Our essential beliefs are summed up in what are called The Covenant Affirmations. Their purpose is to make clear the values and principles that have guided Highrock since the beginning.
We affirm the centrality of the word of God.
We believe the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church and the life of each Christian. This reliance on the Bible leads us to affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every level of leadership. It is the reason we pursue ethnic diversity in our church and is the inspiration for every act of compassion, mercy, and justice.
We affirm the necessity of the new birth.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV). New birth in Christ means committing ourselves to him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life. It means being alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of love and righteousness, joy and peace. New birth is only the beginning. Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believers. God forms and transforms us—and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.
We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church.
At Highrock, we desire to carry out God’s mission both far and near. This includes evangelism, Christian formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice. We follow Christ’s two central calls. The Great Commission sends us out into all the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves.
We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers.
Membership in Highrock is by confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ and is open to all believers. We observe baptism and Holy Communion as sacraments commanded by Jesus. We practice both infant and believer baptism. We believe in the priesthood of all believers—that is, we all share in the ministry of the church. We also affirm that God calls some men and women into professional, full-time ministry. The church is not an institution, organization, or building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals: as the New Testament teaches that within Christian community there is to be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
Highrock affirms the Trinitarian understanding of one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and among them. We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us that enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us together as Christ’s body.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1, NIV). This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private gift to be used selfishly, but is given to serve the community and the world. For Paul, this freedom means that we are set free from the power of those things that on their own tend to divide. United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. At Highrock, we seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.
Highrock is a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). We know that, for many, the term “evangelical” is a difficult one. It is often associated with judgmentalism, division, political manipulation, and the mistreatment of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. People are right to be angry and suspicious because of many things done in the name of evangelicalism. And we are too. Our association with the term is a historic one. Historically, evangelicalism was characterized by four things:
The belief that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ brings about God’s renewal of our world.
The belief that lives need to be transformed through a life-long process of following Jesus.
The belief that the Bible is central to informing our relationship with God and others.
The belief that the teachings of Jesus are rightly expressed through social justice and community engagement.
Those four things are at the heart of who we are at Highrock, and we strongly condemn the sinful attitudes and actions that are so commonly linked with evangelicalism today.
We live out these values by being:
Evangelical, but not exclusive
Biblical, but not doctrinaire
Traditional, but not rigid
Congregational, but not independent
Our denomination, the ECC, is a rapidly growing multiethnic denomination in the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents of the world.