We believe there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each of whom possess equally all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality. In the beginning, God created out of nothing the world and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom and goodness. He continues to sustain His creation through His sovereign power. By His providence, He operates throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes.


The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to invite all people into fellowship with Himself. Originally created to have fellowship with God, man instead defied God, choosing to go his independent way. This now corrupt nature left him alienated from God. The fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are in need of the saving grace of God.

The salvation of mankind is wholly a work of God’s free grace, not the result in whole or in part of human works or goodness.  It may be applied to one’s life only through repentance and faith.  When God begins a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the eternal second Person of the Trinity who was united forever with a true human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father where He, the only Mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own.  He will come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.

The Holy Spirit

The essential accompaniment of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a life of holiness and obedience, attained by believers as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity. He was sent into the world by the Father and Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior and regenerates them. At the point of salvation, He permanently resides in every believer, becoming their source of assurance, strength and wisdom. He also uniquely endows each believer with power and fullness along with gifts for the building up of the members of the Circle. The Holy Spirit guides “Followers Of The Way” in understanding and applying the Scripture. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making in possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father. We believe in this work and experience along with all the biblical evidences from initial new tongues, power for service, boldness, the ability to proclaim the gospel with full authority bathed in love for God and love for our fellowman.

The Scriptures

The scriptures composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments is the sole basis of our belief. We believe that Scripture originated in its entirety with God, and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. Thus, Scripture at one and the same time speaks with the authority of God while reflecting the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of each human author. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice. There are no other writings similarly inspired by God. We believe that the major doctrines of the Scriptures are laid out in the first nine chapters of Genesis and that the Genesis six day creation, the account of Adam and Eve and the literal world wide flood have crucial theological ramifications if not upheld and proclaimed as presented in the Scriptures.

Human Destiny

Death sealed the eternal destiny of each person.  For all mankind, there will be a resurrection of the body into the spiritual world, and a judgment that will determine the fate of each individual.  Unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation.  God’s Judgment will reveal His justice by condemning them to eternal existence in an environment void of any Godly quality.  “Followers Of The Way” will be received into eternal communion with God and be rewarded for works done in this life.

The Gathered Followers

When one receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he/she becomes a member of His Body.  There is one, universal worldwide group who are “Followers Of The Way”, composed of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command “Followers Of The Way” to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of baptism and communion as the sacramentarian ordinances established by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the Body of Christ through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world.

Wherever the “Followers Of The Way” meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the world wide gathering of “Followers Of The Way”.  Under the watchful care of Pastoral elders and other supportive leadership, the local “Gathering” is to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ.

Faith & Practice

The Scriptures are the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. The “Gathering” does not and cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where the Scriptures are silent.  Rather, each “Follower Of The Way” is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she is ultimately responsible.


Water Baptism

There are two sacraments (holy rituals) in the Scriptures which “Followers Of The Way” are instructed to practice and observe, the Lord’s Supper or communion, and water baptism.

The purpose of each is to signify through outward symbolism what Christ has accomplished in “Followers Of The Way” through faith in Christ.  As “Followers Of The Way”, we are instructed and commanded to submit to each as expressions of our faith in Christ.

In what has become known as the “Great Commission”, Jesus gave the following command: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded You” (Matthew 28:19-20).The word “baptize”, taken from the Greek word BAPTIZO, has a fourfold meaning:

  • To immerse or submerge
  • To overflow or cover with water
  • To wet thoroughly or moisten; and
  • To pour upon or drench

Three methods of baptism have developed over the centuries because of the wide scope of this definition and differing views on the word’s usage in the New Testament.

  • Immersion – wherein a person is completely lowered under the water;
  • Pouring – where water is ladled, or poured over the person’s head and body; and
  • Sprinkling – in which the person is lightly sprinkled.

Unfortunately, these differences have often led to a great deal of controversy among God’s people over the years.  Each has value in testifying to differing benefits from a relationship with Christ.

