GROW is a class designed for you to get to know what Manhattan First is all about. We would be honored if you chose to make Manhattan First your church home. This 3 session course will help you make that decision and at the end help you and your family to plug into what’s happening around here. Once finished with all three sessions, Pastor Billy and Pastor Megan will reach out to you to sit down in person and get to know one another. In total, GROW will take you about an hour and a half to go through, so it’s split up into roughly 30 minute sections. Below you’ll read an overview of what we’ll be covering and then we encourage you to get started!
OVERVIEW: Who we are
Our Mission (What we do, why we exist, who we are) is to Know God intimately, invest in one another deeply, and reach Manhattan and the world creatively.
This is why we exist, it’s who we are, this sentence above defines who we are as a whole and whole are individually. One person at Manhattan First said this about our mission: “I like that the mission statement for our church is about what we should each be doing not just what the church leaders are doing!”
Our Vision (How we do it, how we accomplish our mission) (How we get there/vehicle)
We strive to continually do and produce ministries, methods, systems, and programs that work or move us to fulfill our mission. The vision is fluid and changes from time to time.
Ask how we fulfill our mission, and we will point you to what we are doing; i.e. what methods, ministries, programs, and systems are working to fulfill the mission. For example, Manhattan First Youth is a program to disciple teenagers. Discipleship is part of the mission to “invest in one another deeply,” and Youth on Wednesday Nights is the vision to fulfill the mission. Youth Group is fluid, if it works, we’ll continue to use it! If it is not working we’ll fix it, or find something that does help disciple our teenagers. Right now at Manhattan First Youth works to disciple students well, but Youth Group is not the mission, it is the vision. The vision must accomplish the mission or it should be prayerfully reconsidered.
Mission & Vision Statement
We strive to continually do and produce ministries, methods, systems, and programs that work or move us to fulfill our mission; knowing God intimately, investing in one another deeply, reaching Manhattan and the world creatively.
Culture here at Manhattan First:
Our culture is born out of our identity as a Pentecostal church. What does it mean to be Pentecostal?
Pentecostals may have many of the teaching of a lot of churches, but we have just a few teachings that make us Pentecostal. So you. might ask, “what’s the difference?” The theology we use from the book of Acts is the main difference. It is the theology of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
You will get into this in detail during session 3 of GROW, when we talk about our mission to reach Manhattan and the world creatively through our core value of the empowerment of Gods Holy Spirit for the believer.
We are striving to move our church to a place where we are living out, in a real way, on a daily basis, in our comings and goings of our life, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Just because it happens in the four walls of a church does not mean its Pentecostal. Pentecost was given for us to have the ability to be a witness! If the church is not striving to win the lost, they have already lost what it means to be Pentecostal.
Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
This paraphrase of Acts 1:8 helps explain the pentecostal culture we are aiming for: “But you will receive the ability when the Holy Spirit has come into intimate contact with you and clothed you. You will be able to die to your flesh and walk by the spirit and many people will see and hear the life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in Manhattan, Kansas, America, and even the remotest parts of the earth.”
As you and your family begin attending Manhattan First, you will notice many things about the way we pursue God. Below are listed some things you will experience in this type of culture:
Lifting of Hands – Psalm 63:4 So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Dance – Psalm 149:3 Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with timbrel and harp.
Clapping of Hands – Psalm 47:1 O, clap your hands, all people; shout to God with the voice of joy.
Singing – Psalm 135:3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.
Shout – Psalm 100:1 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Instruments – Psalm 150:1-6 Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT:
Tongues – 1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, … various kinds of tongues.
Tongues and Interpretation of tongues – 1 Corinthians 12:10 … another prophecy,… to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
Prophetic words – 1 Corinthians 12:12 …, and to another prophecy,…For more insight from God’s word on this please read carefully 1 Corinthians 12,13 and 14.
BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Evidence – The initial physical evidence is speaking in tongues – Acts 2:4
The truth of scripture, above all else is what is heard in our classes, connect groups and on Sunday mornings! 1 Corinthians 1:21 says, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”
Jesus gave two ordinances or orders to do which we follow consistently, communion and water baptism.
We try to have communion together as a church family the first Sunday of every month. Sometimes we miss it for scheduling reasons or we may move it when we feel directed by the Holy Spirit to do so. We teach and believe communion is a very intimate and personal experience that we celebrate in remembrance of His sacrifice. His body being broken and His blood being poured out for the redemption of mankind. (1 Corinthians 11:17-33)
In the Assemblies of God we historically use grape juice and some type of wafer for communion. We don’t get distracted by the type of elements used and we try to keep the meaning at the forefront of our communion services. The reason we choose grape juice, is most of the time sitting in our congregation we have people who have been set free from addictions and something besides juice could possibly send the wrong signal.
