Cherokee Baptist Church is an assembly of believers who regularly gather together in order to officially affirm and oversee one-another’s membership in Christ Jesus and His Kingdom.
It is both the privilege and the responsibility of every Christian to find and join a local assembly of like-minded believers (Hebrews 10:25). As such, we seek to be a tangible, faithful, and local expression of God’s universal church. We do not understand our church to be identified with our building, but understand our church to be identified with the specific group of believers, namely individuals who have repented of their sins and placed their trust in the righteousness of Christ as their only hope for eternal life, who have determined to place their souls under our care through church membership.
Cherokee Baptist Church is an assembly of believers who gather for Christ and under the authority of Christ.
Throughout the pages of Scripture we learn that God takes His worship seriously. By observing the offerings of Cain and Able, we learn that God does not automatically accept any worship which is presented to Him (Genesis 4). In fact God presents himself as acting in judgment on those who profess His name but do not worship Him according to the instructions that He gives. Nadab and Abihu were consumed with fire by the Lord for introducing an element into God’s worship which he did not authorize (Leviticus 10:1-2). Similarly, Uzzah was struck dead for violating God’s revealed prohibition against touching the ark of God, no doubt doing so with the best of intentions (1 Chronicles 13:10). Our Scriptures end with a solemn warning against those who would either add to God’s word or take away from God’s word (Revelation 22:18-19). As a result of these factors and more, we think it is important to worship the Lord in both spirit and truth. We do not consider ourselves free to worship the Lord in our assembly in any way that might seem right to us, but have determined to worship the Lord in our gatherings as he has revealed that he desires to be worshiped. Thus, we seek to have Scriptural support for the elements that we include in our worship service.
Cherokee Baptist Church is a local assembly which gathers to corporately worship God and equip our members, and scatters to disciple the nations
Jesus promised Peter that He would build His church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matt 16:18). Christ accomplishes this objective by means of his disciples fulfilling the Great Commission. Making a disciple involves baptizing believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that Jesus did and taught (Matthew 28:19-20). At Cherokee Baptist church we seek to be faithful to this objective in local ways and international ways. In terms of the building the local assembly which has been entrusted to us, we seek to do so by helping our members to grow spiritually and numerically. Thus, we gather to corporately worship God and equip our members to do all that Jesus did and taught. We scatter to make new disciples who will come join us in corporately worshiping God and being equipped to do all that Jesus did and taught. We do not understand a healthy local assembly to be an end in of itself, but understand such an assembly to be a means of bringing the gospel to the nations. We are not primarily a “come and see” religion, but a “go and tell” religion. As a result, we reject a variety of unbiblical approaches to our gatherings including: 1) Seeker-Sensitive Approaches; 2) Consumeristic Approaches; 3) Revivalistic approaches; and 4) Program-Driven Approaches.
The seeker-sensitive approach to church understands the church’s primary objective to involve attracting non-believers or “seekers” to the church’s gatherings. At best, this purpose is accomplished through changing a church’s service, environment, events etc., to appeal to nonbelievers. At worse, this purpose is accomplished through tailoring the message and/or Bible to appeal to non-believers. However, the Bible declares man to be totally depraved. Apart from the grace of God, man will not seek God (Romans 3:11). Therefore, it would be irresponsible to design our services with the intention of attracting unbelievers, who by definition do not honor God (Romans 1:21). We understand our assembly as a gathering of believers who assemble to worship God and be equipped for the work of ministry. Unbelievers are welcome to attend our assembly, but they should do so with the knowledge that we assemble to worship the living God and equip the saints.
While the seeker-sensitive approach to church understands the church’s primary objective to involve attracting non-believers to church gatherings, the consumeristic approach to church understands the church’s primary objective to involve attracting believers to the church gathering. At best, this purpose is accomplished through providing events/programs which appeal to “felt needs.” At worse, this purpose is accomplished by actively seeking to steal members from other churches by emphasizing the superiority of our church to other local churches. At Cherokee Baptist Church, we have little interest in transfer growth. We desire conversion growth. We do not consider ourselves in competition with other faithful churches in our area but desire to pray for them and ask God to bless them in accomplishing His mission. When we assemble as a church, we assemble for God and unto God. We worship God because he deserves it. We ask our members to consider how they might serve the body, not how they might be served by the body. Thus, we design our services with God primarily in mind.
The revivalistic approach to church understands the church’s primary objective to involve seeking the conversion of the attenders of the service. This is frequently accomplished through pressure tactics and emotional manipulation. In this way, believer’s are encouraged to invite their unbelieving friends to the service in order that they might be evangelized during the message. Thus, the responsibility for personal evangelism is replaced with the responsibility to invite unbelievers to attend an evangelistic event. Because we gather as a church in order to be equipped for the works of ministry, and understand God’s church to be a regenerate body, we do not understand our assembly to be primarily evangelistic in orientation. Thus, at Cherokee Baptist Church we encourage our members to see the Great Commission as a task which has been entrusted to them. We gather that we might be equipped, and when we leave our assembly, we understand ourselves to be entering into the mission field where we will be expected to make disciples of our neighbors and spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. That being said, we would welcome unbelievers and outsiders to attend our worship services. It is our hope that they would be provided with a faithful picture of God’s saints loving one-another and worshiping God. Furthermore, it is certainly our hope that hearing a clear exposition of Scripture would cause them to want to repent of their sins and place their trust in a God who is mighty to save. However, our primary objective for our worship service is to provide an occasion for believers to corporately worship God and be equipped.
A program-driven approach to church life understands ministry primarily as events in which biblical responsibilities are accomplished. In program-driven churches there are constant calls for more events that might accomplish more biblical objectives. There are certainly a never ending list of good things to do in the world. Furthermore, there are certainly any number of good ways to accomplish some of those things through the creation of more programs. Yet, God does not call his church leaders to be event-planners/program-organizers, he calls them to equip the saints for the works of ministry. At Cherokee Baptist Church, we do not understand ministry to be an event, but we understand ministry to involve a lifestyle of obedience to God’s commands regardless of whether or not there is an event which provides an occasion for obedience. Thus, our assembly is designed to teach God’s word and talk through application of God’s word in order that our members might leave our assembly and obey God’s word.
Our mission is to glorify God through teaching, living, and sharing the Word of God.