Immersion portrays the atoning death of Christ and gives witness to the reality of His bodily resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). Pouring signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon persons life when he/she commits their life to Christ (Acts 2:17-18).  Sprinkling tells us that we are washed from our sins only by the shed blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:19-22)

Why you need to be baptized

  • Act of Obedience
    Throughout the New Testament, water baptism following conversion is a direct response to Jesus’ command that “Followers Of The Way” everywhere are to “preach”, and then “baptize” those who believe. Therefore, everyone who becomes a “Follower Of The Way” needs to be baptized in obedience to God.
  • Statement of Faith
    As mentioned earlier, water baptism is an outward statement of one’s belief in Christ’s atonement for our sins, the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit to guide and influence our lives, and the only means for gaining a clear, guilt free conscience toward God. Baptism is a means of making a public statement of your faith.
  • Public Testimony
    Baptism was practiced publicly in the New Testament as a powerful and meaningful fulfillment of Jesus’ promise.  “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). Those who are publicly baptized “acknowledge before men” their life’s commitment to Him as the Savior and Lord.

What Baptism Cannot Do

  • Baptism cannot save
    Salvation comes through faith alone, not works (Ephesians 2:8). Therefore, the act of baptism cannot save us.  Rather, it gives evidence through public action that a person has already been saved.
  • Baptism cannot cleanse from sin
    Forgiveness of sins takes place when we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead, and ask Him to become our Savior and cleanse us from our sins (1 John 1:9).  Baptism may be symbolic of our cleansing, but the water itself is powerless to cleanse from sin.
  • Baptism cannot magically free us from sinful habits
    Self control, moral purity, holiness and other such marks of a changed life are all benefits of receiving Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to influence and change us.  Baptism should reflect a statement on our part to live a life free from these things, although it indicates to others your willingness to submit to the process of spiritual growth and change through the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you are a “Follower Of The Way” who has never been baptized, please let a one of us know.


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Baby & Child Dedication

The ceremony dedicating and committing a child to the Lord is a meaningful celebration.  While beautiful and full of heartfelt sentiment, the presentation also signifies a serious vow on the part of the parents to raise this child unto the Lord with His help, to the best of their ability.  It is important to recognize the longevity of such a vow over time. This includes:

  • Praying constantly for our children (Job 1:5);
  • Living Christ-like lives as authentic examples to our children (Proverbs 20:7);
  • Instructing our children in “the way” of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6); and
  • Disciplining our children with love, even as the Lord disciples us (Proverbs 13:24; 29:15; Colossians 3:21).


Marriage is the first model of the relationship between God and His people, and has been established by Him as an indissoluble union.  It is therefore to be kept inviolate.  We believe that ALL MARRIAGES can make it if their is a willingness by both parties to honor the covenant they have made to each other and to God. We also recognize that marriage is under attack more than it has ever been. However, due to the fallenness of human nature, the Scriptures do permit divorce in the following cases as concession to human frailty for the protection of the innocent party:

  • Divorce for the cause of immorality – with the understanding that the obligation to maintain or reinstate the marriage may not be imposed upon the innocent spouse.
  • Divorce for desertion – desertion being defined as behavior equivalent to the abandonment of the marriage relationship.

In such cases, the offending party becomes subject to Biblical discipline in order to bring about repentance and reconciliation.  Should efforts to achieve restoration fail, the innocent spouse is not bound.  He or she is free to remarry in the Lord.

The remarriage of “Followers Of The Way” may not be approved when:

  • Divorce is being used as a vehicle to seek a different mate, since such pre-intent makes the divorce adulterous.
  • There is no evidence of repentance and brokenness over the circumstances, which caused the divorce.
  • Restoration of the original marriage remains a viable option.

Each case of divorce or remarriage must be dealt with on an individual basis from the perspective of God’s inexhaustible capacity to forgive human sin and restore broken lives.

