I just did a quick survey of the web sites of 10 evangelical and pentecostal churches in Santa Cruz county, scanning their "What We Believe" pages for one factor: where did they put their statement on Scripture. Being honest, I was totally surprised. I expected to find it as the first item of belief, followed by the persons of the Trinity, and then usually something about sin and salvation, heaven and hell, the church, etc. The survey actually came out half and half; only about half of those churches put their statement on Scripture first, the other half putting something else, four of which had some kine of statement about God first (one of which was in the form of the Nicene Creed, which I think is rare and awesome for an evangelical Protestant church!) and one of which had something about the need for spiritual community.
Why is this important? Because there is something just totally wrong about a church putting its belief in the Bible above their belief in God/Jesus Christ. It borders on blasphemy. Yes, as evangelicals we are Christians committed to the Bible, yet we are not chiefly concerned with the Bible but with Jesus Christ; the Bible is not an end in itself, but the message about Jesus Christ.
So why are these churches putting the Bible first and what should they be putting first? It seems to me that they put it first because they believe that you have to deal with how we can know about God before you can deal with who God is and how he has saved us in Jesus Christ; that is, they believe you have to deal with theological epistemology before you can deal with divine ontology or soteriology. More important than that, putting the Bible first in a church's statement of beliefs reflects a belief that the question of how we can know about God isn't fully answered in Jesus Christ himself, the Word become flesh among us. For sure, the Bible needs to be in those statements, but I think it should below any and every statement about God himself, probably being somewhere in there with the church and sacraments/ordinances, which are just as integral to Christian faith as the Bible is (we could quibble on the sacraments, but I'll stand behind saying that the church is as important to the propagation and deepening of Christian knowledge as the Bible). This is my take on why the Bible is first for so many churches, but it might be partial or skewed. Anyone want to venture an alternative theory?
As for what should be first, I suggest following the historic creeds by going Father, Son, Holy Spirit and then proceeding with other matters (sin, salvation, Bible, church, baptism, communion, Christ's return). What do you think? Maybe I should craft a Draw Nigh "What We Believe" statement and offer to sell it to churches...