Why Do We Exist?
Soli Deo Gloria is fifth phrase in the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation. This Latin phrase simply means to “To God Alone be the Glory.” In short, this is why Shepherd’s Fellowship of Greensboro exists. We seek to give God all the glory through all that we do each day of our lives (1 Cor. 10:31). We are always seeking to conform ourselves more to the Word of God (Rom. 12:1-2). By placing ourselves under the Lordship of the Head and King of the Church, Jesus Christ, we seek to exalt Him for who He is, and not ourselves (Phil. 2:5-11; James 4:10; 1 Peter. 5:5-6). Because we are dedicated to glorifying God in all that we do, Shepherd’s Fellowship of Greensboro is committed to discovering and obeying the Word of God regardless of the cost or personal inconvenience (Luke 14:27).
Shepherd’s Fellowship of Greensboro (hereafter Shepherd’s Fellowship) exists because the Holy Spirit moved the hearts of a few families to plant a church in the Greater Greensboro area that is completely committed to worshipping God in a way that is spiritual, intimate, and reverent (John 4:24). True worship in spirit and truth through the exaltation of the Triune God as a corporate fellowship that consists of committed families and individual believers is a truly difficult thing to find in most local churches, especially in the United States. Therefore, we will always strive to exalt God and continually pray for the Holy Spirit’s protection against our worship degenerating into formal ceremonialism or dead orthodoxy (Matt. 6:5-7; 15:8-9; 23:25-28). We encourage all who attend Shepherd’s Fellowship to praise and worship God according to the Scriptures. This worship consists of a reverence, respect, and thankfulness to the Creator who saves, sanctifies, and redeems unworthy sinners (Luke 18:11-14).
The Church of the New Testament was a group of people who had a relationship to one another and to God; not buildings, programs, or meetings. Shepherd’s Fellowship desires to faithfully model that same simple approach (Acts 2:42-46; Rom. 12:4-16). At Shepherd’s Fellowship, everything revolves around Christ. That means ministering to one another in vital and real ways beyond simply “church attendance.”
The following is a brief summary of what Shepherd’s Fellowship is seeking to accomplish for the glory of God:
Our Prayer: We pray that this local fellowship of believers will bring honor and glory to Christ in His church (Eph. 3:21). It is our great desire to see our church manifest a Biblical philosophy of ministry.
Our Priority: “To be disciples and to make disciples.” (Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:2).
1. We Seek to Provide Expository & Practical Preaching of the Whole Counsel of God.
Expository preaching and teaching (2 Tim. 2:15; Ezra 7:10; Neh. 8:8) is the emphasis of our ministry of the Word. We believe that the Word of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is the means by which unbelievers are marvelously converted and believers are equipped with everything pertaining to life and godliness. Therefore, it must be proclaimed in its entirety. Moreover, it must be practically applied. “Experimental” was a term used by the Puritans to express the deep practical application God’s truths to their own personal lives. This can only come from a confrontation with the power of God in the preached Word. God requires that we preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction (2 Tim. 4:2); exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict (Tit. 1:9); exhort and reprove with all authority (Tit. 2:15). All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17 ESV).
2. We Seek to Worship God in accordance with His Word in Spirit and Truth.
If our worship is not according to the Bible, God's self-revelation, then it is idolatrous. It is imperative that we seek to worship God in the way He prescribes in His Word, the Bible. Far from killing joy and excitement in worship, by following the Word, we are called to Come before Him with joyful singing and Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise (Ps. 100:2, 4). We are also called to revere His awesome presence and know that in the ekklesia (the Church), His majestic presence resides. By following the Word in public worship, we will never be in danger of fanaticism on the one hand or rigid traditionalism on the other. Rather, we will respond to God in all of the richness and fulness of expression that His Word commands. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)
3. We Seek to Encourage the Practice of Daily Family Worship.
We are convinced that family worship is a responsibility of the biblical faith, and that the father is to be the spiritual leader in the home. Ephesians 6:4 states: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Family worship transforms the home into a place of praise and confession. The home then becomes a seminary of instruction for the whole family. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Josh. 24:15)
4. We Seek to Stimulate Personal Discipleship and Accountability.
A chief means of spiritual growth for individuals is through one-on-one discipleship and accountability. We believe that the local church should encourage this by providing opportunities for informal fellowship and relationship building. We encourage all to participate in our fellowship and discipleship time after worship each Lord’s day (Acts 2:42-46). Instead of an additional program to support to the congregational teaching and worship, discipleship times are designed to enable believers to ask questions, learn about doctrine, and develop intimate relationships with one another through ministering the Word to one another (Rom. 12:4-16). Even more, we want to provide specific ministries to facilitate this when time and interest permits. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Tim. 2:2)
5. Restoring Biblical Pastoral Oversight.
Many church leaders have neglected the duties of overseeing the spiritual welfare of individuals and families. Programs, facilities, and finances are managed and promoted by many pastors. If pastors and elders fail to care for souls, they fail to obey God to the great detriment of the church (1Pet. 5:1-2; Acts 20:28). We desire to see each individual in Shepherd’s Fellowship mature to the glory of God so that each life produces a great harvest in the kingdom of God. While we want to purpose to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3), we wish to see continually good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ (Col. 2:5). Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:17)
In conclusion, our desire is to glorify God in all that we do through proper preaching, teaching, ministering and evangelizing (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Cor. 12:31). We pray that God will cause His gospel to spread quickly through our local area to bring honor and glory to Christ and to seek and save those who are lost (Eph. 3:21).