our beliefs

...About God's Word We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 

 ...About The Trinity We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. 

 ...About God The Father We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that he concerns himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that he hears and answers prayer, and that he saves from sin and death all who come to him through Jesus Christ. 

 ...About Jesus Christ We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in his virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in his substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for his people, and personal visible return to earth. 

 ...About The Holy Spirit We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that he is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. 

 ...About Regeneration We believe that all men are sinners by nature and by choice and are, therefore, under condemnation. We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. 

 ...About The Church We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. 

 ...About Christian Conduct We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellowmen; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. 

 ...About Ordinances We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God. We believe that Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper for the commemoration of his death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 ...About The Last Things We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of his kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous and the endless torment of the wicked.

our distinctives

The following statements are intended to give simple explanations  of where the leadership of Parkway is in relation to certain controversial issues. While not every individual in the congregation holds to each of these views, these do represent the collective view of the board of elders. In addition, it should be said that one does not need to embrace these views - being as they are not central to the faith - to be a part of the family of believers at Parkway Community Church. 

The Issue of Women in Leadership: We believe and affirm that women are gifted and called as believers to a whole range of ministries in the church. The only restriction placed upon women with regards to leadership in the church is the office of elder along with one of the primary functions of the elder and that is to exercise authority through the corporate teaching ministry. We allow godly women within our congregation to lead in worship, baptize, lead in prayer, in sharing, and a whole host of others ministries. However, we believe the Scripture does restrict headship within the church to qualified men. 

The Issue of Divorce and Remarriage: We believe that God hates divorce. Divorce destroys God's work and reeks havoc on the institution of the family affecting generations to follow. When divorce is illegitimate (see below), remarriage to another partner constitutes adultery. We do believe, however, that there are two legitimate, though not necessarily desirable, grounds for divorce. The first is sexual infidelity on the part of the husband or wife. The second is desertion by an unbeliever. 

The Issue of Church Discipline: We believe that Jesus gave clear and explicit instructions on how do deal with an erring brother or sister in the faith. Church discipline constitutes this process laid out by Jesus whereby we seek to restore the wandering brother or sister in love. If, however, the brother or sister refuses to repent from the visibly apparent sin they are involved in, we believe we are constrained by scripture to bring them before the body for corporate discipline. While discipline is difficult, we believe it is necessary for the individual, the health of the body and the glory of Christ. 

The Issue of God's Sovereignty over salvation and Human Choice: We believe that God rules and reigns over all things, including the will and choices of men. While we do maintain (with Scripture) that humans in some sense exercise choice and determination (i.e. we are not robots), this always works within the guiding influence and reign of God's sovereignty over all things. God is free to bestow his saving grace upon those he is pleased - according to the secret counsel of his own will - to save. We do our best as a leadership team to maintain the mysterious yet necessary tension between the complete and utter sovereignty of God in all things, and the responsibility that all humans bear to make choices that affect our eternal destinies. 

The Issue of "Sign Gifts" in the church: We believe that the scripture does not teach that the "sign gifts" have necessarily ceased with the passing of the apostles. While we would not classify ourselves as "charismatics" neither would we classify ourselves as "cessationists" (i.e. those who believe the miraculous gifts have ceased). Rather we remain open but cautious to the manifold working of the Holy Spirit in the church - including the miraculous. We believe this position best reflects the teaching of the New Testament. 

The Issue of Church Governance: We believe that healthy church governance consists of a plurality of elders with equal authority, submitted to the authority of Jesus and the Scripture, who are chosen from among the congregation. We believe this is the biblical model for church governance. Furthermore, we believe that in substance, there is no functional difference between the term pastor, elder and bishop in the New Testament. However, for sake of promoting structural integrity of authority among our vocational pastors, combined with the desire for their professional competency, we have adopted the following nuances to our eldership:

  • While all of our pastors are considered elders in the functional sense, not all of our pastors will be voting members of the council of elders. We believe that to have all of the vocational pastors as voting elders compromises and distorts the need for clear lines of authority among the vocational staff in addition to the fact that it makes the council liable to conflicts of interest. 
  • We believe that our vocational pastors need to be fully qualified and trained to ensure the ongoing health of the church in regards to regular biblical exposition and counseling (this is not to say that our lay elders do not preach, counsel, marry or bury; it simply means that the vocational pastors have been equipped and trained to do the bulk of the teaching/counseling ministry).  Therefore, to ensure theological and professional competency among our vocational pastors, we require the completion of one of two tracks:  
  1. the formal passing of an ordination council selected from pastoral peers outside of Parkway, with whom we share theological affinity, and/or  
  2. a masters level training in a pastoral/pastorally related field with full approval of the eldership. As such, not all elders will be qualified for pastoral ministry in the vocational sense. 

Therefore, without diminishing the authority of the plurality of eldership along with the need for nuanced differences between vocational pastors and lay elders, in practice we typically utilize the term pastor to refer to vocational pastors and the term elder to refer to our lay pastors.

our dna

We aim to be Christ-Centered: We believe the person and work of Jesus are central to God’s great plan of creation and redemption. To be Christ-centered means that we exist because of him, in him and for him. All ministry is to be founded on and focused on Jesus. This is confirmed throughout the New Testament in such places as Luke 24:44 ff: “[Jesus] said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms [the entire OT].’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45). In essence he says that the entire Bible is centered on him (history, Scripture, redemption). The apostle Paul made this statement about Jesus: “16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (Col 1:16). He says that Christ is the cause of all things and the purpose of all things. Therefore, if God, the Scriptures, and redemptive history center on Jesus, then so should the church. 

We aim to be Spirit-Dependent: That the church is to be utterly dependent upon the Spirit of God is also a universal truth found in Scripture and the New Covenant in particular. God declared to the prophet Zechariah that his work would be done, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zech 4:6). Paul calls the New Covenant ministry the glorious “ministry of the Spirit“ (2 Cor. 3:6). A distinctive and glorious mark of the church is that it is to be filled by and indwelt by the presence of God’s Spirit.

We aim to be Word-Saturated: That the ministry of the Word is important is seen throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Just as the creation of the world is attributed to the spoken Word of God, so also Paul says that it is God’s power for redemption saying that it is, “...the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16). Hebrews attributes the ongoing existence of all things to the sustaining power of God’s Word (Heb 1:3). That is why the Scriptures have served as the backbone of the church for thousands of years. 

We aim to be Love-Driven: The gracious and merciful love of God is the chief mark of his work throughout all of history – especially the work of the cross. The simplest of verses establishes this point saying, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The great goal of the Lord in salvation is, “…that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:7). It is the grace of God’s immeasurable love that is ultimate in the unfolding plan of God. In turn, our greatest response is also love. To love is the greatest command (Mark 12:30-31), the first of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and the greatest of Christian virtues of grace (1 Cor 13:13). Therefore, we as a church family elevate the vast and eternal importance of love.