It’s all about Jesus
I overheard a great snippet of a conversation last Sunday between someone who has been coming to church for around four months and someone there for the first time. The first-timer asked ‘so what’s this church all about?’ The reply came: ‘Well I guess it’s all about Jesus!’ I love that! Especially as I learnt later neither has yet been baptised nor would yet describe themselves as Christians. What is our church all about – it’s all about Jesus! Yes, yes, yes.
And what a relief! Can you imagine anything else it should or could be about?
Four direction-giving values
In the Autumn we identified four values which we felt both accurately described us as a church and which we long to become more true of us. Four values which direct us to continue to be all about Jesus. Four values which will protect us from losing sight of Jesus as the main thing.
Have you heard them? Do you feel they describe us as a church? Do they describe you as an individual? What could you do personally and through your connection to the church so we might personify these values more?
We want to be a place where everyone, whatever their background, culture, experiences, age, education, or faith feel welcomed, embraced, accepted and that they can belong. A place that, even if we cannot fully endorse someone’s behaviour or belief we can entirely embrace them as a person. We long to be people with big hearts and wide hugs that are truly inclusive.
Courageous in Mission
We want to be a place that so loves the good news of Jesus and so loves people we take all sorts of risks so people might know and grow in Jesus. To be courageous, brave, and bold. To be audacious and undaunted and gutsy. To be ready to fail, daring to try and attempt new ways of being church and doing mission that come with uncertainty and danger. To be that as a church together. And to be that as individuals. To be that locally and to be that globally.
God speaks. By this Spirit. Through his Word. About his Son. For his Glory.
We want the Bible (the place God speaks about Jesus by His Spirit for His Glory) to saturate everything we are – not just how we preach (though essentially there), but what we sing, and how we make decisions, and through our conversations, and in the work place and family life. That the Bible might be precious and delightful and meaningful and profound to us in everything.
God has made us a team, giving each member an essential gift to share and complete the whole.
God has not left us alone, giving us his Spirit to guide and strengthen and lead.
God has not left us unchanged, giving us his Spirit to reform and rejuvenate to become more fully who he made us to be as he makes us more completely like Jesus.
Gifts to share; Guidance in life; Godliness in character – all this and more can only occur by God himself working by his Spirit. And so we want to be dependent not on our own strength, wisdom or resources but on his Spirit. As individuals and as a community.