In answering the questions ‘What is Church?’ we would point to four foundational building blocks - that cover everything the Bible calls us to be & to do as church.
WORSHIP - spiritual intimacy
God created people for relational intimacy with Himself. His design & creative purpose was always centred upon our having an authentic relationship with Himself; more than doing things for Him, God wants us to be with & know Him. The wonder of the Gospel is that God came for us, that we might know & be known by Him! We grow in spiritual intimacy as we live lives of worship before Him - surrendered & obedient to His will, word & ways.
FAMILY - spiritual togetherness
God calls His people not only to relationship with Himself but to relationships with one another, that’s why the Bible describes the church as ‘the family of God’. God is our Father and we are brothers & sisters - that makes us family! The church is to be a family known for genuine love, growing in authentic community, experiencing true fellowship & marked by ever-deepening relationships.
MISSION - the spiritually lost
The Bible very clear, His people are to be a missional community. Jesus Himself gave His followers a priority-commission to bring the love of God & good news of Jesus Christ to this world through our words & actions. He calls us to be ‘salt & light’, and to represent Christ as His ‘ambassadors’ to a world that so often does not know Him.
DISCIPLESHIP - spiritual maturity
God calls His people to a lifelong journey of discipleship, that is, an ever-deepening understanding of & relationship with Himself. The process of discipleship is a maturing in our faith as we become more and more like Jesus. We are called to grow in our faith, flourish in our calling, develop spiritual gifts & know an equipping by which we can serve God & His purposes.
We have identified 8 values which define the manner in which we seek to pursue His vision for the church. We seek to embody these values such that they shape our culture, our corporate personality.
Driven by Love
Knowing a love for God, for the church family & for the world around us, that manifests in servanthood, compassion & kindness. To commit ourselves to community & prioritise investment in love-centred relationships.
Shaped by Spiritual Rhythms
Committed to the Bible, thanksgiving, praise, worship, prayer, fasting, gathering, giving, serving, baptism, communion & other such rhythms.
Adventurous in Faith
Seeking to “fix our eyes on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2) & to be those who “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). To live courageously in our obedience to God’s word.
Living open to & dependent upon the Holy Spirit. To pursue God’s manifest presence, exercise spiritual gifts & cultivate an expectation of the miraculous.
Place of Grace
For Oakwood to be an environment of acceptance & safety - “where mistakes are rubbed out, not rubbed in” (Philip Yancy) - and to embody the wonderful attributes of grace.
Marked by Integrity
Evidenced by our desire to be a church in pursuit of humility & holiness. To be a wholehearted people, transparent & true, that embraces openness & accountability.
Inspired to Generosity
Open-hearted living & open-handed giving. To move beyond the obligation to give & to strive for selfless charity, recognising that we are simply stewarding all that we have been given by God.
We recognise that Oakwood is a part of the wider church & that we are called to partner, collaborate, cooperate & connect. We want to engage beyond our borders with the wider body of Christ.