Our mission is to be a church community committed to pursuing healthy, authentic relationships with God and each other.
Be Real (authenticity) The amazing grace of God draws us into a life of forgiveness, love and freedom as children of God by salvation through Jesus Christ.
Belong (community) The amazing grace of God compels us to live connected with Him and with others, knowing, accepting, forgiving, challenging and encouraging one another as we pursue true worship, biblical instruction, prayer, and friendship.
Become (transformation) The amazing grace of God empowers us to pursue personal growth so that our character is changed to be like Christ’s by the power of the Holy Spirit in the context of authentic community life.
Be Called (destiny) The amazing grace of God leads us to discover our unique, God-given potential to effectively serve Him and others, becoming all we can be in Christ Jesus as we expand the Kingdom of God.
Our vision is that we become a thriving community of individuals transformed by the life of Christ and conformed into the image of Christ for our good, the good of our community as we share the good news of the gospel with the world, and God’s glory.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Bible: We believe the Holy Bible to be the inspired Word of God, inerrant in its original manuscripts. It is our standard for faith and practice and the measure by which all of life and personal revelation is to be evaluated. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21)
The Triune God: We believe that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (John 8:54-59). God perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, and measureless in power.
God (The Father): He is Creator, Redeemer and the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. We believe that God is omnipotent (He can do anything that can be done), omniscient (He knows anything that can be known), omnipresent (there is no place or circumstance of which God is unaware or in which he is not active), and unchanging. He upholds all things by the Word of His power and grace, exercising sovereignty over all creation. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for people to live in fellowship with Himself. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2, 102:27; John 3:16, 4:24; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; I Timothy 1:17; Titus 1:3).
God (The Son, Jesus Christ): We believe in the historical reality of Jesus Christ as the only incarnation of God. We believe in His deity, His virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-23), His sinless life (Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22), His miracles (Acts 2:22; Acts 10:38), His substitutionary death (1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21), His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; 1 Corinthians 15:4), His ascension to the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:9; Acts 1:11; Acts 2:33; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3), His intercession for the sins of His people (1 Timothy 2:5-6), and His future personal return in power and glory (Acts 1:10-11).
God (the Holy Spirit): We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells believers (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), confirming their salvation (Romans 8:14-16) and enabling them to bear godly fruit (Galatians 5:22). We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit also empowers believers to have a bold and effective witness (i.e Luke 12:12), so He manifests His gifts in their daily lives for the edification of the church and as a testimony to the world.
The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) is the result of a Spirit-filled life, and evidence of spiritual maturity. True followers of God will be known by their fruit (Matthew 7:16).
The gifts of the Spirit are different manifestations of the Spirit to build up the body (Isaiah 11:5; I Corinthians 12:1-11). They ought always directly point people toward God (John 15:26; John 16:13-14). We are instructed to diligently seek the gifts (I Corinthians 12:31, 14:1), but they must be exercised in an orderly and understandable way (I Corinthians 14:26-33) and used in the context of love (I Corinthians 13:1-13), lest our expression cause others to stumble (1 Corinthians 8).
We have different gifts given as the Holy Spirit wills, and the gifts must be expressed in love, sincerity, and in a way which honors others above ourselves (Romans 12:1-10).
Sin: We believe that we sin (i.e, “hamartia,” in Romans 3:23, and “chata” in Judges 20:16 and Exodus 20:20) when we disobey the commands of God’s inspired Word and reject His authority All of us have sinned and are therefore, in our natural state, lost and separated from God. We believe men and women were created in the image of God (Genesis 2:26). However, by a voluntary act of the will, Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). As a result, mankind began to die spiritually (Romans 5:12-19). Sin separated humankind from God (Ephesians 2:11-18) and left us in a fallen or sinful condition (Romans 3:23; Genesis 1:26,27; Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:6; Romans 5:12-19).
Salvation: We believe that God the Father showed His love for all people by sending His Son to die as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. (Luke 18:27; John 3:16,17; Romans 11:33; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 John 4:7-10; Revelation 4:8)
We believe Jesus’ death paid the penalty our sins warranted, and His resurrection grants us the life we could not attain – both of these being necessary to reconcile us to right-standing before God. (Matthew 16:16,17 and 25:31-46; Mark 14:61,62; Luke 1:34,35 and 2:7; John 1:1 and 1:14 and 5:22-30 and 10:30 and 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22-24.) It is not through our efforts (Acts 4:12; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11; Titus 3:5-7).
When we admit our sin, confess that Jesus is Lord, and repent, we become a new creation and are gradually transformed into the image of Christ (Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18)
Eternal Destiny: We believe in the resurrection of the saved and the lost, and that both will stand before the judgment seat of Christ; the saved will enter into everlasting life in God’s presence, and the lost will be sent into everlasting death, devoid of the presence of God. (Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 9:43-48; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8).
The Church: We believe that the Church is Christ’s symbolic body in the earth (Colossians 1:24; 1 Corinthians 12:27), and that it should reveal His character, His message, and His love to the world. We believe that the Church is to go into all the world, preach the gospel, and make disciples. This will lead people to have fellowship with God (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15,16) and community with others (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Human Life: We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image (Genesis 1:27). Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalm 139)
Marriage and Sexuality: We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. Together they reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:5-6). It is intended to be a covenant by which they unite themselves for life in a single, exclusive union, ordered toward the well-being of the spouses and designed to be the environment for the procreation and upbringing of children.
Baptism: In New Testament times, baptism followed repentance and faith. (Acts 2:38; Acts 18:8) This public witness marked the believer as a follower of Christ. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Simply stated, it is an outward sign of an inward change. Baptism also symbolizes the believer’s union with Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27).
Worship is the total response of people - heart, soul, mind, and strength - to an object of attention and adoration, including the sacrifices and actions by which they express this response. On Sunday mornings, we have the opportunity for a diverse group of people to gather and raise their voices together as one, united in song in worship of the One True God.
• Elders serve as shepherds and overseers of the church working to feed, lead, guard, care, and model Christ-like character for the church.
• Their authority comes from the biblical charge given to govern, protect and care for the people of God according to the Word of God (e.g., 1 Timothy1:3, 5, 18; 6:13, 17; 2 Timothy 4:1).
• This charge has been entrusted through the ages to “faithful men who are able to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). They are to be people of godly character as exhibited in their lives, and they are entrusted with protecting and leading the direction and reputation of the church in doctrine, conduct, and order.
ELDER ADVISORY BOARD
The Elder Advisory Board is composed of church members of godly character and biblical soundness who are asked to join by the elders. Their role is to aid and advise the elders.
The deacons oversee the financial matters pertaining to CLG as well as the practical care of our regular church attenders.
We are committed to the safety and protection of our youth, and actively seek to prevent any occurrence of abuse or neglect by providing an environment of safety and support.
We have very specific guidelines for our nursery workers which are available for you to review.
We use a monitoring system to ensure that once children are dropped off into our care, they remain there safely until parents return.
We require background checks for all who work with minors.
Our security team is trained to be the eyes and ears of safety on behalf of the families who attend here.
It all began very quietly … a Home Fellowship … a handful of people meeting in a two-story house on Cass Road in Traverse City. But as the group continued to grow they recognized the need for leadership, and in the spring of 1973 an invitation was extended to Jerry (and wife, Karen) Kovacs to become the founding pastor of what was to become the Church of the Living God.
In the decades since that humble beginning, we have had countless opportunities to see God’s power and faithfulness manifested in willing lives. And now, forty-five years later, we continue the pattern established by Jerry and Karen — solid Bible teaching, closely intertwined lives, and a reliance on the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and empower us…both individually and as a church family.