A guiding foundation
God has chosen mankind as his ambassadors, to reflect His glory, goodness and love in the world.
Following God’s call and mandate, we hold the following five ideas to be a foundation which, along with prayer, must shape and guide each of us as we serve, and as we inspire and prepare more Jesus followers for God’s mission.
All people were made for the eternal purpose of God.
We must seek to engage the whole Body of Christ. – Based on Ephesians 1:4-22
God is on mission. He did not give a mission to His creation but rather created them for His mission. His intent in creation was a people who would have the amazing privilege of having His identity and who then, as His children, would live for His purpose. We believe that every person was created for this. There is no other reason for our existence than to ‘be known by God and make God known.’ No one is excluded or exempt. It is not something we are ‘called to’; we were made for it. When we come to faith in Jesus our created identity is renewed and our mission with God is activated.
Therefore, all strategies, models and systems should inspire, equip and connect the WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST, bringing everyone to participate in God’s purpose and helping them use their time, talent and treasure with extreme generosity.
SEE ALSO: The Cape Town Commitment: 2011 Lausanne Part I / 10 A
Everyone is uniquely shaped for the purpose of God.
We must embrace the whole masterpiece of how each person has been made. – Based on Ephesians 2:10
God uniquely shaped every person so they can live out their created purpose in a powerful way. He calls this design a masterpiece—His workmanship. The spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, personalities, and experiences He has put in us shape us uniquely and wonderfully to live out His purpose in the world. Our shape is not me-centred but God-centred, and given for His glory to fulfil His mission through us. As Jesus followers, we choose to surrender our desire to use our shape for our own dreams and ambitions, choosing instead to live it all out fully for His glory. As we do this we are the most brilliant reflection of His glory in the Universe.
Therefore, all strategies, models and systems should champion the God-given shape of every believer.
The Lausanne Commitment of 2011 references this idea in multiple places—here it relates to embracing the Arts:
We possess the gift of creativity because we bear the image of God. Art in its many forms is an integral part of what we do as humans and can reflect something of the beauty and truth of God. Artists at their best are truthtellers and so the arts constitute one important way in which we can speak the truth of the gospel. Drama, dance, story, music and visual image can be expressions both of the reality of our brokenness, and of the hope that is centred in the gospel that all things will be made new. In the world of mission, the arts are an untapped resource. We actively encourage greater Christian involvement in the arts (The Cape Town Commitment: 2011 Lausanne Part II / 5).
All people have ALL NATIONS as our goal.
We must include the whole world. – Based on Genesis 1:28 and Matthew 28:18
God’s mandate to His new creation, who were made ‘to be known by Him and make Him known’ and uniquely shaped to do this, was to, "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it” (Gen. 1:28; NLT). Jesus reiterated this when He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:19; NIV). As Jesus followers, created for the purpose of God, we need no other call, we need no other mandate. Our deepest passion should be His glory, that the nations would know and experience His love for themselves. So we commit our lives fully and go, needing no other call.
Therefore, all strategies, models and systems should enable and equip every Jesus follower to wrap all of his or her life—talent, time and treasure—around this purpose of making Him known in every nation.
SEE ALSO: The Cape Town Commitment: 2011 Lausanne Part I / 1B
Live out the whole Gospel.
We must inspire, equip and connect people to demonstrate our transformed lives in all we do and say. – Based on Matthew 5:13-16 and 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7
As Jesus followers, we are to live out and speak out the Gospel in the world. It is our transformed lives that bear testimony to the power of Jesus. This restored identity allows our unique shape to shine and fuel our community with hope, pointing people to Jesus. It is our words that speak life, drawing people to Jesus. Where Jesus followers live, the community should see, feel and hear the power of the Gospel.
Therefore, all strategies, models and systems should enable Jesus followers to both live and speak out the whole Gospel in and through every community.
SEE ALSO: The Cape Town Commitment: 2011 Lausanne Part I / 10B
Every sector of society, every corner of the community.
We must incorporate the whole life of every Christ follower. – Based on Colossians 3:17
The Gospel speaks to the whole of life. Every sector of society and every corner of a community should have the privilege of seeing and feeling Jesus’ love. It is best viewed, experienced, and most credibly heard when lived and shared from within a community. Whether the workplace, the school, the sports field, the hospital, community centre or wherever people do life, we will seek to have a credible presence where we can live an authentic expression of the Gospel in every aspect of life. To this end, we do not see a sacred-secular divide in different types of work or different sectors of society. Every aspect of life and society is where, and from where, we can live out the Gospel.
Therefore, all strategies, models and systems should equip every believer to participate in His mission in every place, with every person.
SEE ALSO: The Cape Town Commitment: 2011 Lausanne Part II / 3
Statement of Faith
- We believe in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; I Corinthians 8:6)
- We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human. We believe that He was born of a virgin. We believe that He lived a sinless life. We believe that His miracles were true. We also believe that He died in the place of sinners on a cross, that He was truly resurrected, and ascended back to heaven. (Colossians 1:15; Philippians 2:5-8; Matthew 1:18-25; 1 Peter 2:24-25; Luke 24; Hebrews 4:14-16; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 11:15-17; 20:4-6, 11-15)
- The Holy Spirit
- We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit. We believe He gives life, He sanctifies, He empowers and comforts all believers. We believe that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are born again, and that the work of the Spirit includes convicting us of sin and empowering us to be righteous. (Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Matthew 28:19; Acts 2; John 3 and 16).
- The Scriptures
- We believe the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men were moved by the Spirit of God to write the very words of Scripture. Therefore, we believe the Bible is without error in its original manuscripts. (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 119:89, 160; Isaiah 40:8)
- We believe that mankind was created in the image of God. God gave Adam, the first man, specific commands that were to be obeyed. Through his sinful disobedience to these commands, Adam and the whole human race were alienated from God. As a result, man is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through his own effort. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:10, 23; 5:12-20; John 3:3; Acts 13:38-39; John 3:16; Matthew 25:46; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)
- We believe that man is saved only through repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ. We believe when we repent and express faith in this manner we are declared not guilty before God by His grace alone. We believe that baptism is not necessary for salvation but is an act of obedience. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:1-2; Romans 10: 9-10; Colossians 1:19-20; 1Corinthians 1:21)
- The Church
- We believe the Church is the body of Jesus Christ, and it is composed of all true believers. We believe these local assemblies are also the church, for it is in these local assemblies that the work of the church is carried out. The present work of the Church is the worship of God, the loving and teaching of people, and making Him known to a lost world. We believe the purpose of the Church is to glorify God. (Acts 2:41; 15:13-17; Ephesians 1:3-6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:6-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
- Christ's Return
- We believe in the personal and bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ. His return will complete and establish the ongoing enjoyment of our salvation in His glorious Kingdom. (1Thessalonians 4:13-17; Acts 1:9-11; Titus 2:11-13)