We grow in these distinctives through our commitment to Sunday worship gatherings. We also commend gathered prayer and Gospel Community Groups as recommended opportunities to fulfill our Church Covenant.
Nothing has shaped Immanuel more than the regular, Spirit-filled teaching of God's life-changing truth from the Bible. All of the passions that grip us as a people have flowed from the truths in the Bible. As we have looked into God's word together over the years, each part has shaped us. Ephesians made us eager to know and show the love of God. The Proverbs made us more practical. The Psalms made us more passionate. Galatians made us more gospel-centered. Daniel made us bolder, and Luke helped us more faithfully follow Jesus in his deep love for sinners. It is God's truth that has made us care about Christ, his church, discipleship, adoption, abortion, and so much more!
When the church does not practice what they preach, it gives God a bad name. However, when the church follows Christ in his path of sacrificial love, it wins many to Jesus. Because of this, we are eager to cultivate community that displays Christ. We cultivate this kind of community by carefully selecting qualified men to lead us as pastors and deacons. Additionally, we seek to equip all of the saints in our community to serve one another, to build one another up, and to call each other to account when we go astray so that, together, we can put Jesus on display!
Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing" (John 15:5) and throughout the years we have tried to take Jesus at his word. From impromptu prayer meetings before our services to weekly prayer meetings shaped by the word, we have pursued God for his presence to do in us what only he can do. In the process, we have seen God answer us with healings, conversions, and wonderful grace to walk like Jesus when things do not change. Who Immanuel is now is clearly an answer to prayer!
Sunday mornings have shaped us. Singing God's word, praying God's word, hearing God's word, and seeing God's word in baptism and the Lord's SUpper have shaped us into a grace-filled people. Sundays have also called us to live lives of worship every single day. Understanding that our whole lives (work, family, friends, and everything else) are to be lived in response to the grace of God is the single most important influence in our lives together as a church.
As we have studied and prayed the word of God, it has become increasingly clear that this world is not our home—this world is our mission field. This realization has burdened us to send God-called, biblically-qualified church planters all over the world. It has also made us eager to equip the saints of Immanuel to be missionaries to their friends, family, and neighbors in Louisville. The mission we are on shapes everything we do.