Principles and Practices

Here at Creekside, our deepest desire is to bring glory to God by helping people passionately experience and personally express the Christ changed life.  We believe in the saving power of the Gospel and living out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.  Here are three of our core principles and practices.

Principle I: We Embrace the Priesthood of Believers

At Creekside Community Church (Creekside), we affirm the Biblical teaching of the priesthood of all believers, described in 1st Peter 2:5, “You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple. You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 

This teaching means that all Christians (whether man, woman or child) have complete access to Scripture and to God.  We can read and study God’s Word, and may communicate directly with God through prayer.  We do not need a priest to connect us with God.  Rather, the Holy Spirit intervenes on our behalf.  No matter where we are, God is with us.

In addition, the principle of the priesthood of all believers affirms that all Christians are capable to minister and serve people in Christ’s name, as described in 2 Corinthians 3:6, “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

There are so many ways to serve and minister, but the best area for a Christian to serve is where that person is using their “spiritual gifts”.  “There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; and there are different ministries and the same Lord; and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.”1Corinthians 12:4-6.

What is a spiritual gift?  Using an expression that we can all understand, your spiritual gift is your God-given Superpower.  That’s right – something that is supernatural.  God gives us these gifts so that He can work in us and through us, and so that we can serve, minister, and strengthen each other.  It’s His power at work, not ours.  

At Creekside, we help each other to discover our spiritual gifts and passions.  Some have spiritual gifts that lead them to effectively serve as youth leaders with the High School, Middle School, and Children’s ministries.  Others are gifted in hospitality and serve primarily behind the scenes by providing coffee and snacks for us to enjoy every Sunday morning.  Some people are gifted in mercy, compassion, or prayer, and others in teaching, pastoring, wisdom, administration, or leadership (see Ephesians 4:1-13).  

How does someone become a church leader?  The Bible teaches that the church body appoints “elders” who are charged with overseeing the church.  “They appointed elders for each church. With prayer and fasting, they committed these elders to the Lord, in whom they had placed their trust.”  (Acts 14:23)

The Elders are carefully selected here at Creekside.  Elders must first meet the qualifications found in Titus 1:5-9, and then must be voted on. “Elders should be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, and have faithful children who can’t be accused of self-indulgence or rebelliousness. This is because overseers should be without fault as God’s managers: they shouldn’t be stubborn, irritable, addicted to alcohol, a bully, or greedy. Instead, they should show hospitality, love what is good, and be reasonable, ethical, godly, and self-controlled. They must pay attention to the reliable message as it has been taught to them so that they can encourage people with healthy instruction and refute those who speak against it.”

Along with the elders, our pastors also help shepherd the church.  It is typical among many American Christian churches today, particularly in the Bay Area, to rely primarily on full-time vocational (paid) pastors to lead and manage most of the ministries of the church.  However, Creekside is not your typical church. We are blessed with several lay (non-paid) leaders who are both incredibly gifted and also willing to serve in critical Pastoral roles.  

Currently, there are several Creekside ministries of the church that are led and pastored by lay leaders.  In fact, there are even times (such as the time of this writing) when the Elders decide that the church does not need a full-time paid vocational Senior Pastor.  Instead, the duties of a Senior Pastor might be distributed among our leaders.  While this might seem counter-cultural today, it is in fact both aligned with Scripture and consistent with historical practices among Christian churches around the world.  The way we see it, with our emphasis on lay leadership, Creekside is replicating the early Christian church we read about in the Bible.  

Lay leadership is both common and Biblical.  We see lay leadership throughout the Bible- Men and women who have full-time jobs on top of their role as an elder-appointed Pastor or Minister in their church.  The apostle Paul made tents for a living (Acts 18:3), Peter and John were fisherman (Matthew 4:18, Luke 5:9) and Luke was a doctor (Colossians 4:14).    

A few examples of lay leadership at Creekside include Mollie Lillis, who is a stay-at-home mom and serves as one of our leaders for Sunday morning worship; and Doug McBride, a gifted Bible teacher who currently serves as our Teaching Pastor and also works full-time as an executive for a cancer treatment center.

Principle II: Helping Each Other To Live Out Our Faith

At Creekside, we want our faith to be more than head knowledge – we want to live it!  One primary responsibility of our church leaders is to help believers connect with Christ and live out their gifting and passions for God and His Kingdom in their family, relationships, and community. (See Ephesians 4:12-13).  

At Creekside we know that it is not about us, it is about God.  God does not need our help to accomplish His will or do his work.  Scripture teaches us that God will accomplish His will with our without our help.  He’s so powerful, He doesn’t need us.

Yet, because of His love, God desires to partner with us in accomplishing His will.  He invites us to join Him in building and advancing His Kingdom here on earth: helping people to experience the love and forgiveness of Christ; helping people to become who God intended them to be; building healthy families and relationships; caring about social justice and for the needy, and helping people to find their purpose. 

Our faith in Jesus Christ is more than just knowledge, it’s life transformation!

Principle III: Growing People In Christian Maturity 

There are numerous Scriptures which communicate God’s desire that people mature as followers of Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 6:1 reads, “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.”    The Bible tells us that we are to follow Christ’s example in all that we do.  Christ is not a part of our life, He is our life (Col 3:4).  As Christians, every aspect of our life matters: how we talk, how we spend our money, how we treat our family, what we look at and how we treat others.  “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).   

At Creekside, we understand that it’s not the elders or the pastors responsibility to mature us.  The responsibility is ours.  This is why we take Christian maturity so seriously at Creekside.  When a Creeksider wants to mature as a disciple, we come together as a church family to help them grow.  Our hope is that in everything we do, from our Sunday services to our children’s classes to our camps and retreats, that we are helping each other grow as disciples of Christ. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and join us in following Christ, 

Your Creekside Elders, Pastors, and Ministers