Vision / Mission
The Vision, Mission, Purpose, and Government of Franklin Community Church
Vision: FCC exists to enable Middle Tennesseans to experience authentic relationships with God and each other by building an Acts 2, biblical community.
Acts 2:42-47 – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
- The word translated “devoted” literally reads, “continually devoted”; the idea behind this word is to persist in what you are doing.
- The word translated “fellowship” is koinonia, the highest form of fellowship possible.
FCC believes the key to accomplishing God’s vision for our church is fulfilling the Great Commission and obeying the Great Commandment.
- The Great Commission: “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew28:18-20).
- The Great Commandment: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heat and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Based on these two (2) great purpose statements given to the church by Jesus Himself, FCC maintains health by balancing five (5) key functions:
- Worship (“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…” and, “They devoted themselves to…breaking of bread and to prayer.”)
The way we show our love to God as a church is through worshiping Him in large group settings, in small group settings, and in our regular, personal quiet times.
- Discipleship (“…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” and, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…”)
Discipleship is the life long process of becoming like Christ. The process of discipleship starts with a profession of faith (justification); continues through growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (sanctification); and will be completed when we are with Jesus in heaven (glorification). Justification frees us from the penalty of sin. Sanctification frees us from the power of sin. Glorification frees us from the very presence of sin.
- Evangelism (“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” and, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”)
Evangelism is sharing the good news of the Kingdom of God that is available to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Evangelism is not a program in the church. Rather it is the lifestyle of a true follower of Jesus Christ, and involves both words and actions. Literally the phrase, “Therefore go,” reads, “While you are going.” Jesus assumed that as we lived our lives we would naturally tell others about the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God. A fully committed follower of Jesus Christ who decides to be a part of FCC will be encouraged to build relationships with people who do not know Jesus, or who have fallen away from the church, with the goal being to help that person take the next step in their journey toward faith in Jesus Christ.
- Ministry (“Love your neighbor as yourself…” and, “All the believers were together and had everything in common…they gave to anyone as he had need.”)
In the church, every member is a minister and every saint is a servant. At the heart of being a disciple is being a minister. The word “minister” means “service.” A believer’s life is to be characterized by servanthood. We minister to one another, and to our community, by discovering our S.H.A.P.E.
S – Spiritual Gifts
H – Heart (passions)
A – Abilities
P – Personality
E – Experiences.
A fully committed follower of Jesus Christ who decides to be part of FCC will be encouraged to discover his SHAPE and use his SHAPE by being involved in at least one (1) ministry in the church.
- Fellowship (“…baptizing them…” and, “They devoted themselves to…fellowship.”)
Simply bringing people to Christ is not enough. We must incorporate them into the life of the church; and it is through baptism that we say, “You are one with us.” It is through baptism that we are identified with Christ and with the body of Christ—the church. A fully committed follower of Jesus Christ who decides to be a part of FCC will be encouraged to be baptized by immersion. Furthermore, since we believe in the priesthood of the believer, anyone (friend or family) who you feel has come to know Christ as a result of your influence can request that you baptize them, or be in the baptism pool with them.
- We value
“Community” is the cornerstone on which FCC is built. We are Franklin Community Church. By “community” we mean far more than the geographical location of our church. “Community” refers to the relationships we have with one another because of our common faith in Jesus Christ. The word “community” is related to the word “communion.” Thus, in the same way that celebrating the Lord’s Supper unites us with the body and blood of Jesus, so we are to be united to each other. “Community” means “doing life together—the good, the bad, and the ugly.” As a symbol of our communion with Christ and community with each other, FCC will observe the Lord’s Supper weekly during our celebration gatherings; and in community groups at the discretion of the community group leader.
- We value unity.
If community is the cornerstone of our church, then unity is the cement that holds us together. Unity does not mean uniformity. Rather it means working together to build the Kingdom of God through our local church.
- We value diversity.
We celebrate the fact that each person is created in the image of God and that God has created each individual as a unique individual. Valuing diversity means we accept one another unconditionally and embrace the uniqueness of each individual. Diversity also means we recognize that each person is at a different place in their spiritual journey. Our job is to meet people where they are and encourage them to take the next step in their relationship with God.
- We value creativity.
Because each person has been created in the image of God, and because God has SHAPED each person differently, we recognize there is great creativity in serving God. Furthermore, we recognize, and embrace, creativity in expressing our love for God and each other. We also recognize creativity in the way we express our response to God in corporate worship, community group worship, and individual worship. We value a restoration of the arts in worship, and desire for our worship of God to be creative, engaging, and expressive.
