Kaw Prairie’s a church learning to trust Jesus, grow disciples, and bless people, so that together we can change lives — and the world — with Jesus’ love!
What we Believe
GOD THE FATHER
There is only one God. And in the Christian scriptures, God describes Himself as having three persons, or personalities – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each full of Godness, yet each different from and distinct from the other. We matter deeply to God in a passionate parent-child way: He* created us each with purposes and futures that, if followed, would bring us delight and fulfillment. He also provided us with the earth to be our long-lasting home – a place where He intended for us to have a reconciled, joyful relationship with Him in all three iterations, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Equally importantly, God gave us the earth to tend and care for it, and to live humbly as creation’s stewards.
* INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE: All people are created in God’s image—male and female both, God says in Genesis 1:27—so that the ‘He’ pronoun God picked for Himself might have been a flip of a Divine coin. But Scripture uses male pronoun and imagery for God almost all the time, so although God is beyond gender, male pronouns are what we normally use.
JESUS THE SON
Jesus of Nazareth is the part of God who was sent to redeem humankind. He taught with parables, healings, and miracles about God’s Covenant and Kingdom, and lived a sinless but deeply connected human life among us. Forgiving our sin and healing our brokenness were important enough that Jesus was willing to pay the price for our sin by dying as an innocent convict at the hands of the empire. By being raised from the grave by the power of the Father, Jesus also overturned Satan’s prideful claim to be have the final say over us and God’s creation. We believe Jesus will return a second time, in an indescribable way, to consummate history, to ‘judge the living and the dead’ as the Creeds say. BUT (and it's an important one)... judging us has never been God’s primary goal; restoring our relationship and enjoying us enjoying abundant life has! His return will fully redeem our fallen world, and be the consummation of God's big story of Creation.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is the part of God that convicts us of our sin and brokenness, and draws us back to Him. This third part of the Trinity is a radical-gift giver and character-builder who makes his home within all believers. The Holy Spirit helps mature us, inspire us, and equip us to turn our lives into the masterpieces God longs for us to become.
The Church is a local community of believers who gather to grow in trusting Jesus, growing deeper to follow him as disciples, and bless the world by working together with our gifts, character, and callings. In fact, we'd say that the local church is the hope of the world. Through local churches like Kaw Prairie and countless other congregatons, Jesus-followers invest time, energy and resources to fulfill His great commission — reaching people far from God and growing them into fully devoted followers of Christ. All believers in Jesus Christ, whether as individual believers or as part of their local church, are also members of the one worldwide Church.
Christians are to live out Jesus’ call to spiritual unity by welcoming, respecting and loving one another across racial, ethnic, gender, cultural, generational, socio-economic, denominational, sexual-orientation and national lines. Our lifestyle of obedience to Christ supersedes all earthly loyalties, church doctrines and national patriotisms, and forces us out of our comfort zone as we give Christ-like love and honor even to people we consider different, disobedient, or undeserving. The true Church is filled with the fruits of the Spirit, too, which foster respectful, grace-filled relationships with friends, strangers and even adversaries.
The word Bible is the Word of God-- but what does that mean? It's actually a compilation of Hebrew and Christian scriptures which were compiled in the centuries after Christ. Those Scriptures form God’s unique revelation to us, and its words are divinely inspired, aimed at describing God and what a covenant relationship with Him and with one another should be. It is clearly not a science book, but a treasury of wisdom, testimony, histories, and promises from God’s heart to ours. We teach from it humbly (and often fun-ly) — always aware of the possibility of our own error, and pained by the error of interpretations that have mislead the faithful.
HEAVEN AND HELL
In order to make His gift of human life truly meaningful and to give His people integrity of life and purpose, God chose not to make us puppets who'd always do the right thing and who could be yanked out of temptation, injury, or illness with the right prayers. No, God wanted to have a real relationship with us, which is why he gave us free will. Free will is what allows each of us to make the decisions which impact not only our individual circumstances and futures but our whole world, as well. At the final judgment, God will honor us by respecting that decision: for those who desired to live apart from God, preferring to live our own way instead of in relationship with him, they will find that desire honored for all eternity as they dwell forever apart from God. For those who chose to accept the grace of Christ and the adventure of going through life with him, they'll continue to receive that gift— the grace of closeness eternally with God and the sinners like you and me whom he now looks on lovingly as his beloved children.
We acknowledge God’s authority in our lives, so we spend time with Him daily in prayer, weekly in worship, and lifelong in His Word.
We don’t measure people, we treasure them– just like Jesus does.
We share life’s laughter and tears with a small group of friends in Christ, and we work to make it easy for those on the fringes of our church to do the same — so that no one’s ever left on the outside looking in.
We know all our skills, possessions, and accomplishments are gifts from God, and we use those gifts to strengthen the church and bless the world.
We let the Holy Spirit push us from our comfort zones into places and relationships where we can help people outside the Church find their way back to God.