Our identity, simply stated
We are an extended family of imperfect yet grace-filled friends who together are trying to live authentic lives of following Jesus. We seek to be filled with His love, empowered by His Spirit, and guided by His Word as we share with others the astonishing news of His Kingdom and demonstrate His power over all things including disease, despair, and injustice.
Our foundational values: these determine our ‘being’
- God-centered. We exist to share in the delight and designs of the holy Trinity: it’s not about us, it’s about God! Rom 11:29.
- Authentic. We seek to be real, whole, and free in Christ with nothing to hide or prove. 1 Thess 2:3-6.
- Relational. We invite others into community and mission because God and we love them. 1 Thess 2:11-12.
- Missional. Taking our cue from Jesus, we give ourselves away in selfless generosity, beginning with our ‘three places.’ Matt 10:8.
Our operational values: these determine our ‘doing’
- Honor. We seek to speak always the language of love, blessing others in Jesus’ name. Rom 12:9-10.
- Empowerment. We call out the potential in others and are intentional in resourcing them become all God made them to be. Eph 4:11-13.
- Beauty. We honor beauty as an expression of who God is, seeking to reflect His glory by doing all things with excellence. Ps 63:2-5.
- Spirit led and resourced. Bridging the Evangelical and charismatic wings of the Church, we prioritize hearing God’s voice, knowing and obeying His Word, and being empowered by His Spirit to live ‘naturally supernatural’ lives of service. Luke 9:1-2.
To be and make authentic Christ followers who delight in God, love people, and live Spirit led and empowered lives as world changers.
Our calling can be simply stated as: Love God, love others, change the world.
“The Christian and Missionary Alliance is without doubt the leading missionary society of the twentieth century.”
- Donald McGavran,
Neighborhood Church is part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CM&A), which officially began in 1887 under the leadership of the Presbyterian minister, A.B. Simpson (1843- 1919). It became an official denomination in 1974.
Simpson was pastor of the prestigious Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church in New York City but had a burden for those without Christ andbegan reaching out to the poorer immigrant classes.
A year later, he resigned his position to devote himself to missions and evangelism. That same year he and his daughter are miraculously healed (he of life-long heart issues, she of diphtheria). This convinced him that the gift of healing was still available in our own day. He started Friday afternoon healing meetings with 500-1000 attending, and later built the Gospel Tabernacle in New York City to minister to a growing congregation. He began a missionary journal The Gospel in All Lands (later Alliance Life) and launched a missionary training school, Missionary Training Institute (later Nyack College), which became a model for others throughout the country.
His teachings shaped the C&MA:
- Simpson preached and taught a balanced, Christ-centered gospel message emphasizing authentic discipleship, missions, and God’s supernatural work.
- The C&MA logo is based on his ‘Fourfold Gospel’ teaching: Christ is our savior (cross), sanctifier (laver of water for cleansing), healer (pitcher of oil for anointing), and coming king (crown).
- He believed the Christian should experience multiple fillings by the Holy Spirit, increasing the believer’s intimacy with God and power in ministry.
- He believed that all the Spirit’s gifts are for today but he practiced them in a ‘naturally supernatural’ way and encouraged ‘balance, discernment, and decorum’ in their practice.
The C&MA holds to seven core values that encompass the movement’s heart and vision (cf. The C&MA website).
- Lost people matter to God. He wants them found.
- Prayer is the primary work of God’s people.
- Everything we have belongs to God. We are His stewards.
- Knowing and obeying God’s Word is fundamental to all true success.
- Completing the Great Commission will require the mobilization of every fully devoted disciple.
- Without the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, we can accomplish nothing.
- Achieving God’s purposes means taking faith-filled risks. This always involves change.
- We believe God has revealed Himself to us through His saving works throughout history as recorded in Scripture. We believe He has given us the Bible to be an infallible guide to our faith and practice. We believe we must interpret it responsibly in ways consistent with reason, tradition, and experience. And we believe God has given us His Holy Spirit to ‘guide us into all truth.’
- We believe we must hold to Christian doctrine with varying levels of tenacity. Our general approach is summarized by Peter Meiderlin: ‘In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity’
- We have three levels of beliefs in descending order of importance:
Level one: our Christian family defined by the ecumenical creeds (Apostle’s, Nicene, Athanasian)
- I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
- And in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. The third day he rose again and ascended into heaven. He sits at the right hand of the Father and will come to judge the living and the dead.
