Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Vision of a Local Church

My Vision for the Local Church that I pastor...

1. To be a church that holds true to those doctrines that characterized the Protestant Reformation. 
2. To be a church that unashamedly preaches the 'true gospel', the gospel of sovereign grace, and not the man-centered, free-will, gospel that is so prevalent in our current day.
3. To be a church that is willing to say and do what must be said and done, without any fear of consequence.
4. To be a church that is not afraid to be different, or 'peculiar'.
5. To be a church that is so 'other-worldly', that we cannot help but appear to be different or peculiar.
6. To be a church where the Worship of God is Biblical, devoid of human inventions and techniques.
7. To be a church where people of all ages, all ethnicities, and all economic backgrounds would feel welcome.
8. To be a church that does ministry in a way that is Biblical, not in a way that is contemporary or popular.
9. To be a church that is not afraid to talk about the hot-topic, political issues of the day.
10.  To be a church that has a holy fear of God.
11. To be a church that totally rejects the philosophy of 'fun and games' as a way of winning children to Christ.
12. To be a church that actually has high expectations of the children, and is grieved if they end up simply being like the rest of the world.
13. To be a church were maturity is esteemed, and immaturity and silliness is mourned over.
14. To be a church that can actually recognize the difference between solid biblical teaching, and that which is more shallow, worldly, or unbiblical.
15. To be the kind of church that will attract the more solid and mature believer, while at the same time, disappointing those who desire a more shallow, entertainment-driven church.
16. To be a church that has strong leaders, who take their role as leaders seriously.
17. To be a church that truly loves people.
18. To be a church that esteems the God-given design and differences that exist within manhood and womanhood.
19. To be a church where the men are encouraged to be leaders, both in the home as well as in the church.
20. In other words, to be a church that is fundamentally different that many of the churches you see in our country today.

By God's Grace, may the church that I pastor be such a church.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Reformed Baptist Church Plant - Destin, FL

Having moved to the Panhandle of Florida in January of 2013, I soon realized that there were not many churches in the immediate area that held to the same Reformed Baptist beliefs and practices that I so long have embraced.  I imagine that I am not the only one in the area who has experienced this.  It is for this reason that I have decided to launch a new church planting endeavor in the Freeport, FL area, one that will center around Reformed Baptist doctrine.  It is my hope and prayer that through this plant, the Lord will find it pleasing to establish a more permanent, self-sustaining Reformed Baptist presence in this area. 

Just to let you know a little bit about myself, my name is Jeff Warda, and as I stated, I am fairly new to the area.  Prior to my move to Florida, I was living in San Diego, California, where I pastored a very ethnically diverse congregation for six years.  My congregation numbered around 200.  I am a graduate of The Masters Seminary in Los Angeles, having been privileged to sit under the teaching ministry of Pastor John MacArthur.  I have a wonderful wife named Dalia, who is originally from Colombia, South America, and we have one son, Daniel, who is 12 years old.

My philosophy of ministry can best be understood through the following 8 points of commitment.

1. I am committed to Reformed Baptist doctrines, the same doctrines held by men like Charles Spurgeon.  My own doctrinal convictions can best be summarized in the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. 
2. I am committed to God-Centered, Reverent, and Family Integrated worship.  I believe the biblical model is for the 'entire' family to worship together.
3. I am committed to Expository preaching
4. I am committed to the Great Commission, and the mandate to preach the gospel to the whole world.
5. I am committed to being a support to home-school parents and children.  As a home-school parent myself, I understand the challenges that accompany home-schooling.
6. I am committed to training up our children with sound biblical doctrine and theology.  What our young ones need from the church is less entertainment and games, and more serious instruction.
7. I am committed to a Biblical view of manhood and womanhood.  Sadly, I had to resign from my previous church ministry in San Diego due to the leaderships insistence on hiring a 'woman' pastor.  The Bible's teaching on male and female roles, both at home and in the church, is an issue that both my wife and I are extremely passionate about.
8. I am committed to the encouraging of Christians to be 'salt and light' to our society.  For this reason, I will not shy away from addressing current issues that often affect our culture and our society, including things political.

If you are looking for a church that is committed to the points listed above, I would encourage you to come and visit us.  We are currently meeting in Freeport, with about 3-4 other families.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  Thank you, and may God's favor shine upon this new endeavor.

In His Service,

Jeff Warda
(850) 585-1853