XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Employee Handbook of Christ Community Church of Chicago, Illinois.

Message from the Senior Pastor

Welcome to the staff of Christ Community Church! We are excited that you have joined our team to use your gifts, talents and treasures to serve Jesus Christ, the community of believers and the many seekers who walk through our doors. It is a tremendous responsibility and privilege and we know God will be glorified and honored through your service with us.

As a staff, we are committed to working together to share the saving message of Jesus Christ. Working in ministry can be demanding and often requires extraordinary effort, but it is rewarding as well. We know the eternal impact of your service in ministry will outweigh anything the world has to offer.

We hope you experience genuine community that is such an integral part of our staff. I look forward to partnering with you in the building of Christ’s Kingdom.

History of Christ Community Church

Theological Position

Christ Community Church is an evangelical, contemporary worshipping, seeker-sensitive church with strong reformed leanings. Senior Pastor Jim Nicodem received his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, and his Master of Ministry and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

A Brief History

Jim and his wife Sue, along with six other couples, began meeting in October of 1984 to plan a church for the unchurched. The first service was held in December of 1984 in what was then known as the St. Charles Mall Theater. Over the first six years, in various rented facilities, Christ Community grew to over 700 weekend attenders.

In 1990, a first-phase facility was built on forty acres of prime real estate purchased in the northwest area of St. Charles. A second phase addition was completed in 1995. The third phase was completed in 2003 with the addition of a 1,500-seat auditorium and atrium. In 2004, an additional 500 seats were added to the balcony, bringing the total seating capacity in the main auditorium to 2,000. Today, Christ Community Church has over 3,500 attenders at our weekend services at the St. Charles Campus. Another 750 people are regularly attending at the DeKalb campus, which first opened at the Pen’s Point market building in October of 2004. In November 2006, we added our third campus when we received confirmation on the adoption of the existing Blackberry Creek Church in the Aurora/Sugar Grove area. In September 2011, the church launched its fourth campus in the Oak Room of the Bartlett Community Center.

Basic Strategy

Christ Community regards itself as a “seeker church with depth.” While there exists a strong passion to reach the lost, there is a clear love and passion for Scripture, worship and discipleship of believers.

Staff

Christ Community Church is a “Staff-directed, Elder-protected” ministry. At present, there are approximately one hundred full and part-time staff members at four campuses. Our “Structure of Ministry” booklet can provide more detailed information on the leadership structure of the church, including the role of the Elder and Trustee boards.

Summary

Christ Community has a strong, healthy staff who are deeply committed to the Lord, to each other and to the community in which God has placed them. The surrounding communities are growing rapidly and the church is positioned to make a difference for Christ and His Glory.

Motto, Motive and Mission Statements

Motto:  Know Christ: Make Him Known

Motive:  Loving God. Loving People (Matt. 22:37-39 and 28:19-20)

Mission: Make Disciples of Jesus Christ (Who Are …)

Belonging

Goal                                                                          Resources

Weekend Service attendance                                Belonging C.G. Study

Conversion experience                                           CG participation

Baptism                                                                      Baptism class

Community Group membership

CCC membership

Romans 12:5—So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Growing

Goal                                                                     Resources

Personal Bible Study                                         CG studies

Stewardship                                                        Financial Freedom/FPU

Prayer                                                                   24/7 Prayer

Worship                                                               Ignite

Peter 3:18—But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Him be glory both now and forever! Amen!

Serving

Goal                                                                     Resources

Serving the Body                                                Discovering Your Ministry

Serving the Broken                                            Serving C.G. Study

                                                                               Community Impact

Matthew 20:26b—Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant.

Reaching

Goal                                                                     Resources

Personal Evangelism                                         CG studies

Reaching the World                                          International Impact

                                                                       Go Teams

Acts 1:8—But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Statement of Faith

The Bible

The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. Scripture thus, at one and the same time, speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 1 Pet. 1:10-12, 2 Pet. 1:20-21).

We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and without error in the original writings. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God (Matt. 5:17-20).

God

We believe there is one, true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and characteristics of personality (Deut. 6:4-5, Matt. 28:19).

In the beginning, God created, out of nothing, the world and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. By His sovereign power, He continues to sustain His creation and to fulfill His redemptive purposes (Gen. 1:1-2, Acts 17:28, Heb. 1:3).

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity who was united forever with a true human nature by the miraculous conception of the Holy Spirit, being born of a virgin. Thus, He is fully God and fully Man (John 1:1-2, Luke 1:26-37).

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, according to the Scriptures. Thus, He satisfied divine justice and accomplished salvation for all who trust in Him alone (Heb. 4:14-16, Heb. 10:5-18).

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 shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God (Luke 24, 1 Tim. 2:5-6, Heb. 7:23-25, Acts 1:11, 1 Thes. 4:13-18).

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the mind of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior, and regenerates them (John 3:5-8, John 16:7-15).

At the point of salvation, He permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength, and wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the building up of His people. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scriptures. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father (John 14:16-18, 1 Cor. 12:13, Gal. 5:22-25, Eph. 1:13-14, Eph. 5:18).

Salvation

The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Himself. Originally created in God’s image to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way. He thus became sinful, suffering alienation from God and the corruption of his human nature (John 5:39-40, Eph. 2:1-3).

The fall of mankind took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are thus in need of the saving grace of God. The salvation of mankind is, then, wholly a work of God’s free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Gen. 3, Rom. 3:9-26, Rom. 5:12, Eph. 2:4-10).

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 completion. The fact that God has begun and is continuing such work in an individual’s life is demonstrated by that person’s perseverance in the faith (Phil. 1:6, John 6:38-40, John 10:27-29, 1 Pet. 1:3-5).

