What is Wellspring?
Wellspring is a brand new Free Methodist Church in Bakersfield, CA!
Wellspring Free Methodist Church exists to restore the Image of God in our lives, in our families, in our city and in our world.
Empowered by God’s grace, we join God in this mission of restoration in three ways: the ways we think, the ways we worship, and the ways we live.
1) THE WAYS WE THINK
- Wesleyan-Holiness: As a part of the larger Free Methodist Church, we identify ourselves within the Wesleyan-Holiness theological tradition, which follows its roots back to the 18th century Anglican priest, John Wesley.
- Love and Grace: Shaped by this theological framework, we strive to emphasize love and grace in the things we say and do. We believe grace to be more than just a one-time gift of pardon, but also an ongoing empowerment of the Holy Spirit to transform lives inside and out.
- Via Media: We strive to uphold the saying, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity (often incorrectly attributed to Wesley, though definitely lived out by him).” De-emphasizing “either/or” ways of thinking, we are a big-umbrella church that welcomes theological diversity, united by Christ and the essentials of Christian orthodoxy as we walk the via media (the middle road). This also shapes the way we approach politics, welcoming church members from all perspectives as we worship the God who created each one of us.
- Unboxing God: We welcome the tough questions, even admitting that we may not always have the answers. We practice a theology of humility that recognizes the vast greatness of God and our limited ability to fully understand and articulate who God is and how God operates in this world.
2) THE WAYS WE WORSHIP
- Modernly Liturgical: We appreciate our roots. We love the traditions that have shaped us, and we recognize the giant shoulders of Christian tradition on which we stand today. As a result, we incorporate various historic elements of worship into our service, often expressed in more modern and casual ways. To that end, we also emphasize congregational singing that allows everyone to contribute to the unified voice of the congregation, instead of being drowned out by a worship band.
- Process Over Product: We gather in order to be personally transformed by the grace of God that subsequently empowers us to transform our families, our city and our world. Sunday morning worship services are not the finish line, but rather the starting line. While we strive to create a quality worship experience on Sundays, we choose to emphasize the process of discipleship that continues to shape us outside the walls of a church building Monday through Saturday.
- Open Table: As a part of our Methodist tradition we offer an “open table” each week as we participate in the sacrament of communion. We believe that an individual has the opportunity to experience the actual grace of God for the very first time in the act of receiving the bread and cup. Wanting to offer this opportunity to everyone, we do not require church membership in order to participate.
3) THE WAYS WE LIVE
- Egalitarian: Free Methodists believe that women and men are equally called by God to lead God’s church. We also believe that the Bible calls women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world. To learn more about egalitarian theology visit juniaproject.com & cbeinternational.org
- Locally-Minded: We love Bakersfield, and we know that God loves Bakersfield too. We strive to be a church that recognizes God’s work in our city, seeking every opportunity to offer our hands as we work toward the restoration of God’s vision for our neighborhoods and communities.
- Resourcing Non-Profits: We strive to be known as the church that resources local non-profit organizations. Rather than reinventing the wheel and creating missional opportunities “in-house,” we encourage each of our members to choose an already-existing, local non-profit organization into which he/she can pour time, energy and gifts. We have begun this effort by creating an online hub for local NPO’s at www.betterbako.com.
- Equipping All Laity: We believe that every single person on the face of this earth was created by God, in the Image of God. Everyone has the ability to contribute to the work of God through Wellspring and we strive to provide opportunities for everyone to be equipped and to serve. As Free Methodists, we believe in the equal balance of church leadership between pastors and church members. As a result, we strive to find a balance of representation at all levels of our church structure.