I have often wondered what the Christian Church should look like today. Yes, over time, I’ve put on paper some of the things that have come to mind. But I’ve often wondered about the need for some sort of constitution, statement of purpose, or statement of faith, by which a church should be judged.

As a consequence, I have come up with the following. And because, today, there are so many expectations of what the church should be like, that are well beyond the teaching of the Bible, I have included what the church should not be about as well as what it should. So, here’s version one:

Statement of Faith

We believe in God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that we are God’s created beings, and that we have all fallen short of God’s design and purpose. We believe that God’s son came to earth, to provide us with a solution to our sins. That he died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and that one day he will come again to judge all mankind. We also believe that he has given us his Holy Spirit to teach, encourage, and empower us to share this good news throughout the world.

We believe that God created us to commune with him, and to associate with one another. For this purpose, he created the family unit, as the model for the community to which we belong. He created male and female to live together in relationship—in which children can be conceived and nurtured—to care for his creation and to take part in the building-up of the community.

We believe that the church is the people of God, and that we are to care for each other within the church. So, we believe that the value of any buildings or property that the church may own needs to be assessed on whether it meets current (or future) needs. We believe that the church should be a growing and developing body, and therefore bricks and mortar and any possessions should not be allowed to dictate the direction of the church.

We believe that the church’s primary focus is that of discipleship: telling others about God, the good news of Jesus Christ, and making disciples. And we believe that any social expectations and demands on the church (e.g. for weddings, funerals, social welfare, etc.) should not be allowed to divert the church from fulfilling its primary focus.

And we believe that the church needs to be self-funded—that it is to only collect and use money given by its members. It is to live within its means, and not to look to people or governments outside of it for funding. It is not to employ people whose beliefs are different to those of God’s church, neither is it to become beholden to others outside the church in any way.

This is what we believe. And by this we will assess our own beliefs and practices on a constant, if not annual, basis.

Posted: 19th May 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au

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