What We Believe

Our church’s history and core beliefs

Foundations

What we teach and what we believe is very important, and we think it’s important for you to know as well.

We encourage you to take the time to read through our history & beliefs below, or ask us for a copy of the Life Community Church Foundations book.

If you have any questions, we love dialogue. Feel free to get in touch with us – contact@lifeillinois.org.

Our History

Building a Team

In January 2011, Life Community Church (LCC) started out with a core group of faithful people who had a vision to be a part of something great in Columbia, IL. With lots of prayer, hard work, and God’s amazing grace we are where we are today. Life Community Church officially launched as a congregation on April 23, 2011.

Kingdom Accountability (Cornerstone Church Network and advisors)

Starting a church is not easy. We had never done it before and honestly didn’t know what to expect. The leaders of Life Community did not want to start a church alone. LCC needed direction, accountability, and stability; therefore, we are part of a church-launching network called Cornerstone Church Network. This Network has been instrumental in the success of LCC. Furthermore, LCC is equipped with what we call “advisors.” These individuals are well seasoned in ministry and can give us great perspective when we need it most. Each advisor is scheduled to speak at LCC once a year in order for the leaders and congregation to stay connected and familiar with them.

Our Advisors

  • Dobie Weasel – Pastor of Life Church, Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Jeff Deyo – Founder of Worship City Ministries and Professor at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Mike Ploen – Pastor, Communicator and Consultant. President of Progress 0415

Staff and Board

  • Jamey and Kelly Bridges – Lead/Youth Pastors
  • Shaun and Shelly Williamson – Associate Pastors
  • Jeff and Jodi Miller – Life Kid’s Pastors
  • Nichole Schweppe – Finance/ Admin
  • Christine Dormeier – Creative/ Social Media Director
  • Dustin Davis – Graphic Design
  • Kevin and Jessica Andrews – Board Members
  • Roger and Anita Johnson – Board Members
  • Jim Schweppe – Board Member

What We Believe About Scripture

We believe the Bible, consisting of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, is the written Word of God. The Bible is the only true record of God revealing His heart to mankind as it leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

For more on What We Believe About Scripture and What We Believe About God, please refer to our Foundations Handbook, pages 3-10.

Download Foundations (PDF)

What We Believe About God

We believe that God is not a human invention. He is not made in our image. In fact, He was not “made” at all. He always was, is, and will be. He is separate from us. He is unlike anything we can create. How do we know this? He told us all about Himself. God went out of His way to tell us who He is and what He’s like. Virtually every misunderstanding of God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and Christianity in general, stems from a misunderstanding of what God tells us about Himself in nature (Romans 1:20), in the Bible, and through His Holy Spirit.

The traits that make God who He is are like the many facets of a diamond. Each facet highlights a different aspect of God’s nature and character. Do the individual facets tell the whole story? No, but together they paint a picture of God that helps us to know Him as He wants to be known.

Because we are limited and God is not, we cannot know everything there is to know about Him. However, this is not an excuse for being ignorant. God decided to reveal Himself to our hearts (emotion) as well as our heads (intellect) so we could know Him. It is both our delight and our duty to receive this knowledge as best we can for His glory and for our good.

What We Believe About Man

We believe that the Bible teaches that mankind was and is the creative work of the one, true God. Contrary to popular belief, man is not the result of an accident or a mindless evolutionary process. If we are just evolutionary accidents, there’s no difference between your value and a slug’s value and there’s no difference between Hitler’s mission and Mother Teresa’s mission. It’s all just evolutionary processes, randomly acting on mobile matter. We know that’s not true. Incidentally, the world knows that too (Romans 1:20).

The Bible says that after God had created all other creatures He formed the first man, Adam, from “the dust of the ground” and “breathed life” into him. From Adam, God then formed the woman, Eve, to be his companion and helper. In His image God created them both male and female (Genesis 1:26-27). Unique among all other creatures, only humans were created in the “image of God.” What does it mean to be created in His image? Are we mirror images? No, not at all. To be created in His image simply means that we share some of His attributes, but in a lesser way. Unlike other created things, men and women are self-aware, spiritual, logical, rational, reasonable, loving, hating, creative beings with emotions, intellects, wills, and souls.

Mankind was created, in God’s image, by God and for God. Mankind was created to share in God’s love, to have dominion over the garden, and to bring God glory. No meaning can be found for man’s existence outside of loving God, obeying God, and glorifying God.

What We Believe About Salvation

We believe that because we are made right in Jesus, God has saved us from all His wrath and condemnation (Romans 5:9). God is holy, perfect, and righteous in every way, shape, and form. Because of our sins, God should pour down His wrath on each and every one of us (Romans 1:18-32, Psalm 11:4-7, John 3:36). However, because He is holy, perfect, and righteous He made salvation possible through His Son Jesus Christ.

The Bible is clear that there is no salvation apart from Jesus.

For more on What We Believe About Man and What We Believe About Salvation, please refer to our Foundations Handbook, pages 11-17.

