Our Distinctives

Our distinctives are not as central as our core values, but they shape our DNA and explain what makes us unique as a church, or “distinct”. Our theological distinctives shape our doctrinal teaching and beliefs, and our ministry distinctives shape our ministry philosophy and practice.

Ministry Distinctives


Elder Team Leadership

Leadership in the church is not a one-man show. Jesus’ plan for the church was for it to be led by a team of biblically qualified elders who provide vision and direction, guard doctrine, and lead in preaching and teaching. This team is led by a ‘first-among-equals’. This leader is not a king, but functions more like a quarterback, taking a lead role in calling the plays. While he has a leading role on the team, he relies on the support and accountability of the rest of the team. An elder team is not a hierarchy; it is a team that is committed to one another relationally, and committed to leading the local church into everything that Jesus wants it to be.


Biblical Preaching

We believe that it is the Word of God that changes people, not our ideas or our personalities. Therefore, at One Harbor Church we will always preach from the Bible. Primarily, we will preach through entire books of the Bible. Our hope is that the Partners of One Harbor would have a thirst for the Word that would grow as the Bible is opened and preached.


Local and Global Impact

In the New Testament we see the early church both sending and receiving gifted men and woman who build up the church. These are not celebrities, but servants whose lives are laid down for Jesus and His bride. Churches did mission in their towns, cities, regions, and even internationally. We partner with many local churches with which we share a common mission, as well as the Advance Movement, a Global network of churches that partner together to plant and strengthen churches.

We not only receive ministry from our global partners, but we also send our elders and leaders to do ministry in strengthening other churches with the gifts God has given our church.


Difficult to Pretend

In our particular context in the American South, it is easy to pretend to be a Christian. Unlike many parts of the world where you may encounter persecution for your faith, it is actually very socially acceptable, even encouraged, to call yourself a Christian. However, actually living as a Christian is always costly. Jesus said to count the cost, and to take up your cross and follow Him. He didn’t add an exception for the Bible belt.


Many people want the perks of calling themselves Christians, but they have no intention of living like one or obeying Jesus. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian who was martyred by the Nazis, called that cheap grace. He said, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance.” Real grace is costly. Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die”.


At One Harbor, we want to do everything we can to let people know what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus, and obey Him as Lord. Jesus had His harshest words for hypocrites. Our heart is that at One Harbor it is difficult to be a hypocrite, and difficult to pretend.



The Gospel



Make disciples, push back darkness, all for the sake of the Gospel.