About Us

Why We Exist, What We Believe and Our Leadership

 
 
 

Why We Exist

 

The Mission & Vision

Emmaus exists to Plant the Gospel in the Inland Empire.

We do this by "joining with God in His work of making all things new through the person and work of Jesus."

Crucial to this is our understanding that we are the gathered and scattered people of God. We gather on Sundays to proclaim the good news of the gospel and respond in worship. We then scatter throughout the week for discipleship and mission through Gospel Communities.


What is a Liturgy?

 

Call to worship

Worship begins with God because everything began through God. All of creation worships because God created it to reflect His glory (Ps. 19:1). We worship because God hardwired us to do so by creating us in His image (Gen. 1:27). In this way, every new day is a call for us to worship God; every encounter is a call for us to worship God, and in our sin God calls us back to Himself so we might worship Him (Luke 5:32). Therefore, when we Gather to rehearse the Gospel, we begin with a Call to Worship. God speaks, we respond.

What to Expect:

  • Instrumental Music at 10 am to announce the beginning of Gathered worship.

  • A greeting followed by a Scriptural Invitation such as Psalm 100 or Matthew 11:28-29. Sometimes there is a portion of Scripture which the congregation reads aloud together.

Adoration

In response to God’s call to worship, we continue with a song of Adoration. Gathering together from a world filled with gods demanding our worship, we not only sing of God’s worth, but simultaneously declare God to be the only One worthy of our worship. Therefore, this song will be marked by expressing love and devotion for who God is and what He’s done.

What to Expect:

  • A song which expresses love & devotion for God, often making much of a specific attribute of God.

  • Sometimes there is a Scripture reading or prayer to guide our adoration.

Confession / Assurance

As we enter the light of God’s presence, we become increasingly aware of the darkness of our sin. An appropriate response is not self-pity, self-loathing, or fleeing, but Confession. God tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Healthy Confession is directed to God and based upon the understanding that if we Confess, Assurance that Christ has forgiven us awaits. True Confession never occurs without Assurance that Christ will forgive us our sins.

What to Expect:

  • We alternate methods to keep Confession and Assurance from becoming a dead religious practice. Some weeks we’ll read a passage of Scripture aloud together which guides our Confession. Other weeks we’ll allow 30-45 seconds of silence to go before God with our sin. Many weeks we’ll hear a Scripture passage like 1 John 1:9 read and explained.

  • Some weeks we offer laments, voicing cries to God for the fallenness not only of ourselves, but the world we live in.

Passing of the Peace

In the Passing of the Peace we learn to put into practice horizontally what we’ve experienced from God vertically, by turning to one another to offer the peace we’ve been given in Christ. In the early church they did this by greeting one another with a “holy kiss” (Rom. 16:16, 1Cor. 16:30, etc). Don’t worry, we’re going more for the principle than the practice itself; but you’ll find Emmaus folks to be warm and welcoming, embracing each in Christ. It’s a sweet time, not a stiff time.To avoid the awkward vibe which often plagues “greeting time,” at Emmaus we’ll never distract from this profound Gospel reality by prompting you with clumsy intros or corny games. It’s simple: Pass the Peace we’ve been given in Christ.

What to Expect:

  • You’ll be prompted at the close of the song following Assurance with a statement like, “As people who’ve been given peace in Christ, let’s take a minute to pass that peace to one another.”

  • Most folks will say good morning with a handshake. A common greeting is to simply say, “The Peace of Christ” as you shake hands.

  • The Passing of the Peace lasts about 30-45 seconds at which point an Elder will address the congregation to transition to the Giving.

Giving

We give because God first gave us His Son. The Gospel teaches us that giving is a privilege we are invited to, something we are free to do because we are no longer enslaved to money. Jesus, out of concern that we would know such freedom, spoke often of money, saying in Matthew 6:21, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Therefore, giving is an opportunity to make what is eternal the thing our hearts treasure.

What to Expect:

  • A Pastor reminds us that we give to express our gratitude to God for giving us Jesus.

  • Baskets are passed across the rows, and collected at the end.

  • The offering is counted and sealed by a minimum of 3 ushers to guarantee accountability.

Proclamation of the Word

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Therefore, we strive to present the Word of God in it’s fullness, drawing out the plain meaning of the text and demonstrating how it points to the work of Christ in the Gospel. We never move past that message.

What to Expect:

  • A Scripture Reader has the congregation stand for the reading of the sermon text. This captures the reality that the Word of God speaks before the Preacher.

  • A Pastor will then come up and teach from the passage for about 35-40 minutes.

Communion

Communion is our response to the Proclamation of the Gospel, partaking in the broken body and shed blood of Christ as a church family. With roots that stretch back to the Exodus, and symbols pointing forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, no other event captures the timelessness of the Gospel. This is why author James K.A. Smith says of communion, “It’s as if the story we’ve been hearing and rehearsing now comes with live illustrations.” Together we enjoy an earthly encounter with the heavenly Christ.