Download Foundations (PDF)

What We Believe About The Gospel Message

We believe the gospel message in its simplest form is this: It is the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We believe:

  1. The gospel message is eternal
  2. The gospel message is an event in history
  3. The gospel message is an achievement in history
  4. The gospel message is about the free offer of salvation
  5. The gospel message is about knowing the end, our forgiveness in Christ and our coming to God.

For more on What We Believe About The Gospel Messsage and What We Believe About Stewardship: Money, please refer to our Foundations Handbook, pages 18-22.

Download Foundations (PDF)

What We Believe About Stewardship: Money

We believe it is important to have a God-perspective of money.

  • 25% of Jesus’ words in the Gospels are related to our resources and stewardship of them.
  • Money is one of the greatest idols in the world, especially in American culture.
  • Money is a critical component to the growth and health of the church.

God does bless us, but it is for the purpose of giving Him the glory and not ourselves. It is so easy to fall prey to the love of money. At Life Community Church we teach on this subject because the Bible has much to say about our money and possessions.

Money and Worship

Our money is linked to our worship both corporately and individually. As a body of believers, we worship corporately by contributing financially to our local church. We respond to God’s gifts and kindness by giving in return, so that the Gospel can continue to reach others through the work of the church. We worship by loving our family and loving others with our money. Our whole lives are to be marked by worship; and, how you use your money plays a role in this every day. Worship does happen on the weekend, but it does not stop there. It is giving God every aspect of our lives, including money.

What We Believe About The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and His Role in the World Today

We believe in the Holy Spirit and the power He gives us to walk out our everyday lives. The Trinity is made up of the Father (God), His Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. We believe the Holy Spirit is no less important in our lives than God or Jesus Christ. Jesus promised us before He was to be crucified that He would never leave us or forsake us. In Jesus’ absence, the Holy Spirit has been given to us to guide us, comfort us and give us direction. The Revised Standard Version of the Bible not only translates “Holy Ghost” as “Holy Spirit”, but it also translates “the Comforter” as “the Counselor”. The Holy Spirit plays all of these roles in the lives of believers.

We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the common good of the church and to draw attention to God. That being said, if you see a spiritual gift being used for a purpose outside of “the common good” it’s likely that the gift is either being misused or the gift is counterfeit. Also, if a gift is only helping the individual or is drawing more attention to the individual than to God, it’s likely that the gift is being misused.

1 Corinthians 12: 28-31 says, “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrators, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts.”

At Life Community Church, you’ll find both family and leaders who come to slightly different conclusions with regard to the how’s, the when’s, and the why’s of these supernatural gifts. That’s ok. The how’s, when’s, and why’s of these gifts are mysterious. Our hope is that we can help our family and leaders to stay away from the far left and the far right. This, of course, is more difficult than drifting one way or the other but with the Scriptures, the Spirit’s guidance, humility, and “earnest desire”, we hope to stay as centered as possible.

What We Believe About The Church

When we hear the word “church” our minds automatically picture a building. Life Community Church has a building and we call it a church. However, in the more biblical form, the word “church” refers to the body of believers.

The word “church” comes from the Greek word “ekklesia” which means “gathering” or “assembly.” Therefore, the church is the gathering of the believers who come together to participate in fellowship with one another as they worship God and hear from His Word, the Bible.

In Ephesians 5:25, the Apostle Paul tells us, “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” God’s plan for the church was so great that He exalted Jesus to a position of highest authority for the sake of the church (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Jesus is the foundation of the church and He continues to build on it. Matthew 16:18 clearly shows us this truth. Jesus says, “I will build my church…” Luke adds even more clarity to Jesus building the church as he writes, “the Lord added to their numbers day by day those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).”

Communion and Baptism

They are an outward expression that Christ uses to communicate to us the meaning and benefits of His redemption. They are also used to reinforce and remind us of the true meaning and content of the gospel. Communion and baptism are signs of participation in God’s covenant, and they certify a true reality for us as God’s sons and daughters.

For more on What We Believe About The Holy Spirit and What We Believe About The Church, please refer to our Foundations Handbook, pages 23-28.

Download Foundations (PDF)

What We Believe About Women in Leadership

It is the belief of Life Community Church that the Scriptures plainly teach that divinely called and qualified women may serve the church in the teaching of the Word of God during services, as well as being a part of the leadership board. We understand that there are a few scriptures that seem to contradict our belief, but we are convinced those scriptures serve a cultural significance of the time of the early church and not necessarily an overall admonition stopping women from teaching the Word of God and holding leadership positions in our church. We believe that the Word teaches the headship of man and the submission of women in the marriage relationship, not to imply domination or the relationship of an inferior to a superior, but as God’s order of responsible authority. We believe the judgment pronounced upon Eve at the fall was not the original order and design in creation. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law and thus, He restored the mutual and complementary relationship which Adam and Eve shared before the Fall; men and women, working together for the glory of God. We believe the complete truth of the entire Word of God and what it teaches us, and so we search the Old and New Testaments for the answer to this controversial question.

For more on What We Believe About Women in Leadership, please refer to our Foundations Handbook, pages 29-31.

Download Foundations (PDF)

Next Step 

Now that you know a bit more about us, please join us at our next Who We Are Lunch. You’ll get to meet the pastors and hear more about our church vision and direction.