Our Mission & Values
We are a Christ-centered family who glorifies God by loving him, loving others, and making disciples.
This mission statement tells us three things: who we are, what we do, and how we do it. Click each section below to find out more.
+ Who We Are
[We are a Christ-centered family…]
Christ-Centered – Jesus’ death and resurrection does not only save our souls, but it shapes and colors every element of our lives. We call ourselves a “Christ-centered” family because we desire the keep Jesus Christ and his work as the central element that gives purpose and direction to everything we do and believe.
Family – Anyone who calls God, their Father, is a brother or sister in the family of God. When we put our faith in Christ, we are adopted into his family. With this in mind, we firmly believe that BeFree Alton is not just a group of people who believe the same things, but we are a true spiritual family. As a true spiritual family, we share deep intimacy with one another and take responsibility for each other’s discipleship.
+ What We Do
[ ...who glorifies God...]
Glorifies God – God is the all-powerful creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. Since he is the most glorious being in the universe, we desire that everything we do give him the glory and praise he deserves. We don’t praise him begrudgingly or out of a sense of reluctant obligation. Rather, we find delight in praising his name. This joyful act of worship is the central goal and main motivation behind everything we do as a church.
+ How We Do It
[… by loving him, loving others and making disciples.]
Love God – As a family of people redeemed and united to and through our God, we cannot help but express our love to the God who first loved and saved us. The heights of his love for us was most supremely revealed when Jesus laid down his life on the cross for us, and we desire to express our love for him by laying down our lives in submission before his throne. This whole life surrender is our worship as we seek to lift his name high in all we do.
Love Others – When God adopted us into his family, he did not save us on our own, but united us with a community of believers. Now, as the family of God, we live out our love for others by seeking the good and growth of our brothers and sisters in Christ through Biblical community, intentional discipleship and servant-hearted leadership.
Make Disciples – God does not just call us to love those inside the church, but, like him, to love all people regardless of race, religion, color or creed. Though God loves all people, he refuses to leave us as we are, and calls all people to turn to him through faith and repentance and so be reconciled to him. In light of this, we believe that the most loving thing we can do for those around us is introduce them to Jesus Christ, pleading with everyone to receive this reconciliation by faith in Jesus’ blood, whether they live in our towns (Alton and other towns of the lakes region), our region (New Hampshire and New England), or the ends of the earth.
The mission statement above is based upon 10 core values we hold as a church. It is these values, more than anything else, that determine what is prioritized in our church family. Click each section below to find out more.
+ 1. Christ-Centered
Jesus’ death and resurrection does not only save our souls, but it shapes and colors every element of our lives. We call ourselves a “Christ-centered” family, because we desire the keep Jesus Christ and his work on the cross at the center, giving purpose and direction to everything we do and believe.
What does this look like at BeFree? We preach sermons that are centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sing songs that tell of his goodness and grace, demonstrate our trust in his presence and ultimate power over everything through prayer, allow his grace to characterize the relationships in our community, and base our discipleship upon our belief in God’s power to change and conform us into his image. In other words, we labor to allow the Gospel to give shape and color to everything we do.
How might this grow in the future? We long for our Christ-centered focus to give continued purpose and direction to everything we do and believe as a church family. Furthermore, we desire to see this Christ-centered focus not just shape the life of our church family but the lives of every individual person in our church family and many others outside the church who have not yet come to trust in Jesus Christ.
+ 2. Bible-Saturated Teaching & Preaching
Because we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, without error and the highest authority in all things, we labor and long to understand the Bible so that we may believe what it teaches, obey what it says and delight in the God it reveals.
What does this look like at BeFree? In our sermons, we preach from the Bible in a way that seeks to make the main point of the passage, the main point of the sermon. We preach in such a way that we seek to explain how each passage points us to Jesus Christ and what he has accomplished. We preach in a way that can be immediately responded to by the hearer, whether that’s a greater delight in God or an immediate act of obedience. Furthermore, in all of our teaching, regardless of the setting, we work to protect sound doctrine, teaching only what we can prove and defend from scripture.
