Read on to see how Grace Fellowship is distinct from other churches in the area.
These are but a few of McCook's local churches. The unlisted churches either have significant and essential doctrinal differences with us and thus cannot be promoted, or we do not have a personal knowledge of their pastor and/or congregation. The churches listed below are not necessarily endorsed by Grace Fellowship or its staff, but we do know the pastors or several church members and believe their hearts desire Biblical truth and the glorification of God in the lives of their congregations.
Be discerning in your choice of church. Pray, learn, read, and seek truth.
Peace Lutheran - (We disagree with "fenced" or "members only" communion as well as infant baptism, both of which the Missouri Synod adheres to. However, those differences do not keep us from being joint Kingdom builders in Christ.)
With so many churches in McCook, Nebraska, what sets Grace Fellowship apart?
The distinct combination of these concepts is the reason we exist. If we were not distinct from other churches, it would make more sense for us to simply join with another church body.
God is our focus. Our church services are all about Him. Our worship music is all about Him. We are not a club or loose association or a Sunday gathering of people who share a common spirituality - we are fully focused on the God who loved us enough to send His Son to save us from our own sin. He deserves to be worshiped, praised, and glorified.
He must be first in our lives. He must be first in our homes. He must be first in our church.
Our Preaching Is Different
Much of the American church has somehow changed the Sunday sermon into a weekly self-help seminar. It is no longer about learning God's word, worshiping God, glorifying God, or even about preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. Rather, the focus has been changed from God to the people in the seats. When the Bible is taught, it is often taught as self-help material. When God is mentioned, the focus shifts to what having God in your life can do for YOU - health, wealth, and the American dream. Pastors become motivational speakers who read things INTO the Bible, rather than extracting the truth FROM the Bible.
This is not Biblical. At Grace Fellowship, we start with Bible and teach what it is saying. We teach how God is honored and glorified in the text, and what it teaches us about God - and our proper response to that teaching! We preach the Gospel because the people in the seats DO get much from believing in God: eternal salvation, joy, love, and peace with God. Ultimately, however, we preach the Gospel because people coming to faith glorifies God, and that is what we seek to do in every aspect of our ministry.
Worshiping as a Family
We believe the family should be together in the Church service. This is hard for some young families at first. Many are familiar with churches that have children's church or some other children's ministry where the younger members of the family are handed off for more simple lessons and often for entertainment. Instead, Grace Fellowship believes that children gain more from worshiping with their parents and learning alongside them. This gives way to a spiritual intimacy between parents and children that is not available otherwise. Children see how their parents worship and learn, and they get to learn from that example. Later, they will get to ask for clarification and ask "hard questions" from those ultimately responsible for their spiritual growth - their parents!
For more information on this concept and thorough article in its support, please read John Piper's article Should Children Sit Through 'Big Church'.
Further, our church encourages and teaches the practice of "Family Worship". Modern Christianity increasingly "hands off" the responsibility of teaching children to the children and youth ministries at their church. We view this as a tragedy - parents are Biblically responsible for bringing their children up in the ways of the Lord. Putting the responsibility on others is creating generations of Christians that see learning about God as something that happens primarily in Sunday School, Children's Church, or at youth groups. In reality, we should gather together in the home to read the Word together and worship our Lord as a family unit.
The Church Body as Family
Church is not a Sunday activity. Our desire is for the people in our church to live life together as a Gospel family, not as separate units that gather together and then go their separate ways when an activity concludes. We seek to know each other intimately, to be involved in each other's lives, to build up one another in Christ, and to take part in a plethora of Christ-exalting activities together. We together are the "Body of Christ", and that means unity more often than for 90 minutes on a Sunday morning.
We Spread the Word and Disciple Believers
Jesus commanded His disciples to "Go .. and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." We believe that spreading the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ is our responsibility. We do this through multiple channels - funding missions here in the US and internationally, developing Gospel-sharing relationships with people in our communities, teaching our members to communicate the Gospel effectively and concisely, showing God's love to our neighbors through service, and even old-fashioned face-to-face visits with people in McCook.
However, it does not end there. Once people come to faith, their pursuit of Christ is only beginning! Discipleship is key. We seek to equip and edify believers to become more Christlike while exalting God in every aspect. Equipping is to provide whatever is needed to help transform into Christlikeness (2 Tim 3:16-17, Heb 13:20-21, 1 Peter 3:14-16, Eph 4:11-14). Edification is to instruct, benefit, and uplift the Believer (Eph. 4:25-32, Rom. 14:17-19, 1 Cor. 14:26, 1 Thess. 5:9-11, Eph 4:11-14, Heb. 3:12-15). Exalting God is to praise and give all glory to God (Psalm 99, Psalm 115, Psalm 145, Rom. 15:8-13, 1 Cor. 10:31). These are things we must be taught to do - together!
No, really, theology matters! Even if you think you don't care about theology or that you know nothing about it, R.C. Sproul said that "everyone is a theologian". That means you believe SOMETHING about God, and that you hold views about who you believe God is. Whatever church you attend in McCook or the surrounding area, they are teaching some kind of theology - whether they are forthcoming about this fact or not.
We believe that who and what you believe about God is exceptionally important. How you understand Him - His character, motives, and desires for this world (and you!) - influences how you worship, pray, read, and live your day-to-day life. We adhere to a Reformed Christian view of God, salvation, worship, and teaching. We want to be clear about what we teach so that each Christian has a proper understanding of God, His creation, the nature of man, and God's overarching mission of salvation and redemption for His people.