What is LBC Like, Really?
Here are 10 things to know about LBC
1. Jesus is our Senior Pastor
We do not have a formal “Senior Pastor” or “senior leader” in our church. We are committed to team leadership amongst the pastors. Team leadership means that no one person has ultimate authority over the church. The Elders as a whole oversee the church. Team Leadership means sharing the responsibility of the church. It also means that no major decisions for the life of the church will be made without consensus among the elders. On a ministry level, ministries should generally be led by a team. No one person should have complete control over a ministry. Moreover, leaders should have someone “waiting in the wings” to take over if they are unable to serve in the ministry for some reason.
2. Stick Around
We recognize that it can be hard to connect to a new church. You walk in the door and there are a lot of new people you don’t know. One of the best ways to get to know us is to stick around after the service for a cup of coffee, tea or a drink of your choice. Connection happens through conversation. So hang out with us, because you’ll usually find at least one of the pastors hanging out in the lobby afterwards, ready to chat and answer any questions you might have.
3. Christ-Centered Preaching
We preach Christ-centered, expository messages. We work through books, or portions of books, in a passage-by-passage manner (expository). We make sure that Christ’s person and work is lifted up in every message. A message which is merely about “what we must do” is a sub-Christian message. We interpret the text with an eye to say, “Where is Jesus in this text”? Every sermon should connect to the person of work of Jesus Christ in some ways because we are saved by God’s grace, not our moral performance.
4. Congregational Singing
Our music focuses more on lyrical content than how it sounds. While we strive for excellence in the music, we care more about the congregation singing than flawless performance. This means we do not “drown out” the congregation. We choose songs with rich theology, believing that the right worship of God (orthodoxy) leads to right living for God (orthopraxy).
5. Liturgy Forms Us
Every worship service has a rhythm, or liturgy. Our liturgy is built around re-telling God’s story: God is holy, we are sinners, Jesus saves us from our sins, and Jesus sends us out on his mission. Therefore, we begin services with a Call to Worship and then move to a time of corporate confession of sin. We sing songs of praise to God, and then hear the preaching of God’s word. Every service ends with a benediction, which is a blessing for the road as we are sent out on God’s mission.
6. Church Calendar
We operate on a modified church calendar. We understand the importance of rhythms on a weekly basis with the liturgy of every worship service. We also recognize that our years unfold with a certain regularity as well. So we celebrate the historic seasons of Advent and Lent in our church. Advent, which culminates in the celebration of Christmas, reminds of Jesus’ first coming in the Incarnation and sets our hope on his second coming at the end of history. Besides Advent, we also celebrate Lent, even though we are not a Catholic Church. Lent is not about earning God’s love, for we already have his love bestowed on us through faith in Christ. Instead, we seek to “redeem” the Lenten season by having it be a time where we intentionally focus our minds on Christ’s sacrifice for us.
7. Allergic to Legalism
We are allergic to legalism. We uphold salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone at all times. We also hold to the primacy of the gospel in our doctrine and summarized in our Statement of Faith. We do not bind the consciences of our members for other doctrines and beliefs outside of the Statement of Faith and Church Constitution. We do not allow people’s pet principles to be imposed on the church. While we may hold strong opinions on second (Church order doctrines: baptism, ecclesiology) or third-level doctrine (matters/views of preference: end times, charamatics gifts, etc.), we do not divide the LBC body over those things.
8. We Love Students
We invest heavily in students (middle school, high school, and college). We have two staff pastors overseeing the Youth Group (6th-12th grade) and SPUR, the college ministry. We put staff over these areas because we see these years as formative times for growth in Christ.
9. Equipping the Next Generation
We put intentional time and effort into passing on the faith to the next generation. We do this through well-run programs and investment in parents for the discipling for their children. We have LBC Kids available on Sunday mornings to teach children the truth of God in an age-appropriate way. But we also realize that parents are the most influential people in their child’s life. So we seek to resource, encourage, and equip parents to disciple their children throughout the week.
10. Issues, not politics.
We are not a political-interest group. We do not allow political agendas (Left or Right) to hijack the ministry of the church. While the gospel certainly transforms our political life, it does not form us into partisan champions. The gospel transforms our politics by first dethroning politics (Jesus is Lord; not Caesar). It then pushes most political decisions into the realm of wisdom and common sense; not sanctification. Who we vote for is a matter of prudence, not morality (“You’re in sin if you vote for X candidate…”). We can coexist with believers of different political persuasions because we know that our political identity is subservient to our identity in Christ.