What We Believe

Jacob’s Well Church Statement of Faith and Values:

Statement of Faith: What we believe:

Being a people of the Word, the Spirit and Action (Jn 6:63) we are called to be attentive to the will and ways of God in the times we live (Acts 13:36).

We serve an eternal God that cares about the universal outworking of the consummation of all things in Christ and the fallen sparrow (Matt. 10:29) and the number of hairs on our head (Lk 12:7). He is both outside and above it all and intimately present and vested in it all (Eph 4:6).

As Kings and Priests in the Kingdom of God (Rev. 5:10), we are called to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9), committed to proclaiming truth and engaged in the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:11-25) through the preaching and teaching of the gospel words and works (Heb 2:1-4).

Our goal is to see every heart, mind and hand surrendered and committed to the person and cause of Christ (1 Tim. 1:5).

We are all called to serve the purposes of God in our generation, it requires people committed to listening and obeying the authority of Scripture, the voice of the Lord and the directives of the Spirit.

Our work is rooted in a particular people, a place and a time. Our lives matter in time and eternity. We are responsible for the opportunities and challenges of our time in history.

By Christ’s work, we are invited to walk in the authority and power of God, wrestling with powers and pricaplaties in prayer and speaking the truth and demonstrating the power, compassion and sovereignty of God in daily life.

Jacob’s Well Church is purposeful in the ‘type’ of Church community we are, both in it’s core Christian doctrine focus and the mission and ministry methodologies we cultivate or reject. Who we are and what we do or don’t do as a church are connected to our vision and values as a body on mission in East Central, Spokane and beyond.

Our worship is contemporary, bible based preaching and teaching.

Our purpose is focused on equipping followers of Jesus for a life of faithful mission.

Our evangelistic focus is the unreached, undecided and de-churched.

Our passion is Jesus and the historic, apostolic gospel.

Our methods are practical service by believers who love God with their head, heart and hands.

Our Church theological culture is influenced by:

-The Evangelical movement:

Mission and ministry in evangelism, church planting/care and discipleship.

-The Protestant tradition:

Bible, doctrine and historic tradition.

-The Charismatic movement:

Worship, signs, wonders and gifts of the Spirit.

-The Missional movement:

Community minded, local-focused mercy and justice work.

In an effort to maintain a diverse and accessible church community, we maintain a commitment to the core Christian doctrines of the historic Christian church and protestant tradition. Our values and practices as a church are influenced by the main evangelical streams of recent church history: the protestant reformation, the evangelical, charismatic and missional movement. These renewal movements are recognized not to identify with each distinctive within them but to explain the type of church understanding, experience and practices we embrace.

Below is a general list of movements that represent problematic aberrations and deviations from the historic Christian faith and practice. We are not saying that anyone in these groups is not a follower of Jesus, but the structures, practices and doctrinal distinctives of these groups or movements warrant concern, avoidance, rejection or rebuke on biblical grounds.

-New Apostolic Reformation (modern Apostles with the 12 Apostles level of authority)

-Manifest sons of God/hyper-identity movement (deification of humanity)

-The Word of Faith movement (Faith is a force & you are in control of it)

-Prosperity gospel (God wants everyone rich and well)

-Hard-right complementarianism or hard-left egalitarianism(re: roles of men and women)

-Hard Cessationism (the gifts of the Spirit ended with the Apostles)

-Religious and cultural progressivism (Bible isn’t authoritative for morals and doctrine)

-Cultism, either doctrinally or sociologically (Mormonism, JWs, hyper-splinter groups etc)

-Newage & eastern mysticism (A pantheistic world view with overt spiritualism and syncretism)

These movements can threaten local, biblical unity, foster religious elitism and divide the body of Christ along practices instead of unifying them in the words, works and ways of Christ. Many of the doctrines and practices presented in these groups move fringe or secondary matters to a primary place threatening the spiritual health and ministry fruitfulness of believers and churches.

Regarding Jacob’s Well’s posture towards doctrine and unity.

Below is an explanation of how we seek to gather around Jesus, informed and equipped by the Bible and indwelt and empowered by the Spirit for mission and ministry to one another, our community and the world.

One of the gifts of leading and serving an emerging, non-denominational church; is the freedom and ability to explore the ancient doctrines and practices of the historic Christian faith. We have been shaping a community of faith, that holds to a solid center with soft edges.

Jesus described it this way:

A balanced gift of historic inclusion and discerning reception to the new works of God, while being rooted in the revealed, written word of God.

“He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” -Jesus (Matthew 13:5)

Saint Augustine put it this way:

“In Essentials, unity.

