The church looks to Christ alone as its Lord and Saviour, so it is for him alone to define its worship, vision and mission. He does so in many ways; but three stand out.
The first is what Jesus says about worship in his conversation with the woman at the well in John’s Gospel. He tells her, ‘True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.’ (Jn 4.23). In Groomsport EP we seek to follow the patterns of worship that have been used by the church through the centuries. Our understanding of worship is explained more fully in our booklet, In Spirit and in Truth – available in the church vestibule, or which can be accessed through this link.
The second is the command he gave his disciples before his ascension, best known from Matthew’s Gospel:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
These are the church’s marching orders. God’s people are not meant to be turned in on themselves. We are to look for ways to take the good news of Jesus and his salvation to all people in all places. This is the heart of our vision and mission as a church.
Jesus’ third key directive comes through the Apostle Paul. Writing to Christians in Ephesus, he says church is where God’s people are to be equipped for service, built up in unity and nurtured towards maturity in the faith (Eph 4.12-13). It is where we are discipled in order to serve Christ wherever he has placed us. So, for us, we recognise the importance of digging deep into the Bible that we might be strengthened in our knowledge of God and our ability to serve him.
All three help us to appreciate what it means to become part of the church and become involved in its life, worship, work and mission. Again, if you would like to explore this in more detail, we have a booklet entitled Believing and Belonging which gives a glimpse into the body life of our church. Printed copies are available in the church vestibule, but it can also be read online through this link.