Our vision is what we believe the Bible shows us the church should be. This is the standard which we work and pray towards. It is encapsulated in the following picture:
The vision is based on Acts 2:42-47 and contains 6 key elements:
The Ministry of the Word:
- Commitment to the ministry of the Word is a commitment to the teaching of the Bible and a desire to live under its authority. This is because we believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. Thus the Bible's teaching plays a central part in our church life. In practice this means that when we meet we are committed to learning from the Bible - through which we believe God speaks to us.
- Fellowship is a deep commitment to one another - to support, love and stand by one another through every experience of life. This includes practical support as well as spiritual support. In practice, fellowship is best attained through small groups and this is the aim of our midweek prayer groups. We can get to know one another and support one another in these smaller groups as well as in the larger church.
- Worship is the collective act of praising God together. Its pinnacle is in the service of the Lord's Supper, sometimes called Communion, by which we remember Jesus' death. We usually celebrate this in the morning on the 1st Sunday of each month, and in the evening on the 3rd Sunday. Our collective worship is one of those things where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
- Prayer is often described as the heartbeat of the local church. We believe in the power of prayer not just as a means of letting God know all our troubles - but tapping into the divine power that he has made available to us. We meet at least once a week to pray - sometimes all together, sometimes in smaller groups. Without prayer the church is dead.
- The diagram is designed in the way that it is because witness is best exemplified by the first four areas working well. That is the church's best witness. In Acts 2, God does the converting, the church witnesses simply by being the church! However, today, when few people see the church, and the church is far from perfect, we have to take the good news of Jesus Christ out to all who need to hear it.
- The last part of our vision for the church is a commitment to togetherness. It is not just that the church was praying, worshipping, etc but that it did these things together. We believe that this means being physically together wherever possible, and when not, spiritually united. This togetherness is increasingly uncommon in today's society and we have to work hard to maintain it.