The Parish Church is a new church plant in Petaluma, CA. Our heart is to see the gospel of Christ saturate our lives and our city so that every man, woman, and child has a daily encounter with Jesus. We believe that the healthiest, most fruitful, and biblically formed way to be the church is to live together as a family through the everyday stuff of life. We do this primarily through Missional Communities (MC's) - a family of servant missionaries sent on mission by God as disciples who make disciples and by gathering together on Sundays to celebrate what the Lord is doing in and through us!
Below, you can explore through some of our core identities and rhythms that pertain to how we live out the gospel as a family. We're so excited to be at this stage of gathering disciples who are as passionate as we are for seeing the love of Christ blanket Sonoma County. If at any point you have questions or feel like the Spirit might be pointing you towards The Parish Church, please visit the What's Next page and reach out.
The Gospel changes everything! It is the good news that out of the love the Father had for his creation, he chose to send his Son to redeem the world through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. It's not just good news for those that are searching for Christ but it's also the motivation, power, and purpose for everything that we do as disciples. The gospel calls us into the family of God and sends us out together on the mission of making disciples that make disciples. (John 3:16-21; Ephesians 2:10, 14-22; 2 Corinthians 5:15-21)
We have been adopted as sons and daughters and set apart to live in such a way that the world would know of God's goodness, faithfulness, and love. As the family of God, we see it as both our duty and our joy to care for the needs of one another. Just as Christ came to serve, we are to serve one another both physically and spiritually. We disciple, nurture, worship, and hold one another accountable to this Gospel life together in Missional Communities. (John 1:12-13; Romans 12:10-16; Ephesians 1:5; Philippians 2:1-11)
The Father sent his Son to earth to take on human form and live within the culture. He lived in such a way that those around him could see and experience what God was truly like. Jesus came so that all people, places and things could be restored to a right relationship with God. In the same way, we believe we are missionaries sent by God’s Spirit into our culture to restore all things to God through Jesus. We do this as a family in Missional Communities. (Matthew 28:19; John 1:14, 20:21; Colossians 1:19)
We believe Missional Communities (MC's) are families of servant missionaries sent on mission by God to make disciples who make disciples. MC’s are where we gather together, worship and submit to Jesus in all of life by learning to love one another as family, serve the “least of these” in our midst, and be a witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Just as Christ said, "all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35, ESV), we believe that the gospel being lived in the context of community is the best apologetic. For this reason, MC's are the primary organizing structure of The Parish Church and are usually organized geographically (where you live // shared mission) vs. affinity (what stage of life you're in // more inward focused).
DNA Groups are an extension of MC's where a smaller group of men or women (gender specific) meet regularly to share how they are growing as disciples, to pray for one another, and to help each other fight sin. These are groups where some of the greatest transformations and growth can happen. To join a DNA group, simply find an MC and tell them you'd like to be part of one. DNA stands for:
- Discover the truths of the Gospel in Scripture
- Nurture these truths into our hearts, leading to repentance and faith in the Gospel
- Act in faith to obey what Jesus calls us to do and share with others what he is doing in our lives
When we think about how and what we are called to be as the church, we try to continually ask the question: What narrative do we find in Scripture regarding the local church and what patterns or rhythms were intended to be normative (repeated, continued on, etc.)? We believe that the gathering of the saints (by means of a collective gathering) to worship (through preaching/teaching the Word, music, prayer, honoring the sacraments, etc.) and to celebrate all of life is one of those patterns/rhythms. If there is one thing that we see as a potential downfall to the more "organic" approach of "missional church," it's been the undesirable side effect of people neglecting the gathering of the whole church - especially on the sabbath. On the flip side, we also don't believe that everything the church does should be primarily geared towards a Sunday Service. Neither extreme fits with the pattern of the Old and New Testaments' description of God's people gathering together to worship him. As the Spirit continues to grow The Parish Church, we're excited to gather all of the MC's together on Sunday mornings to worship!
the chief shepherd
Leaders are first and foremost servants of Jesus and therefore servant leaders. All leadership in the church flows from the authority of Christ as the head of the church and all true authority resides not in a person or position but in the word of God. Jesus is the chief shepherd of the flock, the risen and reigning King who has been seated with all authority to advance the Gospel through his body.
When we look at the scriptures (specifically Acts and the Epistles) we don’t see leaders as disconnected decision makers or power brokers in the church. We see examples of Christian maturity, people who are not perfect but have evidenced maturity in Christ. Therefore the fundamental identity of a Christian is a disciple. Leaders are disciples first, and leaders second. Disciple is an identity; everything else is a role (mother, father, worker, etc).
