Having a conviction that the primary means the Lord has ordained for spiritually maturing His flock is public worship does not make it the exclusive way He causes Christian growth. The following are three biblical ways Christ nurtures and matures His flock that Westminster highly values, which can be seen fleshed out on the Get Connected page.
Nurtured through the Body of Christ
Those who are members of Christ are members of one another. For this reason, Scripture describes them with metaphors such as “household,” “family,” and “body.” He intends the members of His church not to live in isolation as “lone rangers” but to live in community, for He has chosen to use sheep as His instruments for maturing sheep. Indeed, Christ has equipped His church with varied gifts to be faithfully exercised by its members so that each may mature through one another. Because of this, Westminster places a premium on the church living in relationship with one another as a family. We are convinced that Christ will indeed nurture and grow His church as they live life together in fellowship, faithfully loving and caring for one another, and exercising their gifts to each other’s profit.
Nurtured through the Officers of Christ
Westminster highly values the Lord's use of ordained officers to nurture the lives of His children. Thankfully, the Lord has not left His children as orphans to fend for themselves, but He has gifted His church with men whom He calls to officially exercise His rule and mercy in their lives. The Lord exercises his oversight, rule, shepherding, and discipline of His flock through the office of elder. Of the elders, the minister (or "teaching elder") particularly is given over to the task of the preaching and instruction of His Word. Through the office of deacon, which literally means "servant," the Lord exercises His service and mercy in the lives of His needy children.
Nurtured through Discipleship
According to the commission Christ gave His church, an important element in making disciples is “teaching them…” (Matt 28.19f). Indeed, Christ intends His church to be not only a hospital for sinners but a schoolhouse for disciples. This is achieved in a setting outside of worship, where the flock can dig more deeply into the Word, connecting theological truths, and see more fully how it applies to their lives. For this reason, Westminster provides several opportunities for members to grow in their understanding of the Faith and its application to life, which is chiefly seen in our weekly discipleship classes.