The Unfolding Plan of God
God the father, creator of heaven and earth, has an eternal plan and purpose for humanity which is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.i As disciples of Jesus we willingly seek to align ourselves with his unfolding plan in Christ.
The Authority and Relevance of Scripture
God has revealed himself and his unfolding plan for us in the Bible. These scriptures, in human language and form, reveal the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can join God in his plans and purposes. These scriptures reveal the basic principles of Christ for guiding us through every issue of life and practice.ii
The Community of Faith (the Local Church)
The Church is at the center of God's redemptive work during this age, making Jesus known to the nations. God has revealed a basic household (family) pattern for his community ‘the Church’(Ephesians 2:11–3:12). The global or universal Church is made up of local church families who are working together for God’s purposes. Therefore, every aspect of Christian ministry (evangelism, discipleship, missions, theology, leadership development etc.) needs to find its identity and purpose in the building up of local churches and to align itself with the pattern and eternal plan of God for his community as revealed in scripture.
Mission and Evangelism
The Mission is to be making disciples of all nations. This is done through the multiplication and establishment of local churches, not just the multiplication of individual believers. Local churches have an obligation to network and support the ongoing sending of apostles (missionaries) for expansion into unreached areas and to provide a living testimony of Christ's love in their own local geographical area.
Discipleship is not solely a one-on-one function, but is a community exercise, building upon the strength of families, not just individuals, who are shepherded by a qualified team of spiritual leaders. Discipleship prepares all Christians for active service to God and His people. Discipleship is integrated into every sphere of life: individual, family, and community.
Theology needs to be rooted in the activity and sphere of establishing the families and churches of our day in the faith. Leadership training and theological education are to be done in the context of multiplying and establishing of local communities of faith (local church families). In this context, character, skills, and theological education can be integrated in hands-on, apprenticeship type training under a qualified and proven leader.
The Equipping and Empowering of God’s Spirit
It is the Spirit of Christ who enables us to accept the teaching of Scripture and apply it to our lives and the church community. The Spirit transforms our character and gifts us for ministry. This same Spirit brings individuals into the church who have the right gifts and abilities to accomplish the specific calling of each church (1Cor 12:18). Christ orchestrates opportunities to bring the gospel to new people through the work of his Spirit. This often happens through the informal activity of prepared individuals who are living according the principles of Christ and explaining to others the Gospel they have found for themselves. The work of ministry is accomplished in partnership with God’s Spirit and often appears to happen ‘spontaneously’ as plans are shaped by Christ as He brings people and circumstances together to build His church.