The mission of Santa Barbara Community Church is to be a community of believers looking upward to God, growing inward in Christ, and moving outward by the Spirit for the glory of God.
Convictions shape us…
Santa Barbara Community Church is shaped by the foundational convictions that God is supreme, humans are in need of salvation and Jesus Christ provides his perfect solution to our desperate spiritual condition. We agree with the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647) that asks: What is the chief end of man? It answers: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Authority of God’s Word…
Believing fully in the authority of Scripture, we are a church family that gives priority to learning, understanding and teaching God’s word. We believe in and are convicted by the infallible truth of Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. Where the Bible is clear we want to speak with a strong, obedient voice and when the Scriptures are silent or less clear we want to speak with greater humility. Through biblical instruction, God’s people are equipped to live for Christ. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Commitment to a local church…
The primary arena where Christians are to grow spiritually, worship, and fellowship with other believers is the local church. God works through his people in his churches to accomplish his good purposes. (Ephesians 3:10) We strongly encourage those who call Santa Barbara Community Church their home church to take seriously the call to commitment and membership that we may all obey God and seek to grow in Christ together. Our name was deliberately chosen to reflect this calling and value. (We believe God calls all believers to find and faithfully commit to a church home.)
Small group discipleship…
The New Testament uses many word pictures to describe the church. The metaphors of flock, building, body, and family all point to our interdependence in living the Christian life. Because of this, we intentionally work to meet together in ways that encourage sharing, accountability, dependence, fellowship and spiritual growth in each other’s lives (Galatians 6:1-2, Hebrews 10:24-25). Though the homegroup is our primary vehicle for small group interaction, we also offer a variety of other meaningful discipleship group opportunities. Through homegroups and other small groups we encourage one another toward spiritual maturity and joy in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)
Ministry-for-All and All-for-Ministry…
The Bible teaches that all Christians are ministers (Ephesians 4:11-12). Our hope is that everyone at SBCC will catch the vision that they are gifted by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:20-30, Romans 12:3-8) and are to be involved as ministers in the life of the church and service to the world. Since all believers are called to ministry, this means no one has second-class status in the church. The elders, or pastors, of the church work to provide leadership, direction and vision for the body of Christ (Acts 6:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-10). The New Testament always describes the leaders of local churches in the plural. Leadership at SBCC begins as a shared ministry of servant-minded elders.
As a church we want to impact Santa Barbara and the world for God’s glory. As we live life in our city, in our schools, neighborhoods, sports teams and places of work, we are to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). Christians are called to make disciples of all peoples helping them to come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:16-20). The task is urgent because we understand that apart from salvation in Jesus there is no hope in this life or the next.
Compassion in action…
Alongside the joy of telling others about new life in Jesus Christ, we have the joyful calling to be involved in healing a broken world. Feeding the hungry, caring for the disenfranchised, standing for justice and being stewards of our physical environment are integral parts of our calling as Christians. Essentially, our inner spiritual growth is to manifest itself in tangible outward expression.
A healthy Christ-centered church life matters deeply to us. We are well aware that no church is perfect. Yet, we do not want to be a church that settles for mediocre church life. We want to be a community of believers who prays for God’s direction and blessing in all we do so that Jesus may be known and loved throughout the world. We seek to be humbly obedient to Christ and the Word of God as the Holy Spirit leads us.
As a church we want to emphasize the central beliefs of Christian orthodox faith. This means we find our unity in the central tenets of the Christian faith: God is sovereign; sin and rebellion from God is our core problem; Jesus is the answer; the Bible is true; and Heaven and Hell are real.
We believe in the triune God of the Bible. We believe that God created the universe and that he created humanity in his own image. Because of our disobedience to God (sin) we are helpless and hopeless until God rescues us from our predicament (redemption). Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, lovingly gave his life for us so that we might know and enjoy fellowship with God. We believe that Jesus is coming again to judge the earth and establish a new heavens and a new earth.
- The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to be the verbally inspired word of God; the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
- There is but one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Jesus of Nazareth was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man.
- All human beings were created in the image of God without sin or defect; that we all have sinned in Adam, and thereby incur not only physical death, but spiritual death. This results in separation from God; that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and that those who reach moral responsibility still sin in thought, word and deed.
- Jesus died and rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is coming again to reign on earth.
- Jesus is the Christ; that His death provided atonement for humanity’s sin and that all who place their faith in Him as Lord and Savior are justified before God.
- All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the Church; that the members of this one spiritual community are directed to associate themselves together in local churches; and that the establishment of local churches is clearly taught in the New Testament. The local church is part of the global Church.
- All who place their faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated spiritually by the Holy Spirit and thus become children of God, adopted into his family by faith, and saved into his community of saints.
- All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are called to a holiness of life as evidenced by obedience to God’s word. This includes participation in baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- There will be a bodily resurrection of all to face the righteous judgment of God: the unsaved, to punishment and eternal separation from God; and the saved, to eternal life with God, fully knowing and enjoying him forever.