At Preston Trail we say we are mission driven, not issue driven. We work hard to keep the main thing the main thing—helping people find and follow Jesus. However, in this increasingly polarized world, we recognize that there are a handful of issues that have become deal breakers for some who are searching for a church home. As you consider connecting with us, we want to honor the time, thought and prayer you’ve invested in this decision by sharing some additional thoughts on four key issues—a woman’s role in the church, sexual orientation, racism, and politics.

The following statements are based on our Elder’s interpretation of Holy Scripture and are in an abbreviated summary form.

1.   The Role of Women in the Church

We believe that God created both men and women in his image. While there are distinct differences between the sexes, God did not initially create a hierarchy in which men were to rule over women. The existence of this hierarchy in history is a result of the fall and an expression of human sinfulness. In Christ and at Pentecost, God’s original intent for women began to be restored within the new community of believers called the Church. In keeping with this renewing work of the Gospel, we believe that both men and women are gifted by the Holy Spirit and can be called to serve in any capacity in the church.

2.   Sexual Orientation 

We believe that in God’s good and perfect creation, man and woman were created with heterosexual orientations and were joined together by God in the institution of marriage for the purpose of their mutual well-being and fruitful procreation. Unfortunately, because of the fall, some individuals, whether through nature or nurture, develop a same-sex orientation which they do not choose. 
We do not believe this state is sinful in and of itself, nor does it diminish the image of God within them or his love for them. However, our interpretation of Scripture prohibits same sex behavior, and this prohibition is without exception. Therefore, a gay or lesbian believer who wants to live a faithful life under God is called to remain unmarried and celibate throughout his or her life, trusting in Jesus and his Church for their companionship and support.
We recognize that there are earnest and faithful believers who have a different biblical interpretation regarding this issue. They affirm that two believers can live faithfully under God in a committed, monogamous same-sex relationship. While this is not our conclusion, we respect and love these brothers and sisters in Christ, and they are welcomed in the Preston Trail family.
When it comes to leadership in our church, individuals who are single and celibate, regardless of their sexual orientation, can be called to serve in any capacity in the church.

3.   Racism

Racism is a sin in two ways. It's a sin of perception that elevates one’s own race to a place of superiority over others. And it’s a sin of action that manifests itself when members of other races are discriminated against because of the color of their skin. Like all other sins, racism can infiltrate and affect every human institution and organization. 
Racism is a sin because it denies the fundamental equality that all humans possess in the eyes of God. This equality is asserted from beginning to end in Scripture—from creation where God’s image is given to all, to the foot of the cross where Christ died for all, and finally to the racially diverse multitude that will surround the throne of God at the end of time. 
We recognize that the vestiges of our nation’s past sins of racism are still with us today, for as Scripture says, the sins of parents will be passed down for generations, and whatever you sow you shall reap. We do not believe, however, that this makes those of us living today responsible for those wrongs. But in Christ, we are responsible to make those wrong things right. 
Considering these truths, at Preston Trail our desire is for people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds to feel accepted and expected. And, wherever we see racial injustice taking place, we will join with others to use our voices and influence to seek liberty and justice for all.

4.   Politics

As followers of Jesus, we recognize that we are citizens of two kingdoms—the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of the United States. While we love our nation and thank God for his blessings through it, our ultimate well-being and fulfillment will not be found in our national way of life or in a particular political ideology. It will be found as we live out our lives in God’s Kingdom through our faith in Jesus. 
Therefore, helping all people to find and follow Jesus, no matter their political persuasion, is our ultimate calling. As a result, our church will not align itself with a particular political candidate or party so that the message of Jesus will remain free from any encumbrance that would hinder another person from fully receiving it.
This affirmation does not preclude us from two things. First, we encourage followers of Jesus at Preston Trail to use their political rights and influence to work for the common good and well-being of all citizens. We believe this can be a good and just calling of a follower of Jesus. Second, should political situations arise that are so egregious that the rights and dignity of our common good are threatened, the leaders of Preston Trail will use their voice and influence to bring the right to bear.
Hopefully, these statements give you a clearer picture of the character and nature of our church. The formulation of these views has been a process of prayer, study, and reflection over the course of years by our elders. This is not to say we think this makes our conclusions infallible. We know all too well that we are human and prone to error. What they do reflect, however, is a sincere and thoughtful attempt to lay out a clear pathway through the quagmire of these cultural questions that is faithful to Scripture and the spirit of Jesus.

We realize that after reading through these statements, you’ll likely have some kind of response in mind. Here are four that we encourage:
  • If you would like to dig deeper into any of these topics and the Scriptures related to them, we recommend the resources below. If you would like to speak personally with someone on our staff about these statements email us at info@prestontrail.org
  • If you have some questions about or even disagree with some of our positions, but the larger mission of our church, helping people find and follow Jesus, is way more important to you, then by all means, come on and be part of what God is doing in and through Preston Trail!
  • If one or more of these issues is nonnegotiable for you, then truthfully, you will find a more fulfilling and beneficial connection at a church that shares your convictions. So, we bless you as you continue to search and would even be willing to help you find just the right church for you. Email us at info@prestontrail.org and we will offer some recommendations.
  • If you are excited by our mission of helping people find and follow Jesus and your heart and mind align with ours on these issues, then Preston Trail may just be the church you’ve been searching and praying for. Come on and be part of what God is doing in and through Preston Trail!

Helpful Resources

The Role of Women in the Church:

  • A Woman’s Place?” Jim Johnson’s message from June 27, 2021, Preston Trail Community Church

Sexual Orientation



False Teaching” Paul Basden’s message from March 21, 2021, Preston Trail Community Church