Sometimes people ask me the question: Why do we do what we do? And it’s a valid question, because everything you do derives from a principle, every effect has a cause. So why do we do what we do… here and now… to develop and plant out the kingdom of God? I believe that there are five key principles from which we operate.
1. Maintenance to Mission
We have realized that our vision and focus must continually be looking outwards. We have to keep making the move from maintaining a status quo (or surviving?) to “missioning”. The ‘Great Commission’ points us beyond our own structures and relationship towards a world that desperately needs Christ.
2. Partnership without Ownership
We are learning that we will never get the job done unless we work alongside all churches and partner for the sake of the gospel. No one church or network will ever do it alone. When the disciples witnessed a miraculous catch of fish they had to call in their ‘partners’ to help as the boats began to sink. We must never operate with a competitive attitude. We should always be happy when others succeed.
3. Cultural Shift
In our complex world today churches need to be flexible enough to reshape their thinking in order that the good news becomes accessible to people who have no or limited knowledge of what the Christian church stands for. Outmoded methods and religious jargon are often preventing ordinary people from understanding who we are and what we represent.
4. Social Engagement
Our church needs to not only teach good news but be good news. Our message should be both in word and deed. The whole gospel should be for the whole person and our Christianity should increasingly be influential in all walks of life.
5. Prayer commitment
Prayer can become a launching pad for God working in our world. It is recognition that when we have done all that we can do it is God ultimately that causes it to come to pass. We have a long way to go but God is with us on our journey together.