September 1, 2016

Why we do what we do

We believe God has a mission; he is redeeming and renewing all of creation. Jesus described this renewed creation as the ‘Kingdom of heaven’.

The ‘Kingdom of heaven’ is where God (Father, Son and Spirit) reigns and rules, and where everyone can find restoration and completeness as we live in community with one another following Jesus’ example. One aspect of the Kingdom of heaven is peace or ‘shalom’. The Hebrew word shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, the absence of agitation or discord. The heart of shalom is to be complete, perfect and full. We seek, with God’s help by the Holy Spirit, to embody and live out this peace.

Our goal as a church is to be Christ-centred and to work with God in his mission to bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth – here in Leigh Park, the UK and the wider world. 

This means we cannot simply be interested in a person’s ‘spiritual life’ alone, but instead we share God’s concern for the whole person; their emotional and social well-being, their financial well-being, their education, their relationships, their hopes and dreams for the future as well as their spirituality.
To achieve all this is humanly impossible. But we are not doing this on our own. We are invited to partner with God in bringing heaven to earth, little by little in our neighbourhood.

We don’t simply want to achieve our goal. We want to achieve our goal in a style and attitude that looks like Jesus; reflecting God and giving him the glory. The Values that we will seek to live by are commonly known as the Fruit of the Spirit, (as found in Galatians 5:22-23)
Ultimately we are called to Love; unconditionally as the Father has first loved us; a love that is self-giving and self-sacrificing. We want to demonstrate God’s goodness and kindness to all around us through Christ-like compassion and gentleness.

To live in a manner that reflects God’s kingdom values in a world that so often turns away requires commitment; we are ‘in this for the long run’, which needs self control, faithfulness and patience in order that we might carry on to the end.
But however difficult it may be, the Bible tells us ‘joy of the Lord is our strength’. Jesus came to offer life in all it’s fullness. We believe that Good News is Good News, and so we will live with joy and strive to bring peace in our own lives and the life of our community.

Our Goal and Values shape why we do what we do and how we intend to do it. Our evolving strategy determines what we do to work towards the Kingdom of Heaven.

Our overarching strategy is outlined in ‘The Great Commandment’ and the ‘Great Commission’. Jesus taught that we are each instructed to ‘Love God and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.’
Christ’s commission to all his followers is to ‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’
We recognise that the call to follow Jesus through discipleship is a life long commitment and peregrination (an especially a long or meandering journey). Discipleship the Jesus way meant learning while on the job, the way an apprentice learns from the master. Our faith in Christ is learned as we live out the call to follow him.
We are a diverse community of individuals, each made in the image of God and able to add to and enrich our church life, community life and world. We want to equip people to live to their fullest potential by travelling through life together, through teaching, mentoring, pastoral care and by offering opportunities to get involved; trying new things in a way that is true to our individual and corporate make-up to see our goal become a reality.
Each aspect of our church life needs to help to equip people and to offer spaces where we and others can experience the love of God and to follow Christ more closely.

This strategy will inevitably develop over time becoming clearer and more defined as ideas form, dreams are birthed and groups and projects emerge into existence through conversation and imagination. But each service, project, group, activity and event that comes into being will have a distinct Leigh Park Baptist Church culture that embodies our values and works with God towards our united goal: to see heaven on earth.