For God’s glory Legacy Church exists to be a family of disciples who magnify and multiply the gospel of Jesus Christ through Bellingham to Whatcom County and the ends of the earth.
Names are important. In them we find meaning, identity, and distinction. Some names are unique; others are common. Some names are inherently strong; others are superficially weak. Some names can propel you forward and push you outward; others can hold you back and stunt your growth. All names serve as the introduction, the first impression, the process of setting the stage. A name immediately reveals something to the curious and serves as a monument to the familiar. To the curious, a name provides a glimpse of who or what you are and in some way distinguishes you from who or what you are not. For the familiar, a name provides a history; it retells a story, it serves as a reminder of why we are here.
God has always placed a high value on names. God says that he has a name for every star (Ps. 147.4). Adam is given the authority to name every creature (Gen. 2.19). Throughout the Old Testament, different places, cities, and geographic areas were named to memorialize the events that happened there. Even children were often given names to proclaim something about God’s blessing or cursing. The Scriptures also speak of several important men whose very names help further reveal the story of God. Men like Abram (Abraham), Jacob (Israel), and Cephas (Peter) experienced powerful callings and subsequent transformations. Their experiences began with a face-to-face encounter with God that climaxed in the bestowal of a new name—a reformed identity. Their new names not only embodied their distinctiveness, it allowed them to anticipate the mission that God would accomplish through them.
We chose the name Legacy Church because we want to preach something by our name. The gospel is more than a possession to be had, it is glorious truth to be lived. What has been entrusted to us is too great not to share. While our world is painfully broken, Jesus is making all things new. His legacy is the greatest story ever told! Jesus gives new life, shapes who we are, and is why we live. He redeems people, marriages, families, cities, cultures, and generations. Our desire is for Legacy Church to make much of Jesus as His legacy lives in us and through us.
OUR FAMILY TRAITS
We believe that the local church is designed to function as a family. And every family has its own style, rhythms, and core values—the things that characterize the identity of the family. Reading our Statement of Faith is an important first step in understanding these basic convictions. Deep meditation on the limitless number of implications is helpful to our faith, but such a robust study should not be necessary in order to understand the heart of our church.
Therefore, we have identified three “family traits” we hope will not only state what we believe, but characterize how a member of Legacy Church endeavors to live. These family traits are the central and most essential qualities of our being. Regardless of culture, context, or how our family grows or changes, these traits should remain the same. They embody how the Gospel transforms and guides every aspect of who we are as individuals, families, and a family of families (church). More than hollow words, these phrases define what is most important in guiding our decisions as we actively pursue our vision for the church and accomplish our mission in the community. In other words, our traits are what we believe, applied to action.
Our family traits are shaped and informed by the Gospel. By God’s grace we hope to be a church family marked by these values.
Jesus saves sinners from death to life. The gospel is the good news that Jesus came to save sinful humanity from ourselves and put an end to the separation that we have made between ourselves and God by our rebellion. God is holy and we are not. We have rebelled against God by choosing to disobey and disbelieve the God who created us. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect, sinless life and die a rebel’s death on the cross in our place to satisfy the wrath of God that we deserve. Jesus resurrected from death to reconcile us to God. His completed work is a gift, available to anyone who would turn from sin to worship Jesus and be saved. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and humanity. He is the only one that can reconcile us to God, save us from ourselves and our sin to a life of knowing and loving God.
What Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection is so powerful that it restores sinful people into right relationship with God AND then it continually affects and transforms every area of our lives. Christianity is not about mere rules, advice, or performance-modification. A gospel-centered church understands that change of any kind, especially authentic heart transformation, cannot happen apart from the gospel of grace. A gospel-centered church focuses on the gospel in all areas of the spiritual life of the church – prayer, teaching, worship, discipleship, social justice – all of this happens by the grace of God available because of the sacrificial death of Jesus to save sinners from death to life. Tim Keller puts it this way, “The gospel is not the ABCs of the Christian life, but the A to Z.”
More than just supporting missionaries and missionary efforts, we believe that all Christians are missionaries. Missions is not to be seen as merely an activity of the church, but rather an attribute of who God is. God is a sending God in that He sent His Son into the world to save sinners from death to life. The love of Christ compels us to be reconciled to God and then be His agents of reconciliation. We are ambassadors of Christ in this world as God is making His appeal through us to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
Because we have been united with God through Jesus Christ we are now partners with Him in His mission to seek and save the lost. Therefore, the church doesn’t just have a mission, God’s mission has a church. To be missional is to be aware of what God is doing in the world around us and seek to partner with Him in what He is doing. This means that we are disciples, making disciples. Practically this looks like a family of missionaries living with gospel intentionality in our everyday lives (Matt.28:18-20). For many, this is a radical shift from thinking that the church is service they attend or a club that they belong to. By God’s grace, we are God’s people, on God’s mission, for God’s glory.
We are passionate about church planting because we are passionate about Jesus. We want to see Bellingham, Whatcom County, the Pacific Northwest, and all nations saturated with the gospel. We believe the most effective way this will happen is through churches planting churches. As the gospel continually breaks out and the Kingdom is continually expanding, we aim to be a church planting church plant. Our goal is to plant new, healthy, like minded churches. This means that we are committed to investing time, finances, and energy into continually developing leaders. From the beginning our entire church functions as a training center so that as Jesus calls men to the work of planting new churches we can partner with Him in equipping, resourcing, sending, and supporting church planters. We are a church planting church plant.