Loving God means that worship, His word, praise and prayer are a part of each individual's walk with God and the Church as a whole.
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better."
Eph 1:17 (NIV)
This happens when the church is gathered as a congregation and in various smaller group settings. It also means as individuals we have a living relationship with God through Christ. Worship is more than a song, it is a life lived for God. This involves a dependence on the Holy Spirit to worship, understand the Bible, to praise and pray.
Love His People
To Love His people is an emphasis on each individual being part of the body of the church in some form of community that brings accountability, care and opportunities to minister to each other.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
John 13:34-35 (ESV)
Being part of a church goes beyond attending church on a Sunday. As we grow as a church there is a real danger that people get lost in the crowd. We need to continue and build small expressions of church community. This primarily will be in the growth and development of our small groups as well as other groups and fellowships in the body of the church.
- Community: There is no 'one-size-fits-all' group, rather clusters of communities that together make up the whole body of the church.
- Connected: Engaging with God’s people means engagement with His people not a programme. We all need to find a place, where we are connected to a branch of the church. Through these connections we can challenge and encourage one another in our Christian lives.
- Care: The first place for pastoral care should be in the some form of small group. The pastoral team is small and, therefore, limited. Many of the best pastors in our church do not have the title 'Pastor'. In groups people are pastored and can pastor, are empowered and encouraged.
- Cultivate (Grow!): Spiritual gifts and character can be developed in a safe loving community.
Love His World
If we were simply to Love God and His People we would be missing out on God’s call to reach the world for Jesus. Once we know God we are to be prepared to tell others about Jesus. Loving His world is an emphasis on the need to reach out beyond the church with care, influence and especially evangelism.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Acts 1:8 ESV
We are not all called to be missionaries to foreign countries but I believe we have a responsibility to be outward looking to the wider world, the local world and our personal world.
- Wider World: There is a call to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. As a Church we have a responsibility to be engaged in the wider-world on various levels of engagement: supporting through. supporting through prayer or finances, going on short-term missions, and releasing people from our own congregation who sense a call of God to go to the ends of the earth.
- Local World: There is a world on our door step, our Judea & Samaria. God’s given us an incredible opportunity with asylum seekers and refugees, and the work needs to continue. The 611 Bus Ministry is also an important response to God’s call to bring good news to the poor. We are able to be salt and light by using our Christian voice to influence national issues, and also locally in schools, council etc.
- Personal World: Most people who come to Christ are brought by someone. Personal evangelism is a high priority.