruitful Christian experience. Serve the local body and community. There are a variety of areas that you can serve the local body here at VXV. Please inquire as you feel led. And finally please pray about how you can financially support God’s work at VXV. While giving is necessary to support the ongoing concerns of the Church, we believe the Scriptures clearly present the primary benefit of financial giving as accruing to the believer themselves.
We believe water baptism is intended for the individual who has come to the saving knowledge of the person and works of Jesus Christ, and we strongly encourage anyone who can give a reasonable testimony of that reality to do so. We also believe in baptism by immersion because it is the original meaning of the word and best symbolizes the reality to which baptism points: our identification with the death and resurrection of Christ, and that we are no longer under the mastery of sin (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-11). We believe that baptism is a profound and joyous occasion for those participating to express their joy in Christ with their family of believers, making an outward profession of the faith that resides within.
As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper or communion is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we come to the table with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body.
VXV is not a denominational fellowship, nor are we opposed to denominations as such, only their over-emphasis of the doctrinal differences that can lead to division in the Body of Christ. VXV has been formed as a fellowship of believers where the supreme desire is to know Christ and to be conformed to His image by the power of the Holy Spirit. While we believe the local assembly functions best under a plurality of eldership at the local level, we have also aligned ourselves with and are part of The Gospel Coalition (TGC), which is a broadly reformed network of churches, seeking to advocate Gospel centered principles and practices that glorify Jesus Christ and do good for those for whom He shed His life’s blood. The TGC family of churches represent a variety of reformed theological backgrounds, and while individual churches within the TGC framework hold on to certain theological distinctives, we agree on a set of foundational positions that we subscribe to as an addendum to our statement of faith. You can find a further articulation of our vision and our statement of faith here, and available in printed form at our Welcome Center on site.
Based on examples we see throughout the Scriptures, it is our belief that parents have the privilege and responsibility to be the primary spiritual teachers of their children. It is our desire to come alongside parents and help equip them in their capacity to disciple their children. We offer age appropriate, Sunday morning classroom environments for Nursery through 5th Grade.
- Nursery (0-2 yrs)
- Preschool (3-5 yrs)
- VXV Kids (K-2nd Grade)
- VXV Kids (3rd-5th Grade)
Our caring Children’s Ministry volunteers help provide a friendly and safe environment where your children can come to know Jesus Christ, who loves them more than they can imagine. Through solid Biblical curriculum, scripture, prayer, songs, stories, and activities, your children will learn about the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our kids are not simply learning stories about Bible heroes; they are being shown how each of the biblical characters and stories point to and teach of Jesus Christ.
Students (Middle School and High School): Our Student Ministry meets every Sunday evening during the school year from 6:30-8pm. Student Ministry gatherings include a combination of worship music, prayer, teaching, group discussion, fun activities, and service projects. Our objective is to build in our students a faith that will endure, as we serve them, build them up, and equip them to deal with the skepticism that their generation of peers will bring forth, and that our students would come to understand and appreciate that we practice a very intelligent and defensible faith.
With that objective in mind, we also address real-world topics and issues that our students are regularly faced with, and lay the grid of the Gospel over those issues, so that we can best understand how God would have us respond. Additionally, during the 10am morning service, we provide an age appropriate study outline designed specifically for our students so that they can follow along with the message.
Yes! There are a variety of ways in which VXV regularly engages in mission work.
- Teaching: The single greatest mission directive we have as followers of Jesus is to proclaim His good news. Not only do we regularly share the gospel on Sunday mornings, but we also host a community-wide, inter-church Bible study every Monday @ 6:30pm. Additionally, our messages are shared for free around the world via our YouTube channel and free phone app.
- King’s Closet: King’s Closet is our on-site free store where people from around the greater St. Joseph County area can come in by appointment and obtain free, gently used clothing for themselves and their family. While here, we also offer a free Bible to those who don’t already have one, and we look for opportunities to share the gospel with them.
- Pregnancy Helpline Center of Three Rivers: As a community partner of ours, VXV regularly supports the Pregnancy Helpline Center of Three Rivers.
- Gideons International: VXV also supports Gideons International
- VXV Student Ministry: The middle and high school students of VXV regularly engage in organized mission projects at the local and regional level.