- Accountability: As Presbyterians we not only need to sign up to what our core beliefs are, we have a system that makes sure we stick to it. This starts with our elders – who work within our church to make sure the things we do are stacking up with what we believe, and what we’re on about, but it spreads to our relationship with other churches in our area, Queensland, and Australia.
- Majors on the right things: The Presbyterian Church is really solid on the important stuff, like who God is, who Jesus is, what the Bible is about, how people become followers of Jesus, and what that means. It has a long history of fighting for and holding on to those truths, and traces its roots back to the Reformation, where the “reformers” (the people who launched the Reformation) were really big on making it clear that faith in Jesus, not stuff we do, is what counts for everything.
- Lets small things be small things: The Presbyterian Church also gives different churches in different places freedom in how we do church so we can reach different people in different ways with these same truths.
We love Jesus.
We believe the God who created the world has revealed himself to us in Jesus, a real man who lived, died, and was raised from the dead, in the Middle East, almost 2,000 years ago. We believe that this proved that Jesus was the king the Old Testament (the first half of the Bible) had promised was coming. We believe that Jesus the ascended up to heaven, and supplied his followers with the Holy Spirit – who works to make followers of Jesus more like him, more like the children of God that humans were created to be. This means we’re Trinitarian – we believe in one God, in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This means we stand in the traditions of the earliest church, as recorded in the Bible and then made official by council meetings who put together things called “creeds,” which outline what Christians believe.
We love the Bible.
Because we believe God wants us to know him through Jesus, and we believe the Bible tells us who Jesus is, we love the Bible and think that it is the best way for us to understand who God is. Feelings and emotions are good tools, but the Bible is the ultimate guide. So we want everything we do to be consistent with what the Bible says about Jesus.
We love God’s family, the church.
We believe that people who follow Jesus become part of God’s family – that this is the ultimate form of human relationship – more important than marriage, more important than your own biological family – these things are great, and important, but the ultimate relationship is our relationship with God, and that flows into new relationships with his other children. We love marriage, we love family, but we want to be a community where people who aren’t married, or who don’t have children, feel like they’re absolutely as valuable to us as anybody else. Because if you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re a child of God. That’s what it means to be part of a church.
“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” (Luke 19:8).We are free to give our earthly riches, because in Jesus, we have found an eternal treasure that lasts forever.
Our Finance Manager has access to all bank accounts, but explains the giving process as follows:
I export all the data from our bank accounts and compile it into a giving spreadsheet. In this spreadsheet, each person is given a unique PIN and these pins, not names, are used for analysis purposes. When I send the weekly giving update to senior staff members, I include the number of new givers, but not their names. So in essence, the giving is confidential, rather than anonymous.
Biblical stewardship covers a broad spectrum of topics for discussion: from serving God, to being trustworthy Christians, to helping your neighbour, honouring God with your earthly possessions, and so much more.
What is a steward?
A steward is a person who has been entrusted with, and who manages, another’s resources according to the owner’s vision and values. The gospel calls us to recognize that everything we have is a gift from God (James 1:17) — and that those gifts are to be used for his glory and to further his kingdom.