Help Stop the Perishing!
The vision of the Abundant Life Church is based on the directives God gave our late Leader and Founder, Elder Matthew Q. Barnes, Jr. It involves a body of believers who are flourishing in each of four facets of life: Faith, Family, Fitness and Finance. There are many in the church and without that are literally perishing in one or more of these areas. It is the will of God that we prosper in every way, and that we lead balanced, Christ-centered lives. It is our endeavor to equip believers to do just that.
The Apostle Paul admonished the Corinthian church to examine themselves to see whether they were in the faith. We are likewise challenged not to be pre-occupied with judging others, while being complacent with regards to our own salvation. While our faith in Jesus secures our salvation, we must be taught from the Word of God so that we understand that Jesus is not only to be Savior but also Lord. Accordingly, we provide sound biblical teaching that, if heeded, will lead to spiritual growth and maturity. Faith will increase, and all members of the church will become productive citizens of the Kingdom.
Further, we place continual emphasis on sharing our faith with those who do not know God, as well as with those who have fallen away. If we are to please God, we must embrace the greatest commission Christ ever issued to His disciples. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
It is not our purpose to recruit transplants from other ministries, but rather to go first to our families, our friends, our respective communities, and then to extend our witness to other spheres of influence. This is the methodology Jesus prescribed, and this is what will ultimately cause our church to experience true growth.
It is an understatement to say that our families are in trouble. We have all in some way been affected by strained family relations, divorce, unwed pregnancies, homosexuality, death or other attacks on the God-ordained family structure. While it may not be popular, we are bold in laying out biblical principles/precepts that will equip us to re-claim our families, prepare for marriage, prevent infidelity and divorce, raise godly children and be healed of broken hearts.
To facilitate these things, we have ongoing men, women and children's ministries that address relevant topics in a safe, friendly environment. These sessions serve to enhance biblical teaching and preaching that occur on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. One-on-one biblical counseling is also available upon request.
This is perhaps one of the greatest areas of lack in our community if not in our country. Obesity is on the rise, and so are many diseases fueled by it. Sudden heart attacks and strokes are claiming the lives of people who were thought to be healthy. Stress continues to cause cancers and other preventable diseases. Then, many who have sufficient health insurance are too busy, too unconcerned or too fearful to visit their doctors. How many have died prematurely as a result, we'll never know.
Just as we are stewards of the families, ministries and monies that God has entrusted to us, we are likewise responsible for the maintenance of our minds and our physical bodies which serve as temples of the Holy Ghost. We acknowledge that if a behavior is unhealthy, it is automatically unholy.
From the pulpit throughout the pews, there is a new wave of excitement to get fit and stay fit through scriptural encouragement, prayer, healthy eating and exercise. For many, weight loss will occur. Others struggling with addictions such as smoking, drinking, drugs, and promiscuity (with equally devastating consequences) are also being encouraged to seek deliverance and to adopt healthy lifestyles. In this season, we will offer no defense of unhealthy vices. Starting with the leader, our aim is to do all we can do to be the best we can be, and to live as long and as well as God allows.
There is a plethora of data suggesting that the average American family owes at least $8,000 in credit card debt. At this writing, foreclosures are at an all-time high. Predatory lenders have robbed many with high interest rates on mortgages and car loans. And, perhaps surprisingly, more marriages are destroyed because of money than because of unfaithfulness! Bad decisions have been made primarily due to ignorance and impatience. We have a mandate to teach those in the Body of Christ to not only tithe, but also to be responsible managers of the other ninety percent.
We are not a get-rich-quick ministry. However, we do believe that by consistently following the counsel of God, lives will be changed and people will prosper. Through faith, discipline and determination, individuals who are willing can be taught how to budget, pay off debt, establish emergency funds, save, invest for retirement, get children through college debt-free, etc. And, while creating debt is discouraged, we will also instruct on the meaning of a credit score as well as ways that it can be improved. Our primary stand on debt, however, is that it (particularly frivolous debt) should be avoided, since "the debtor is slave to the lender." (Proverbs 22:7)