Preface to the Doctrinal Statement for Teaching and Shepherding
At Crossway Church, we have two doctrinal statements: The Doctrinal Statement for Membership and the Doctrinal Statement for Teaching and Shepherding.* Each has its own purposes and functions.
The Doctrinal Statement for Membership defines the doctrines essential for living life together in the same local church. These essentials include those doctrines that define the gospel and a few other doctrines necessary for carrying out ministry together (such as believer’s water baptism). One must heartily believe everything in this doctrinal statement to be a member at Crossway Church.
The Doctrinal Statement for Teaching and Shepherding is a much larger statement of faith. It defines the doctrines taught at Crossway Church – those doctrines heartily embraced by the shepherds of Crossway Church. This doctrinal statement is affirmed by every elder/pastor at Crossway Church. Teachers, whether in children’s ministry, youth ministry, or any other ministry, may not agree with every point of doctrine in this statement, but they may not contradict these doctrines in their teaching, for the sake of unity in the church. Also, for the sake of unity in the church, members of Crossway Church agree to refrain from causing division within the body over these doctrines.
Our aim with this doctrinal statement is to embrace and teach “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and to encourage a hearty adherence to the Bible, the fullness of its truth, and the glory of its Author. We believe that the cause of unity in the church is best served, not by downplaying doctrine, but by elevating the value of truth, stating the doctrinal parameters of the church, seeking the unity that comes from the truth, and then demonstrating to the world how Christians can love each other though they may at times differ in their understanding of some doctrines.
We do not claim infallibility for this doctrinal statement and are open to refinement and correction from Scripture. Yet, we do hold firmly to these truths as we see them and call on others to search the Scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11).
Finally, we do not believe that all things in this doctrinal statement are of equal weight, some being more essential, some less. We do not believe that every part of this doctrinal statement must be believed in order for one to be saved.
* The Doctrinal Statement for Teaching and Shepherding was written in September of 2009 for the founding of Crossway Church. The second edition, completed in January 2020, provides additional clarifications regarding the authority delegated to deacons by the overseers (See under “Governance” and “Gender Roles in the Church”).