Beliefs and Values

Core beliefs

“Christian” means that we hold beliefs that would distinguish  us from other religions and cults.  These distinctions are most clearly see in the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed.

Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.

He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory, to judge the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

“Evangelical” means that we hold certain beliefs about God, the Bible, and the gospel that would distinguish us from some other Christians.  These distinctions  are seen most clearly in the doctrinal statement of the National Association of Evangelicals (www.nae.net).

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ

“Congregational” means that our church has a system of church government which is different from other denominations.   Our church is part of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa which is made up of Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.  “Congregational” church structure is distinguished by the follwing:

  • We are a Protestant: we trace our heritage to the Protestant Reformation when churches returned to an emphasis on salvation by faith alone, on the priesthood of all believers, and on the Bible as the final authority in matters of faith and life.
  • We are autonomous: each Congregational church is independent and self-supporting, governed by its own members. But at the same time…
  • We are a covenantal: we choose to be in relationship with other congregational churches for mutual support, encouragement, and accountability.
  • We are Christo-cratic (not democratic): the living Christ indwells believers and so together we seek the mind of Christ in all our decisions

Core Values

The New Testament uses many pictures for the people of God: flock, building, sheep, temple, body.  But by a country mile the most frequent designation is family. God is our Father and we are children who live and care for each other as family.

Genesis 12:1-3, John 1:12-13, Eph 2:11-16

Therefore:

  • we value diversity of age, culture, race, and socio-economic standing – we pursue deep relationships across these natural divides;
  • we value authenticity – it is okay to not be okay, but it is not okay to pretend;
  • we value social/gathering times – slowing down to eat, laugh and enjoy each other’s company.

The church is a place of learning, serving, testing and growing. Growth happens through the process of both getting and giving. This means that growth = learning + serving. God is our Teacher and we are disciples who seek to grow in grace and truth.

Luke 2:52, Matt 28:18-20; Eph 4:11-13, Col 1:28-29

Therefore:

  • we value learning – reading and teaching the scriptures in a way that makes the truth crystal clear;
  • we value application – honest working out of the implications of the scriptures that brings confrontation, repentance, and biblical change;
  • we value healing (wholeness) – the church, not as a museum for pristine saints, but like a hospital ward for broken sinners;
  • we value intimacy – drawing near to God in prayer and opening ourselves to hearing him impress his will on our hearts;
  • we value service – the use of God-given gifts to be Christ in the world.

The Bible says that our calling is one of ambassadors of God – God makes his appeal of reconciliation to the world through us. God is our Saviour and we are gratefully sent with his saving message to love and reach the world.

John 1:14, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, 2Cor 5:17-21

Therefore:

  • we value proficiency – understanding the Gospel completely enough so that we can speak it freely;
  • we value cultural awareness – explaining the Gospel in a way that people can understand;
  • we value relationships – spending time developing friendships outside of the “Christian cocoon”;
  • we value invitation – making ALL feeling welcome in our church family;
  • we value practical service – showing the love of Christ in practical ways;
  • we value going – a readiness and boldness to step through the doors that God opens.