We practice open communion, meaning anyone can take the elements who is a born again believer. We believe it is a celebration for believers to remember His sacrifice and not just for certain denominations or churches.
We also encourage followers of Christ to have their own time of family communion and personal communion. It can be a powerful time of worship and celebration for you and your family as you celebrate the Lords Supper until He comes again.
When a person receives Christ one of the first steps they should take is a public confession that they are a follower of Christ and they are leaving the old life, and old self behind. This is and should be accomplished through emersion in water or water baptism.
By being baptized in water, believers are following their Lord’s example and obeying His command. He requires us to take our stand and declare Him openly in water baptism. By doing so we identify ourselves with Christ in His death and resurrection, make our testimony clear, and strengthen our own faith.
While Jesus himself did not baptize anyone, He immediately delegated this responsibility to His followers (John 4:2) who continued the practice under His direction (Matthew 28:19) as a way of initiating new believers into the faith (Acts 2:41).
When a believer enters the water, he or she is being “buried with Christ in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)
In this sense, every baptism is a funeral for the old self, a way of saying that sin and death no longer own me, “because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7) but it is much more. The grave could not hold Jesus any more than the water can hold us. At Christ’s return, the grave will be unable to hold us as well (Romans 8:11). If you haven’t been baptized by water, we would love to celebrate what Jesus has done and will continue to do in your life. Let us know and we will plan a time on a Sunday morning to be a part of the commitment you’ve made to Jesus.
An article in Bay Business helps us understand the value of building culture:
75 prisoners at Saltillo Prison in Northern Mexico came up with an ingenious idea. They decided to dig a tunnel and escape from prison. It was a pretty daring idea, but they believed it could work. They then spent the next several weeks carefully planning their escape. In November 1975 they started to dig a secret tunnel that they planned would take them under the prison wall and up onto the other side of the wall and to freedom. They then spent the next five months digging. On April 18th, 1976, they finally broke through to the surface. But this is the shocking part: their tunnel came up in a courtroom – the same courtroom that many of the prisoners came through on their way to prison. The surprised judges sent all seventy-five of them back to prison.
Oliver Wendell Holmes once said something that we and these prisoners should have considered. He said, “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.” When we start heading the same direction together “the church,” has proven to be the most powerful living entity on the face of the earth! When you do your thing, and I do my thing, and they do their thing and we bow up against the authority God has placed here we become a house divided. A house divided cannot stand. Our Core Values, Mission, and Vision help build a culture that keeps us united, they give us the direction we need. Let’s dig into each one of those.
Core values are something that guide our lives every day whether we are aware of it or not. You have a personal set of core values, and you live by them right, wrong, or indifferent. It would behoove you to identify your personal core values and the ones that are not based on scripture alone and then tweek them or throw them out.
Core values are not doctrine, Doctrine is simply teaching. When someone asks you what are the doctrines of your church they are simply saying, “What are the teachings of your church?” Core values are not doctrine, but they are influenced by doctrine! Core values are not theology, theology is simply the study of God. Core values are not theology, but they are influenced by theology.
I heard one person say: “A core value, well, it’s something I would take a bullet for!” A core value is something that is non-negotiable. We have identified 8 core values. These are not exhaustive and there are others out there and we could all add a few to the list, but for us at Manhattan First we have identified 8 core values.
At Manhattan First, we value:
- The Bible as God’s written direction & final authority
- The empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit
- Passionate prayer
- Genuine Worship
- Discipleship-Becoming like Jesus
- Reaching people with the love & message of Jesus
- Getting everyone involved in ministry
- A global impact, through World Missions
Each Session will cover a section of the mission of Manhattan First: knowing God intimately, investing in one another deeply, and reaching Manhattan and the world creatively. In each of these sections, you will find our core values covered. Below you can see the breakdown, we’re excited for you to walk through this journey! Ready? Set. Go!
Session 1: Know God Intimately
The Bible as God’s written Authority
Session 2: Invest in one Another Deeply
Getting everyone involved in ministry (How do I want to get involved)
Session 3: Reach Manhattan and the World Creatively
Empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit
Reaching people with the message of Jesus
Global impact through world missions