Knowing Jesus • Serving Jesus • Proclaiming Jesus
After rising from the dead and before He returned to His Father’s side, Jesus said these transforming words: ‘Make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ (Matthew 28v19-20)
His words set our vision. We want people to be mature disciples of Jesus for God’s glory. A mature disciple is someone who helps others become more like Jesus. Christian maturity is about growth and movement: Growing ourselves by each year becoming more like Christ; moving those round us by each year helping more people become more like Christ.
Our conviction – Knowing Jesus, Serving Jesus, Proclaiming Jesus – is also our process for making mature disciples. The more people know Jesus, the more they will serve Jesus, the more they will proclaim Jesus, the more they will know him etc. It is a ‘spiral of maturity’. As such, we are committed to prayerfully teaching the gospel in public meetings, small groups and individually. We are committed to equipping people to better use their gifts within and beyond the church. We are committed to blessing the community with strategic programmes – both because love is right, and to promote Christ’s reputation.
Our Values: Growing as Christ’s disciple-making disciples
Ultimately, we want people to be mature disciples of Jesus for God’s glory. A mature disciple is someone who helps others become more like Jesus. Christian maturity is about growth and movement: Growing ourselves by each year becoming more like Christ; moving those round us by each year helping more people become more like Christ. Our conviction (Knowing Jesus, Serving Jesus, Proclaiming Jesus) is also the way we make mature disciples. The more people know Jesus, the more they will serve Jesus, the more they will proclaim Jesus, the more they will know him etc. It is a ‘spiral of maturity’.
Christian maturity is not one-size-fits-all. Godliness is not uniformity, because God isn’t uniform. Our God is Father, Son & Spirit (one God & three persons). Each has different roles. Only the Father has authority – he doesn’t submit to the Spirit. Only the Son died on the cross, not the Father. God is not uniform. & neither is our godliness. In keeping with that truth, we’ve shifted from particular ‘strategies for growth’ to principles that see us become like Jesus. These are expressed in 4 defining values:
VALUE 1: Growing as Christ’s disciple-making disciples
VALUE 2: Devotion to prayer & studying the Bible
VALUE 3: Investing deeply in Christian Fellowship
VALUE 4: Seeking Justice through loving service
Growing as Christ’s disciple-making disciples is a response to Jesus’ call to both follow Him (Luke 9v23) & invite others to recognise His authority (Matthew 28v16). Discipleship is a life imitating Christ – adopting His loves & hates. Discipleship is a life-long process of transformation of becoming more like Jesus & moving ‘everyone we have opportunity to’ closer to Him, whether they already follow Christ or not (Colossians 1v28-29).
This value means, as individuals & a church, we seek change. Change in ourselves by speaking the gospel to ourselves. Change in those around us by sharing the gospel with them.
Devotion to prayer & studying the Bible is the natural outflow of a living relationship with God. They are the means God uses to relate directly to His disciples. Prayer allows us to bring the praise, thanks & concerns of our hearts to God. In praying as He teaches us (Matthew 6v9-15), our hearts are aligned & conformed to His. The Bible is God’s living & active self-revelation (Hebrew 4v12-13). As we ‘hear, read, mark, learn & inwardly digest’ the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit changes us to more accurately reflect God.
This value means we are enthusiastic to speak with God – individually & together, formally & informally. It means we are enthusiastic to hear God’s voice – through a variety of formats & settings.
Investing deeply in Christian Fellowship is the result of God not just reconciling us to Himself, but also to other believers (Ephesians 2v11-22). Christianity is not a solo pursuit. A Christian alone cannot be the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12) or bear the mark of truth faith: ‘love for one another’ (John 13v34-35). A Christian alone misses God’s means for keeping us ready for the Day of His return (Hebrews 10v24-25)
This value means we gladly put time & energy into knowing others in church – that we might insightfully encourage them as disciples & be spurred on by them. This value means we seek to strengthen the spiritual health of God’s people beyond our church, across the area, nation & world.
Seeking Justice through loving service reflects the character of God Himself. God is love. The essence of Father, Son & Spirit is commitment to the good of others (1 John 4v8). His love overflows to create justice – not just punishing wrong but restoring right relationships. God’s justice invites us to action: giving people what they are due, whether punishment, protection or care (Micha 6v6-8).
This value means we are driven by loving mercy to act. We walk humbly with God by creating & responding to opportunities to love others – especially those in need. We not only do it individually, we make the most of our collective gifts to bless others.