- We value authenticity.
We value authenticity in our worship. Worship is a verb; as such our worship should be expressive and should engage all our senses. Worship is not a spectator sport. Rather, worship is participatory.
When we gather for corporate worship (celebration) our worship services will include…
…the Lord’s Supper.
…”signs and wonders.”
Furthermore, in our corporate worship, everything will be done in an orderly way.
Authenticity also involves are daily walk with Christ, and our relationships with one another. We strive to walk in “realness”; without pretense and hypocrisy.
The vision of FCC is to enable Middle Tennesseans to experience authentic relationships with God and each other. We believe that our vision is the unique fingerprint that God has given us in building His Kingdom. Our “mission” is a broader extension of our “vision” and includes living out the five (5) functions of a balanced church. In other words, We will fulfill our vision by being R.E.A.L.
R – Reaching our community for Christ (evangelism).
E – Equipping each other for ministry.
A – Adoring God through worship.
L – Loving each other unconditionally (fellowship); and Learning God’s Word (discipleship).
Purpose: Franklin Community Church exists to communicate God’s Word by bringing people into a relationship with Jesus Christ (evangelism); incorporate God’s family by bringing people into the membership and fellowship of the church (fellowship); educate God’s people by bringing them to Christ like maturity (discipleship); demonstrate God’s love by equipping people for ministry in the church and in the world (ministry); and celebrate God’s presence by leading people in corporate worship (worship).
“Politics” has become a four-letter word in our society. It brings up images of taxes, crooked deals, and shady characters. The word itself is an adjective meaning, “wise in looking out for one’s own interests; prudent; shrewd…showing wisdom or shrewdness.” It is also interesting to note that the words “politic” and “polite” are closely related. Thus, there has to be a “system” of looking out for the interests of the church; and a “system” to operate the church in a prudent manner, using wisdom and showing kindness to one another. That “system” is called a “church government:” and when it comes to church government, four (4) principles need to be kept in mind.
- The church is an organism, not an organization.
The body of Christ (the church) is a living, growing organism. The church is as much alive as Christ Himself is alive. The church is fundamentally different from the YMCA, Rotary Club, unions, or any other organization which a person might join.
- Though the church is not an organization, organization is vital for the church to grow.
The human body is made up of cells. The cells are organisms, not organizations, but they are organized. In the church, organization is the means to an end, not the end itself. Furthermore, no amount of organization is a substitute for the Holy Spirit.
- The church should be structured for growth, not control.
“While the kind of structure a church has does not cause growth, it does control the rate and size of the growth. And every church must eventually decide whether it is going to be structured for control or structured for growth…For your church to grow, both the pastor and the people must give up control: the people must give up control of the leadership, and the pastor must give up control of the ministry. Otherwise either party can become a bottleneck for growth.” Our church structure must maximize ministry and minimize maintenance.
- Maintenance – CHURCH WORK (budgets, building, organizational matters, etc…)
- Ministry – The WORK OF THE CHURCH.
- Church government is not definitive in the Bible.
The Bible gives no specific form of church government. Thus, theologically, there is no “right” way to organize a church. Historically, Baptists churches have been “congregational,” meaning each member of the church in good standing (however “good standing” is defined) have an equal vote and say on all church matters. Non-baptists churches have been everything from strict congregational government to some type of presbytery, to elder run, to dictatorship.
An Elder Form of Church Government:
FCC’s form of church government is “eldership” as opposed to “congregational.” The church elders are responsible for the general oversight of all church affairs. A high value is place on congregational input, but the ultimate decisions regarding the church is held by the elders. An explanation of our eldership, as well as answers to some key questions, is found in the church’s constitution.
Among other things, a member of FCC will be expected to…
- Protect the unity of the church. (Romans 15:5, 19; Ephesians 4:29; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 1:22).
- Share the responsibility of the church. (Luke 14:23; Romans 15:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:2).
- Serve the ministry of the church. (Ephesians 4:11-12; Philippians 2:3-4, 7; 1 Peter 4:10).
- Support the testimony of the church. (Leviticus 17:30; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Philippians 1:27).
Franklin Community Church Membership Covenant:
“Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with FCCs statements, strategy and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the FCC family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:
- I Will Protect the Unity of My Church.
