GOD’S MISSION IN THE WORLD

 

God is on the move in the world and His mission is clear and compelling – to redeem everyone He calls and restore everything He creates to full life in Jesus.

 

Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

 

God has given us an amazing gift: LIFE!  Through His death on the cross, Jesus delivered us from the consequences of our sin – separation from God and eternal death.  This act of deliverance opens a way back into a right relationship with God, offers us the gift of eternal life, and invites us into the vision of Acts 3:21 – God’s grand restoration project of transforming lives, communities and all creation for Christ.

But all this is not just hope for the future; Jesus gives us life today.  Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

 

So what does this have to do with joining God in His mission to the world?  Jesus gave His disciples this mission:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

 

That small group of followers, filled with the Holy Spirit, spread the good news of life in Jesus everywhere they went.  As followers of Jesus today, our mission is still the same: to spread the good news of life in Jesus everywhere we go, so that others may share in this life – for today, and for eternity!

 

 

GOD’S VISION FOR OUR CHURCH

 

In fulfillment of God’s mission in the world, God’s vision for Westwood Church is also clear:

A Christ-centered community inspiring people to find and follow Jesus.

 

God promises that anyone who seeks Him with all their heart will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29). Jesus invites all who seek after God into a lifelong journey of following Him – becoming disciples who make disciples (Matthew 4:19).

 

Our prayerful desire is to inspire people to become passionate and fully devoted followers of Jesus who love God and all people so that God is glorified and every area of life is transformed for Christ.  Even though we are a community of imperfect people, God, by His grace, has changed our lives through His Spirit and has given us new life in Jesus.

 

The community and ministries at Westwood are built on two profound yet basic biblical concepts –

finding and following Jesus.  We certainly haven’t perfected it, but if you are willing to join us in this journey, welcome!   And along the way, may you discover and experience God’s amazing gift of LIFE!

OUR BELIEFS

 

We hold these beliefs close to us:

The Bible

We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God.  The Bible is true and trustworthy in its message, containing everything that people need to know for their salvation.  The Bible is absolutely unfailing as a final authority on all matters of faith and life.

God

We believe in one eternal God who exists and reveals Himself in three distinct yet equal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  God is sovereign over all, and in control of all things.  He created the world, cares for it, has an eternal plan for it, and is actively and passionately involved in our lives.

Human Beings

We believe that God created human beings in His own image, the crowning glory of His good creation.  God, in His eternal plan, chose to call us into a personal relationship.

Sin

We believe that in a spirit of pride, the first human beings were enticed by Satan into rebelling against God.  Their disobedient act opened the door for the “sin virus” to enter the world.  This virus contaminates everything, and its results are evident in such things as greed, violence, and oppression as well as sickness, death, and alienation from God.

Jesus Christ

We believe that God did not allow sin to have the last word.  Because of His great love God set out to redeem the world from its sinful condition.  He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a fully human life and then die.  Jesus willingly paid the price for our sin by dying on the cross as our substitute, satisfying God’s justice and removing our guilt.  But death could not defeat Jesus.  God raised Him from the dead to show that He has conquered sin and death.  Jesus then ascended into heaven where He now reigns with the Father over all things.

Salvation

We believe that our salvation from sin, death, and Satan is entirely a gift of God’s grace.  He gives us salvation freely because He loves us, not because we deserve it.  This gift comes to us through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  We believe that God accepts all who repent of their sins, who believe that the redemptive work of Jesus Christ is the only basis for salvation, and who receive Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord.

The Holy Spirit

We believe that all who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior are given the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The primary role of the Holy Spirit is to help us know and understand the desires and plans of God.  The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, regenerates or renews, indwells those who repent and believe, and energizes believers to witness and serve with power and love.

