‘Like Christ in all of life’
We, the Christian Reformed Church of Sydney, are a congregation by our embracing of Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Under the guidance of the Spirit and His Word we aspire to:
- reach up and worship God with deep commitment in all of life, being obedient to the Father as Jesus was who said: “not my will but yours be done”;
- reach out with the Father’s love to bring in His children who have yet to come home, doing as Jesus said: “make disciples of all nations”;
- reach in to tenderly care for and minister to each other, following Jesus’ example who came: “not to be served, but to serve”.
As a church we aim to strive for:
- An Empowering Leadership (Ephesians 4:12). We seek a church leadership (both office bearers & other leaders) who are not authoritarian seeking helpers to get jobs done, but who are people related and team oriented, who will equip, support, motivate and mentor the church members in their ministries, leaders who will invest the major portion of their time, not in doing the bulk of the work, but delegating and discipling those gifted for various ministries. I.e. in addition to pastoral oversight and teaching, we re-emphasize the biblical concept of discipleship.
- A Gift orientated ministry (1 Peter 4:10). We acknowledge the Biblical teaching that God, through the Holy Spirit, has given spiritual gifts to each and every believer, a gift that is both a privilege and responsibility. Thus we seek to be obedient to the calling that comes from our spiritual gifts and will strive to develop our church’s ministries according to our gifts, not just programs. Each one of us will seek to identify our gifts, be trained and discipled, and use our gifts in the church and kingdom.
- A Passionate spirituality (Romans 12:11-12). We recognize that the Christian faith is not just an acceptance of biblical teaching, but involves a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and as our relationship with Jesus intensifies so we become more passionate about our spirituality. Therefore each of us commits to creating time for, and developing our personal and family devotions (i.e. regular bible reading and prayer), as well as times of prayer as a congregation. We commit ourselves to live deeply committed lives that reflect Jesus as Lord in all aspects of our lives, displaying an enthusiasm and passion for following God’s ways, living in the knowledge that God is in our midst and expecting Him to be active in bringing the Kingdom.
- Functional structures (Mark 2:27). We recognise that many of the ways in which we go about doing our church oversight and ministries comes from an historical response to a biblical requirement and that we may need to be lead by God, through His Word and Spirit, to think new and creatively for this time and place God has placed us. So we will strive to develop our church life and practice in such a way that we can best proclaim the gospel to our communities, enhance the involvement and ministry of all of us in the church, develop a vision for the congregation with clearly defined goals that helps each of us see our place and calling in reaching for the church’s vision, and be courageous enough to cut out things that have become ineffective in our working for the kingdom.
- Inspiring worship (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19). We recognise that our task as human beings is to “glorify God and to enjoy Him forever”. It is our desire therefore that we come to worship, not just out of a sense of duty, but that the church’s worship is “inspiring”, i.e. in the original sense of the word, that we are inspired by the Holy Spirit., that we are uplifted, truly enjoying the presence of God and coming before Him in awe and glory. To that end we will search ourselves in how we prepare for worship, we will consider how we can involve all levels of the congregation in greeting, music, prayer and leading, in such a way that we develop the Reformational principle of the priesthood of all believers. We also commit ourselves to weekly attendance in worship recognising that our absence tends to take away from the fellowship and inspiration experienced by the other worshippers.
- Holistic groups (Acts 2:46-47). We recognise that small groups are essential to the life of the congregation, and as a geographically spread out congregation small groups give us a place where we can study God’s Word together, pray with and for each other, fellowship together and pastorally minister to each other. I.e. the small group is a place where we can each develop our gifts and learn to serve each other. Therefore we will not see these groups as something that some of us are involved in, but each of us commits to regularly attending so as not to deprive our brothers and sisters from the ministry they need from us. We will strive to train group leaders and coordinators, recognising that the aim of the group is to grow and multiply and form new groups.
- Need orientated evangelism (1 Corinthians 9:20-22). We acknowledge the call of Jesus “to go and make disciples of all the nations...” We recognise that in our multicultural Australia, the “nations” are now our neighbours. We confess that evangelism has not been our strength. So we commit ourselves to developing and training those spiritually gifted in evangelism in our congregation, as well as committing ourselves to be discipled by them into active evangelism in our communities. We commit ourselves to discerning the deep needs and struggles in our communities, thinking creatively of ways to address those needs and thus the spiritual vacuum behind those needs – namely the reconciliation and hope that only Jesus can give.
- Loving relationships (John 13:34-35). We recognise the biblical teaching that the emphasis in life is not on the individual but on the community, just as God, in Trinity, is a “communal God”. We acknowledge that because of our geographical diversity, very busy professional lives and growing numbers, there are many in the congregation we do not know. We confess there may be those who are lonely. Thus we commit ourselves to getting to know each other, inviting each other to our homes and not just talking about being loving but helping each in the congregation experience what it is to be loved. We commit ourselves to sharing the workload of the church in such a way that each of us has sufficient time to develop our relationships.
We, together as a congregation, pray to God that the vision we have set before us, is indeed according to His will and that He grant us the humility and courage to change where we need to, and to be diligent in what we are here committed to.