We aim to fulfil this through an equal focus on five areas
Where people are encouraged to BELONG in our Church family, to WORSHIP Jesus as Lord, to GROW in their faith, to SERVE using their God given gifts, and to SHARE God’s love with others. The first Christian Church was committed to these five areas, so we believe that our focusing on these same principles will enable us – with God’s help – to become both a balanced and biblical Church. We seek to express this through five areas, like the five points of a star if you like, and try to hold these in balance.
Many people are looking for somewhere to belong, and Church is a great place to find what you are looking for. We aim to be people who belong through fellowship. Sounds a religious phrase I know, but it speaks of a real depth of friendship and trust, and this is only able to be cultivated in the context of meeting with other Christians. Sundays and Life groups are key for this.
The Christian life is not a solo act. God has given us the Church as a spiritual family for our own benefit. Ephesians 2:19 (LB) says, “ … You are members of God’s very own family … and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian. ” For many, the first step towards ‘belonging’ is to be baptised. To find out more, view the page on Baptism.
Christians can look at this and immediately focus on the particular songs that are used, or whether or not there is a band or an organ…!
Worship, however, is of course far wider than our musical preference.
Worship is….our response, both personal and corporate, to God – for who He is! And what He has done! Expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.
There is an inborn urge to worship in every human being. If we don’t worship God, we will find a replacement – job, family, money, a sport, or even ourselves. That’s why the very first commandment says, “You shall have no other god’s before me.”
Of course when we say ‘grow’ we are not meaning in the physical sense! We mean in our understanding, and in our discovering what it means to be a Christian, to be a more effective follower of Jesus. This is what it means to be his disciple, and in this sense it is true that we all still have our ‘L’ plates on. There are no experts, and none of us have arrived, let alone worn the T-Shirt. A great place to grow spiritually is to join one of our many ‘ LIFE Groups ’, where we can learn from one another in smaller groups. The most powerful way to understand this area of Church life is to personalise it because this area, as in all five areas, can also be stated as a goal for every Christian. These goals express what God wants each of us to do with our lives. Try to personalise this goal below for yourself, then offer this prayerfully to God.
God wants me to be a MODEL of his character.
This is the goal of Discipleship. God wants every Christian to grow up to become like His Son, Jesus, in character. Now there’s a challenge! In the New Testament, Paul gives us several specific areas where we are to model the character of Christ: “ … set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity ” (1 Timothy 4:12). Notice that maturity is not measured by one’s learning but by one’s lifestyle.
There is a responsibility for every Christian to serve . God expects us to use the gifts, talents, and opportunities He gives us to benefit others, but it is ‘how’ we serve that matters. Is this willingly or grudgingly…? 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. ” God intends for every believer to have a ministry. Church is for participators, not spectators. Have you discovered your gifts…? If you would like to discuss this further, chat to one of the Leaders or sign up for a membership event.
This is the Church’s purpose of evangelism or, as we often say, of outreach. Once we become a Christian, we become messengers of the Good News to others in the Community. It’s part of the job description for every believer. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 says, ” For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors. God is using us to speak to you: we beg you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, receive the love he offers you – be reconciled to God. ”
We each have a mission on Earth and part of it includes sharing with others what we have in Jesus – both in word and in deed. Paul said, ”Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love. ” (Acts 20:24)
While fulfilling these five areas of Church life are a responsibility of every Christian, they also provide spiritual, emotional, and relational benefits for us personally.
Worship – helps me focus on God;
Belonging – helps me face life’s problems;
Serving – helps me find my talents;
Growing – helps me fortify my faith; and
Sharing – helps me fulfill my mission.
No wonder Jesus said he came to give us “life in all its fullness “(John 10: 10)