Core Values

Core Values

Here are the CORE VALUES our congregation aspires to uphold:

 Teaching Scripture

We want to help you meet Jesus on the pages of the Bible. That’s why teaching Scripture is our number one core value. It impacts everything we do.

We stress Bible class to our members as a vital part of their spiritual lives, and a good percentage of members are in one of our Bible studies. Steps are taken to offer multiple Bible classes on multiple topics at multiple times to allow for the varied needs of members. Our sermons are a combination of preaching mixed with teaching, that the Word might be clearly understood and applied. We try to keep it simple.

We believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant, holy Word about man. It never has been, or will be, man’s guesswork about God. We carefully approach the Word ready to listen to what God says. We never want to change it to fit what we want to hear.

If you are someone who just wants to learn the Bible better than you did before, there’s a very good chance that our church is exactly what you’re looking for.

Prayer

Prayer is a heart-to-heart talk with God. We use prayer not only in worship, but in connection with other activities, such as meetings and Bible studies.

The principles and values of prayer are taught regularly. Members are instructed how to avoid prayer becoming “the babbling of pagans” (Matthew 6:7) or the mindless recitation of memorized words. Members are given opportunities to pray for each other in places other than worship.

Peacefulness

We ask God to give us peacefulness, that we conduct ministry together without quarreling. With that in mind, members do not let issues that are not doctrinal rile them up. When people disagree about methods, they speak lovingly. Words are taken in the kindest possible way. It is assumed that the speaker always has good, Gospel-motivated intentions.

When there is sin, forgiveness is proclaimed quickly and freely. Leadership governs in a way that incorporates many viewpoints, yet minimizes opportunities for contention. We ask God to help us make sure that any disagreements are only spoken face-to-face and in public. We beg him to keep us from the sins of talking behind the backs of others. Disagreements about methods do not come in the way of friendship and fellowship. When a decision is made, a conscious effort is made to go along with the group’s decision – and not undermining what has already been decided.

Vicar Program

Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary is the seminary for our national church body. It offers a four-year program for future pastors. The third year of training in that program is called the “vicar” year. It’s very similar to an intern year.

We prioritize spending time, money and effort to annually arrange for a Seminary student to be able to spend his vicar year in our congregation. There’s a strong mindset that the vicar will help lay members with ministry that is already happening, as opposed to expecting the vicar to single-handedly do ministry on his own.

We have great joy in the church-at-large, as the vicar program allows us to indirectly have an impact on the sharing Jesus’ love in other corners of God’s world. Former VOTL vicars currently serve as pastors, holding out the word of life, in Liberty Hill, TX and Eden Prairie, MN.

Hospitality

We enjoy making everyone feel welcome when they walk through our doors. It is part of our congregation’s culture to make new people feel at home, and at whatever pace makes them the most comfortable. A welcome folder with helpful information is offered to first-time worship guests.

When it’s appropriate, certain needs of fellow members (e.g, someone has a baby, someone loses a job, someone goes into the hospital) are shared with the church family, and the congregation steps up to help meet those needs with meals, visits and prayers. Members work in the direction of viewing other members as brothers or sisters, and therefore treat one another with the same love and concern as they would treat their biological siblings.

Everyone has a story. We are thankful when God gives us the chance to practice hospitality, make a new friend, listen to their story, and share God’s love together. Then his blessings are multiplied!

Fellowship

There are numerous opportunities for members to socialize with one another. Some of these are congregation-wide, like our Chili Cook-Off, Crawfish Boil, or Sunday School Rally Day Hot Dog Lunch (complete with a couple of inflatable waterslides!) When these events happen, the only goal is to socialize with fellow Christians.

But there’s also a lot of fellowship that happens when fellow Christians gather before worship, after worship, or in one another’s homes for Bible Study. Christian friendships are a tremendous blessing and a prized possession.

Evangelism

Jesus has paid for all our sins. He has promised us a home in heaven, when all our sorrows and struggles will stop forever. Why hasn’t he taken us there yet? Why are we still here on earth?

There’s only one reason: if Judgment Day happened now, many would still be lost. And so we work hard to tell others the good news about Christ. Evangelism modeling and training is offered regularly. Members are encouraged to share their faith gently and confidently with their unchurched friends, relatives, acquaintances and neighbors. They pray for chances to share their Christ’s promises, and that hearts will soften when they find out more about Jesus and all the peace that he offers.

People don’t live on earth forever. And when they die, they spend eternity in one of two places. All roads do not lead to God. Let’s make the most of the time that we have left, until the Lord calls us home to heaven! For God wants all to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth.