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The most important thing about New Plainview is not what makes us distinct—it’s what we share in common with every other true church. Still, it’s inevitable that every congregation will have its own voice and vibe. The following priorities are not mere formalities, meant to look cool on a website. We pray they are the very heartbeat of our church, the core of our life together.
1. Clear Gospel
If we get this wrong, we might as well go home. Mere religiosity makes a lame hobby.
Why is the gospel first on our list? Because it was first on Paul’s: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4).
We never want to outgrow the wonder of God’s rescuing grace. The way to grow as Christians, after all, is not to move beyond the gospel; it is to move deeper into it. And what is this gospel? It is the thrilling news of what God has accomplished—through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son—to redeem and restore a lost world to himself. And the most amazing part is that anyone can get in on this. The gospel is the pulsing center of our life as a church, and its transforming power the basis of everything we do.
2. Biblical Preaching
There is a place for “topical” sermons, but the preaching at New Plainview is primarily “expository.” This ancient approach seeks to expose God’s people to God’s Word, one passage at a time. Our commitment to expository sermons is more than a preference—it is a conviction. Why? Because we are convinced that it is the words of God, not the cool ideas or ingenuity of man, that truly transform lives. We don’t want to get in the way of God’s voice.
Whether they realize it or not, every human needs to hear the full range of what God has to say—from Genesis to Revelation, each part understood in context and applied to the heart. God’s Word, after all, is what brings spiritual life and growth to God’s people. If even apostles felt constrained to preach “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), we’re not going to improve on that.
3. Passionate Worship
Worship isn’t just the warm sensation one gets from music on a Sunday morning—it’s meant to characterize every aspect of our lives. At New Plainview then, we aim to worship King Jesus not only as we gather on Sundays, but as we scatter throughout the week.
What about our musical style, though? It is neither wholly “traditional” nor solely “contemporary”—it is blended, featuring both time-tested hymns and modern praise songs. We are committed to “congregational singing,” where the primary instrument is the church’s collective voice. The whole church, then, is the worship team. (We do have musicians, but their role is more to accompany than to perform.) This style, by the way, is not rooted in denominational tradition or mere preference; it’s simply our attempt to obey the command to sing not just upward to God, but also outward to one another (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
So we prioritize songs that are biblically true, theologically rich, musically beautiful, and “congregation-singable.” No matter what song we’re singing—whether it was penned a millennium ago or a year ago, whether it gives us “all the feels” or not—we want to worship passionately, singing with gusto as if Christ’s tomb really is vacant. (Because it is.)
4. Deep Discipleship
Following Jesus is not a solo endeavor; it is a community effort. Nor is it confined to a weekly event; it is a lifestyle. At New Plainview we don’t want our growth in Christ to be haphazard and thin, but deliberate and deep. We want our members to flourish in their knowledge of Scripture and theology so that the roots of their faith grow deep and strong. None of this can be manufactured or microwaved. Only God’s Word, reverberating through the life of the covenant community, can bring forth the growth we desire.
Our discipleship infrastructure is designed to facilitate such growth and entails priorities for each member: (1) corporate worship; (2) corporate prayer; and (3) other intentional opportunities (e.g., Sunday school, men’s and women’s groups, events and retreats, one-on-one discipling relationships, etc.).
5. Deliberate Simplicity
If you are looking for a church with state-of-the-art production and a long menu of customized programs, that’s fine, but New Plainview may disappoint you. While we deeply value excellence, we channel our best energies toward fostering an ecosystem of church cultures—evangelism, discipling, hospitality, encouragement—rather than an array of programs.
Church programs can be helpful, and we will benefit from some, but we believe they must be downstream from our primary priorities. We don’t want our church to turn into a spiritual drive-thru, a mere purveyor of religious goods and services. Nor do we want to endlessly subdivide the congregation along demographic lines. Our collective central identity, after all, is the whole gathering and not the small groupings. Because spiritual growth cannot be manufactured, we orient congregational life around the ordinary means of grace, emphasizing personal initiative and life-on-life relationships—with corporate worship as both centerpiece and springboard for all we are and do.
6. Sacrificial Community
Church membership isn’t just having your name on a roll; it’s a living-and-breathing web of relationships. It’s an eagerness to say, “I am my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper—and they are mine.” It’s a commitment to intentionally serve and help others, to take responsibility for their well-being. It’s a willingness to submit to the oversight of church leaders and to the care and accountability of fellow members.
Pastors at New Plainview are not “professional Christians,” like some kind of varsity team towering over JV believers. Nor is their job to do everything themselves. Scripture makes clear that elders are to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). The members are responsible for the mission. If pastors are the supply line, members are the front line.
7. Meaningful Mercy
We do not exist just for ourselves, but for those who do not yet know Jesus. One of the most compelling ways to introduce our neighbors to him is by serving them in practical ways. Though the central mission of a local church is not to cure poverty or rehabilitate neighborhoods, we encourage and equip our members to be salt and light in our broken and hurting world. A study of the Gospels reveals that Jesus displayed one emotion more than any other: compassion. And we are called to walk in his steps. So we regularly rehearse what life was like before we knew Christ, and where we would be without him. In light of his undeserved love, we delight to meet tangible needs in his name.
With our words we speak the gospel; with our lives we show its grace.
8. Bold Prayer
There are few things more important that a church can do together than pray. In the New Testament, we see the priority not only of personal prayer, but also of corporate prayer. As the body gathers regularly to pray, we have increasing ways to praise God for answers to prayer, to see him at work in our midst, to express care for each other, and to cry out for his help as we seek to be faithful gospel ministers in Tallapoosa and around the world.
To that end, we prioritize and fill our gatherings with prayer.
9. Urgent Mission
We don’t want New Plainview Baptist to be a museum, and we don’t want it to be a mere laboratory. We want it to be a launching pad—both to our neighborhoods and to the nations. We believe that the central mission of the church is found in Jesus’s “Great Commission”: to make disciples among the nations. We serve a missionary God who is gathering a people for his glory from every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Our hope is that many will be established in our midst to then go out from our body to proclaim the gospel and even help establish other healthy churches—heavenly outposts on earthly soil.
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