At Walker Road we know that many people have different ideas about what church should be like. Some churches are “contemporary” and others are “traditional”. Still others are built on popular personalities or comfortable trends. At Walker Road we unapologetically believe that only God can lay out the proper vision for a healthy church, and we believe that God’s vision is laid out clearly in the Word of God. We strive to be intentional to make our church’s values conform to God’s vision. We believe God’s plan for the church is summed up with the following marks of a healthy “ordinary” church.


When you go to about any church you will hear some songs and probably hear a sermon. We do that too at Walker Road, but we also want to do more than just talk about God, we want to hear from Him. We believe that God has spoken through His word and faithful preaching simply unfolds God’s Word the way He wrote it. Preaching is the central act of Christian worship because it is only through God making Himself known that we could ever encounter Him. At Walker Road our sermons are grounded in scripture, focused on Christ, and aimed at the heart. We want people to listen to the pastor but we want people to really hear from God. That’s why our typical sermons unpack a passage of scripture just the way it’s written without apology so that the preacher can say to us, just like the old prophets “Thus Saith the Lord”.


At Walker Road we believe that membership matters. Being part of a church is no different than being part of a body where each individual piece depends on the others for health and well being. When people join Walker Road they sign a covenant, promising to take the health of their church seriously. Church Membership is so important that it even helps assure salvation, advance the mission of Christ, and promote healthy Christians. At Walker Road church members are expected to serve one another, help each other with their failures, give joyfully, minister according to their abilities, pray faithfully, and love without limits.
Every Christian is to be a disciple of Jesus. That means we are following Him faithfully through life. Being a disciples means being disciplined. In the life of the church there are two kinds of discipline to help believers along the way. The first is formative discipline. Those are things the church does to help believers grow in their faith, such as regular worship services and Bible studies. The other is “regulative discipline”. That occurs when believers openly and continually fail to be the kind of disciples Jesus expects. When that happens a caring church comes alongside the fallen to help restore their relationship to Jesus. This means the church has the responsibility to speak with love and authority to those who are in sin – even to the point of removing them from the church itself. Why? Because discipleship matters. If discipleship matters, then so does discipline.  
At Walker Road we recognize that everyone is a theologian. That doesn’t mean they have a bunch of theology text books or that they teach in class but it does mean that they think “something” about God. Whatever they think about God is the most important thing about them. We want to be sure that we are constantly looking to God’s Word to form our thoughts about God so that we believe the same things about God that He believes about Himself. This means our church, our worship services, and our very lives cannot be “us” centered but they must be “God-centered.”
Churches pray. That should go without saying but how much of our praying is just asking God to give us more stuff to make us comfortable or to keep life exactly the way it is? At Walker Road we know that Jesus taught us to pray for His Kingdom to come in the world. Which means we work to be dedicated to praying to advance His Kingdom as those who are on the front lines with the good news of the gospel. A great example of this is in Acts 4 where the disciples have been jailed for preaching Jesus but upon their release they ask God, with the church, for boldness to keep preaching!
Who is in charge at church? The answer, according to the Bible is Jesus Himself. It’s His Church. He chose it, He bought it at the cross, and He will bring it to Heaven forever. But in the meantime, one of the great gifts He has given to His Church is Godly leaders. Those include pastors, also called elders and bishops, and deacons, who are the servants of the church. At Walker Road we want to have qualified men of character faithfully filling these positions. We select them as God leads and needs demand and then release them to lead us for God’s glory. They have a responsibility to lead well and we have a responsibility to follow joyfully.
True Christians are disciples. That means they follow Jesus. But we’re not following Him alone. Rather we follow Jesus with other people who follow Him as well. Since our mission is to make disciples of all the world, we want to do all we can to help influence, love, pray for, and serve those around us who are trying to follow Him too while we work to point new disciples to Jesus.
Evangelism means sharing the gospel. At Walker Road we believe the gospel and we preach the gospel but we also want to share the gospel outside of the church. We want to let people see how the gospel has transformed our lives. We want people to hear the good news about Jesus. We know that we can’t really be faithful Christians if we’re not doing that with joy. So we pray for God to give us opportunities to share the gospel. We pray for wisdom to see those opportunities when they arise and we pray for courage to step through those doors when they are open.
One of the foremost beliefs of Walker Road is that before someone can become a member they must have repented of their sins and trusted Christ Jesus as their Lord. Unfortunately, in many places, the quest for bigger churches or quicker results has led many Christian workers to confuse the work of heart conversion. Conversion means change and internal change can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit of God. It can’t be manipulated by saying a prayer, being baptized, or even being part of a church. True conversion is God’s work and at Walker Road we want to see God work so we deliberately try to be clear about what constitutes true repentance toward God and faith in Jesus.