Our Core Values

Saint Chads will strive to be a Christian Community where our faith is Authentic, Bible based and Spirit filled, Community Focused, going out to make Disciples of all nations and seeking to share God’s grace with Every generation.  In more depth this has the following shape:-

Authentic

John Poulton (former Archbishops’ advisor on evangelism) wrote. “The most effective witness comes from those who embody the things they are saying. They are their message. Christians need to look like what they are talking about… What communicates now is personal authenticity. 1   The Gospel, when it is really at work in us changes us from the inside out. Christ gives us a radically new identity, which frees us from both self-righteousness and self-condemnation. This is the hallmark of true Christianity. Furthermore, God liberates us to accept people we once excluded, and to break the bondage of things (even good things) that once drove us. In particular, the gospel makes us welcoming and respectful and willing to serve and care for those who do not share our beliefs. This is hard to measure, but unmistakable when it is present. Authentic Christian living is perhaps the most important of the core values. So, we will give ourselves to honest self-evaluation and ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling…as God works in us’ (Phi 2:12-13).

B
ible Based - and Spirit Filled. 

The unfolding of your Word gives light’ (Psalm 119:130) and Article 6 of the Church of England’s 39 articles says ‘Holy Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation…’  The ‘gospel’ is the good news which we find in God’s Word and is worked out in us by His Spirit. The faithful [expository] preaching and study of God’s Word is so important. By it we hear God’s voice today as the Holy Spirit opens the ‘ears of our hearts’.  We must get all of our passion and focus and direction from prayerful submission to God’s Word. So, we will commit ourselves to reading it and understanding it more and more and applying it to our lives. As we do this it will transform us and have an impact on those around us.

C
ommunity Focused

'Our first priority in social involvement is to be the church, a community that is welcoming to, and inclusive of, the marginalised.' 2   Jesus spent his time out in the homes of ‘sinners’ and hanging out with the irreligious. He expected his followers to be like him and to care for, love and serve everyone regardless of who they were. It is this transforming love that will transform Handforth. So, we will serve, work for and love all people in our Community. We also recognise that we are not alone in this work but will join with other Christians locally to share the gospel in this way.

D
isciple Making

The church exists by mission as a fire exists by burning’ (Emil Brunner). The gospel is good news to be shared and not kept just for ourselves. We are called to share it with our friends who don’t believe, and see it spread throughout our nation and around the world. So, we will work at our own mission and evangelism in Handforth. We will also support, through prayer, financial giving and personal involvement, mission work all over the world.

E
very Generation

We will tell the next generation’ (Psalm 78:4). We are facing a revolution in worldviews and ideologies in our country. Emerging generations think (and behave) so very differently from older generations. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that the gospel is good news for every person regardless of age. So, we (regardless of our age) will be highly committed to sharing the gospel with every age group in our community.  If we were to summarise these core values into a single sentence it would look something like this: “Our mission is to lead people to encounter God’s saving grace so that their lives are transformed by His healing power to experience freedom, joy and excitement in Jesus Christ and to want to share that grace with others.” The great theologian and forward thinking ‘prophet’ for our generation, Leslie Newbiggin, once said that the local congregation is “the hermeneutic of the gospel” i.e. if you want to know what Jesus is like look at the church! So, we are attempting to live out the gospel of Christ in the context of our local neighbourhood and, by doing so, to draw others to a personal, living faith. I have a dream of a Christian community which is ‘alive’, growing and dynamic. Working together with other churches in Handforth to tell people, and show people, the wonderful news of Jesus Christ. If by God’s grace we allow the work of His Spirit in us I know this will happen.
 

    1 Quoted in Integrity; Jonathan Lamb IVP (2006)
2 Total Church Tim Chester and Steve Timmis IVP (2007)
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