What to Expect:

  • The preaching Pastor will give instructions for communion following the sermon.

  • The bread & wine are served by members of Emmaus. As you come forward you’ll hear “the body and blood of Christ” as you tear off the bread and take the wine or juice.

  • A Pastor will come forward to administer communion, offering words from Scripture as we partake together.

Benediction

The Benediction is what we call a “blessing for the road.” As we end the Gathering we are reminded that we do not cease to be the church when we leave the building. Rather, we are still the church, now sent- Scattered- throughout the Inland Empire. A simple farewell or command isn’t appropriate for this reality, but rather a blessing from God in which He sends us with the power and presence of Christ’s Spirit.

What to Expect:

  • The Preaching Pastor will ask you to extend your hand to receive the blessing, and then will offer a blessing based upon the truths of the sermon.

 
 

What We Believe

 
 
 

The Bible

The Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the inspired and true message of God to humanity. We believe the Bible to be completely trustworthy. It is inerrant and infallible and the final authority on all matters to which it speaks. (Ps. 19:7-11; 119:105; II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21)

God

There is one God, who is eternally existent in perfect community as three person: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are co-equal in power and glory. Each person is fully God and there is one God.

Jesus

Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God. He is the perfect reflection of God’s character and glory. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and offered himself as the only perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. All who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His death and resurrection. He rose physically from the dead and will return again to reign forever with those who are His. (Matt. 1:18-25; John 1:14; 8:40,58; 11:33; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 5:8-10; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:8)

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8–11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18)

Humanity

Humans, though created in the image of God, have fallen short of God’s perfect standard and are in need of salvation. (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 3; 5:12-19; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:18-19)

The Gospel

  • The good news (Isaiah 48:11; Hab 2:14; Rom 4:20, 1Cor 10:31; 2 Cor 3:18; 11:36; 1Timothy 1:11; Hebrews 4:9-10)
  • That by the grace of God (John 1:14-18; Acts 20:24; 2Cor 4:15; Gal 1:6; Eph 1:6-7),
  • Through the cross of Christ (Deut 21:22-23; Rom 3:21-26; 1Cor 1:17-18, 15:1-4; 2 Cor 5:17-21; Col 1:20,2:14; Heb 12:2),
  • The good life has been made available (Matt 4:23; Mark 1:15; Acts 1:3,6, 28:23,31; Rev 1:6,5:10,11:15).

Discipleship

Discipleship is not a program, but a process. In Matthew 4:19 Jesus called the disciples to “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Here we see a call to Jesus, to be changed by the Gospel of Jesus, for the purpose of the mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this, Jesus spent 3 intense years with His disciples, teaching and modeling a life devoted to God while on the mission of God. Therefore, Christian discipleship is a process, more than a program or experience.

Salvation

Salvation from our sinful condition is a free gift from God to us. It is not something we earn or deserve. It is offered in grace and received by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Those who believe in Jesus Christ and call on His name are made right with God and given eternal life. (John 3:16; 14:6; Rom. 3:28; 8:31-39; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:26-27; 3:36-39; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Tim. 2:5-6)

 
 

Our Leadership

 
 

Staff Elders

 

FORREST AND HEATHER SHORT

FORREST AND HEATHER SHORT

MATT AND LAUREN DENNINGS

MATT AND LAUREN DENNINGS

MAX AND MELISA STERNJACOB

MAX AND MELISA STERNJACOB

 

ELDERS

 

DANIEL AND APRIL HOSS

DANIEL AND APRIL HOSS

JARED AND JENNIFER DERKSEN

JARED AND JENNIFER DERKSEN

DANIEL AND MEGAN GARCIA

DANIEL AND MEGAN GARCIA

 

DEACONS

 

JORDAN ANKENMEN |  CARE & COUNSELING

JORDAN ANKENMEN | CARE & COUNSELING

AMY BRINKMAN | ADMINISTRATION

AMY BRINKMAN | ADMINISTRATION

JENNIFER DERKSEN |  HOSPITALITY

JENNIFER DERKSEN | HOSPITALITY

 
 
MELISSA DOUGLAS |  MEMBERSHIP

MELISSA DOUGLAS | MEMBERSHIP

NATE EATON |  DESIGN

NATE EATON | DESIGN

MORGAN HYDINGER |  CONNECT

MORGAN HYDINGER | CONNECT

 
 
RAYMOND MOREHOUSE |  BENEVOLENCE

RAYMOND MOREHOUSE | BENEVOLENCE

PRESTON SMEDLEY |  FINANCE

PRESTON SMEDLEY | FINANCE

BEN STAIR |  EMMAUS KIDS

BEN STAIR | EMMAUS KIDS

 
 
MONET STEWART |  EMMAUS YOUTH

MONET STEWART | EMMAUS YOUTH

DANIEL WHITE |  WORSHIP ARTS

DANIEL WHITE | WORSHIP ARTS