For further personal study, we suggest you read the following Bible passages on this topic: Matthew 5:31-32; Luke 16:18 Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12 (cross reference Deuteronomy 24:1-4) Romans 7:1-3, 1 Corinthians 7

Sexual Understanding

At “The Gathering” we desire to help people of all walks of life find sexual healing and wholeness as they discover Gods love in this area of their life. We believe that God loves all people regardless of their sexual orientation and that we as followers of Jesus are to love all who come through our doors. We are committed to walking with each person in their journey of God discovery rather than pre judging or categorizing one another with labels.

Jesus did not make sex a barrier for people who wanted to come to Him. For all of us who live together in North America we are faced with the overwhelming issues of sexual brokenness. From children who have been sexually abused all the way up to adults who participate in illicit and destructive sexual practices, many live in a world of sexual hurt and confusion.

We also recognize that there are some sexually acceptable practices in our culture today that are adrift from what God has designed for our sexual health. We also believe that there are unhealthy and sinful sexual practices that affect all of us not just one sector of our culture or community. Our aim in this area is to love first, discover God’s plan for us as individuals second, thirdly we desire to see any area of sexual hurt or dysfunction healed, and lastly we desire that we might all come to a place where every part of our life including our sexuality glorifies God in Biblical obedience and leads us individually into a place of wholeness and life.

God, money & tithing

Most people are surprised to discover that money is one of the most talked about subjects not only in the teachings of Jesus, but throughout the entire Bible.  The way we earn it, spend it, and how much we give to God were issues of great concern to Jesus and the other writers of the Bible.

Why?  Because there is no other aspect of our behavior, which reveals more about our goals and values in life than how we acquire, use and manage our money (Matthew 6:19-21).  It’s easy to say that God is Lord of our lives, but for many, that never becomes completely true until they allow Him to be Lord of their finances.

There are three terms found in the Bible which summarize the Bible’s teachings on money: Stewardship, Tithes and Offering.

What is stewardship?
A “steward” is one who manages the property or financial affairs of another.  Stewardship refers to the responsibility we have to manage our resources in a manner that is consistent with God’s will and purposes.

The Bible teaches that each of us is viewed by God as a “steward” over the resources with which He has entrusted us. This applies to our time, energy, money and other material assets. None of our possessions actually belong to us, but rather to God (Psalm 24:1; 1 Chronicles 29:10-13). As stewards, we are responsible to use and invest our resources wisely, for the sake of His kingdom (Luke 16:1-3).

What is a tithe?
The tithe is a specific way in which man can acknowledge God’s ownership of all things. It is a Biblical concept first introduced in Genesis, the first Book of the Bible. In its earliest usage, it literally meant “the top of the heap”. It refers to giving God the best that we have, right off the top of the pile, rather than what is left over after we meet all our other obligations (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:5-9).

Commerce and culture became more sophisticated over time, and the tithe was identified as being a certain percentage of one’s income. Ten percent was to be regularly set aside and given to the priests for the service and maintenance of the Temple and the Priesthood.

Under the Old Testament Mosaic Law, the tithe was given as a matter of necessity; it was the Law (Ezekiel 44:30; Malachi 3:8-10).

In the New Testament, giving is generally viewed as an act of our free will, motivated by a desire to honor God and invest in the furtherance of His kingdom’s work in the world (Matthew 6:19-20).

Today, many “Followers Of The Way” give as a place to start 10% of their monthly income as a way to honor and worship God.  They take to heart the challenges presented in the Bible to believe God’s promises to reward and abundantly bless those who give in faith (Malachi 3:10; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Such persons are the ones who primarily support churches and other outreaches.

What is an offering?
An “offering” represents a special financial gift, above and beyond the tithe.  It is usually given in response to a special need or request.  It is an expression of concern, grace and love for others and God’s work.

