Generally speaking, we are evangelical and adhere to both the Apostles and Nicene Creeds. Confluence churches also share these core values and distinctives:
We believe that receiving the gospel — the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus and the associated benefits to man — is both a moment and a process. The same gospel that saves us in an instant also progressively changes us in every area of life. We believe the gospel delivers us immediately from the penalty of sin and progressively from the power of sin. It is the source of new life and also of a new lifestyle.
Paul uses the gospel as motivation for generosity in 2 Cor 8:8-9 and for husbands to love their wives and wives to submit to their husbands in Eph 5:22-27. This means that the completed work of Jesus should be central across all ministries and in the lives all believers within a church. It means that instead of growing out of the gospel we need to increasingly grow into the gospel (Col 1:5-6, Eph 4:15-16).
Paul speaks of individuals being temples of the Holy Spirit and of the church being a house in which God lives by his Spirit (1 Cor 6:19, Eph 2:22). Laying a foundation of the Spirit in churches was high on the apostles’ agenda, strikingly portrayed by Peter and John in Samaria, and Paul in Ephesus, Galatia, and Corinth (Acts 8:14-17, Acts 19:1-17, Gal 3:2, and 1 Cor 12 & 14).
We acknowledge the vital role of the Holy Spirit today, believing local churches should enjoy the presence, power, fruit, and gifts of God’s Spirit in a way that is attractive and beneficial to believers and unbelievers. And above all, we believe the Spirit empowers us for mission to our neighborhoods and nations (Acts 1:4-8).
We believe that churches should be led by a called and capable team of elders with a team leader who is “first among equals.” We follow the Biblical pattern of male eldership teams and believe local church elders are the highest human authority in the local church. The team of elders should lovingly guard, guide, and govern those in their care, with the help of their regional hub leader. This emphasis on the autonomy of elders and the value of relationships means that Confluence churches are self-governing and also enjoy meaningful partnerships with each other.
We recommend reading The Spirit-filled Church by Terry Virgo for an in-depth description of what these core values look like when they are expressed in the life of a church.