The Heartbeat of West Side
From the first few services, we began to see that God was doing something BIG! We experienced growth in those early months that rivaled what we had only heard of in churches in large cities. We thought the growth would stop, or at least slow down… but we were wrong. As West Side has continued to grow numerically, it has been our commitment to grow spiritually as well… but that is easier said than done.
A typical weekend service at West Side consists of seekers (those looking for answers), first timers (those who have never attended church before) and many transients (those from other churches). Many of these who attend our services are skeptical, reserved and cautious about everything. As we reach out to these people we have to be confident that God is the answer to all of their questions… and we are! It is important to us that everyone that walks through the door of West Side is made to feel special. From the Senior Pastor who greets you at the front door and the hospitality team that serves you a hot cup of coffee, to the children’s ministry volunteers who serve your kids to the people that worship alongside you in the worship center—all of these people are here to make you feel welcome and included while you’re here.
Through each moment of your experience at West Side, we pray you will begin to discover why so many people have said “it feels like home to me.” Every aspect of your experience is crucial to the effectiveness of coming into contact with a God who finds you irresistible and irreplaceable.
The Vision of West Side
To know Christ more and to make him known.
The Mission of West Side
To make disciples of Jesus Christ that make more disciples.
The Core Values of West Side
From the very beginning, God placed in our hearts the clear call to follow some basic principles that would make West Side unique. These principles are unique, not because no one else does them, but because no one else does them like we do.
When we say “a safe place,” we are not saying a complacent place. Rather, safety is an issue that has to be taken seriously. We have strategically chosen to “do church” in such a way that it disarms people of their preconceived ideas of what church should look like. We encourage people to grab a cup of coffee and find a comfortable seat to enjoy the service. We have purposely chosen not to receive an offering by “passing the plate.” Instead, we have offering boxes at the entrances where you can place your gift. Another disarming agent is the genuine warmth and energy you experience from the staff at West Side. From the senior pastor greeting you at the front door to the humor and life application stories shared throughout the sermon, you will begin to relax and feel safe. It is then that the message of a loving God can be more easily received.
We have been very proactive about caring for the disadvantaged in our area. West Side has distributed turkeys at Thanksgiving, along with back-packs, athletic shoes, school supplies, winter clothing, boots for children, and significant amounts of food to those in need throughout the year. We have also partnered with Freedom Builders Ministry to do home repair projects and launched a program that intentionally motivates our church to reach out to our community. Another evangelism ministry is North Shore Outdoor Ministries that trains, teaches and leads youth groups during a week-long evangelism experience.
When you experience ‘freedom in the church’ there is nothing like it on earth! For too long, churches have been a place of restriction and rules, but at West Side we encourage people to find freedom in Christ! When you are free, you can begin to accomplish the things God has called you to do.
Mission: We are to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). Our mission is to see believers grow deeper in their faith, to understand the Word of God, and respond to His Voice. Our world needs to see a group of people who are completely committed to Christ!
Passion: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” (John 3:16). Our passion is to proclaim the truth that God loves you and He can’t imagine another moment apart from you– so come home! Outreach and evangelism are key parts of our ministry.
Vision: “Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary, be strong and do the work” (I Chronicles 28:10). That was our vision, and we completed the construction of our church building in 2008. The facility serves as a place of healing, help and hope for our community.
When some people hear “pastoral staff led church” they may think of a dictatorship with no boundaries or clarity. In reality, it is none of the above. Rather, West Side is committed to allow the pastoral staff to set the mission, passion and vision as well as the future direction of the church with the accountability, wisdom and strategy of the Board of Elders guided by God’s Word. It is this relationship within the leadership that makes West Side function so smoothly. Everyone has the same goal, and with the appropriate checks and balances in place the staff are free to do what needs to be done on a daily basis without limiting their gifts and talents.
The Beliefs of West Side
- He is the creator and ruler of the universe.
- He is the father of Jesus Christ.
- He is the Father and will provide for all the needs of our bodies and souls.
- He is present everywhere.
- Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.
- He gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. It is through His shed blood that our sins are forgiven.
- He arose from the dead and is alive forever more.
- The Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and Son, three persons in the triune God.
- He is “the Comforter” who dwells in the hearts of men, convincing them of the truth of Christ’s teachings, and empowering them to do what is right.
- Man is by nature sinful and cannot make himself good.
- He can only be made right by accepting God’s forgiveness for sin through Jesus Christ.
- He will be given new life because of his relationship with Jesus Christ.
- The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
- It is our only guide to show us what we believe and how we should live.
- It is for everyone to read so that all may hear God speak to their hearts and minds.
Communion or The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of remembering that Christ died for our sins. Jesus Himself commanded that we do this in remembrance of Him, with the bread representing His broken body and the juice representing His shed blood. West Side celebrates communion the first Sunday of each as part of the worship service.
Christian baptism is a symbolic testimony that a person has already put his/her faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. West Side practices baptism by immersion into water, which is the model we see in the New Testament. Baptism does not save a person; it follows the commitment to Christ that results in salvation.
West Side gives parents the opportunity to publicly dedicate their children to God and to His service. The pastor will pray a blessing over the child and the congregation will join with the parents in committing themselves to helping the child come to know Christ and to serve Him.
- We believe in a physical and real heaven and hell.
- Eternal Life through the grace of God is available to all who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.