As a church, we understand that our mission is to reach out in concentric circles of evangelism and discipleship from our community to the ends of the world and our mandate is to love God and our neighbors. We intend to build a local church ministry that will clearly reflect our full embrace of that mission and mandate. Jesus called this total compliance discipleship, so disciple-making is what we are all about. And, since disciple-making is a process, we have intentionally designed a simple church structure that ensures a new convert every opportunity to become mature in knowledge, character, and service. Every member of PLBC must commit to this process since both its goal and curriculum are thoroughly biblical.
This plan involves three stages:
To know God is to love him. Knowing is a life-long process of learning and learning is both the obligation and delight of every genuine believer. There is a tendency to falter and fail at this level as did the Corinthian church (1Cor. 3:1-4; Cf Heb 5:11-6:2). If good things are not automatic, they need to be intentional. Therefore, we have compiled a curriculum of biblical instruction that will provide Christian education from spiritual infancy to adulthood. The venues and shapes of this instruction may change with time, but the purpose will remain the same: building wholly committed followers of Jesus Christ who will be able to build wholly committed followers of Jesus Christ. The specific goals of learning will be:  understanding God’s Word,  living in community with other believers, and  serving each other and the world.
One of the distinguishing marks of a new Christian is their love for God and their passion for Jesus Christ. Jesus rebuked the church at Ephesus for losing this “first love” (Rev 2:4). The very fact that this passion can wane demands that we nurture it by unpacking the stunning qualities of Christ in the gospel and learning to imitate them. This is why we continue to format inspirational worship gatherings every Sunday morning. We take our cue from the New Testament church that met together for both instruction and praise (Acts 2:42, 47). Generally, when people are young in their faith, they will attend this Sunday morning worship gathering only. It will be our intent and goal to move them to the next level in our discipleship process as soon as possible.
The biblical intent behind all spiritual growth is that those who have had the opportunity to grow will then help others to grow (Heb 5:12; 2Tim 2:2). But the mutual obligation of love extends beyond teaching and includes all the needs of the believing community. It is our goal that all members will be fully integrated into the body so that every need, whether spiritual or physical will be met by a sensitive and caring congregation. Since our mission extends to our surrounding community and world, we are determined to build bridges to our neighbors, both near and far, so as to reflect the love of Christ while cultivating relationships that may provide platforms for evangelism and discipleship.
At each level in the process to discipleship, we are committed to the following:
- Freshness – We will work hard to keep our teaching, preaching, and worship fresh and inspiring.
- Excellence – We will seek to present the Word and worship of God in the best way we can.
- Focus – Our purpose will not be to do a lot of things, but to do a few crucial things well.
- Patience – Because people grow differently, we will insist on progress but not speed.