The way of Jesus is our way. Before and in all things we value Jesus as the image of the invisible God. We worship Jesus by imitating his life and ministry. Both our theology and praxis is relentlessly Christological. He is our model, mentor, hero, mediator, savior, judge, king and ruler of all. All of our values flow from what we understand about his character, concerns, and the practices of his ministry.
We will remember the poor because we believe that God does. We believe that they are central to his mission in the world. It is our conviction that God is always on the side of those who have no one on their side. For that reason we believe the church should also stand on the side of the poor, and in so doing stand in solidarity with the heart and work of God. Jesus’ own ministry is our model. We welcome all people but prioritise the poor in our ministry concern, allocation of resources and advocacy. We do this, not because the rich and middle class are less important to God, but because they already have access to resources and are able to advocate their own cause. It is our belief that the church should therefore prioritise and remember those who have less, and access to less, so that in all things there might be equality.
We believe the good news of the kingdom is the most important commodity with which the church and the people of God have been entrusted. For this reason we will engage the spiritually poor. We believe that the church should not expect people to come and find them, but that we are called to go out. Again, we will emphasise the life and ministry of Jesus by prioritising those who have not yet heard and believed the good news. This is our first and most important task, even in our ministry to the poor and the spiritually poor.
We trust the reliability and truth of the Scriptures, comprised of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible. In humility, we acknowledge we do not fully understand God and the world he made. For that reason we rely on the Bible to be the rule of our faith, challenging and leading us away from our misconceptions, self deceptions, and convenient ideas about life and God. We believe that the Christian Bible reveals the new covenant God has made with the world through Jesus. It is the word of God and like a mirror it shows us who we really are, and like a window it opens our lives to the beauty, wonder, and love of the God we long to know.
We affirm microchurch as the most basic expression of the church and therefore, our ecclesiology is simple. When believers work together in sincere worship, and genuine community to accomplish a part of the mission of God, they are the church. Worship, community and mission then are the ecclesial minimum. We encourage biblically appointed leadership, sacramental worship, the pursuit of the gifts of the Spirit and giving, but these are desired and not required to be considered a microchurch. We gather for worship, training, and as leadership primarily to strengthen and supply the microchurches in their labor to obey Jesus and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom to their mission field. We believe the larger church expression exists to serve the smaller and not the other way around.
We believe that Jesus came as the savior, not of one people, but of the whole of creation. We accept the mandate to care for every part of the planet, not only its people but all creatures, lands, seas and skies. We believe humans were given responsibility by God to look after the planet we inhabit and to ensure its longevity for generations to come.
Similarly, we affirm that every culture and ethnicity, while imperfect, reflects the mosaic of God’s own image and together we better glorify and serve the God of creation. We value every people, language and culture in our city and in the world. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ was meant to demonstrate the power of the gospel through reconciliation, unity, and the beauty of a multi-ethnic community. For that reason we do not just admire multi-ethnic communities, but purpose to become one. We do not believe in being colour blind. Rather, we hope to accept and include the beauty and wisdom of every culture in our city and in our communities.
We commit to pursue humility as one of the chief virtues. We expect it in leadership, in community and relationships, in our theology, in the contextualisation of our mission, in our prayer, and even in our appraisal of ourselves and others. We are convinced that humility is necessary for following Jesus as an individual and as an organisation. In individuals we hope for humility in all our relationships and leadership roles. As an organisation we hope to be a flexible learning organisation, looking always to refine our commitments and expand our understanding and revelation of God and His call upon us. We believe in the living prophetic word of God, that it can be heard and obeyed, yet we also believe that we are flawed listeners and should always listen and follow with humility.
We affirm the priesthood of all believers. We affirm that each person who has given their life in surrender to Jesus and his cause has a unique calling from Jesus to fulfill in mission and in the church. We believe that this is only possible by the Spirit of God living in and working through each and every believer. It is the Spirit of God that empowers. Therefore we work towards empowering each and every believer to hear and fulfill the calling of Jesus on their life. This value of empowerment is expressed in all spiritual gifts and callings for all people regardless of race, gender or age for the sake of Jesus’ mission and for the equipping of all believers towards their maturity.
