Values are things that are important to us. They are our Apostolic blueprints to build...
Whilst not an exhaustive list, here are 8 of our distinctive values:
The Word: The early church were a people who devoted themselves to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. They would publicly read scripture and their leaders would preach and teach. We also see that the message of the Bible as taught by the apostles was not a boring, static message. Rather it was a powerful force that spoke straight, life-changing truth into people’s lives. The word of God turned the ancient world upside-down! At New Nation, preaching of the word of God (the Bible) is central to our meetings. The Spirit: At the beginning of his earthly ministry Jesus was baptised and the Spirit of God descended on him, empowering him further to fulfil his mission. In the book of Acts we see the same thing happening to the early church-The Spirit of God descended on believers to empower them to fulfil the great commission! Throughout the book of Acts we see this filling of the Spirit of God again and again, giving the church boldness, charismatic gifts and endurance to be like their leader Jesus. At New Nation we also seek continually to be filled by the Spirit of God to empower us to fulfil our mission. We aim to be led by the Spirit in our daily lives, ministries and meetings as we use the spiritual gifts Jesus has given us.
Theology was never meant to be just theoretical. The atmosphere of friendliness, acceptance (no matter your past) and love flow directly from our deep roots in the doctrines of Grace-that God loves and accepts his people apart from their good or sinful actions. His love and fatherhood is a gift that can never be earned or paid back, only received as we accept Jesus and what he accomplished for us in his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. You are accepted by God just as you are, whether you do well or badly, sin or stay pure. You can’t improve on or reduce God’s love for you. It was demonstrated fully on the cross when, in love, he died for your sins. This is an amazingly liberating, life-giving truth! You never have to try to earn his acceptance. In relationship with Jesus, you have already been accepted! This is what the Bible calls Grace. These doctrines soak into us as we hear them preached and as we read them in the Bible. They change us to be a people who accept each other not on the basis of achievement or performance but on the basis of Grace. Grace makes us secure to admit our faults, honest not to wear “masks” and free to grow joyfully in our obedience to God.
We are committed to building a community that is diverse. We aim to include all ages, cultures, races and languages. This is not an attempt to be the politically correct “rainbow nation”. Rather it stems from our conviction that God is the God of all people and that he is more glorified in diversity that uniformity. If you think that unity in diversity is not possible, then come and see that with Jesus, all things are possible!
Many think that being a missionary only means you go live in a far off place. While we love and are committed to seeing Jesus’ church advance around the world through church planters and missionaries, we believe that we are missionaries to our own city first. In his last words to his disciples he said that the church itself is to be a full-out mission agency, engaging culture to bring those in it to a knowledge of the truth. That means we are seriously focused on helping people, especially in New Nation become followers of Christ. To keep local mission in the centre of our radar screen, we aim to give ourselves to several areas, we are focused that the harvest is plentiful in our region yet the labourers are few: Ensuring that all we do as a church is inclusive of outsiders who are willing to hear the claims of Jesus. Continuously running a variety of events to give outsiders a positive first-touch with our church, such as Family fun days worship events and outreach. Running events and courses that give people a chance to hear and respond to the gospel. Regular training to equip and stir ourselves to engage missionally with those God has given us as friends. Guarding against becoming so busy with church meetings that we do not have time to spend with our friends who don’t know Jesus as their God and Saviour At New Nation we are connected to missions work in other countries, in particular Sierra Leone and the school in Makeni. we will continue to support this area of missions as the Lord leads.
What does apostolic mean? In essence it means being sent! As a church we believe that everyone who joins us has been sent by the great Apostle, Jesus, who was himself sent from the security of Heaven into a hostile world. In the New Testament we see that Jesus chose 12 Apostles (with a capital “A”). The original apostles were sent out by him to lay down the doctrinal foundations of the church, foundations that were built around Jesus himself, the “chief cornerstone”. These were the first church-planters! In the scriptures we also see that there were (and still are) apostles with, as it were, a small “a”. These are leaders who are gifted in a similar way to the original apostles. While they don’t write scripture, they function to envision and encourage churches to continue to look not only at the needs of their own immediate surroundings (like their own neighbourhoods) but also further afield. Their aim is to spread the good news of Jesus locally and to the nations. They call us to keep close to our own hearts what’s close to God’s heart, namely, the Great Commission to go to the nations and also to care for the poor. Apostolic and prophetic ministry helps us to do this. For this reason we invite these men to come and shape the way we do mission and church planting.
One the of the things that stands out most about Jesus is the way he embraced the poor, sick and helpless. He taught, ““Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God”. Rather than shunning or ignoring those less fortunate, Jesus valued them and loved them…in word and deed. As a church, we aim to be like Jesus. To value the poor amongst us. To the best of our means embrace and uplift the poor whom God brings into our care. We don’t do this to be politically correct but rather to express God's heart for those in need. This is no easy task…but it’s something that we are joyfully committed to doing!
Jesus once said: ”I did not come to be served but to serve” For this reason, serving has a very high value in New Nation. It is a fundamental characteristic of the Christian life because it was fundamental to who Jesus was. He was a servant. The servant-King! We therefore serve to imitate our God who taught us that love is expressed in service and that it is those who serve others who are truly great. At New Nation we are a community rather than a club and we unashamedly call all to contribute rather than just consume. It is because we all have a part to play in the mission that the Bible says we are joined and knit together as each one does their share.
One of our aims at New Nation is to see the next generation learning to treasure Jesus more than anyone and anything in their lives! With children, we believe this is best done in the context of good teaching, great fun, safety and creativity. Seeing our children mature into a generation who know God and impact his world for good is what we strive to achieve. We aim to provide parents with encouragement, support and resources to achieve this exciting vision. We have a young children's workshop which caters for children during our Sunday service.