The best way to find out about a church is to simply visit. But for those who would like to know the DNA of FBC Bloomington before visiting, here are some values that shape how we live out the Gospel calling to be Christ-followers together and beyond these walls.
- Intergenerational – FBC is a small church – about 260 active. We have a strong educational and outreach ministry with children and youth (supported by caring adults of all ages) called LOGOS. Through LOGOS, we practice mentoring relationships that lead children and youth to a deeper faith and commitment to Jesus.
- Diverse – When you visit FBC and talk with our members, you will notice our diversity, including everything from politics to theology, and from country of origin to community involvement. At FBC our goal is not uniformity, but being formed in the image of Christ, recognizing that different gifts, backgrounds and perspectives are essential to that process. Where we differ, mutual respect centered in the love of Christ helps us pursue God’s truth together.
- Open – We value open discussion, thought, and dialogue. We know that Christ does not carbon-copy disciples but seeks to use our unique gifts for God’s glory. ‘Open’ doesn’t mean anything goes – but that we focus on looking for God’s presence and guiding in each other inside and outside of the church. For us, openness also reflects our willingness to engage and collaborate with the broader community while remaining committed and centered in Christ. This openness is expressed in various ways, from ecumenical worship experiences celebrating unity in the Christian community, to interfaith partnerships that work together around homelessness, expressing solidarity in the wake of racially or religiously based bigotry, or promoting peace and justice in the Bloomington Normal area.
- Scriptural Authority and Interpretation – Scripture is our source; Christ is our center. This is a theological statement that reflects FBC. We regard the Bible as a living Word, inspired by the Spirit in composition and speaking to us now through that same Spirit. We believe that the richness of Scripture cannot be exhausted in any one reading. What the Bible says to God’s people now does not limit what it has said to them in the past, nor what it will reveal in the future. As important as the Bible is in our desire to love and be loved by God, to seek His will, and to participate in His plan for Creation, we do not worship the Bible. We worship God. We resist the temptation to use individual portions of Scripture as a claim on absolute certainty about God. We try, instead, to engage the whole of Scripture, not just those portions that seem most convenient or comforting. In this way, we stay open to what the Bible is saying to God’s people now, allowing it to read us even while we read it.
- Children and Youth – FBC values children and youth. Through Wednesday evening programming that creates mentoring relationships or summer retreats, we seek to instill a faith in Christ from an early age. And we cannot do this alone. We do this as a community, as a village, as a people who are called to care for and love one another.
- Missional – Rather than building a congregation that retreats from the world, FBC believes that church should be engaged with the world and with its neighbors. We gather for worship and community, and are sent out into the world. Our work and ministry is thus not just for us – it is for our neighbors and for folks that we do not know. Christ uses us to bless others.