Vision and Values
“To make Jesus known through word and worship, and faith in action.”
Over the next five years, the church will be going through several notable changes, partly in response to growing relationships and partly because of accelerated changes brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic. It has been said that we are entering a new era, and not just a new season. After a year of lockdown and still unable to meet together without some restrictions, and no clear guidance about what future restrictions might be, or mean for the future of our planet, vision has never been more difficult to formulate. However, it has been written – “the opposite of knowledge is not always ignorance, it can be wonder, mystery, possibility.
Transformation comes when we step into the uncertainty that requires faith. This includes relationship with God, putting faith into action and making sure that our uncertainties about the ‘new normal’ become our possibilities of tomorrow. We must transform the way that we serve God, minister to one another and demonstrate faith in action to our community. Our message – the gospel – remains the same, but the way we communicate it must change.
Christianity is all about transformation: From unbelief to faith, from sinner to saint. The heart of God is to see us renewed, transformed and restored. These are all about personal change, to our relationship with God and our character and soul as we live out our transformed values and grow the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Throughout the Bible the context in which people lived was also constantly transforming from the garden of creation to the world of paradise lost; from Ur through Canaan into Egypt, and slavery to nationhood in the Promised Land. In the New Testament, Jesus’ ministry radically transforms people’s destiny from lost to found, from death to life, from separation from God to being filled with the Holy Spirit. Some of these changes seemed natural and internal, some changes seemed to come from somebody else’s agenda. Yet God was, and is and will always be sovereign.
Change is inevitable, and there are some changes that happen to us, but there are also changes that happen through us. Imagine the Israelites feelings when they hear that God had said to Joshua “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9) or the readers of Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God says the same thing today.
Therefore our purpose remains the same:
“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…
To win the lost through evangelism.
To build people through discipleship and fellowship.
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.”
Numbers 10:29 – “The Lord has promised good things. Come with us, and we will share our blessings with you.”
Strategies for 2021-2025 Transformation
In 2018 we began to talk and pray about a new vision for the Church. In 2019 we explored what God was saying in workshops at Church Family Meetings. The eldership listened to God and to the members of the Church in these workshops, and the vision for the years 2021-2025 began to form. Just when we were getting ready to release the vision to the Deacons and the Church members, COVID 19 struck, and we had to put the process on pause. But prayers and listening to God did not. Based on our Senior Minister’s devotional times, Elder’s meetings and member’s workshops, the key theme of this vision is transformation: With our national support links, own leadership and our outreach and worship.
Transforming our national links.
Our relationship with the Congregational Federation (CF) is fundamentally a legal relationship in that they hold our trust deed and are officially our ‘Holding Trustees’. Over the past 24 years, however, we have principally drawn our national support and encouragement from two sources, the Evangelical Alliance (EA) and the Elim Pentecostal Church (Elim) There are very important changes that are fixed in our calendar over the next three years (see below regarding ministers). Whilst we have been affiliated to and drawn support from the EA for many years, we believe that now is the time to also apply to affiliate to the Elim Network.
There will be a presentation given to CFM with an accompanying brochure. Becoming closer to Elim allows us to remain an independent, autonomous Church, keeping our current Trust Deed, including ownership of our buildings. At the CFM following the presentation (including a guest speaker to represent Elim), we will provide an opportunity to ask questions, with a ballot at the following CFM.
2022 Transforming our local Church leadership
In June 2022, David Turner and Richard Keeler will be ordained by Elim. In October 2023 Dave Pickett will retire. In October 2022 we propose to enter a period of transitioning the Senior Leadership ministry to David Turner. Richard Keeler would be appointed Associate Minister. Dave Pickett, whilst retaining the final responsibility and accountability for the Church, would be appointed Pastor/Mentor to David and Richard for 12 months. During that time, leadership ministry would be gradually transferred from Dave Pickett to David Turner.
There are two separate decisions to be made by ballot at the September 2022 Church Family Meeting. Firstly, the appointment of David Turner as ‘Senior Minister designate’ for 12 months, leading to recognition of his ministry of Senior Minister. Secondly the appointment of Richard Keeler as Associate Minister. If the ballots are unsuccessful, then a ‘Search Committee’ must be appointed immediately to seek a new Senior Minister to replace David Pickett who will retire in October 2023.
Transforming our Church outreach
We will develop a high-quality technological ministry. The short, medium and long-term impact of COVID 19 is difficult to predict. There may be further lockdowns if the virus peaks seasonally. We may not be able to meet as a whole church congregation without restrictions for some time, highlighting the need for high-quality electronic communication. We will continue to develop the success of our internet-based outreach to those who have not yet, or may be unable to attend our services in person. These may be people who are away from home, live in another part of the country or abroad, those who are house-bound, or simply working during our service times. We will develop an appropriate structure of worship services each week, some of which will be broadcast. We will develop new ways of public worship, developing our current and future musicians and technical teams, and being a worshipping community. We will recruit and develop new and existing teams of volunteers including, training and developing new skills allowing us to develop and progress technologically.
We’ll put Jesus first! 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.
Other people second!
We’ll put people second only to him! We will be a church where every person is listened to, valued and cared for spiritually, emotionally and physically
We’ll put ourselves third! We will demonstrate sacrificial love for God and one another.
We’ll worship with integrity. We will engage in authentic worship, recognising that worship is more than an event in a service, it is a lifestyle that honours God in relationship with Him.
We’ll pray faithfully. In our lives we will be faithful and concerned in prayer, regularly, privately and corporately.
We’ll be Generous. We will be generous in faith and in community, with our time, finances, 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
We’ll be servants. We will stimulate holistic Christian service to God through our regard for one another both within and without TCC.
We’ll enable one another. We will identify and develop talents, gifts and abilities and release people appropriately. People will be able to know and achieve their full potential in Christ.
We’ll encourage learning and growing in discipleship. We will help people grow in biblical knowledge, understanding and application, showing integrity in all aspects of our lives.
We’ll always value people. We will reach people outside of the Christian faith through love and authentic personal faith, personal relationships, public service, care for the poor and oppressed, through personal, local and global evangelism
Some things have changed, some things remain. There is need for:
- People who care for others; councillors, mentors, Life Group and community leaders.
- Prophets and Intercessors who 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 evangelism/outreach from pre-school age groups to the elderly community.
- We will support national and international enterprises with a biblical, Christian foundation.
- We will support one another through our Life Groups and various pastoral ministries.
- We will encourage all those coming into the Christian Family here at TCC, to join fully in the life of the Church, through membership, giving and use of their life skills to achieve the vision.