At Redemption Church Christchurch, we have ten core values which guide the direction of our church.
But what our core values do, is that they explain the structure for how our church is to function in order to fulfil its God-given mission.
When it comes to the core values which guide a local church, it’s not so much a matter of relying on human creativity, but rediscovering the blueprint that God has already communicated in His Word.
We realise that the core values of our church may present foreign ideas to some Christians, and most certainly to our culture.
It’s for this reason, we have listed each of the ten core values below, including a brief written summary, along with an audio link where people can listen to Biblical foundation for each one.
God's Word As Our Ultimate Guide For Life
The Bible teaches that Scripture is the authority, it is clear, it is necessary, and it is sufficient. When it says that the Scripture is the authority, it means that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God Himself. When it says that Scripture is clear, it means that the Bible is written in such a way that its teachings can be rightly understood by everyday believers. When it says that Scripture is necessary, it means that the Bible is essential for knowing the Gospel, maintaining spiritual life, and knowing God’s will. And when it says that Scripture is sufficient, it means that the Bible alone is all we need to know what God is like; to come to a saving faith in Christ; and to be completely equipped for a life that is pleasing to God.
A Correct Understanding & Interpretation Of Scripture
Although Scripture is sufficient, it can only equip us to the degree in which we correctly understand the truth it presents. Therefore, correct and consistent interpretation of the Bible is vital for true spiritual growth. The method of interpretation that best helps us to arrive at the author’s original intended meaning is called the literal method, also known as the grammatical-historical method. Although a passage of Scripture can have multiple applications, it can only have one true interpretation. We make it our aim to arrive at the correct interpretation, so that we can arrive at the correct application for how the truth relates to our lives.
A Deep Commitment to Spiritual Growth & Maturity
A person can hold to the fact that Scripture is sufficient, and can even agree with the principles for correctly interpreting it. But if there is not a willingness and a teachability to respond to the truth that’s presented, the truth will not benefit that person very much. We understand from the Bible, that God’s chief end in salvation is to be to glorified. In the life of a believer, God is glorified in the past through justification, and He will be glorified in the future through our glorification. But the primary way in which God seeks to be glorified in our lives between now and heaven, is through our sanctification – becoming more like Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have a deep commitment to walking in the means that God has provided for spiritual growth and maturity to take place: the Word of God, fellowship, prayer, providence, and obedience.
Emphasising The Priority Of The Local Church
God does not intend for Christians to live our their faith in isolation, but to be committed to the local church. The local church is a group of believers within the same locality, who are dedicated to fellowshipping with each other for the purpose of mutual encouragement, discipleship, accountability, and mission. Who are committed to meeting together regularly for the purpose of corporate worship, Bible teaching, prayer and communion, under the leadership of Biblically qualified leaders. It is impossible to fulfil what the Bible teaches about Christian living, outside of the context of the local church. It for this reason, we acknowledge that the local church is to be a priority in our lives.
Upholding the Necessity of Biblically Qualified Leaders
God has ordained two main offices of leadership within the local church to declare and defend the truth of His Word, which are elders and deacons. An elder is a God-appointed spiritual leader who is called to protect, feed, lead, and care for the flock of God. A deacon is a God-appointed spiritual leader who has been called to oversee the practical & welfare needs within the local church. Both of these offices of church leadership require that men are Biblically qualified, as they work together to best serve members within the church.
Embracing God’s Design For Role Distinctions Between Men & Woman
One of the wonderful truths of the Gospel, is that God’s grace extends to both men and woman, making them equally children of God, and heirs to God’s kingdom through faith in Christ. In addition to this, Scripture teaches that men and woman are equal in their value, intellect, potential, and dignity. However, according to Scripture, men and woman are distinct in their God-given roles and responsibilities. These differences are most clearly defined in marriage and in the church. In marriage, the husband is to lead, love, and safeguard his wife, and the wife is to respect and be submissive to her husband in all things lawful. In the church, qualified men alone are to lead as pastors, elders, and deacons as they preach, teach and exercise leadership within the congregation. While woman exercise their God-given giftings to edify the body of Christ in the way in which God prescribes in His Word. The image of God is expressed most fully and beautifully in human society when men and woman walk in obedience to their God-given ordained roles and serve according to their God-given gifts.
Following God’s Blueprint For Discipleship Within The Church and Home
God’s design for discipleship makes a clear distinction between responsibilities of the church, and responsibilities of the home. God intends for the home to be a hub of discipleship, where parents bring up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord. The church also has a responsibility to disciple believers, but in such a way that doesn’t take from the responsibilities of the home, but rather complements them. The primary pattern for discipleship that we see in Scripture is age-integrated. Where people of all ages gather together for times of worship, instruction, prayer, fellowship and service.
Biblical, Loving Communication In Times Of Conflict & Disagreement
It is unrealistic to think that there will never be any issues for people to work through within the church. In fact, many commands in Scripture would not make sense, unless there was an expectation that conflict would sometimes arise (e.g. forgive one another; bear with one another). While Christians are notorious for falling out with one another, we are committed to pursuing biblical, loving communication in times of conflict and disagreement. When a person is considering to leave a church, it is important that this is for the right reasons, and done in the right way, in order to minimise division and maximise unity. There is an expectation that loving, biblical communication with the church elders will be taking place before, during, and after a decision is made to leave a church. The rest of the fellowship also has a responsibility to respond correctly in these times also.
Properly Caring For Believers Through The Practice Of Church Discipline
It is interesting to note, that the words “disciple” and “discipline” come from the same root word. In order to be a disciple of Jesus, there must be a willingness to have our thinking corrected, to become more in line with the Word of God. This ordinarily happens as we read the Bible, and as we listen to the Bible being taught. However, there will sometimes be instances when a person is not receptive to this passive form of correction, and the result is that their lives, along with the witness of the church is adversely affected. When these situations arise, Scripture gives clear details for how other believers in the church are to respond. Out of love and care for the person, other believers are to encourage them to correct their thinking with God’s Word, while following the biblical process if the person is resistant to the truth. Through the practice of biblical church discipline, believers are restored, the church is strengthened, and the Lord is glorified.
Faithfully Responding To Christ’s Call Through Intentional Evangelism
The Bible makes it clear that Christ’s final command is to be our first priority. To proclaim the good news about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus to everyone who will listen. Rather than something that we do, we see evangelism as part of who we are as we take opportunities, and make opportunities to share the Gospel in our day to day lives.