…By acting in love toward other members
…By refusing to gossip
…By following the leaders
“So let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony, and on the growth of our fellowship together.” Rom. 15:19 (Ph)
“Live in complete harmony with each other — each with the attitude of Christ toward each other.” Rom 15:5 (LB)
“Have a sincere love for your fellow believers, love one another earnestly with all your hearts.” 1 Peter 1:22 (GN)
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs…” Eph. 4:29
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be no advantage to you.” Heb. 13:17
- I Will Share the Responsibility of My Church
…By praying for its growth
…By inviting the unchurched to attend
…By warmly welcoming those who visit
“To the church…we always thank God for you and pray for you constantly.” 1 Thess. 1:2
“Go out into the country…and urge anyone you find to come in, so that My House will be full.” Luke 14:23 (LB)
“So, warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified.” Rom. 15:7 (LB)
- I Will Serve the Ministry of My Church
…By discovering my gifts and talents
…By being equipped to serve by my pastors
…By developing a servant’s heart
“Serve one another with the particular gifts God has given each of you… 1 Peter 4:10 (Ph)
“God gave…some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of ministry, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” Ephesians 4:11-12
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitutude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ…who took on the very nature of a servant…” Phil. 2:3-4, 7
- I Will Support the Testimony of My Church
…By attending faithfully
…By living a godly life
…By giving regularly
“Let us not give up the habit of meeting together…but let us encourage one another.” Hebrews 10:25
“But whatever happens, make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Phil. 1:27 (Ph)
“Each one of you, on the first day of each week, should set aside a specific sum of money in proportion to what you have earned and use it for the offering.” 1 Cor. 16:2
“A tenth of all you produce is the Lord’s, and it is holy.” Lev. 27:30
 Romans 10:13; Ephesians 2:8 (plus others).
 1 Peter 2:1; 2 Peter 3:18 (plus others).
 Romans 8:18-25, 37-39 (plus others).
 Romans 6:23 (plus others).
 Romans 6:1-14 (plus others)
 Romans 8:1; Revelation 21:8 (plus others).
 Ephesians 4:11-13 (plus others).
 Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-4 (plus others).
 The word translated “baptize” in the New Testament was used to refer to a piece of cloth being dipped in dye. Thus, to be baptized literally means “to dip under,” referring to full submersion. Furthermore, FCC believes that while baptism is symbolic, full immersion better symbolizes the meaning of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. FCC does accept baptism by immersion from other evangelical churches.
 FCC practices what is called “Open Communion.” This means that a person does not have to be member of FCC to partake of communion in our services. Any believer is welcomed and encouraged to take communion with us at any time.
 Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139:13; Jeremiah 1:5 (plus others).
 What I mean by this is an expectation that when we gather in corporate worship (celebration), God will show up and we will see miracles—people will be delivered from oppression, depression and addictions; and people will be healed—spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When we meet in celebratory, corporate worship, we expect to see “sings” that make people “wonder.” There should also be opportunity for people to express what they have heard from God through prophetic words, words of knowledge, and words of wisdom; and there should be opportunities for people to minister to one another through prayer, words of encouragement, and spiritual prayers.
 1 Corinthians 14:40. Applying this verse keeps the above thoughts and ideas from becoming a free-for-all. For example, if someone believes they have a word of knowledge for the church, they would first have to share that word with the pastor (or elders), and then, if the spiritual leaders discern that the word truly is from God, it would be shared with the church body. An exception would be if the pastor (or elders) specifically called for a time for people to share what they are hearing from God. But during the flow of a regular service, the rule should be followed.
 Several times throughout this document the word “community” is used. Most of the time the use of “community” refers to the church and the relationship people in the church should have for one another. A few times, the use of the word “community” refers to the area in which the people of the church live. Context determines which meaning is correct.
 Ephesians 4:30; 2 Timothy 2:19. While one of the distinctives of Free Will Baptist doctrine is the possibility of apostacy, we do not believe that a person can “lose” their salvation. We believe that salvation has been made possible through the grace of God and is conditional on my acceptance of that grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Thus, as long as my faith is in Jesus Christ I am eternally secure.
 One natural product of a living organism is reproduction. Thus, from the beginning FCC has been committed to planting other churches and helping other churches get planted. The ultimate goal of FCC is to “mother” a church.
- Monarchial: Rule by a single individual.
- Episcopal: Rule by bishops and / or overseer.
- Representative: Rule by elders / presbyters.
- Congregational: Rule by the membership of the church.