At First Baptist Church Elma we are committed to Making complete disciples through Christ-centered unity. The way we fulfill this vision is through our values.
As a body we value God’s Word as the truth, given to us, and all humanity, in order that we may better know God, and all that He has done (and is doing) for us in Jesus Christ. In response to this beautiful revelation, therefore, we come to the Bible to continually seek and wrestle with what it says and means, not reading our own understanding into it – but delighting in its message, so that together, in love, we can learn to obey all that God has revealed.
In this regard, since all of us are flawed human beings with limited perspectives, we agree to agree on what the Bible makes clear through applying sound principles of Biblical interpretation, while at the same time agreeing to disagree on peripheral issues that are not so clear. For instance: We agree to disagree on when Christ will return. We agree to agree on being prepared to celebrate when He does.
As people created in the image of a creative God, we recognize that all works of invention, imagination, and service can be offered as intentional acts of worship. Out of gratitude for all that God has given us in Christ, and having been made alive through the Spirit, we desire to take advantage of every opportunity to recognize and praise God for all His works, to His glory.
With this in mind, as we gather, we are eager to express thanks in any way that reflects the truth of who God is, and the honest devotion of our hearts. Therefore, style and tradition are viewed as a means to this end – to help us focus on Christ, in an orderly manner – rather than as ends in themselves.
We reach out to everyone with the same message that has changed our lives. We desire to both demonstrate and proclaim the gospel of God’s saving grace, that on the cross Jesus died in our place, for all our sins, so that by putting our faith in Him, we may cross over from death to life.
Anchored in this truth, we adapt our means and methods of ministry and communication (individually and as a church), seeking God’s guidance in the moment, to reach as many people as possible. We want to take ourselves and our personal preferences less and less seriously, so that others can take God and the gift of His Son more and more seriously.
In response to what we find in God’s presence, we go out to meet people where they are. We seek justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. We serve those who are over burdened, while helping those who can handle their own load to better carry it in Christ.
Further, as we send and support missionaries throughout the world; we give not only our finances, but also our prayerful partnership. We see service, and support efforts in that work, as a family project, so that the world may see, and experience the love of Christ in and through the love we have for one another.
We desire all our causes to be Christ-centered. Therefore, we stress faithful citizenship and Biblical activism rather than personal politics. We encourage the free expression of individual views, but not at the cost of the peace and unity of the church body.
At First Baptist Church of Elma an atmosphere exists where people feel welcome to come as they are, and be themselves, while at the same time sense that they will be challenged to grow as a member of the family of Christ.
Along these lines, we work to experience genuine and transparent interaction as we encourage one another in, and hold each other accountable to, the royal standard of Christ’s love. So that as we passionately seek Christ, in complete unity, those who visit will have every opportunity to admit that God is among us.
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE
We are affiliated with Conservative Baptists Northwest (CBNW) and Conservative Baptists America (CBA) which exists to establish, unify, and encourage local churches to win, build, and equip believers. There are approximately 280 member churches in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. We also partner with World Venture which sends out both short and long-term missionaries to 5 continents.