The Bible teaches that God created all things in order to echo His glory. Only as we come to put God central do we find the life that we were created to live. Since ultimate joy, meaning, purpose and love are found in God, calling us to worship Himself is the most loving thing He could possibly do. God is most glorified in us as we are most satisfied in Him. This a wonderful sort of Christian hedonism.
The Gospel is Our Central Calling
Gospel simply means “good news” and we use it to express the truth that God is transforming creation through the work of Jesus Christ. Christ’s incarnation (becoming human), death and resurrection has changed the course of history and opened the door for humankind to be reconciled to God. This is a personal reality when we come to believe in and give our lives to Jesus, but through our new life in Him we also participate in the transformation He is working in the whole creation. It is very important to know that this is a work of God’s grace and not at all from humankind’s effort or worthiness. All of this is the good news (with Jesus at the centre) that is the core of our calling.
We Are Saved In and Called To a Life of Community
Contrary to the radical independence of the western culture in which we live, the Bible teaches that we are both saved in Christ and continue in the Christian life as a community. Salvation is a baptism into Christ and into the community of the Church. This is a spiritual reality, but it is also something that we believe we must live out in practice as well. We do this (imperfectly) through seeking to live our lives together around the worship of God and the mission of the gospel.
We Embrace the Presence and Work of the Holy Spirit
The Bible teaches that God is one God, but in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (the Trinity). We live in the age of the Spirit when God is present in the earth through the Holy Spirit. As Christians we embrace the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives individually and as a church corporately. This includes, on the one hand, miraculous and distinctly supernatual giftings (such as prophecy, healings, a word of knowledge or speaking/praying in an unknown tongue) which the Spirit apportions to individual believers. It also includes gifts which seem more practial such as teaching, administration, showing mercy to others or hospitality. Perhaps most importantly, it includes the Spirit’s work to transform our character into the image of Jesus through the developing of such qualities as love, joy and peace (see Galatians 5).
Discipleship is Holistic
Discipleship is simply the life-long process of learning as we follow Jesus. To say that this is holistic simply means that following Jesus should touch and transform every aspect of our lives (with strong implications for the world at large). This means that we see spiritual and physical reality as inseperable. It is imporant what our inner attitudes are, but equally important how we live our outward lives. We seek to live faithfully both in the inwardness of prayer and in the outwardness of material possessions and finance. We seek to be concerned with social justice and caring for the poor. We care both for human relationships and for the right treatment of the physical world. We value creativity, art and academic pursuit. We see worship as much more than Sunday, but extending throughout the week as we devote our activities and attitudes to God. We see Christian potential not only in the work of minister, but in all spheres of work from the full time mum to the full time solicitor and everything in between.