“To make Jesus known through word and worship, and faith in action.”
Introduction: (Matthew 5:13-16)
Christians are called to be salt and light. Once added to a dish, salt has a flavour that is ever present but the salt itself is invisible. Light, on the other hand is always visible, but not always present.
We will bring light to the community by being visible and known. We will bring flavour to our community in ways that are more permanent yet as they become part of the fabric of the community may be less obvious.
Our 2020 vision reflects this visible and invisible ministry. There are elements of loving God in the visible community of the gathered church through worship, discipleship and fellowship, and in higher profile ministries especially children and youth work. Our vision also recognises and brings into focus the invisible – the presence of our hundreds of members in their own lives and ministries. Finally, it adds missional purpose to each ministry as we seek to share the gospel as the church is dispersed in life through families, in the community, in schools and colleges, the workplace and when we are gathered to worship.
Our Church Culture (Acts 2: 42-47)
Jesus had a seamless robe of great value (which is why they drew lots for it). To create a seamless robe took great skill, attention to detail and time. Based upon the idea of the seamless robe that Jesus wore, we will develop a culture of ‘Seamless Community’.
Church includes and involves all of us. The leaders have the responsibility for setting the direction of the church through vision, and all of the church community share the responsibility for embracing and achieving the vision. We must become a Jesus centred, missional minded, servant-hearted church where we pray, worship and work together.
We have an enormous variety of ministries in the church, and there is always a danger of them becoming separate in their own ministry environment. The boundaries to these ministries can be likened to seams. The whole church appearing to be a series of ministries that are ‘patched together’ to form a whole, yet remaining effectively separate. A seamless community culture objects to these ‘seams’ and shares responsibility for one another. We may not individually get involved in a particular ministry, but we are responsible for supporting them and their leaders.
Seamless Church is seen in the lives of individuals seeking spiritual authenticity within and throughout the various groups and different organisations, sharing resources, celebrating one another’s successes and struggles. Enabling seamless transition from group to group, tenaciously seeking structures that will make it more seamless and more straightforward for non-Christians to be integrated into the community.
“The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (Isaiah 43v7). Jesus explains that this is best understood in terms of love: to love God and to love other people with all that we are and all that we have (Mark 12:29-31). This is passion. We therefore want to be a church of passion. To this end we will be a missional church, eagerly seeking to…
Win: To win the lost through evangelism.
Build: To build people through discipleship and fellowship
Send: To enable and empower each of us to win people both locally and internationally.
“To make Jesus known through word and worship, and faith in action.”
Acts 20:20… “Holding back no helpful thing, we will teach you both publicly and privately in your homes”.
Based upon Philippians 2:13, 1 John 3:18 and 2 Corinthians 3:18, we will achieve our vision through six strategic streams of ministry:
1. Community Hub: We will provide a ‘community hub’ for Castle Point. We will develop a network within the community which will include the Local Council, schools, pubs, clubs and other organisations that serve the community and community interests. We will work with them to develop the sense of community and become central to it.
2. Community Leadership: We will participate in community leadership with each of the local schools having a church member on their board of governors. We will seek additional opportunities to engage with community leadership i.e. through business networks; and develop a positive working relationship with the local council.
3. Change the Demographic: We will continue to reach out to all age groups ‘from cradle to grave’. In recognising the changing demographic of the community, we will increase the number of active members (and therefore families) in the 20-40 age group by 25% and in the 40-60 age range by 20%. We recognise that the 60+ age group will increase naturally. Age bands are not to be seen as exclusive or hard and fast, indeed we will purposely seek to avoid such boundaries (Seamless Church).
4. Community Support: We see the whole church involved in reaching the community through community support initiatives. This includes enhanced parenting support, marriage support and financial advice. We will seek new opportunities to serve the older generations. We will have identified and met three social needs in the community that we do not currently meet. We will develop a practical, vision led ministry relationship with other churches through SEELEF (Revive) and those Holy Spirit led churches that share our values.
1. Personal Spiritual Development. We will develop four stages of personal spiritual development to include Alpha, Freedom in Christ, Spiritual foundations, Mission (Every church member will have the opportunity for a specific mission, either locally or overseas). In addition we will develop an annual Bible Track ‘Anvil’.
2. Prayer. We will strengthen our ethos of prayer. We will clarify, focus and publish our prayer strategy and establish a network of intercessors, targeted prayer meetings and encourage prayer chains, triplets and partnership. Each member will be invited to become part of a prayer chain, triplet or partnership.
3. Fellowship: We see a vibrant loving community of God’s people, meeting regularly both in small groups and together for worship in services; a coming together to enjoy themselves spiritually and socially.
4. Pastoral Care: We will introduce a strategy where each member will be in a relational network of pastoral care that will include three contacts. These may include minister/eldership/small group leadership/pastoral care team member or personal relationships within the church.
6. Land Acquisition: We will acquire land through the Barnabas Project Fund. The land acquired will provide a combination of hard car park surface and green, grass surface. We will create opportunities both for a variety of community activities in and around the church building complex. We will maintain and modernise our current facilities until such time that we are able to build a new facility which will further maintain our position as a community hub.
Christ is central to everything that we are, and the Bible will inform everything we do. Therefore we will present Christian faith in relevant ways to all.
We will be a church where every person is listened to, valued and cared for spiritually, emotionally and physically.
We will demonstrate sacrificial love for God and one another.
Worship with integrity. Recognising that worship is a lifestyle that honours God and our relationship with Him. We will be worshipful, prayerful people. In our lives we will be faithful, honest and open in all matters, showing integrity in all aspects of our lives.
Generosity. We will be generous in faith and in community, with our time, our finances, our gifts and talents. We will manage our finances and personal resources according to Biblical principles in order to empower the church and enhance the Kingdom of God.
Servants. We will stimulate holistic Christian service to God through our regard for one another both within and without TCC.
Enabling. We will be an enabling church where gifts and abilities that are recognised are released appropriately, so that people are enabled to know and achieve their full potential in Christ.
Encouragement. We will be an encouraging church where gifts and abilities are released appropriately, so that people are enabled to recognise and achieve their full potential in Christ.
All People Matter. Reaching people outside of the Kingdom of God’s family through demonstration of authentic personal faith, personal relationships, public service, care for the poor and oppressed, local and global evangelism
Some things have changed, some things remain.
There is still a need for:
- Prophets and Intercessors who will understand God’s heart, the vision, the community and the times in which we live.
- Teachers and Evangelists who will light fires of God’s gospel in people’s hearts.
- A place of refuge, where people can come to find peace and sanctuary.
- A ‘missional’ mind-set: We will be an evangelistic community, who engage with the community where we live and spread the gospel in every circumstance of life.
- We will continue to recognise that evangelism begins with church families (Jerusalem), local community (Judea), Essex (Samaria) and the world (ends of the earth).
- We will continue to support evangelistic teams both at home and abroad.
- We will continue to strengthen evangelistic work from the pre-school age groups to the elderly community.
- We will continue to support Christian, rather than humanitarian efforts.
To achieve this we must appoint the necessary staff and increase the general finances of the church.
We remain subject to spiritual attack. The enemy will attempt to put out our flames! The spiritual warfare battlefield will be our relationships one with another, in leadership, in our families, with our friends. The enemy’s tools will be our lips, our mistakes, our tiredness, and our emotions. Our tools will be unity, love, and forgiveness. These are available only through our personal relationship with God, and can be accessed only through personal devotion to Him in discipleship and prayer.