The Church

We believe that when we belong to Jesus, we belong to His family, the church. The church is a community of people who are striving to begin, or grow, in their relationship with God. As a community of believers we hold each other accountable and encourage each other. In the Bible, God instructs believers to gather together regularly for worship and prayer, to learn and live out the Word, to care for and love one another, and to witness and serve in Jesus’ name. The church is called to equip each believer to become a disciple of Christ that make disciples for Christ.

Christian Life

We believe the Holy Spirit guides us in understanding and applying the Bible to our lives.  We are not perfect: we still sin and need to keep turning back to God for forgiveness, direction, and strength.  The Christian life is a relationship with God that is always growing and developing.  We invite you to come as you are and learn more about what it means to grow in your relationship with God as you find and follow Jesus.

Future

One day, Jesus is coming back again to extend God’s reign on earth completely.  He will do away with any traces of sin and its effects.  There will be no more sickness, suffering, death, and alienation from God.  Evil will be eradicated.  God Himself will dwell with us, and all creation will be fully restored.  Praise God!

OUR CORE VALUES

 

In our commitment to inspiring people to find and follow Jesus, we value:

Belonging

The church is more than a group of people who meet on Sunday.  We are an authentic community in Christ, a family that shares life together.   We are a welcoming community that demonstrates Christlike hospitality, accountability and support, and strives to extend grace, acceptance, forgiveness, and love.  As a family, we care and pray for each other and walk alongside each other as we journey with Jesus Christ.

Knowing

The Bible is the story of God’s passionate love, and reveals His plan to redeem His people and restore His creation.  We believe the Bible is the divinely inspired, trustworthy Word of God and is relevant and meaningful to our lives today.  We are Bible-based and gospel-focused in our worship and teaching.  We value lifelong disciple making – encouraging and equipping all believers to pursue deeper intimacy with Jesus through Word and prayer.  This happens in large and small group settings, one-on-one mentoring relationships, corporate worship and personal devotions.

Sharing

The good news of life in Jesus is contagious!  Our desire is to share God’s love and the gospel message with our neighbors locally and globally, and they in turn would do the same.  We are the hands, feet, and heartbeat of Jesus, sharing with those in need, serving the hungry and hurting, and striving for justice and peace in our world.  We encourage everyone to discover and develop their God-given gifts, equipping them to impact relationships, communities, and every area of life with the good news of life in Jesus.

Celebrating

In response to the gospel’s good news, we pour out our entire lives as an act of worship before God.  As followers of Jesus, we also gather together each Sunday.  We value Biblical and Reformed worship that glorifies God and fully engages the worshippers as we participate in praise, confession, prayer, Word and sacraments, and the opportunity to thank God through the giving and use of our gifts. These practices are foundational to our life together.


 Who Are We and What We Believe

Westwood Church is part of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (“CRC” for short).  We’re like an extended family spread out across the United States and Canada.  Although there are variations and differences among us, we still count ourselves as one.

 

· We call ourselves Christian because we are followers of Jesus Christ.  We believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is the center of human history.

· We’re called Reformed because we are a branch of the Christian church that emerged from the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Europe.

· We’re a Church because we believe God has called us together to be a people who belong to Him and live for Him.

 

More information on the beliefs, ministries, programs, and its congregations can be found at the Christian Reformed Church in North America's website – www.crcna.org. If you have any questions about our beliefs, we encourage you to contact our pastor at pastor@westwoodcrc.org and he will be able to respond to your questions.  

 

 

Our History

 

The first organizational meeting of the young Westwood Christian Reformed Church was held on January 29, 1952 with a total charter membership of 25 families.  As a church plant, we originally met in a school basement, moving to a new building on Nichols Road in 1954, and finally to our current home on Northampton Road in 1967. Over the years, the church has been blessed to be a part of planting three other churches in the surrounding community as well as supporting many missions bringing people to Christ world-wide. Westwood was founded with a vision for the flourishing of God’s Word in our local community and abroad, and continues to grow in its commitment to inspire all people God graciously places in our path to find and follow Jesus.