One Mission – Seven Values – One Goal – Seven Distinctives
In response to God’s gift of Jesus, TPC desires to be a church who: gratefully HONORS the one triune GOD, peacefully extends the WELCOME of the gospel to ALL and intentionally EMBODIES CHRIST’S REIGN in Murfreesboro, Middle Tennessee, and beyond.
Honoring God – Welcoming All – Embodying Christ’s Reign
The Good News of Jesus
The gospel is the announcement that God’s reconciling and renewing reign has broken into our brokenness for the purpose of bringing restoration, personally and globally. This announcement is proclaimed in the Scriptures, embodied in Jesus, and lived out through the church in the power of God’s Spirit. It is at the center of all we do and desire to be as Christ’s church. The gospel renews our lives, shapes our ministries and pushes out to embody the healing presence of Christ in places where he sends us.
The Life-Transforming Worship of Jesus
By nature every human is a worshipper. Worship is built into who we are. At Trinity, worship is the engine that forms us more and more into the image of Jesus and drives our life together and our mission to the city. Specifically, our worship is a “contemplative celebration” where we seek to be attentive to God’s presence through listening to God’s word, responding to God with prayer and praise and feasting at Jesus’s table.
The Grace-filled Story of Jesus
The Bible is more than a set of rules and doctrinal positions. Fundamentally, it is God’s given story concerning his redemption of his people and his world through Jesus. Seen in this way, the Bible is a story about Jesus. At Trinity, we affirm its living authority over our lives, its power to change us. It is also source that shapes our theological identity.
The Family of Jesus
There is no such thing as ‘Island Christianity.’ In other words, following Jesus is never done is isolation, but always in community – in the community of the Trinity and in the community of the church. At Trinity, we are committed to relational ministry believing that growth in the gospel and the mission of the gospel is to done to together. For this purpose, we place a great emphasis on cultivating community at Trinity through our community group ministry.
The Hospitality of Jesus
As followers of Jesus we have been welcomed by God’s grace into the life of God and into the life of his family. As ones who have been welcomed we therefore, seek to welcome…to welcome one another and all. This welcome is bigger than offering a simple “Hello” on Sunday morning, for fundamentally it is a welcome that offers respite in the gospel and in community. At Trinity, we seek to live by an “Open heart, Open home” policy toward all for the sake of Jesus.
The Compassion of Jesus
Out of compassion for us Jesus came and gave himself away for us on the cross. It is his compassion that compels us to give ourselves away for the other. For this reason, Trinity seeks to be a community who lovingly embodies God’s compassionate presence in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County through friendship and service, especially to the broken and needy.
The Beauty of Jesus
Our God is beautiful and his beauty is reflected in his creation and redemption. For this reason, Trinity seeks to be a community that celebrates God’s beauty in all of life through an enjoyment of art and music and all in the hope that his beautiful transcendence will captivate our lived immanence.
At TPC we speak of discipleship or following Jesus in terms of Christian Formation. We do this because this is the language the Apostle Paul uses in describing his ministry when he writes, “my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). In light of this, everything we do as a church is connected to and serves the purpose of helping our members become more and more like Jesus. Christian Formation then, is the goal of our vision and the expression of our values.
Where does Christian Formation occur?
The primary place where Christian Formation occurs is in the church, the family of God. As one writer as put it, “the most potent, charged, transformative site of the Spirit’s work is found in the most unlikely places – the church”, for the church functions as the mother of all the faithful, for through her, in the power of the Spirit, we are birthed into the life of Jesus and we grow to look more like Jesus so as to reflect Jesus in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. Therefore, it’s through participation in the family of Jesus, through her various ministries, that Christ is formed in us and through us. For more information on TPC’s ministries please see our various brochures located at our Welcome Center.
Making Christian Formation Simple
Participating in the life of a church can be a bit daunting due to the many offerings and opportunities available. It can also lead one to the impression that a church is truly alive because so much is going on. However, just because there may be a lot going on doesn’t necessarily mean Christian Formation is happening. Therefore, at Trinity we strive to live by the principle ‘Less is more’. In other words, we want to be strategic and simple in what we offer and encourage our people to participate in. So what does this look like?