Human Destiny

Death seals 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 everlasting condemnation, God’s judgment thus revealing His just response to their own rejection of God. Believers will be received into eternal communion with God and will be rewarded for works done in this life (Matt. 25:31-46, Rev. 20:11-15, 1 Cor. 3:12-15, 1 Cor. 15:12-28).

The Church

The corollary of union with Jesus Christ is that all believers become members of His body, the Church. There is one true Church universal, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (1 Cor. 12-13, Eph. 4:3-6).

Scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of baptism and communion as ordinances established by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world (Acts 2:42-47, Heb. 10:23-25, 1 Cor. 12:12-27).

Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church. Under the watchcare of elders and the supportive leadership of deacons, its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (1 Tim. 3:1-13, Eph. 1:11-12, 1 Pet. 2:9).

Faith and Practice

Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience in individual areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she is ultimately responsible (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

We believe this Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in this Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissensions (1 Tim. 1:3-7, 1 Tim. 4:7-8, 16).

Distinctives

The Bible

The Bible is God’s uniquely inspired Word (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21) and the means by which we come to know him (2 Tim. 3:15; Rom. 10:17) and His will for our lives (Matt. 4:4; Psa. 119:105; Psa. 19:7-9). Corporately, we teach the Bible in a relevant way that emphasizes the application of its truths for life-transformation (James 1:23-25; Matt. 7:24-27). Leaders must become skilled in the use of Scripture as their most important tool for making disciples of others (2 Tim. 2:15). On a personal basis, we encourage Bible reading, study and memorization (Psa. 1:1-3; Josh. 1:8; Psa. 119:11).

Evangelism

Just as Jesus came to earth to seek and to save spiritually lost people (Luke 19:10), so this is our primary mission as a church (John 20:21; Luke 15:4-7; Matt. 28:19). We best accomplish this as we invest ourselves in the lives of unbelievers (Matt. 9:9-13; 1 Cor. 9:19-23), inform them of what God has done in us (i.e. “our story:” Mark 5:19-20; John 9:25; Acts 22:2-16) as a result of Christ’s saving work on the cross (i.e. “His story:” 1 Pet. 3:18; Rom. 1:16), and invite them to a service, special event, or group where this message will be reinforced in the context of a loving community (John 1:40-42; 4:28-29).

Prayer

Scripture exhorts us to pray continually (1 Thes. 5:17). This was the practice of the early church whose members were devoted to prayer (Acts 2:42). The church was birthed at a prayer meeting (Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-4). When these believers faced opposition, they responded by praying so passionately that the place where they were gathered shook and they went out from there with boldness and power (Acts 4:23-31). The church’s leaders saw prayer as one of their primary responsibilities (Acts 6:2-4). While they were praying, God led them to appoint the apostle Paul to be the church’s first missionary (Acts 13:2-3). We want prayer to be woven throughout our ministry as well. Prayer will be a key ingredient of our worship services, Community Group gatherings and leadership meetings. The staff will set aside time each week, corporately and individually, to pray for the church. Bands of prayer partners will pray during the weekend sermons. Prayer counselors and elders will be available for prayer after every service. A prayer team will intercede for needs that are called in or registered on welcome cards. We will make disciples who pray.

Worship

While the word, “worship,” describes the total surrendering of ourselves to God (Rom. 12:1), it can also refer to the specific activity of exalting Him with songs of praise (Psa. 100:2). Our weekend services are intended for corporate worship. We desire to balance spirit and truth in these services (John 4:23-24)—that is, to worship with both heart-felt enthusiasm and solid, biblical content. Insights from God’s Word are interspersed among several songs. We also value a balance of old and new. The old connects us with believers of previous eras, provides worshippers with something that is familiar and demonstrates a respect for tradition. Hymns, creeds, communion and written prayers represent the old. The new is reflected in contemporary worship songs (Psa. 96:1).

Another attempt at balance is our selection of musical styles. Just as the early church valued variety in this regard—singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Col. 3:16)—so do we. We believe that a creative God is honored by this approach and that it reflects the diversity of the body of Christ. A final concern for balance is evidenced by our desire to make our worship accessible to both believers and seekers. We hope that the latter group will experience God’s presence and be drawn to Him (i.e. worship evangelism). In an effort to promote the daily personal worship of God, we offer a list of over 250 attributes, names and titles of God that can be used to stimulate prayers of praise.

Baptism

The Bible commands those who put their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins to declare this new allegiance through baptism (Acts 2:36-38). Baptism does not “save” us, as Scripture makes clear that we are saved through faith and not by good works of any kind (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). On the other hand, baptism is an extremely important step of obedience in a believer’s life (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 36; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:14-15, 30-33; 18:8) and one to be taken as soon as possible. It is the outward act by which a person symbolizes an internal transformation that has been brought about by identifying with Jesus in His victory over sin through death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4). Jesus says that He will not acknowledge us before His Father in heaven unless we are willing to acknowledge Him before others on earth (Matt. 10:32-33). Because baptism also identifies us as being members of Jesus’ community, we celebrate it publicly, as a church, during weekend morning services at CCC (i.e. not at Community Group meetings, youth retreats, or any other location/event). The added bonus of this approach is that it gives the many unbelievers who are present an opportunity to hear real-life stories of Christ’s work of salvation.

The only examples in the Bible of people being baptized are those who have first made their own personal decisions to trust Christ for salvation. So we do not baptize infants and we encourage those who were “baptized” as babies to follow the New Testament practice of pursuing baptism after they themselves have asked Christ to become their Savior and Lord. Because of the profound nature of this step, we also encourage children who profess faith in Christ to wait for baptism until they are old enough to understand and appreciate its significance (fourth grade and up).

The Arts

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