core values and practices…
To know and Love God
To befriend people who feel disconnected from God
To grow believers into mature Christ-followers
To serve Decatur and the world in the way of Jesus
Transformation by the Spirit of God.First Baptist Church of Decatur participates in a Christian tradition in which all members have experienced personal conversion, that is, they have given themselves wholeheartedly to the Risen Christ and received God’s transforming Spirit into their lives. This tradition is called “baptist” because each person, after conversion, has been baptized in water symbolizing “death” and “burial” to one’s former life of self-direction and “rising” to live a transformed life directed by the Holy Spirit of God.
Daily choosing to know and follow Christ.
The initial giving of oneself to Christ is repeated each day as a baptized believer lives a life shaped by the biblical story—a life of prayer, obedience to Christ and service to others. Scripture is the primary source of our faith and practice at First Baptist Decatur.
We participate in weekly corporate worship. In worship we gather to acknowledge that God alone is worth living for, to praise God, to own up to our sin, and to share together what God is doing in our lives and in the world. True worship leads to changed living.
All people matter to God. We believe that the church exists for the world and not for herself. Some of the most important people at FBC are those we haven’t yet met.
We believe that everything we have is really God’s and not our own.
Therefore we regularly return to God a significant part of our income
and we join with the church community in discerning how these gifts
will be used. At First Baptist Decatur, the biblical “tithe” (10% of
one’s income) is a giving goal. At the same time, as the biblical
parable of the 'widow's mite' (Mark 12:41-44) indicates, it is not the
actual dollar amount that is significant, but that we give an amount
that matters, and according to our financial ability.
If you are in need of care…if you are sick or grieving or going through some hard struggle, First Baptist Church will be there for you. It may be a member of your Sunday School class who reaches out to you. It may be one of our pastors or deacons or the person you sat next to in worship last week…but First Baptist Church will be there for you.
We believe that it is not possible to mature fully as followers of Christ apart from other believers. For this reason we participate weekly in groups smaller than the worship assembly for the purpose of prayer, study, accountability, and mission. These communities promote transparency in relationships and ever-increasing self-surrender to transformation by the Spirit.
The word “ministry” is a biblical word that means “being a servant.” Jesus described his purpose as serving and instructed his followers to see their life-purpose as serving, too. Thus, all church members are ministers. Each Christian is uniquely equipped for ministry with natural talents and spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit. At FBC Decatur it is one of our goals that 100% of our membership be engaged in ministry of some kind; that every member is “out of the stands, on the field and in the game.” In the pattern of Ephesians 4:11-13, the main function of the pastors on our staff is to equip the men, women and youth at FBC Decatur for ministry.
God is beautiful and has made a beautiful world. We value creative and artistic expression—art, poetry, dance, music, etc.—and look for ways to encourage these in each other individually and corporately.