- A Commitment to Participating in Corporate Worship on the Lord’s Day
If corporate worship is neglected then formation and growth in Christ will be stunted. For the primary ‘shaping’ of God’s people occurs in the context of worship. Worship is at the heart of Christian Formation. Through the rhythm and ritual of worship God is at work pointing us to Christ and forming us in his image. It’s in worship that God is recalibrating and reorienting our desires. As one writer has put it, ‘The practices of Christian worship train our love – they are practice for the coming kingdom, habituating us as citizens of the kingdom of God. Christian worship, we should recognize, is essentially a counterformation to those rival liturgies we are often immersed in, cultural practices that covertly capture our loves and longings, miscalibrating them, orienting us to rival versions of the good life. This is why worship is the heart of discipleship.’ (Smith, James K.A., You Are What You Love)
- A Commitment to Participating in Community
As already mentioned, we cannot and will not grow alone. We need community, for we were created and redeemed for community and in Christ we have been given community. Therefore, we are in community whether we like it or not. But this does not mean community will happen automatically. No, it must be cultivated. At Trinity, this cultivation of community happens primarily in the context of our community groups. These are groups that meet in homes or at the church and they focus on four areas in particular…intentional fellowship, kingdom-focused prayer, gospel application and community service.
- A Commitment to Participating in Service
God is forming us, equipping us, to serve, for we belong to the One who came not be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). At Trinity there are many areas and ways to use your gifts and talents in the service of Jesus and his kingdom. The following are some of those areas:
- Serving on a Ministry Team where the goal is not only inward growth, but outward growth
- Leading a Community Group
- Adopting an RUF Student
- Seeking to show hospitality in those areas where the Lord has placed you
What do we as individual Christians, as families and as church family look like to each other and to the world in which we live? The following seven distinctives define the “look” and “feel” of TPC.
- Committed to prayer. We will never become the people God has called us to be on our own or in our own strength. Only God can transform and therefore only through prayer, through our dependently seeking God, will be formed into the beautiful image of Jesus.
- Committed to the cultivation of our desires. At the core, human beings are creatures who desire; and in this way we are what we want. Our desires are at the center of what we are as human beings, and the source of our desires is our hearts. In this way, we see the transformation of our hearts as the centerpiece of all we do.
- Committed to being covenantal, reformed, and Kingdom-centered.
- We are covenantal. This means that we see the Bible as unified by and under God’s one covenant of grace that he’s made with his people with Jesus as the mediator. The Bible is a unified story that finds its fulfillment in Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection.
- We are reformed. This means our theology is rooted in the historical movement of the 16th century known as “Magisterial Reformation.” This movement desired to get back to reform the church in accordance with the apostolic teaching of the Scriptures. Being reformed means we rejoice in the following foundations…Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Faith Alone, Grace Alone, and To God be the Glory Alone.
- We are Kingdom-centered. This means that we see God’s Kingdom as a present reality even if not a completed one. In other words, the kingdom is here and the kingdom is coming, and we can say this because Jesus came to set up his kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. One day the whole world will be filled with God’s reign, but until then we are called to bear witness to it in submitting our lives to Jesus in every place and with every part of our lives.
- Committed to the cultivation of community. The Christian Life cannot be lived alone. That’s why God brings us into the church because we need one another. In this way, we have community whether we like it or not, but this does not mean community comes easily. We have it, yet we’re called to cultivate it. At TPC we are committed to this by being committed to our community group ministry. It is our hope that our people will turn to these groups to find the gift of community in tangible and personal ways.
- Committed to equipping our elders to shepherd our congregation. We have a crafted a carefully monitored pastoral care system that includes pastors, elders, deacons, and community group leaders. Through this system will seek to ensure that no one will fall through the cracks and that our congregation is personally and intentionally cared for.
- Committed to equipping our congregation for ministry. The work of TPC’s leadership is to equip the people of God for ministry. For this reason, we will work hard at helping our people discern their spiritual gifts in order to use those gifts in either a “building up” ministry or a “going out” ministry.
- Committed to being hospitable. We desire to be a church that serves the un-churched and the re-churched. In doing this, we will strive to maintain and welcoming presence to all encouraging all to ask questions so as to learn about the Christian journey of following Jesus.