There are several core distinctives that help shape the contours of Gatlin Baptist Church. They are:
- Centrality of the Scriptures
Knowing our great Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and thereby growing in progressive conformity to the image of Christ, is the source, fountain, and reservoir out of which all other ministry flows. And the primary resource made available to us by which we can experience this multi-faceted spiritual growth is the Scriptures, made known and applied to our hearts by the power and anointing of the Spirit.
- Expository Preaching
Because we are convinced that the Holy Scriptures are the very Word of God, we are committed to teaching and preaching the whole counsel of God verse by verse. This kind of text-driven preaching enables us to fulfill Jesus’ commission to teach everything that He has commanded us.
- Centrality of Christ
Jesus Christ is the sum and substance of our preaching, the standard of our living, and has supremacy over all things. The church is His idea, and we are convinced that His promise to build His church should remind us of His purpose, and remove from us any hindrance in declaring His great name. Christ is central in history, in Scripture, in the church, and in our individual lives.
- Sufficiency of the Gospel
The Gospel is not an add-on to our services or merely an entry point to Christianity. The Gospel is the message we preach and the means by which we persevere in the faith. We focus on applying the Gospel to every area of living, including marriage, family, work, personal sanctification, evangelism, and Christian community.
- Humble Orthodoxy (Doctrine)
As a confessional church with an appreciation and conscious awareness of church history, we embrace the orthodox truths articulated throughout the ages. We desire to hold our beliefs with humility and honesty, knowing that whatever we have or have learned is due to God’s gracious revelation.
- Robust Orthopraxy (Practice)
A humble orthodoxy should breed a robust orthopraxy. The beliefs we esteem influence and drive the practice of the church. A robust orthopraxy means demonstrating the power of the Gospel in transformed lives where good works are evident among believers, and the Gospel is commended and adorned through loving service with joyful sacrifice.
The church is described in Scripture as the family of God and the household of faith. Gatlin seeks to invest in families by focusing on biblical parenting, family worship, instruction for children, and spiritual development in the home. We are committed to encouraging all believers–single, married, adults and children–to experience the benefits that come from grace-saturated relationships in the church family.
- Biblical Governance
The church is described in Scripture as having Christ as its head, a plurality of Elders as its leaders, Deacons as its servants, and individuals as its workers. It is because of this that we are an Elder led, congregational governed church.
The command of the Lord is clear for the church. We are to make disciples. We do this in a one on one context locally and globally. Every believer needs to submit to discipleship and to making disciples. For Gatlin, discipleship is not a program, it is how we relate to each other.