- I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
- These are core doctrines that determine whether a person is an orthodox Christian.
- They follow the Vincentian rule: “that which is believed everywhere, always, and by all” (St. Vincent of Lérins, d. c. 445)
- The Apostle’s Creed or Symbol of Faith (c. 150)
Level two: our particular tribe or movement defined by the C&MA statement of faith
These are common commitments we hold as a movement. They do not determine one’s salvation and we ought not to divide fellowship over them.
Our C&MA Statement of Faith
- There is one God,(1) who is infinitely perfect,(2) existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.(3)
- Jesus Christ is the true God and the true man.(4) He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.(5) He died upon the cross, the Just for the unjust,(6) as a substitutionary sacrifice,(7) and all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood.(8) He arose from the dead according to the Scriptures.(9) He is now at the right hand of Majesty on high as our great High Priest.(10) He will come again to establish His kingdom, righteousness and peace.(11)
- The Holy Spirit is a divine person,(12) sent to indwell, guide, teach, empower the believer,(13) and convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.(14)
- The Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and are a complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice.(15)
- Man was originally created in the image and likeness of God:(16) he fell through disobedience, incurring thereby both physical and spiritual death. All men are born with a sinful nature,(17) are separated from the life of God, and can be saved only through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ.(18) The portion of the unrepentant and unbelieving is existence forever in conscious torment;(19) and that of the believer, in everlasting joy and bliss.(20)
- Salvation has been provided through Jesus Christ for all men; and those who repent and believe in Him are born again of the Holy Spirit, receive the gift of eternal life, and become the children of God.(21)
- It is the will of God that each believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit and be sanctified wholly,(22) being separated from sin and the world and fully dedicated to the will of God, thereby receiving power for holy living and effective service.(23) This is both a crisis and a progressive experience wrought in the life of the believer subsequent to conversion.(24)
- Provision is made in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ for the healing of the mortal body.(25) Prayer for the sick and anointing with oil are taught in the Scriptures and are privileges for the Church in this present age.(26)
- The Church consists of all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, are redeemed through His blood, and are born again of the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Head of the Body, the Church, (27) which has been commissioned by Him to go into all the world as a witness, preaching the gospel to all nations.(28)
- The local church is a body of believers in Christ who are joined together for the worship of God, for edification through the Word of God, for prayer, fellowship, the proclamation of the gospel, and observance of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.(29)
- There shall be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust; for the former, a resurrection unto life;(30) for the latter, a resurrection unto judgment.(31)
- The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent(32) and will be personal, visible, and premillennial.(33) This is the believer’s blessed hope and is a vital truth which is an incentive to holy living and faithful service.(34)
 Deuteronomy 6:4,  Matthew 5:48,  Matthew 28:19,  Philippians 2:6–11,  Luke 1:34–38,  1 Peter 3:18,  Hebrews 2:9,  Romans 5:9,  Acts 2:23–24,  Hebrews 8:1,  Matthew 26:64,  John 14:15–18,  John 16:13; Acts 1:8,  John 16:7–11,  2 Peter 1:20–21; 2 Timothy 3:15–16,  Genesis 1:27,  Romans 3:23,  1 Corinthians15:20–23,  Revelation 21:8,  Revelation 21:1–4,  Titus 3:4–7,  1 Thessalonians 5:23,  Acts 1:8,  Romans 6:1–14,  Matthew 8:16–17,  James 5:13–16,  Ephesians 1:22–23,  Matthew 28:19–20,  Acts 2:41–47,  1 Corinthians 15:20–23,  John 5:28–29,  Hebrews 10:37,  Luke 21:27,  Titus 2:11–14
Level three: our specific distinctives as Neighborhood Church
Our in-house publications define our beliefs and positions on a number of various subjects: baptism, the charismatic gifts, healing, prophesy, etc. While we believe these statements to be true to Scripture, we do not disparage others who teach differently.
Some of our position papers are found below:
- Position Statement on Healing and the Believer’s Authority in Christ
- Position Statement on the Charismatic Gifts and ‘Signs and Wonders’
- Using the Prophetic Gift at Neighborhood Church
- Using the Gift of Tongues at Neighborhood Church
- The Meaning and Practice of Baptism