We will live for the biblical concept of justice. We have to take a prophetic stand against all kinds of evil, not only spiritual, but also societal. The search for the kingdom of God is also a search for justice. They are the same longing. In the kingdom we find ultimate justice, and biblical justice is more than just punishment for wrongdoing and oppression, it is also the restoration of wholeness, equality, and peace between people and with God. Our value of justice is a call to seek the welfare of every person in our city and in the world that we can influence. It is to hope and work for the kingdom of God to come to bear on the place where we are. For that reason, our value of justice will mean action in the places where we have power, as well as the pursuit of justice in the proclamation of the kingdom wherever we have voice.
We will not trust in franchising or empire building through paradigm propagation. Rather we will value the empowerment of every microchurch community to contextualise the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel to the people they hope to reach. Our paradigm is that there is no one paradigm. We believe in contextualised structures with revolutionary content. Learning from the ministry of Jesus we will not try to bring surface transformation (to culture or structures) but rather contextualise our structures to what people can and will understand, so that the revolutionary message of the kingdom and the liberating work of the Holy Spirit will be received.
We commit ourselves to each other. We believe that God calls us into his mission together, never alone. We value mission and ministry done in community. We believe that God did not intend for us to be alone, and that isolation, fear of each other, and spiritual competition are cancers in the church. We believe that moral and theological failures, controlling leadership, and many of our emotional struggles stem from a lack of community. We value free, committed and loving friendship. Whenever possible we will lead through teams and the sharing of life at every level with trusted friends who are an extension of the grace and presence of God in our lives.
We believe that the church is not the church until it is engaged in the mission for which God has called it. We crave healing, discipleship and intimacy with God. We believe that healing comes through offering healing to others, that discipleship does not primarily take place in a lecture but through doing. We believe that intimacy with God comes from being in his presence and through submission to His will, by doing what He is doing. We believe that when we co-labor with Him as workers in that harvest field, we not only bring the kingdom into that place, but that we also experience the deepest and truest intimacy with God.
Because we value community and simplicity, we commit ourselves to both sharing and giving. We will share because it promotes relationship and breaks the bondage of possessiveness. We believe the western doctrine of personal property is imperfect and needs to be tempered with the more biblical value of generosity and sacrifice. For that reason we will pursue relentless generosity and the holding of all things in common. For this reason we encourage our people to give as often and as generously as they can, and to consider themselves stewards of the rest. Likewise, the collective finances of the church and ministries should set an example in this regard.
We will value the paradox of exuberance and zeal in worship, community life, and evangelism while at the same time wholeheartedly pursuing the rhythm and profound importance of silence and solitude for personal contemplation and rest. We value each and both together. We hope for a fusion of the two in a life of zeal, lived ablaze and unashamed for God, and contemplation, lived in deep awareness and quiet appreciation for God.
With Jesus as our model, we want our lives to be characterized by passion. We see Jesus’ willingness to suffer for the the world as a model for all who would come after Him, and that we likewise are to take up our cross and to walk the way of suffering. Not seeking pain or persecution, but not shrinking back from it either. We affirm that the kingdom will not be built through selfish ambition, but through passionate, sacrificial love.
We commit to live a life free from clutter and the allure of materialism. We affirm that every believer and every community of believers has a responsibility to renounce the sins of its own people. As Australians we renounce the slavery and idolatry of materialism by embracing a simple lifestyle. We do not believe that money or things are in themselves evil or to be avoided, but that the love of money and things is one of the greatest perils facing western Christianity in our time. We willingly use material things and wealth for the service of the kingdom, but not for personal fulfillment or inappropriate luxury. In so doing we again value the poor who have less, justice in living for equality and personal holiness in pursuing a wholehearted devotion to God.
We commit ourselves to live a life of prayer because we believe that only God can accomplish what He calls us to do and that God should receive the glory. Without prayer and dependence on God for all things we are destined to either fail or become conceited in our success. We value constant prayer because we desire to know God, to deepen our understanding and revelation of his love for us and the world.