Who pays the bills?
Few have any idea of how “Gatherings” are funded.  Some believe that groups like this receive money from the government or some giant institution. In fact, “Gatherings” are funded solely through the financial gifts of their members. Consequently, a “Gatherings” facilities, staff and ministries are all directly linked to its members’ willing financial support.  It is a direct expression of our faith in God, and our desire to see His message of salvation extended to others.

We thank each of you who support the “Gathering” God is raising up, and we pray God’s blessing on your faithful service to Him.

The Gathering For Kids

We believe the doctrine and application of the Scriptures are not limited to adults alone, and therefore place great emphasis on teaching the Scriptures to children.  Our goal is to provide an environment that allows adults to receive from the Lord without distraction from the unique mannerisms of young children, innocent as they may be!  Likewise, we see tremendous value in offering children the opportunity of learning to worship the Lord and being taught at their own respective levels.

We thus provide classes for children under the age of ten.  The children meet together for a time of singing and worship, after which they are divided into smaller groups according to age.

We have the utmost confidence in the abilities and dedication of our “Gathering For Kids” Team.  They love children and are committed to providing an experience for children that is fun, age appropriate and spiritually fruitful.  Strong emphasis is placed on systematic teaching of the Scriptures, chapter by chapter, verse by verse.  It is through this method that we receive the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

Society offers no apologies for imposing its Godless values upon children, and it is imperative that our children are taught Biblical morals and values through both word and lifestyle, primarily within the family context.  Here in the “Gathering”, however, we are privileged to be given the opportunity to invest further in the lives of children.  It is through this combination of training both in the home and the church that they will best receive Scriptural instruction and have the opportunity to imitate examples of consistent, Godly lifestyles.  Proverbs 22:6 instructs us to: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.

Corporate Prayer

Corporate prayer is an important part of the life of the gathering, along with worship, sound doctrine, communion, and fellowship. The early “Followers Of The Way” met regularly to learn the doctrine of the apostles, break bread, and pray together (Acts 2:42). When we pray together with other “Followers Of The Way”, the effects can be very positive. Corporate prayer edifies and unifies us as we share our common faith. The same Holy Spirit who dwells within each “Follower Of The Way” causes our hearts to rejoice as we hear praises to our Lord and Savior, knitting us together in a unique bond of fellowship found nowhere else in life.

To those who may be alone and struggling with life’s problems, hearing others lift them up to the throne of grace can be a great encouragement. It also builds in us love and concern for others as we intercede for them. At the same time, corporate prayer will only be a reflection of the hearts of the individuals who participate. We are to come to God in humility (James 4:10), truth (Psalm 145:18), obedience (1 John 3:21-22), with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6) and confidence (Hebrews 4:16). Sadly, corporate prayer can also become a platform for those whose words are directed not to God, but to their hearers. Jesus warned against such behavior in Matthew 6:5-8 where he exhorts us not to be showy, long-winded, or hypocritical in our prayers, but to pray secretly in our own rooms in order to avoid the temptation of using prayer hypocritically.

There is nothing in Scripture to suggest that corporate prayers are “more powerful” than individual prayers in the sense of moving the hand of God. The purpose of Prayer is not to “get things from God,” and group prayer is not to be an occasion to recite a list of our wants. Biblical prayers, however, are multi-faceted, encompassing the whole of the desire to enter into conscious and intimate communion with our holy, perfect, and righteous God. That such a God would bend an ear to His creatures causes praise and adoration to pour forth in abundance (Psalm 27:4; 63:1-8), produces heartfelt repentance and confession (Psalm 51; Luke 18:9-14), generates an outpouring of gratitude and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6; Colossians 1:12), and creates sincere intercessory pleas on behalf of others (2 Thessalonians 1:11; 2:16).

Major decisions for the gathering are made on Wednesday nights at our weekly corporate prayer meeting. Our decision motto “No Pray No Say”.

