Philosophy of Ministry
At New Hanover Church we teach that our worship services, and overall ministry are designed and executed for believers. In recent years churches have made it their priority to insure that non-believing visitors were comfortable. In fact, this became the driving force behind much that was done for many years.
We believe that excessive accommodation of un-believers in our midst, by necessity, diminishes the spiritual temperature of worship. For fear of driving away an inquirer churches have trimmed back their ministry and message. We take seriously Paul’s example in Acts 20:20 “…I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable…” While we will cordially and tenderly welcome all who visit, the priority of our meetings will be to meet the needs of Christians.
The cross is a stumbling block to the un-believing mind - as is the exclusivity of Christianity. Repentance is a priority message that is consistently included in the preaching of the Lord Jesus, John the Baptist, and every sermon delivered in the book of Acts. We cannot remove the offense of authentic Christianity. A pragmatic avoidance of these things may draw a larger crowd – a price we believe to be too high just to fill a few extra seats.
Maturity in Christ is a mandate. The writer to the Hebrews issued a challenge that occupies the forefront of our thinking on this. He instructs: “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 6:1-2)
The problem today is not that Christians have failed to mature past these things, but rather that they have not yet arrived there. Too many of us seem to be stalled at John 3:16. It is our purpose at NHC to lead our people in serious application of God’s Word to their lives. We believe Christians should know their Bibles, have a grasp of systematic theology, and church history. Additionally, we will encourage devotional intensity, and what we call saturation Bible reading. The average Christian has never read the entire Bible. Even fewer read it through regularly. As a result the American church today is weak, and is a smaller percentage of the population than at any time in our history. If this message resonates in your heart, New Hanover Church may be a perfect place for you to exercise your faith and serve.
Closely tied to our philosophy of ministry is our philosophy of Christian music.
It may be said that there are (at least) three types of music - that which touches the head – the rich anthems of the 18th century. That which touches the foot; - the contemporary tune with a strong beat. And finally - music that touches the heart.
It’s hard to define it in words, but you’ll know the difference when you hear it. Our music will touch your heart, both in selection and execution. Our musicians are well trained and committed to excellence, but above all we are committed to lifting up and glorifying God.
We believe in Expository Preaching/Teaching - with application to today's life and culture. “This is preaching which expounds what Scripture says in a particular passage, carefully explaining its meaning and applying it to the congregation. It is a commitment to hearing God’s Word and to recovering the centrality of it in our worship.”
We like to quote Peter… “…like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,” (1Peter 2:2) Getting past John 3:16 and then past Hebrews 6:1 will only come after careful and systematic attention to the Word.
Children’s and youth ministry
A consistently troubling pattern in youth ministry has been for parents to see their children lose interest in spiritual things during adolescence. This issue crosses all denominational lines, and geographic boundaries.
We believe it is the obligation of the local church to present the claims of Christ to every young person in an atmosphere of cultural relativity – yet without compromise. We will endeavor to train our young people (and their parents) in the details of Creation Science and other forms of apologetics that our kids might remain strong during and beyond adolescence.
Right now our primary efforts focus on children in the 1st -6th grade bracket. We plan to expand to all ages as God sends us youth leaders to teach and model Christ. Could that leader be you?
All of our youth activities will be characterized by high energy, godly leadership, and authentic spirituality. Training in godliness, however, must begin in the home. Even the best youth/children’s program cannot eclipse what kids learn in their homes and in their own personal devotional life.
The Ordinances of the Church
The Lord’s Supper
Historically, the church at large has celebrated the Lord’s Supper at least weekly. In addition to church history, this seems to us to be evident from the Biblical passages that deal with it. Remember, we see Sunday meetings as believer focused. We have several stations in our meeting facility where individuals may go to take Communion. Many have lost the capacity for reflection today. A regular opportunity for “remembering the Lord,” will give some quiet time for introspection and confession.
Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28:19)
Every conversion that is described in any detail at all in the New Testament after the establishment of the Church includes Baptism. Belief was always a prerequisite. True belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord was the condition that had to exist before one Christian Baptized another. See Acts 8:36-38
It is impossible to obey the Lord and at the same time refuse to be Baptized. It is not only a great responsibility to be Baptized, but a wonderful, glorious opportunity to be identified with Christ in this marvelous way.