MISSION & VISION
The Parish Church is a new church plant in Petaluma, CA. We are a gospel-centered family practicing the way of Jesus for the renewal of our cities. Our prayer is that through this pattern of living, we'll see the gospel of Christ saturate our lives and our cities so that every man, woman, and child has a daily encounter with Jesus.
Below, you can explore through some of our core identities and rhythms that pertain to how we live out the gospel as family. If at any point you have questions or feel like the Spirit might be pointing you towards The Parish Church, please visit the Connect 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 gather together the first three Sundays of the month as the whole church to celebrate what the Lord is doing and to reorient our lives around Jesus. When we gather, our worship involves...
1) Biblical Expository Preaching — Preaching is central to our Gatherings. And the Bible sets the agenda. This is not necessarily a line by line teaching through the Bible so much as letting the main idea of the text determine the main idea of the sermon. This may mean we preach through a book of the Bible or occasionally preach over a topic such as 'Marriage & Parenting,' 'Faith & Work,' or ‘Sexual Ethics’ that involve looking at what the Bible has to say about these issues.
2) Passionate Worship — We want to have our Gatherings be shaped by the Gospel as much as possible. This means that each week we have a Call to Worship that reflects the Gospel Narrative of Creation - Fall - Redemption - Restoration. We sing songs that are loud, upbeat, and joyful as well as songs that are more of a somber, reflective lament. In the midst of these movements, we pray and read scripture — often together out loud as a unified community speaking the Gospel to one another.
3) Observing the Ordinances/Sacraments — Baptism & the Lord's Supper (the eucharist) are the two ordinances/sacraments given to the church in which we are to participate. Every week we partake in the Lord's Supper and throughout the year we celebrate the baptism of individuals who have received new life and adoption into the Kingdom through Christ Jesus.
4) Generous Giving — We worship a generous God who gives us ‘grace upon grace.’ We also seek to be a generous people who give our finances, time, energy, and other resources for the advancement of the Kingdom of God through supporting our local church, our city, and church planting efforts elsewhere.
We scatter throughout the week to display the light of the gospel throughout our city as we follow Jesus together. When we scatter, our worship involves...
1) Missional Communities — A Missional Community is more than a small group (but not less than one). They aim to be a family of servant missionaries sent by God as disciples who make disciples. Our Missional Communities gather weekly to apply the sermons and seek to live life in Biblical community that challenges and encourages each person to grow in following Jesus. These groups are about more than existing primarily for ourselves and instead seek to engage those who are far from Christ as part of our mission.
2) Missional Living — God has called us to be witnesses to the greatness of the Gospel and to make disciples who make disciples. Because of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, everywhere we go is now our mission field. Our schools, jobs, neighborhoods, restaurants, stores, etc. are all avenues for us to reach the an unbelieving world with the grace found in Jesus Christ. We seek to intentionally build relationships with those around us to love them as people being made in the image of God who we long to see come to Christ.
3) Cultural Engagement — Not only are we stewards of the Gospel message, but God has placed us in our city to be a blessing to the city itself and to seek its flourishing. We are passionate about seeing Gospel Renewal in the areas of society such as arts, education, government, social services, healthcare, and family. We believe there is no such thing as a ‘secular/sacred’ divide. Jesus is Lord over all, and we want to see his glory displayed through the engagement of culture-specific issues approached with Gospel truth & love.
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).
Elders & Deacons
As The Parish Church grows, we aim to be led by biblically qualified 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’re thankful for God's grace in giving us such a great partnership with local area pastors/elders from the Bay Area. Char Brodersen (Pastor — Refuge Christian Fellowship in Santa Rosa, CA), Josh Wroten (Director of Church Planting — NextGen Churches), and CJ Bergmen (Pastor — Citizens Church in San Francisco, CA) are providing 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 lead and shepherd 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 an 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 support us in a myriad of ways that include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) finances, coaching, accountability, and camaraderie. Our current Ministry Partners are: