To be an inclusive, welcoming Christian community: nurturing people, building disciples and knowing Jesus more deeply.
The Bible teaches that every human being is made in the image of God (Gen. 1: 27), which means that every person has the potential to reflect aspects of God’s glory and goodness. As such, we are all intrinsically valuable in God’s eyes.
Jesus did not disqualify anyone from coming to him, no matter who they were, or what they had done. The Church is not a special club, for a certain type of person, rather it is a family that invites all and sundry to come and be included.
for all of you are one in Christ JesusGalations 3 : 28
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3: 28)
Jesus instructs his followers to love their neighbours, irrespective of who their neighbour happens to be (Luke 10: 25-37), and to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them (Matthew 5: 44). Perhaps most amazing of all, Jesus asserts that when we show kindness and hospitality to a stranger, we are actually doing it for him.
I was a stranger and you welcomed meMatthew 25 : 35
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35-36)
At St. Andrew’s Springfield, hospitality is one of our great strengths. We are always ready to extend a warm and friendly welcome to anyone who attends our services or events.
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (one God, three persons), affirms that God has always existed in community: an eternal, loving relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is therefore not surprising that God has created human beings to be relational and to live in community with God and with other human beings.
The bible describes the church as a tight knit community (Acts 2: 42-44), a family (Ephesians 3: 14-15) and a body (the body of Christ), in which all the members, though different, have an important function that benefits the body as a whole (1 Corinthians 12: 12-31).
So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.Romans 12 : 5
St Andrew’s Springfield is a mutually supportive community, in which everyone gets the chance to exercise their gifts, skills and talents.
Nurturing People & Building Disciples
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.Matthew 28 : 19
We have a clear mandate to ‘make disciples of all nations’. Our mission is challenging and often involves considerable personal cost, in terms of our physical and emotional resources. However, it is also incredibly exciting and fulfilling to see God’s transforming power at work in people’s lives (including our own), as we grow to be mature followers of Jesus Christ.
We recognise that we are all at different stages of our Christian journey; indeed, for some, coming to St Andrew’s Springfield may be the very first step. We aim to meet people where they are and encourage them in their faith, through: friendship and fellowship, prayer, discipleship groups and biblical preaching and teaching.
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.Revelation 3 : 20
God is not an impersonal and elusive figure; about whom we can know very little. He has made himself known to us, in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus knows us and he wants us to know him. Not merely to have heard about him, or to have learnt about him, in the academic sense. Jesus invites us to enter into a friendship with him.
Why is it important to know Jesus?
We all think, say and do things that are in opposition to God’s good, perfect and pleasing will. The bible calls this sin. Sin is a huge problem because it leads to death and eternal separation from God. What is more, none of us could ever be good enough, or pure enough to merit any other fate.
For the wages of sin is death…Romans 6 : 23
The good news is that God, in his great love for us, has provided a way out of this predicament. He came into the world in the person of Jesus Christ and died on a cross for our sins. In other words, he paid the penalty for our wrongdoing. Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb and after three days, he rose from the dead, to reign in glory forever.
When we turn to Jesus in repentance (being truly sorry) and faith (putting our trust in him), our lives become inextricably bound to his. This means that when Jesus died, we died – and when he rose to everlasting life, we too were raised.
…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our LordRomans 6 : 23
Jesus offers us the free gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. Moreover, he sends us his Holy Spirit (God living within us), to change and transform us into Jesus’ likeness. This is a process that will be ongoing throughout a Christians’ life.
There is no greater privilege than knowing Jesus. It is the relationship for which we were made and one that leads to fullness of life in the present and in the age to come.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3 : 16