If Eastside is going to continue her quest to re-clarify our vision (to have crystal clear clarity as we move into a new decade) then we must continue to look to the past as much as the future.
The primary strength of Eastside has always been our ability to embrace the “eternal message of the Gospel” and at the same time embrace different methods or methodologies to reach people for Jesus. In short, Eastside has always been doctrinally pure and culturally relevant at the same time. Allow me to explain.
By doctrinally purityI mean that Eastside believes….
- Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY to God (John 14:6)
- Jesus Christ died for our sins. He took our place on the cross.
- Jesus Christ died, was buried, then on the 3rd day rose from the grave.
- God’s Word, the Bible, is the infallible, inerrant Word of God.
- God is sovereign.
- There is a real heaven and a real hell.
Eastside believes the above 100% but at the same time we believe in leveraging culturally relevant methodsto reach more people for Christ. Allow me to share with you some of the various methods we have utilized or implemented over the years to help make Eastside on the front edge of ministry. Eastside over the years have transitioned from…
- using hymnals and traditional hymns to contemporary choruses projected on a screen.
- a congregational model of church to an elder model
- a choral/adult choir to a praise and worship team with a band as it relates to worship
- a Sunday School Model to a Small Group Model for Bible Study
- a formal dress to a casual dress with the motto: Come as you are!
- a long name (Eastside Bethel Baptist Church) to a shorter name (Eastside Baptist)
- a committee structure to a team based structure
- a single staff member (pastor) to a multi-staff members
- a door-to-door evangelism to a lifestyle of evangelism and/or new methods of doing evangelism (i.e. Upward Basketball & Cheerleading, Block Party Trailer, etc.).
If we are going to reach people for Christ that no one else is reaching then we will have to continue to be able to discern the differences between eternal truths and changing methodologies.