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Exploring Christianity?

The word “Presbyterian” refers to how the Church is governed. A Presbyterian Church does not function as an “Episcopal” or “top down” Church. There are no individuals with the power or authority of bishops in the way that word is used in some churches today. Likewise, the Presbyterian Church does not function as a simple congregational democracy. Most decisions in the life of a local congregation are not made by simple majority at the congregational level. Rather we are led by the church elders who have responsibility for shepherding the flock at Living Church, as well as by other men and women who have been appointed by the elders to serve the church in different leadership positions.

It’s also important to know that, in keeping with the Bible’s idea of the Church as a body, individual Presbyterian congregations share a connection with others Presbyterian churches as part of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland and the Presbyterian Church of Australia. 

While our church members do not need to be Presbyterians, our ministers and elders have made promises that they understand the Scriptures in accordance with a Presbyterian framework, and that they will endeavour to assert, maintain and defend this understanding.

A Church who loves 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 that the Old Testament promised was coming. We believe that Jesus then 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. All of our members are asked to confess faith in accordance with the gospel of the apostles.

A Church who loves 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.

A church who loves one another.

We believe that people who follow Jesus become part of God’s family and are called to one another. People in God’s family share a bond born of the Holy Spirit that is the ultimate form of human relationship – it’s deeper than marriage, more important than our 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. So we seek to love one another well in all that we do. 

Regarding Giving

We give because God has first given to us. As it says in John 3:16,

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

More than this, Jesus gave his life as a ransom for us (1 Timothy 2:6)

As we recognise the generosity that God has shown us, we respond by giving generously to the work of God’s kingdom. As it says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Some of us have little, some of us have much, but we encourage all to give as they are able for the good of God’s kingdom and the good of our hearts.

‘Tithing’ comes from a practice found in the Old Testament Scriptures, where the Israelites would give a tenth of all their produce in response to God’s generous blessings. The tithe would be offered to the Lord and then distributed to the priests and Levites – people set apart to do the Lord’s work (see Deuteronomy 12:22-29; Malachi 3:6-12). Followers of Jesus are not compelled to give a ‘tithe’, but we are still called to give back to God. Indeed, if we truly understand the gospel of grace, we will give as a much as we can – and even beyond our ability (see 2 Corinthians 8:9).

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.