In non-essentials, liberty.

In all things, love”

(354-430 AD)

The early church proclaimed it in the Nicene Creed:

“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

The Protestant Reformers articulated it this way:

Sola Scriptura/Scripture alone

Sola Fide/ Faith alone

Sola Gratia/Grace alone

Solus Christus/Christ alone

Soli Deo Gloria/God’s Glory alone

C.S. Lewis summarized it as we believe in:

“The faith preached by the Apostles,

attested by the Martyrs,

embodied in the Creeds,

expounded by the Fathers.”

Within this broad garden of edenic truth…we are free to eat from a host of beautiful and good fruits of embodied practice; that various Christians have worked out to express, celebrate, remember, enter into, taste and proclaim “The Faith”. We feel no need to let ‘labels’ determine or deny, who gets to find voice or visibility within the culture of Jacob’s Well.

We believe that there is:

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all and in all.” (Eph 4:5-7)

That means that we aim to incorporate, re-imagining and rebirth many elements of faith expression found throughout the tree of Biblical faith…be they eastern or western church…high church or low church. That means you might find bits and pieces from many different groups of biblical Christians. We love the diverse mosaic of expression and practice that is the historical church of Jesus.

The Ordinances of the Church: Baptism and Communion

We believe that many of these embodied actions, traditions and liturgies often become “means of grace”. We hold to the idea of “Sacred Mystery” as expressed by our Orthodox brothers and sisters…when it comes to the idea of “sacraments”:

“The Orthodox communions preferred term is ‘sacred mystery’. While the Catholic Church has attempted to dogmatically define the sacraments, and discover the precise moment when the act results in the manifestation of the grace of God, the Orthodox communion has refrained from attempting to determine absolutely the exact form, number and effect of the sacraments, accepting that simply that these elements are unknowable to all except God. According to Orthodox thinking God touches mankind through material means such as water, wine, bread, oil, incense, candles, altars, icons, etc. How God does this is a mystery. On a broad level, the mysteries are an affirmation of the goodness of created matter, and are an emphatic declaration of what that matter was originally created to be.” (sacraments: wikipedia).

We revel in the beauty and freedom of God working through whatever He chooses to express or allow His grace to be experienced within biblical boundaries and freedom. We do believe that The Lord’s Table and Baptism rise to the top of the list of “ordinances” Christ told the church to maintain. i

All elements of our christian life can become dead and cold…even the Letter is dead unless the Spirit infuses His life through it. But this doesn’t mean that we abandon elements within the tradition of the church simply because it’s been abused, drained of vitality or ignored.

We believe that these core biblical conviction and generous value edges make for a more gracious group of believers and builds bridges instead of barriers to others.

What does Jacob’s Well Look Like?

Jacob’s Well is a mission driven church in the heart of East Central Spokane. We’ve been working and worshipping here for 16 years. We are a diverse gathering of Jesus followers learning to love God with our heart, head and hands.

We are young and old, there’s former pastors and pagans, stay at home parents, homeschoolers, as well as public and private schooled kids.

We are a people being transformed from the inside out from very different backgrounds. There are self-employed, blue and white collars, recovering addicts, democrats and republicans, gays and straights, musicians and military.

Visit us on Sundays at 10AM and You will meet former refugees from the Middle East and Asia, and teachers, doctors and nurses.

We are white, caramel, red and black. We have former Muslims, Mormons and World Wide Church of God, Charismatics, Baptists and Catholics and Buddhists.

Yes, we are an unlikely group of people united around Jesus and the Bible, learning to live, love and serve our city as the body of Christ.

We invite you to join us and see for yourself one of the unique expressions of God’s work in Spokane.

Re: Sexuality and Marriage

We support the traditional understanding of marriage between a biological man and woman.

In matters of sexual preference and gender: we are open but not affirming.

This means: all are welcome as they are, but all are called to personal and spiritual conversion and Christian obedience to the level of understanding they have about the teachings of Jesus in faith and practice. This means all of us are called to repentance and transformation by the word and Spirit in matters of conduct, historic Christian understanding of morality and marriage and the cultivation of the fruit of the Spirit.

We understand that change takes time, we do not support the hyper-focusing on one sin among others, the demonizing of any group, forced or oppressive psycho/spiritual-therapies or unrealistic demands of change that have not come about by personal choice and welcomed surrender to the love and lordship of Jesus Christ.

We are a safe community that understands that the church is also a hospital that should welcome all no matter what condition they may be in. The ultimate goal of our work is moving people to full spiritual, personal, physical and relational health.