Selecting Leaders

What is a Leader? It has been defined by some as “a person who has followers”.  Though an accurate definition from a practical point of view, the Scriptures tell us there is much more involved in true leadership than simply having a following.

We should also be aware of the difference between ‘leading’ and ‘ministry involvement’. Those who head a specific ministry at a “Gathering” are classified as leaders.  Others are simply involved in ministry.  We believe in four main criteria through which potential leaders (head of a specific ministry) are identified.

  • Character
  • Spiritual Maturity
  • Spiritual Giftedness
  • Team Fit

Most important in the selection of spiritual leaders is character. Society places a greater emphasis upon style than substance.  In contrast, the Scriptures emphasizes first and foremost a person’s character as foundational in the selection of leaders.  Why?  Because most spiritual battles are fought on the battlefield of our character.

There are hundreds of verses, which refer to character. However, two passages are particularly helpful for this discussion.  While their immediate context is to pastors, elders and deacons, most of the qualifications listed can be applied on a broader level to anyone in leadership in the church.  Paul, the writer of much of the New Testament, lists numerous traits for those in leadership. He must be “blameless, temperate, sober minded (serious), of good behavior, hospitable, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous … not a novice (new convert). He must have a good reputation among outsiders …” (1 Timothy 3:1-7).  Paul repeats many of these traits in Titus 1:6-9, adding that one should “hold fast to the faithful word as he has been taught.”

Spiritual Maturity
Spiritual maturity takes time. Therefore, the Scriptures teach that spiritual leaders cannot be “new converts” (1 Timothy 3:6).  However, the length of time someone has been a “Follower Of The Way” does not necessarily equate spiritual maturity.  To be spiritually mature means that one has become seasoned and tempered by yielding, trusting and surrendering to God. Confirmation of this maturity is most clearly indicated by one’s capacity to love and serve others (John 13:34-35: Matthew 20:25-28).  Unfortunately, there are many who have been “Followers Of The Way” for many years but have never matured.

A person who is spiritually mature has developed many of the disciplines, which lead to the kind of character development previously listed.  Although we expect all “Followers Of The Way” to regularly pray, read the Scriptures, tithe, share their faith and attend the Gathering, there are additional commitments we require of our leaders.

Have attended The “Gathering” for a long enough season where their life and servants heart can be observed and tested or have transferred into the “Gathering” from a place where their character, doctrine and ministry are known and proven.

  • Attend “Gatherings” regularly.
  • Participate in a Prayer POD on a regular basis.
  • Tithe a full 10% of their income.
  • Serve in some aspect of ministry at the “Gathering”.
  • Be committed to the purpose and philosophy of the “Gathering”.

Spiritual Giftedness
Wanting to be in leadership does not automatically mean someone is gifted to lead, nor does having an attractive personality or special skills.  A person must display leadership gifts, which are recognizable to others already in leadership (1 Timothy 3:10).

The Scriptures teach that our power and ability to serve effectively is based upon the spiritual gifts (enablement’s), which God has given to us all (1 Corinthians 12).  At the same time, we recognize that not all “Followers Of The Way” have ministry leadership gifts but all have serving gifts (Romans 12:4-8).

Team Fit
It is possible for a person to be gifted and called as a leader, yet not fit into this particular “Gathering”. Divisive differences of opinion over how the “Gathering” should function are often the result of a leader serving in the wrong “Gathering” (Acts 15:36-41).

This doesn’t always mean that one way is right and the other wrong. Rather, various parts of Christ’s Body are called to function differently as pleases the Lord (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).  At the same time, people cannot work together unless there is an agreement as to how that work is to be done (Amos 3:3).

We believe that every “Follower Of The Way” is called to serve in a “Gathering” team somewhere.  You will find the best “team fit”, realize the most fulfillment and achieve the greatest effectiveness in a team, which shares your primary concerns in ministry.  We encourage you to begin serving as the Lord lays ministry on your heart.