Evangelical Church of Pogradec
A Church Planting Prospectus
The District of Pogradec lies in the southeast of Albania, on the southwestern shore of Lake Ohrid, 695 meters above sea level. In addition to being the deepest lake in the Balkans, Lake Ohrid is a favorite tourist destination. The District of Pogradec is located south to the District of Librazhd (60.8 km), west to FYR of Macedonia, north to the District of Korçë (50.7 km), and east to the District of Gramsh (98.5 km).
Population: The District of Pogradec has 7 communes and 74 villages, with a population of 89,000, of whom about 36,000 live in the town of Pogradec.
We are a conservative evangelical church, committed to the enlargement of the kingdom of God both in the individual and through us . Committed both to the redemption of society and the redemption of the individual seeing both as two sides of the same coin.
- To be a healthy church that balances worship, learning, fellowship, outreach, and mercy, while emphasizing our strengths in learning and fellowship.
- To see all members identify their spiritual gifts and mobilized to use them in specific ministries to the church or community.
- To see members committed to corporate “Body life” through cell group involvement, meeting the needs of one another, learning from one another, praying for one another, and demonstrating to their neighborhoods the love of Christ through unity (John 17:21).
- To see leaders developed through church-based training in Bible, theology, character, ministry skills, and family life.
- To impact the Pogradec area with the transforming power of the gospel lived out in word and deed that even unbelievers would consider our presence a valuable asset to the city.
- To see all members trained to effectively share their faith in their neighborhoods, leading to substantial church growth through conversions of formerly unchurched people based on relational evangelism.
- To see the people of KUP become “World Christians” who pray Kingdom prayers and live out a passion to be part of a larger movement of God to plant churches throughout the city, country, and world.
OUR CORE VALUES
1. Making the Gospel Central
The gospel changes everything. It is not merely the door through which we enter the Christian life, but is also the pathway on which we walk throughout the Christian life (Gal. 3:1-3; Col. 1:6). The gospel is the basis for personal, community, cultural, and societal transformation. The centrality of the gospel will be evident in the way we relate with God and one another, in our preaching, in our approach to discipleship, as well as in the way we reach out to our community.
2. Living with a Kingdom Mindset
Christ is building His Church; the Kingdom of God is present and is growing. KUP is part of this larger work of Christ. Our goal is to see the gospel spread throughout our community, Albania, and ultimately the world. Within KUP, we will emphasize equipping our people for member-initiated and led ministries and to make Christ supreme in all of life. Outside KUP, we will focus on extending God’s Kingdom through a church planting movement to see gospel-centered churches established throughout the city and particularly among unreached people groups around the Albania.
3. Mobilizing Disciples
A primary role of church leadership is to equip the saints for the work of service (Eph. 4:11-12). Leaders will model the Christian life to those in their care and seek to mobilize disciples according to their spiritual gifts to bring the gospel to bear in all areas of their lives and in all their spheres of influence.
4. Multiplying Leaders
Church leaders (elders, deacons, ministry team leaders), future church planting team leaders, and other interested laity will be trained in a local church-based ministry context. Leaders will be developed holistically on three levels: intellectual (biblical/theological), character (personal piety, holiness, affections), and skills (practical ministry training in areas of giftedness). This is nothing more than Paul’s strategy with Timothy and others to entrust what we have learned to faithful men who will be able to teach others also by involving them with us in the ministry (2 Tim. 2:2).
WHAT WE BELIEVE
The Authority of the Bible
The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired Word of God, they are without error in the original writings, and they are the complete and final revelation of God. (Matthew 5:18; John 17:17; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21;Revelation 22:18-19)
The Trinity of God
There is only one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Who are co-equal in their essential nature, attributes, and perfection; and each of Whom is to be honored and worshiped as God. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 18:30-31,147:5; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:29; Luke 3:22; John 4:24, 5:23, 10:30, 14:9; Acts 5:3-4; II Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3)
The Person of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is God the Son, the promised Messiah, conceived in the flesh by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, true God and true man, without sin, and the only mediator between God and Man. (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7; Matthew 1:18-25; Mark 14:61-62; John 1:1-3, 14, 29,5:18, 8:58, 10:30; II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 2:5;Hebrews 1:2-9, 2:14-15; I John 5:20)
The Work of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, through His death on the cross, paid for all sin, completely satisfied the righteous wrath of God against sin, and provided redemption and forgiveness for all who believe. After His death, Jesus Christ arose bodily from the dead, was seen by many during a period of forty days, and then ascended into Heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God as our Advocate and High Priest, from which place He will some day return to establish His Kingdom on earth. (Isaiah 53:5-6; Luke 24:36-43; John 1:18, 3:16,20:25-28; Acts 1:6-11; Romans 3:21-26; I Corinthians 15:3-8, 20-23; Galatians 3:13;Colossians 1:13-14; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; I Peter 1:18-19, 2:24; I John 2:1-2; Revelation 20:6)
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is that Person of the Triune Godhead who convicts men of sin, causes spiritual birth, indwells, seals, sanctifies, guides, equips, teaches, and fills the believer, thus enabling him to walk in obedience to God and His Word. (John 3:5, 14:16-17, 26,15:26-27, 16:7-15; Acts 1:8, 5:3-4; Romans 8:9, 14; I Corinthians 2:10-11, 6:11, 19, 12:4-13; II Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:16-18, 22-23; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18-21)
The Creation and Fall of Man
Man was created by God in His own image; he fell into sin through personal disobedience to the revealed will of God; and as a result, all mankind is sinful in nature and practice, is unable to save himself, and faces eternal separation from God. (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7, 18-24, 3:1-24, 9:6; Matthew 19:4; Mark 7:21-23; John 8:42-44; Romans 1:18, 3:10, 23, 5:1; Ephesians 2:1-3)
The Salvation of Man
Eternal salvation from sin, death and hell is the free gift of God's grace, and is based solely upon man's personal faith and belief in Jesus Christ. He voluntarily died as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins and arose bodily from the dead, thus guaranteeing our own resurrection to eternal life. This salvation is not received by, nor based on, any sacrament, merit, or good work on our part. This one who receives Christ's salvation is eternally secure. (John 1:11-13, 3:16, 5:24, 10:28-30, 14:6; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:23-26,5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 7:24-25; I Peter 1:18-19, I John 5:11-13)
The Destiny of Man
At death, the redeemed pass immediately into the presence of Christ and there remain in joyful fellowship until their bodily resurrection unto life. The unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades where they are kept under punishment until their bodily resurrection resulting in damnation. (Daniel 12:2; Luke 16:22-23, 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8;Philippians 3:10, 11, 21; Revelation 20:11-15)
The Nature and Organization of the Church
All who have placed their faith in Christ are united together immediately by the Holy Spirit in one spiritual body, the church, of which Christ is the Head. In addition, the members of this one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local churches.(Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:46-47; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18;Hebrews 10:25)
These local independent churches have been given the needed authority and scriptural guidelines for administering that order, discipline, and worship which Christ, the sovereign head, had appointed. (Acts 6:1-6, I Corinthians 14:40; Ephesians 4:11-12; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-5)