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Our Distinctives

At FBC Carthage, we aim to be Biblical in everything we do, allowing the scriptures to determine our practices instead of popular trends or cultural preferences. Listed below are some of our "distinctives" that will help you understand who we are. 


The good news about Jesus's sinless life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection is the motivation for everything we do as a church. We purposefully preach and teach the gospel every time we gather, so that our members may be encouraged and built up in the faith and so that unbelievers will hear and believe.

Elder-led Congregationalism

Our church, under the authority of Christ and his Word, is led by a team of Biblically qualified elders. Church elders shepherd the congregation toward Chirstlikeness, oversee the daily operations of the church, and model the spiritual maturity that the rest of the church should strive for. Our church has no committees, rather the day-to-day leadership is entrusted to the elders. Our congregation exercises its Biblically-derived responsibility to choose its own elders and deacons as well as to receive and dismiss members, among other matters listed in our governing documents. 

Congregational singing

Musically, our services focus on congregational singing. This means that while we have instruments and musicians on-stage to help lead, the main instrument is the voice of the congregation. Colossians 3:16 says for us to "teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." Christians are commanded to sing--to sing to God and also to one another. We view the content of the songs we sing as a means of teaching and instruction to one another, therefore we strive to sing theologically rich and doctrinally true songs that can be easily sung by anyone in the church. 

Parent-centered Youth & Kids Ministry

The discipleship of children and youth is the primary responsibility of Christian parents. Because of this, our aim in Youth and Kids Ministry is to come alongside parents and equip them to be the primary disciplers of their children. We encourage parents with youth and children to also serve in the Youth and Kids Ministry.

Clear expectations for members

We aim to have Biblical expectations for our members. We summarize a few of our expectations in the expression "W+2", which means members are expected to be in gathered Worship at least 50% of the time, participate in a Sunday school or Wednesday night group, and serve on at least one ministry team. Parents with youth or children are expected to serve on the rotation in those areas.

We are a church that practices church discipline according to Matthew 18:15-20, and expects our members to follow Jesus's instructions regarding personal conflict and sin. The aim of church discipline is love and restoration, and is never to be vindictive or punitive.

We follow a Biblically-oriented church covenant, which each of our members promise to live in alignment with.

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