How might this grow in the future? We long to see our church family continue to grow in Biblical literacy and sound doctrine. We do not desire more knowledge of Bible and doctrine in a dry and academic sense, but a deeper understanding that results in a deeper love for God. Furthermore, we desire to not only teach the Word of God, but equip every member of our family with the ability to mine the depths of God’s word for themselves and share its riches with others.
+ 3. God-Focused Worship
We believe that worship is not just something we do through song, but is a whole life response to who God is and what he has done. Thus, anything we do out of a desire to obey, honor or delight in him is an act of worship. We worship God by song, teaching, service, etc. as we put him in his rightful place as supreme over our hearts and lives.
What does this look like at BeFree? Since our desire to obey, honor and delight in God motivates everything we do as a church family, we might say that worship is the motivation behind and ultimate goal of everything we do as a church. Whether we are gathering on Sunday mornings to worship through word, prayer, song and fellowship, or scattering throughout the community during the week to serve our towns, meet in each other’s homes, or read God’s Word on our own, we seek to worship God in all we do.
How might this grow in the future? We long to see those in our church family continue to cultivate a bigger view of and delight in the greatness of our God. We hope for this to result in a greater desire to obey him and a greater delight in his sweetness. We believe that God takes joy in seeing his children find their joy in him.
+ 4. Spirit-Empowered Prayer
We have confidence that when we pray, God hears our prayers and is faithful to answer them. We know that our prayers are powerful, not in and of themselves, but because the God who listens to our prayers is supremely powerful. Furthermore, since we have direct communion with our God through prayer, we have consistently experienced the profound pleasure to be found in prayer. Therefore, we desire to be a church that lives out our belief in the power and pleasure of prayer by making it a central priority in the life of our church.
What does this look like at BeFree? Because we believe in the power and pleasure of prayer, we seek to reserve intentional time to pray throughout the life of our church. When we gather for Sunday worship, we lace corporate prayer throughout the service. Our elders make a priority to pray continually for the members under their care. We also send out a weekly prayer newsletter that guides our church family through a weekly night of “Scattered Prayer” (Mondays from 8:00-9:00pm). Though these are formal times of prayer, you are unlikely to find a home group, Bible study or leadership meeting that does not set time aside for prayer.
How might this grow in the future? We long for our family to increasingly depend upon the power and delight in the pleasure of prayer. We also desire to make prayer an increasingly central element to our worship gatherings.
+ 5. Biblical Community
Anyone who calls God their Father can rightly call one another a brother or sister in the family of God. This universal family of God is divided into local church communities that live as the local family of God. At BeFree we don’t want to act like a group of people who simply believe the same things, but desire to live as the true spiritual family we are, having relational intimacy for one another within the family and taking responsibility for each other’s discipleship and growth.
What does this look like at BeFree? Our family lives life together with a rhythm of gathering and scattering. We gather on Sunday mornings as one big family to worship and fellowship together, and scatter throughout the week into home groups, Bible studies, youth group, and other informal gatherings as we seek to follow Christ alongside one another. Furthermore, those who call BeFree home, formally join our family through a process of membership.
How might this grow in the future? We long for our family to be ever more firmly knit together as the ‘forever family’ we are. We long to build a deeper intimacy between the members and attenders of our church of diverse ages and backgrounds, as we celebrate the unity we all have in Christ. We also desire to see the members of our church take a greater responsibility for each other’s discipleship through formal and informal relationships.
+ 6. Intentional Discipleship
Since a ‘disciple’ is a follower of Jesus Christ, ‘discipleship’ is simply helping other people grow as followers of Jesus Christ. Our mission, at BeFree, is to make disciples, edifying and equipping one another as followers of Jesus Christ, prayerfully laboring by the power of the Holy Spirit in order to “present everyone mature in Christ” (Col 1:28).
What does this look like at BeFree? Discipleship is central to everything we do as a church family. Every worship gathering, home group and ministry is meant to grow us as disciples of Jesus Christ. Our home groups connect brothers and sisters in deep, life-on-life relationships in which our leaders lead their groups to live out their faith together. Our children ministry and youth groups seek to help our kid’s faith form and flourish from a young age. Our men’s and women’s ministries seek to serve as “on-ramps” to discipleship by providing gatherings where men and women can follow Christ alongside one another. In other words, we hope that everything we do as a church family will help us grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
How might this grow in the future? We believe God is leading us to grow in our pursuit of discipleship in two main ways. First, we long to help our people identify and use their gifts to serve inside the church and reach out into our community. Second, we believe there needs to be a venue in which we can offer teaching and equipping beyond the Sunday sermon. Though we do not currently know what either of these will look like, we ask that you would pray for God to lead us in our mission to “present everyone mature in Christ.”
