There are three basic elements to what makes The Well distinctive as a church.
This means that we passionately believe in the doctrines of grace recovered by the original Reformers, and we do not shy away from preaching them from the Scriptures on Sunday mornings or in small groups. Our “salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9), so it is by grace alone, through faith alone, in the merits of Christ alone! This truth is the foundation of everything else we do. Any other gospel is really “no gospel at all” (Galatians 1:7).
This means that we cannot be the church without the empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit, and so we seek to be utterly dependent on Him in worship, evangelism, and in serving the body. This demands all of the gifts given by Jesus through the Spirit to the church (Ephesians 4:10-12). We do not limit the heights of emotional expression, relational development, or passion for Kingdom service, so long as these are a response to the truth of God’s word.
This means that we do not isolate ourselves from either the lost or their futile worldview. To do so would be to deny them the one thing that will save their souls, and it will also send the message to our children that our worldview cannot compete with the world’s. Instead, we seek to assault “every lofty thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5), reclaiming the city, so as to affect the culture.
Beware of the False Choice! The fact of the matter is that American Christians have been taught that they must compromise between a church that offers sound doctrinal training but is very cold and stale, versus one that offers a vibrant, relational atmosphere, but with no substance. Truth versus Spirit! But this is not the way that Jesus taught us. Just read the fourth chapter of John! We cannot properly worship God if it is not both a passionate response to Him (in spirit) and a response proportionate to who He has revealed Himself to be (in truth). The Christian who has been truly born of the Spirit is thirsting for deep theological reflection and growth as well as a place to express the joy of being a Christian, in worship, prayer, and fellowship. Thirst no more!