Pointers on our Core Values
We believe that ...
INSPIRED WORSHIP glorifies God and builds His people up (Sunday 7th Sept 2008)
"true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." John 4:23
• Everyone worships something or someone, even if their worship is not directed to God. “There is a God-shaped hole in ever person.” (Augustine)
• Everyone worships what or who they value most
• “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever” (Westminster Catechism)
• Therefore worship is at the very heart of who we are as Christians, both individually and corporately
• Worship is whole-life, NOT just what we do on Sundays!
• Worship is God-focused, not us-focused! Therefore we are to avoid a consumer-attitude towards worship. What matters is the attitude of the heart before God, not the packaging of ‘worship styles’. Our primary motive in worship is to give God his WORTH, we are NOT consumers!
• Commitment to worshipping regularly is vital for a healthy Christian life
BIBLICAL TEACHING is foundational for a whole life faith (Sunday 14th Sept 2008)
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16,17
• God has revealed to us in His Word all that is needed for salvation
• The Bible is not just God’s manual for our living, it is His primary means of communicating with us, and therefore non-negotiable
• “God said it in his word … I believe it in my heart … that settles it in my mind” (Queen Elizabeth I)
• Commitment to reading God’s word daily on our own and corporately in small group study
• God’s Word is like a mirror … we see truths about God and ourselves. This is what is meant by the Word of God being like a “Double-edged sword”; it cuts both ways.
• Feeding regularly on God’s Word develops a healthy and holy lifestyle Psalm 119:11
PASSIONATE PRAYER reaches God's heart and enlarges our own (Sunday 21st Sept 2008)
"In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7
• If God’s Word is His primary means of communicating to us, prayer is a primary means of communicating with Him. Therefore Word and prayer go hand in hand, with the Holy Spirit as our guide and inspiration.
• The greatest enemy to prayer is the devil … he will do all within his power to make us pre-occupied with other things. (See Hybels; “Too busy not to pray.”) “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees” (From the hymn “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire”)
• “Prayer puts God’s work in God’s hands and keeps it there.” (E M Bounds)
• Developing a lifestyle of prayer means that we can communicate with God throughout the day … bringing our concerns and our joys, listening to His heartbeat
• Corporate prayer was one of the hallmarks of the early church. Their commitment to meet together for prayer was one of the main keys to God’s blessing and their growth (see Acts 2:42-47)
AFFIRMATION OF DIVERSITY should be celebrated as an expression of our unity in Christ
(Sunday 5th Oct 2008 REVISED DATE!)
"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though its parts are many, they form one body ... there should be no division in the Body ... it's parts should have equal concern for the other." 1 Corinthians 12:12,25
• God Himself is diversity in unity, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
• Unity and uniformity are not the same thing!
• Paul’s teaching on the “Body of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 12 is key to our understanding of the different roles and contributions each believer is able to make to the life of the whole church
MATURE DISCIPLESHIP should be the goal of every follower of Christ (Sunday 12th Oct 2008)
"Preparing God's people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:12,13
• “Growth is the only evidence of life!”
• The Scriptures urge us to grow in our faith – see 2 Peter 3:17,18
• Small Groups are key to growing as disciples – see Proverbs 27:17. We have a responsibility to help each other grow in our walk with Christ
• Discovering and using the spiritual gifts that God has given to each of us is key to maturing as disciples of Christ
COMPASSIONATE MISSION is our response to God's purpose for His church in the world.(Sunday 19th Oct 2008)
"Go and make disciples of all nations." Matthew 28:19
• A lake that only has an inlet quickly becomes stagnant. Whatever God has blessed us with is not ours to keep, but to share.
• “God is the first missionary! “God so loved the world that he gave ….” (John 3:16)
• “It’s not the church of God that has a mission in the world, but the God of mission who has a church in the world.” (Mission-Shaped Church)
• “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (Ashtead), Samaria (the UK) and the world (beyond our shores).” God calls us to share His Gospel in all three ways.
• Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:5-10)
LOVING RELATIONSHIPS should permeate every aspect of church life (Sunday 26th Oct 2008)
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:2,3
• It’s significant that after his teaching on the “Body of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 12, that Paul goes on in ch13 to talk about “Love”.
• Just as the body cannot function without blood circulating, bringing oxygen, food and removing waste, so too the “Body of Christ” needs loving relationships to do the same … life-giving spirit … feeding on the Word of truth …. helping each other to overcome sin.
• “See how these Christians love each other” was the hallmark of the early church; it should be ours too.
• “By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:34,35)
Bob Kiteley, 03/09/2008