+ 7. Godly Leadership
The church is the body of Christ. This is his church! In God’s wisdom, he has called and equipped elders to serve as under shepherds of his flock (1 Peter 5:1-4). God has also called faithful men and women into other positions of leadership within our church family.
What does this look like at BeFree? At BeFree, the pastors of the various campuses gather monthly for prayer and encouragement. Our elders also meet monthly to pray for and make decisions about the leadership of our church. Our home group and ministry team leaders gather monthly to be further equipped and encouraged in the ministry the Lord has given them. Additionally, BeFree is committed to seeking out and equipping future leaders. We seek to identify future leaders not simply based upon who has been trained or equipped, but rather we seek to identify those who faithfully and humbly serve both inside and outside the church to call and equip for leadership positions.
How might this grow in the future? We want to continually grow into a church that does not rely upon a few for ministry and leadership, but that shares responsibility broadly amongst its members.
+ 8. Local Mission (Alton & Lakes Region)
We believe when Jesus sent his people out to make disciples of all nations, he intended for them to start right where they were. God has put BeFree in Alton, NH for a reason: to make disciples of our friends, families and neighbors as we live among them in our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces.
What does this look like at BeFree? Because evangelism happens in word and works, we seek to share the love of Christ with our community in both of these ways. We believe that the primary venue to share the Good News in word is not through programs but in relationships. To this end, we do very little in terms of formal evangelism. Rather, we desire to train our people to live as missionaries in their towns, building relationships in order to speak the Good News of Jesus Christ. We seek to reach out with the love of Christ in works by supporting local ministries like Life Bridge Mentoring and Alton Community Services Food Pantry. We also have a “Hands and Feet” team that organizes service projects in our town.
How might this grow in the future? We desire to serve our town so well that BeFree would be missed if we ever closed our doors. To this end we desire to be actively and visibly engaged in our community, shining the light of Christ in word and in work. This will entail forming clearer ways to engage in mission together and growing a deeper passion for the lost around us.
+ 9. Regional Mission (New Hampshire & New England)
As we look around our state and region we recognize that we live on a mission field ripe for harvest. We pray to the lord of the harvest, that he would use us and other Gospel believing churches to partner together to spread the Good News and plant more churches throughout our region.
What does this look like at BeFree? BeFree is a family of four interdependent churches that share a passion to see the Gospel spread throughout our state. We also are members of the New England District of the Evangelical Free Church of America (NEDA), whose expressed mission is to see a Gospel presence in every town in New England. We also partner with other parachurch organizations to be a light to New England.
How might this grow in the future? As a part of the BeFree multi-site family, church planting is in our blood. We dream of someday planting another church in New Hampshire. Though we are waiting upon the Lord for his leading and timing, we believe this is the best way for us to shine the light of the Gospel and so make disciples outside of our town and into the surrounding region.
+ 10. Global Mission (World)
We are a people sent on mission not just to our neighbors, schools and workplaces but to the ends of the earth. These are our marching orders. Though God has clearly called us to shine as a light in our specific location, he has also clearly called us to go to the ends of the earth carrying the Good News of Jesus Christ.
What does this look like at BeFree? Together, with the BeFree multisite, we partner with missionaries and indigenous leaders across the world, supporting them financially and through prayer. We also have a missions partnership with Evangelical Baptist Church of Shawinigan-sud, a Gospel believing church in Quebec with whom we serve and pray. Finally, we seek to send missionaries on a short term basis to shine the light of Jesus Christ abroad.
How might this grow in the future? In the years to come, we hope to offer more opportunities for people at BeFree to be engaged in missions, whether through prayer, financial support, or traveling to another country to spread the light of the Gospel. Our desire is to see a heart for missions grow in the people of our church as we seek God’s leading as to how he is calling us to be specifically involved in the global advance of the Gospel.