Lithgow Baptist’s

Purpose

Lithgow Baptist Church exists to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word, deed and sign, through loving community.

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, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… Matthew 28:18-19

This statement of purpose is designed to encapsulate our reason for being. Lithgow Baptist Church exists to fulfil God’s call on us to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to do this throughout all the world – locally, nationally and internationally.

This calling relates to the complete ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The declaration and practice of biblical truth (Word), the supernatural outworking and revelation of the Trinity in our midst and through us (sign) and the practical expression of our devotion to God and our love of humanity (deed).

Our purpose also indicates the vital nature of loving community under God, as it identifies the need to have interdependent relationships to fulfil this call. As believers we join together to work towards advancing the Gospel. This includes being supported when we are weak and supporting others when we are strong.

This interdependence should be founded in the call of Jesus to love each other as Christ loved us.

Through our mutual interdependence, love and partnership the world will know we are His disciples.

Values

Core values are the building blocks on which we build our lives, our relationships and our actions.

Every person, team and organisation has core values that define who they are and (often without realising it) shape who they become.

The membership of Lithgow Baptist Church have defined what our shared values are and articulated them clearly. These core values are central in the decision-making processes and the practical outworking of relationships within LBC both now and into the future.

What are core values?

Core values articulate the things we see as fundamental to our life, ministry and gathering together.

They transcend style, theological differences and heritage.

Core values are one of the aspects that identifies and unites us as a church. They drive what, why and how we do what we do. Core values guide us as the individuals and families that make up the church.

Our desire is to see our purpose and vision through the lens of these core values and allow them to assist in guiding ministry decisions moving forward.

With God’s help we are striving to be a church that is:

CHRIST CENTRED

  • Enjoying a dynamic relationship with Jesus
  • Relying on the Bible as foundational to shaping our understanding of Christ, our faith and the world
  • Being led and empowered by the Spirit to live a life of worship
  • Believing God is able to do more than we ask or imagine

MISSION SHAPED

  • Committed to the announcement and demonstration of the universal reign of God through Christ
  • Motivated by love for God and others
  • Seeing lives, communities and society transformed
  • Biasing our resources toward mission, both locally and globally

RELATIONALLY COMMITTED

  • Serving each other and working together, honouring the varied expressions of our faith and practice and our cultural diversity
  • Actively promoting healthy unity through mutual collaboration, transparency and accountability
  • Prioritising authentic relationships over programmes and structures
  • Honouring marriage as an institution created by God as the foundation for a lifelong faithful union of a man and a woman

PEOPLE EMPOWERING

  • Nurturing a disciple making culture that encourages, shapes and releases every person to glorify God in all of their life
  • Investing strategically in the identification, development and empowerment of leaders
  • Respecting our heritage whilst championing further innovation

PARTNERSHIP ORIENTED

  • Recognising and celebrating God at work both within and beyond our congregation
  • Partnering with like-minded bodies in the mission of God both locally and globally
  • Evidenced by mutual respect, healthy dialogue, and where appropriate, resource sharing and the development of common goals

PHRASE: Bridging the Great Divide

This document is held in conjunction with our adopted statement of beliefs in accordance with the Association of Baptist Churches NSW/ACT.

Baptist Statement of Beliefs

about God

There is one God Who is eternal personal Spirit. He is infinite in power, wisdom, holiness and love. God is Triune in essential being and revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

about Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ as the second Person of the Godhead is eternally one with God the Father of whose person and glory Jesus is the accurate expression. To become human He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures, the nature of God and human nature, were united in one Person; truly God and truly human.

about the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity is eternally one with the Father and the Son yet He is sent by Them to achieve the divine purpose in the world and in the Church.

about the Bible

The Scriptures, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, are the infallible Word of God. They were written by holy people of God inspired by the Holy Spirit and have supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

about the creation and humanity

People were made in the image of God and for fellowship with God. By transgression of God’s command humankind fell from fellowship with God and their nature was corrupted. As a consequence all people are spiritually dead under Satan’s dominion and control and subject to God’s wrath and condemnation. Therefore, apart from God’s grace, people are helpless and hopeless.

about salvation

In order to redeem people from the guilt, penalty and power of sin, Jesus Christ became human and died a sacrificial death as our representative substitute. By His resurrection, God’s acceptance of His atoning death was demonstrated. This atonement is sufficient for the whole world, but effective only in those who receive it. The sinner is justified and reconciled to God, not through any personal merit, but solely on the basis of God’s gracious gift of salvation in Jesus Christ received through faith.

about assurance of salvation

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the acceptance of God’s provision of salvation. The Holy Spirit convinces sinners of their sinfulness, leads them to personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and so brings them to spiritual birth as God’s children and to fellowship in Christ. Working within the life of believers the Holy Spirit makes real the presence of Christ, witnesses to their relationship with God, leads into all truth, bestows gifts for effective service and produces graces for holy living.

about the Church

The Church is the body of people whom God has separated from the world through faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. All regenerate persons are members of the universal Church of God which takes local form wherever groups of believers unite for worship, fellowship and service in accordance with scriptural principles. All believers are called to a priestly ministry in the offering of spiritual sacrifices and sent into the world to be witnesses. God calls individuals to positions of oversight and leadership or to special ministries. The Church recognises such by ordaining pastors, commissioning missionaries, appointing deacons and other leaders, following New Testament practice.

about Baptism

Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a public declaration of a person’s faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In accordance with New Testament Scripture it should be administered only by total immersion which symbolises the believer’s identification with Christ in death, burial and resurrection, the remission of sins and the believer’s dedication to God to live and walk in newness of life.

about the Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ instituted by Him to be celebrated with the elements of bread and wine by believers in Christ until the end of the age. It commemorates and declares our thanks for the Lord’s substitutionary death. The celebration of the ordinance expresses our fellowship with, and in, the Lord Jesus Christ as members of the Body of which He is the Head.

about the return of Jesus Christ

At the end of this age, according to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in His glory to the earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom of God awaits His return.

about the resurrection of the dead

At the end of the age, there is to be a resurrection both of the righteous and the unrighteous. After death people’s bodies return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God – the righteous to be with Him and the unrighteous to be reserved for the judgment.

about the future

God has appointed a day of final judgment for the world. At that time Jesus Christ will judge every person and each will receive reward or punishment according to their deeds. Those judged righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment.

about Marriage

Marriage, according to the biblical pattern, is a lifelong and exclusive commitment between a man and a woman, instituted by God for the benefit and enrichment of humankind, and calling for mutual love, faithfulness and understanding.

Have a question?

Contact us or leave us a message – we would love to hear from you. Our church email address for more information – office@lithgowbaptist.org.au

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