These practices are the primary activities in the family of God by which we share in and are shaped by Christ our hope; through them the commitments to prayerfulness, compassion, wisdom, and reconciliation take root in our hearts and lives.
Worship is the means by which the family of God gathers in the presence of the Father, where he speaks to us in his Word and by his Spirit, and we glorify him through songs and prayers. (Exodus 20:1-11; Psalm 29:2; 66:4; 86:9; Matthew 28:17; John 4:20-24; Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:28; Revelation 4 & 5)
Baptism is the means by which the members of God’s family are identified with God’s family; the water is a symbol of our being bathed by the Spirit, washed of all our sins, and given new identities in Christ. (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-29; Colossians 2:11-15; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 3:21)
Communion is the means by which the members of God’s family are fed; the elements of bread and wine are symbols of being nourished with the life of Christ himself. (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; John 6:53-58; 1 Corinthians 10:16-22; 11:17-34)
Fellowship is the means by which we share in the life of God’s family; in it we learn to love one another through humble service and habitual sacrifice. (John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10; 13:8; Galatians 5:13; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 1:1-10; 3:11, 27; 4:7-12)
Witness is the means by which the family of God relates to the world outside us; through verbal proclamation and visible demonstration we invite others to share in our hope. (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Acts 1:8; Galatians 6:10)