The Church of WNY is an idea, not born from humans, but one that rises from the pages of Scripture. This idea that the Church is one body in different locations. Jesus Himself talks about one bride, that being the Church. And as the Church, we are called to work together. But, unfortunately, we have messed that up, becoming our own enclaves and looking more to the interest of our individual body as opposed to the whole of the Church. For decades and decades there have been individuals who have faithfully prayed and worked toward seeing the unity of the Church happen in WNY to no avail. For whatever reason, now, God has given us the opportunity to stand on their shoulders and see the fruit of their faithfulness as churches and ministries from all over the area are building meaningful and powerful relationships. That is the Church of WNY. The Church recognizing the need to come together in order to see saturation of the gospel happen and for every man, woman and child have an opportunity to hear, see and respond to the gospel in Western New York. There is still much to be done, but we can be encouraged by the unity being formed in this region, and know that God will use that to do incredible things.
Jesus is our Hope. More than political posturing or clever PR campaigns, there is one hope and one hope only for our nation and our world: Jesus. In Him we find the rescue we so desperately need and then the opportunity to be part of His rescue team, following Him "in the reconciliation of all things." The story of the Church is the story of a people who have been transformed by Jesus and who then transformed the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. Both the power of our witness and the effectiveness of our ministry are driven by the depth to which we are transformed by God. (John 14:6, Romans 12:1-2)
Every man, woman and child in WNY needs access to this Hope. Regardless of race, ethnicity, education level or socioeconomic status, every single person matters to God. We haven’t found that Gospel relevancy is the issue. It’s Gospel access. There are people who have never heard or experienced the transforming power of the Gospel and we need to mobilize the Church into every crack and crevice of society so that all may have multiple Gospel opportunities. (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, Romans 10:11-13, Luke 15:3-10)
God calls His people to pursue His mission together. No one church has the capability of providing this kind of Gospel access. Moreover, when God looks at a city or town, He does not see many different churches, but one Church, gathering in their various expressions. The Great Commission isn’t something Jesus spoke whimsically about, but an actual mission objective. And so when we think about unity, it isn’t a nicety but a necessity. Making disciples where we live, work and play will take all of God’s people in their various expressions working together as Jesus leads. (Matthew 28:18-20, John 17)
The Bible is the Word of God - The Bible is inspired by God, serves as a trustworthy guide to life, and functions as the foundation for all we believe, say, and do.
(2 Timothy 3:16)
Jesus is the Son of God - Jesus is like no one else; along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus is one of the three members of the Trinity. He is the Lord of all creation and Savior of the world, full God and fully man. His virgin birth, sinless life, death and resurrection identify Him as the one and only Son of God, and we await His return. (John 3:16, John 14:6)
The Gospel is the way to God - Though God created us to live in a harmonious relationship with Him, we turned away from Him. through faith in Jesus, we have the opportunity to restore that relationship and experience a new life with God. (Matthew 4:23, Luke 9:23)
The Church is the people of God - There is only one Church, which gathers in many locations and whose purpose is to lead people into a new way of life with Jesus through the leadership of the Holy Spirit. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
We affirm a personal, Holy Spirit-led conviction to lead a group of people, a church, or a network of churches to take responsibility for the present and future spiritual condition of the people in our local geography.