These are the family values that ought to shape the way we behave. They form an ideal to which we aspire and to which we can be held accountable. As we grow together as followers of Jesus, we hope that this becomes an increasingly accurate description of what we are really like.
The Unity of the Body
We seek to be a loving community, in which strong vibrant life-giving real relationships defeat social exclusion, isolation, division and loneliness. As members we commit ourselves to loving one another. This means we seek to speak the truth to each other in love; to break down divisions and renounce petty jealousies; to honour one another in the way we speak; to maintain good fellowship, repenting and forgiving as necessary. We aim to include everyone of whatever race, culture, age or marital status in our life together as the Lord’s Family. Our love should be expressed in quality time and warm hospitality. Fun and laughter, generosity and gratitude should mark our abundant life together. We should seek to extend this to interaction with other churches.
Pastoral Care and Support
We accept everyone for who they are and encourage and exhort one another in growing in Christ-like character and in living an increasingly holy life. We care for those who are hurting and support those who need it. We commit to build relationships, by participating in small groups, with dynamics of trust, accountability, prayer, mutual support and service and discipleship. We aim to pray for and with each other and study and apply the Bible together. We aim to help each other discover and use our spiritual gifts. Groups then multiply by raising up replacement or pioneer leaders and starting new groups.
We recognise that God’s purpose for each one of us is to grow as disciples of Jesus, growing in faith, becoming more like him in our character and exercising his kingdom ministry. We refuse to settle for the way we are, but take personal responsibility to press on towards the goal for which Christ has taken hold of us. We need one another’s help in this process and we commit to invest in discipleship, to be investors in each other.
Every Member Ministry
Every person is valued, their potential fulfilled, and their gifts and talents identified, developed and put to good use. We aim to help people identify their passions (which give energy to their service) and gifts (which enable them) and their own personal style. We will try to recruit and equip the saints for service and to release them into areas of service for which we provide ongoing on-the-job training and to see them develop in ministry and leadership of various kinds. We aim to model and teach the principle of servant-hood within the context of a culture of service and an expectation that we are each called to serve one another.
Enabling and Empowering Leadership
The leaders are to present a clear vision for their area of responsibility, and to endeavour to remain focused and true to what we believe God is calling us to do. At the same time, we need to be conscious of the need to pace ourselves in line with our resources and to allow diversification within the overall vision. To this end we will encourage Functional Structures which allow this process to flourish, promote life, are reviewed regularly and changed where necessary. This is embodied in a team of departmental heads for individual ministry areas. Leaders are to engage in the delegation process (identify, recruit, train, deploy, monitor, nurture) while encouraging others to do the same. We delegate responsibility and the accompanying authority, which we ourselves then support and submit to. This is accompanied by accountability, the freedom to fail and to learn from mistakes.
Passionate and Energising Spirituality
The worship of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be at the centre of our lives, being expressed in a well-balanced life of prayer, study and fellowship. Prayer under-girds everything we are and do. Our corporate worship should be full of life, joy and enthusiasm; relevant to our culture and inspiring. We want all our times of worship to be inclusive, inviting and life-giving; where the manifest presence of God is expected and experienced. They should be meaningful and sincere. The main focus for our worship is the honour of God, but they should also be times of refreshment, renewal and receiving of God’s grace. People want to be there, because they don’t want to miss out.
We want to be building relationships with those around us, by being real friends, seeking ways to serve them, especially those with particular needs. Our evangelism is focussed on providing a place where questions can be asked and valued and on answering those questions; and addressing the needs of the unchurched. We maintain a commitment to, and involvement in, missions, both domestic and foreign.
Embracing New People
We want to be good at embracing new people, to truly be a welcoming community, which people experience as friendly. We will try to foster an atmosphere of hospitality. We want to help people feel safe and in control; to allow them the freedom to blend in easily; to communicate clear information which enables people. We are aiming to help people have a sense of belonging. There needs to be a paced and directed entry process. We want to avoid cliques, in-jokes and jargon.
We seek to engage in the mission of Jesus to bring in God’s kingdom more and more in the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit through the exercise of faith. We will participate in teaching and training to this end. We work to push back the frontiers of the dominion of darkness, healing sickness, and freeing those who are tormented by evil spirits and trapped by addictions. We work towards an local environment which is safe, free of crime, drugs, ugliness and litter. We care for the planet and the people on it, by living a sustainable modest life-style.
Obedience to The Truth
We believe that Jesus is The Truth incarnated and the Bible is God’s truth revealed. We submit to the Bible’s authority to form the basis of our world-view, morality and self-understanding. We seek to proclaim the truth through engaging, biblical and relevant preaching, with an application for daily living; and through other forms of communication. We commit ourselves to living out the truth in obedience to God’s Word.
We aim to base our attitude on the model of God’s gracious generosity to us, knowing that we have freely received. We aim to use every moment of our time, every penny of our money and all our resources according to what is right in God’s eyes. We share what we have, support one another in need, shun the world’s values and the prevalent consumerist culture, and send help to those far away.
Our Values were agreed by the Church Council in January 2009