"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
The Great Need
- In 2010 the Association of Religion Data Archives estimated that less than 4% of the more than 207,000 residents of Arlington identified themselves as Evangelical Protestants. Further, of the more than 207,000 residents only 1.3% identified themselves as Southern Baptists.
- The percentage of “Nones” – those who claim no religious affiliation – is rising each year. Arlington is highly concentrated with this demographic, as they are more prevalent in cities than in rural areas and suburbs.
- The younger generations, who are flocking to Arlington in droves, are particularly distrustful of institutions, and that includes the church. While they are generally open to discussing spiritual matters, research has shown they’re extremely unlikely to go to the church when seeking answers to their spiritual questions.
- While Arlington citizens may exhibit a sleek and confident exterior, many of them wrestle with high levels of anxiety, depression, and chronic overwork.
- The ballooning “Us vs. Them” mentality in the public square is driving our nation into greater division and fragmentation. Arlington is located right next to Washington D.C., the hub of our nation’s public policy, so its residents are in a crucial position to make a positive impact on the nation’s future.
- Added to these cultural challenges is the profound spiritual lostness that is true of all people in any age and in any culture: Arlington citizens are dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1–3), blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4), and under the righteous wrath of God (Romans 1:18–32). They face eternal conscious punishment in hell for their rebellion and disobedience (Matthew 25:46), and the only remedy is the perfect righteousness, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21–26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 15:20–22), freely given to all who turn from their sin and trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins and hope of eternal life (Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21; Romans 10:9–10).
In light of these realities, it is clear that there exists a great need for the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ in Arlington County. This gospel proclamation, the proclamation of an extraordinary salvation through Jesus Christ, takes place through ordinary means and ordinary people.
The Good News
Arlington Baptist Church's outreach is driven by the public preaching of the Word in our services and by the members of our church actively engaged in personal evangelism. We desire to equip and encourage each member to reflect the gospel in their home, workplace, school, and neighborhood. In fact, doing so is part of our Church Covenant (“by a pure and loving example to seek the salvation of our family and friends”). Each of us desires to be part of a church that will consistently and winsomely preach the gospel during Sunday services, live out the implications of the gospel throughout the week, and pray for the salvation of family and friends.
We strive to cultivate a culture of discipleship where the normal agenda and priority of each member is to make and mature followers of Jesus. As a neighborhood church, we seek to know and care for the needs of our Alcova Heights community. We are committed to provide a place of worship and spiritual instruction that is safe, attractive, and honoring to God as a light to the community. We seek to remove barriers to the gospel by creating environments of hospitality that welcome all people. We endeavor to develop real and meaningful relationships with the people that God, in his providence, has brought into our lives so that we might love them well and share the reason for our hope. We practice intentional evangelism as an act of love toward non-Christians, including children of our members, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone God places in our paths. We focus outward, cross boundaries, and step outside our comfort zones to share the gospel.
The Gospel Partnerships
Because the gospel has ramifications on every part of life and we are called to be a light to the communities in which we live, we support ministries within our own community. We're not only happy to support these ministries financially, but we're also happy to encourage our members to be more deeply involved with them week in and week out. While these outreach activities are important, the most important outreach activity is the proclamation of God’s Word, especially preaching the gospel to those who do not know that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died on the cross to bring forgiveness of sins to all who repent and believe.
The Great Commission
We also focus our efforts on taking the gospel to all peoples of the world. The goal of missions is the worldwide worship of Jesus Christ by his redeemed disciples from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. It is our privilege and responsibility to proclaim the gospel to all peoples. Thus, we seek, by God’s grace, to be a sending church. We desire to be sacrificial in the giving of our time, resources, and people for the good of the church of Jesus Christ around the world, and not simply for our own congregation. We prioritize sending and supporting laborers to unreached people groups as our missions strategy in obedience to Jesus. To do that, we seek gospel growth both at home and around the world.
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.” — John Piper