Pastors/Elders & Deacons
As The Parish Church grows, we aim to be led by biblically qualified pastors/elders and deacons that take seriously the responsibility to shepherd the church and renew the city. The primary role of these leaders is "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ..." This is a high call and one that requires much sacrifice, but we look to the Chief Shepherd as our guide. As such, we pray in eager anticipation for the Lord to raise up these Godly leaders amongst us.
** Roles based off of gifts/strengths **
**As The Parish Church launches, we are dedicated to the biblical call of having a plurality of leaders. There can be obvious challenges to this when there's only one planting pastor to start, but we are overwhelmed by God's grace at giving us such a great partnership with local area pastors/elders from Anthem Church in San Rafael, CA and Refuge Christian Fellowship in Santa Rosa, CA. Pastors from these churches as well as Josh Wroten (Director of Church Planting - NextGen Churches) will provide provisional leadership and oversight until such a time that the Lord allows us to lay hands on capable and qualified elders and deacons who will help shepherd and pastor the saints at The Parish Church.**
What We Believe
For The Parish Church, Jesus and his gospel of grace are at the center of everything we do. He alone is our motivation to live and love. While the doctrines that express our faith in Him aren’t the only thing, they are certainly a very important thing. It’s not enough for us to simply say “we believe in Jesus,” or “we believe in the Bible,” without answering the questions, “What do we believe about Jesus?” and “What do we believe that the Bible specifically teaches?” Having a high view of theology and doctrine helps us answer these questions so that we can know and love God more fully.
Like many saints before us and like the many churches that we partner with, we align with a historic Christian faith: a faith that holds to the divine inspiration of the Bible and is well stated in many of the creeds such as the Apostles Creed. We've also inherited the ancient maxim: "In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials diversity, in all things charity." In other words, we believe that all doctrine is important, but that common adherence on all points of doctrine is not necessary for salvation. What this means practically is that The Parish Church is comprised of believers from a varying spectrum of theological backgrounds and we celebrate that diversity. In everything, we hope to elevate the supremacy, sufficiency, and joy in the gospel of Christ.
Below, you'll find concise statements about what we believe on both essential and non-essential doctrines:
The power of the gospel
The gospel is good news that through Jesus we have been saved from the penalty of sin (justification), are being saved from the present power of sin (sanctification), and will be saved from the presence of sin (glorification). We find that the gospel meets our every need and reshapes the totality of our world.
We believe all people are created in the glorious image of God, disfigured by Adam’s sin, which is inherited and reflected by all humanity. As a result, all humanity is under the just condemnation of the one, true, holy God. However, we joyfully believe that all who repent of their sin and trust Jesus Christ as their Redeemer are delivered from condemnation and renewed in the image of God.
We believe the church is a spiritual community comprised of all who have trusted in Christ for redemption. The church is God’s imperfect people who are being perfected by grace and together cling to a perfect Christ. We are a missionary community created by the Spirit on the mission of Christ to redemptively engage the peoples and cultures of the world.
We believe Christians should live for the glory of God and the good of others, that their conduct should be like Christ’s rendered possible by the gospel.
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the renewal of all things. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, and the eternal joy of the redeemed.
We believe the Bible is the Word of God, ultimately authored by the triune God, focused on Jesus Christ, written by men under the influence of the Holy Spirit, possessing supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe there is one living and true God, an eternal community of divine persons (Father, Son, and Spirit), who are equal in every way, operating in distinct and complementary ways throughout the history of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation.
God the Father
We believe in God, the Father, a personal being, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that his mission is to magnify the riches of his mercy by redeeming the brokenness and sin of all who trust in Jesus Christ and in renewing the whole world.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, sent by the Father and incarnated by the Holy Spirit. We believe in his sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, continual prayer for his people, and personal visible return to earth.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit, sent from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that the full range of his gifts are operative today and apportioned to each believer as he sees fit.
Church planting alone is as unhealthy and unwise as it is impossible. The joy, wisdom, and encouragement that comes from partnering with other likeminded and faithful saints is invaluable. We've invited Godly men and women from a few strategic organizations and churches to partner with us along the journey of planting The Parish Church. They not only provide us with the necessary support and funding, but with accountability, coaching, and camaraderie. Our current Ministry Partners are: