This is how we work
DEC, and all involved in the church, love Jesus Christ. Hence we want our lives, including our life together as a church, to be about getting him honour and praise. It’s simple really. He has rescued us from the punishment we deserve for our wrongdoing; and he has done it through his death for us and his glorious resurrection from the dead. So we seek to live our lives for him. What does this mean in practice for us as a church? It means at least the following things.
1. We believe that God’s honour matters more than anything else in life.
Everything God does he does for his honour, majesty and praise. For that reason he created this world, and for that reason he has rescued a people from that world which they have helped to spoil so that they can live for him. As those who have received God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we desire to glorify and honour God in all that we do. We love to worship and praise God for all he has done for us. We love to live in ways that please him. We love to tell the world not only of God’s goodness to us but of how they too can share our blessings, and praise and serve him for themselves.
2. We believe the ‘gospel’, the good news about Jesus.
God has rescued us from our foolish lives of rebellion against him which rightly made him angry. He did this by sending his own Son into the world to live the life we should have lived and suffer the death we deserved to die. Jesus rose to new life to demonstrate that he has defeated death, sin and the devil. When we rejected in shame the life of pleasing ourselves and put our trust in Jesus to save us, we were given both eternal life and God’s Spirit to live within us. This is the core of our Christian belief, and is the great news we want to share with everybody.
3. We learn from the Bible which is God’s book.
We know about God because he has spoken to us, most clearly and decisively through the Bible. It tells the great story of the outworking of his plan to undo the mess that men have made of the world he created, and to win a people for himself through the work of his Son. And it tells us how we should live as his people. So we love to read it when we are alone and when we meet together. Indeed, when we do gather much of our time is given over to studying God’s authoritative word. This involves listening to God’s word being proclaimed and explained by those whom God has gifted for the task and we encourage talking about it together to make sure we understand it and appreciate its significance for our lives. In this way we get to know God better and to understand what he wants from us.
4. We pray to God frequently.
Not only does God speak to us, but we also speak to him. That’s because through Christ we are now God’s children and God is our Father. He delights to answer our prayers, as a way both of blessing us richly and completing his plans for the world. We each pray privately, for in that way we each express the wonder of our new relationship with him. We also regularly pray together as church family, and we hold at least one weekly meeting for that purpose.
5. We love to meet together.
Being a Christian isn’t something you can do on your own. Indeed, becoming a Christian involves becoming part of God’s people, both of the world-wide family of believers and of a local church. We love to meet together in order to worship God, to hear his word and to encourage one another in our Christian lives. We have big meetings on Sundays so we can all meet together, and smaller less formal gatherings at other times to study, share, pray with and support each other. We believe that both are vital to our life and growth as Christians. We aim that when we meet together it will be like a small foretaste of heaven, and of life in the gloriously renewed world which Christ will make when he returns.
6. We care for one another, and for people outside of the church.
God doesn’t promise us an easy time when we become Christians – indeed life often gets harder! Yet he promises to be with us and help us in our troubles. He has also given us each other so that we might not lose heart. We can comfort, advise and even correct each other in love, in order that we may each stay faithful to Christ when life is tough. We also seek to be outward looking, trying to share what God has given us with our families, neighbours and the wider community in which we work and live. We want God to be known and honoured by our lives as individuals and as a church.
7. We enjoy our unity and diversity.
We seek to love each other in a way that both transcends and is sensitive to differences in age, gender, race, culture, background and life-experience. We don’t think of ourselves so much as ‘black’ or ‘white’, ‘English’ or ‘Asian’, ‘rich’ or ‘poor’, but primarily as Christians, as God’s children. We rejoice in the fact that our God is a God who delights in variety and has made us all different; so we do not try to make everybody the same. For us it is enough that we are all united by our common faith and convictions. Indeed, our unity demands that we are both respectful of, and thankful for, each other’s differences.
8. We are fixed in our beliefs and flexible in the way we do things.
We seek, like the New Testament writers, to be solid and unmoving on the core truths that make up the gospel. Yet we seek to be flexible and creative in the way we go about things for the sake of the gospel and the good of the church. So while we are absolutely committed to the preaching and teaching of God’s word, to prayer, to fellowship, to communion, and to spreading the gospel, we are happy to change the way we do these things to suit the needs of the church and the community we long to influence for our Lord. We are happy to try new things and then set them aside if they do not prove useful the Lord’s work and his people.
9. We seek always to be mission-minded as a church.
God wants everyone to know about his Son Jesus, and to believe in him and so be saved. He has put us here in Dewsbury so that we can get to know our neighbours and speak to them of Jesus, backed up by a life of love and godliness. In that way we hope that people will be convinced of the truth of the message we share. We hope that our church will prove to be beacon for Christ in our town and beyond, as we seek to be a community of love and integrity. We are all involved in doing God’s work, whatever our calling in this world. We thank God for our leaders, including those who work full-time for our church, but we recognise that we all have a role to fulfil with them in the building up of the church and the spread of the gospel. We are also involved in supporting missionaries in other parts of the world, for we want all people to hear of our great God and his message of mercy.
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