Our Church’s Five Priorities
1. Christ-Centered Preaching
We believe in preaching. We believe preaching the word of God is the primary way that the church is built up and made strong. The apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:2-5 have deeply impacted the way our church thinks about preaching:
“I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:2-5
We believe that Christ-centered and cross-centered preaching glorifies God and invites the activity of the Holy Spirit, producing a faith that transforms people.
2. Faith-Filled Prayer
Prayer is always a dependant and sometimes a desperate cry to God for his intervention in our lives. We believe the work of Jesus Christ on the cross has opened wide the entryway to heaven and that God now welcomes us and delights to hear and answer our prayers!
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
We believe that God’s word, and especially his promises, are intended to fill us with faith and inform the content of our prayers to Him. We desire to grow in our collective praying together as a church so that one day we may truly function as a house of prayer for the nations, as Matthew 21:13 says!
3. Raising Up Faithful Shepherds
The church is always just one generation away from extinction. Every pastor has two jobs. The more-obvious responsibility is to pastor the congregation entrusted to him, and the somewhat less-obvious responsibility is to intentionally raise up pastors and shepherds to help share the load and pastor the next generation. Some of these “shepherd-leaders” will become full-time pastors or church planters in the future. Others will become key pillar-like leaders within the congregation and a vital part of the discipleship process essential to building strong churches. We like to say in our church that we are looking for F.A.T. and Hungry men:
Faithful in tasks they are given
Available to be trained
Hungry to grow and live for Jesus
We seek to raise up faithful shepherds by focusing on 4 areas:
Training Men To Preach: We do this by giving emerging leaders an opportunity to preach in the church a couple times a year, with lots of support before and afterward.
Training Men To Shepherd and Counsel Wisely: We do this by having an emerging leader accompany the pastor on home visits in the church.
Training Men To Evangelize: We do this by going out in teams into malls, university campuses, and housing developments to share the gospel with those we meet.
Mentoring Men In Issues of the Heart and Family Life: We do this by providing one-to-one “spiritual soul surgery” for emerging leaders through teaching and applying the gospel to their lives in the power of the Holy Spirit.
“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2
4. Gospel-Centered Fellowship
We are so grateful that our faith journey is not made alone. The New Testament makes it very clear that we grow into Christ-likeness in community with others. The way we seek to practice this “community-growth” in our church is through the practice of Gospel-centered fellowship. In other words, we try to have interactions with each other that center on Christ and his redemptive work for us, and the massive practical implications that flow from that. We do this spontaneously as well as in a planned way (especially in our small groups). Speaking the gospel to ourselves, each other, and those who don’t know Christ is vital to our spiritual progress in the faith.
We believe that in order to have rich fellowship (edifying communion and relationship) with each other, we first need to experience communion with our God. Our fellowship with each other is the overflow of our fellowship with our God.
“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” 1 John 1:3-4
5. Every-Member Evangelism
Our deep desire is to motivate and equip every member of our church to share Christ with their friends, family, co-workers and neighbours. This can only be done as we surrender our lives to Christ and are filled with the Holy Spirit, who alone gives us the compassion and boldness we need. We do this that Christ may be magnified and seen to be the glorious Saviour that he is!
“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
“The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14