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Salvation      Baptism      Church Membership      Small Group Discipleship      Vocational Ministry

Salvation

As there are physical laws that govern the world around us (e.g. gravity), there are also spiritual laws that govern the world we know. These are the four spiritual laws:
 
  1. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
    1. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
    2. “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” – Jesus (John 10:10).
  2. All of us sin, and our sin has separated us from God.
    1. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
    2. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
  3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him, we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.
    1. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
    2. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
    3. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
  4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.
    1. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation (Romans 10:9-10).
    2. For “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
    3. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
 
What must I do to be saved?

Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you right now? This commitment is to claim that:

I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior – this is to repent or turn away from sin

I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead – this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins

I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God – this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus

I receive Jesus as my Savior forever – this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what He promised
 
If you are ready to make this commitment, the Bible says that all you must do is call upon the name of the Lord, and you will be saved. To talk to God is to pray, and if you are ready to pray to God, pray and proclaim the above statements to Him. Your prayer should be personal and genuine. If you struggle to put your thoughts to words, here is a suggested prayer:
 
“Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins, and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life. In Your Name I pray, amen.”
 
If you have trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please let us know. We want to rejoice in what God has done in your life and help you to grow spiritually. Contact us at pastor@tomscreekbc.org, or call us at 706-779-2474.

Baptism

Do I need to be baptized?
If you just began a relationship with Jesus or were not baptized after you accepted Christ, you need to be baptized. Baptism is not necessary for salvation; however, it should be one of your first acts of obedience as a new believer because it is a public profession of your faith. Jesus Christ demonstrated and commanded baptism for believers (Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19-20).
 
How should I be baptized?
Because baptism is an New Testament ordinance of the church, we believe that baptism should be done within the context of the local church by an ordained individual. We believe that the church is the people and not the building; therefore, we do not believe that baptism must be done in a building to be done in the context of the local church. Baptism is a physical demonstration on the outside of what happened to you spiritually on the inside where you have been given new life in Jesus Christ. It depicts you joining with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, which is why we believe a person should be fully immersed under the water for baptism (Romans 6:4). 
 
At Tom’s Creek, we also ask those participating in Baptism to write out their personal testimony, which is then read before their baptism. In this step, those being baptized get to practice sharing what God has done in their lives, the church gets to bear witness to what God has done in the individual’s life, and it also helps affirm that the individual has truly made a commitment to Christ. 
 
For help in writing out your personal testimony, try this worksheet: Preparing Your Personal Testimony.
 
What do I need to wear for baptism?
At Tom’s Creek, baptism participants wear a white robe over clothes. Those being baptized should keep in mind that white robes become transparent when wet; therefore, they should be mindful in what they wear beneath the robe. We have changing rooms for those participating in baptism in the adjoining hallway of our baptistry. 
 
For more information on how you can be baptized, contact us at pastor@tomscreekbc.org, or call us at 706-779-2474.

Church Membership

Why should I join a church?
God’s plan of redemption for the world is through the local church. God created us for each other. You need Christian people of all ages in your life to help you learn to walk with God, pray, and read the Bible. Church is not just a place to go; it is a group of people asking questions about God and working together to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Every Christian should be active in a local church to learn, serve, and give (Hebrews 10:25; Ephesians 4:3-6; 1 Corinthians 12:27).
 
How do I join Tom’s Creek Baptist Church?
Each week, at the end of each worship service, we open the doors of the church for membership during the invitation. If you will walk to the front of the church, the Pastor will meet you and have you fill out a membership card. Those requesting membership will then be presented by the Pastor to the church, who will vote to approve your membership request.
 
If you have not been baptized by full immersion, then you will join by participating in believers’ baptism during our next baptism service. If you are a member in good standing with another church, you can join by transfer of letter. We will contact your other church and request for them to transfer your membership to us through a written statement, which removes you from their membership and will begin your membership at Tom’s Creek Baptist Church. You can also join by statement of faith if you profess that you have surrendered your life to Christ and have already been baptized but were not a member of another church.
 
What is expected of me as a member of Tom’s Creek?
In membership, you commit to the following:
  1. I will protect the unity of my church (Romans 4:19; Ephesians 4:29; Hebrews 13:17)
    1. by acting in love towards other members
    2. by refusing to gossip
    3. by following the leadership
  2. I will share the responsibility of my church (1 Thess. 1:2; Luke 14:23; Romans 15:7)
    1. by praying for its growth
    2. by inviting the unchurched
    3. by warmly welcoming those who visit 
  3. I will serve the ministry of my church (1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4:12; Philippians 2:3-7)
    1. by discovering my gifts and talents
    2. by being equipped to serve and be sent
    3. by developing a servant’s heart
  4. I will support the testimony of my church (Hebrews 10:25; Philippians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 16:2)
    1. by attending faithfully
    2. by living a godly life
    3. by giving regularly
 
For more on church membership, listen to our sermon series through the church covenant, or download our membership class resource: Touring Tom’s Creek.

Small Group Discipleship

In a church, it can be difficult to find a place to belong, serve, and grow outside of the worship service. In any church, this is where a small group ministry comes into play. Within small groups, you find a pace to belong, serve, and grow within the context of a larger church. You build strong relationships with other believers that equip and encourage you to grow in your faith. You have not really visited or tried out a church until you attend their small groups.
 
At Tom’s Creek, our small groups are call Sunday School groups or classes that meet every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. Within these classes, members seek to reach the lost, teach the Bible, and minister to those inside and outside the class. Each of our teachers for our children and student classes have passed background checks, so your child will be in a safe and enjoyable learning environment. Though our kids love Sunday School, Sunday School is not just for kids! Most of our classes and groups are actually for adults. For more information on Sunday School, click here.

Vocational Ministry

Every Christian is called to proclaim the gospel and minister to others. However, some believers are called to vocational ministry: church staff, fully supported missionaries, etc. Maybe you feel that God is calling you to vocational ministry. This feeling would be your inward calling. Consider Jeremiah and the Word of God being a fire in his bones that he could not hold in (Jer. 20:9). Or Peter and John, who could not stop speaking of the gospel (Acts 4:19-20). This inward calling is a God-given desire to do the work of ministry. If you can do anything else and be happy with life, then you do not have this inward calling. Next, you must have an outward or external calling. Your local church and pastor should examine and affirm your inward calling and gifts. In most cases for those called into the ministry, those around them recognized their gifts long before the individual did. In other cases, the pastor and congregation may recognize certain sin or personal issues that would restrict someone from vocational ministry. In both callings, God initiates the call.
 
 
Each summer, we try to have an intern that gets to experience the daily routine of vocational church ministry. Having been called into ministry, this intern gets assigned to a staff member that most closely relates to the gifts and abilities of the intern and will work alongside this staff member in preparation, planning, and implementation of various church ministries and functions. Email pastor@tomscreekbc.org for more information on this internship opportunity.
 
Further resources for questions on vocational ministry:
Now That You’ve Been Called to Ministry – Anderson University College of Christian Studies
Are You Called? – Southern Seminary Faculty