- 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.
We really want to be known for knowing and loving Jesus – and for being shaped by the central part of Jesus life and mission – the cross.
The cross was where Jesus gave up his life, because he loved us. It’s a model of sacrifice. It’s the heart of our message. We want to make sure that when people come through our doors, hear us speak during our services, and chat with us, that the cross is central. We work pretty hard at getting rid of distractions, and at communicating what the Bible says about Jesus in a clear and relevant way that speaks the language of our city.
We think the Cross is the best thing we can offer Brisbane, because we think the love of Jesus is the key to living life how it’s meant to be lived – how the God who created the world meant us to live, putting others first – and a key to a better future – eternal life in heaven with God. That’s why we’re all about the newcomer – the person who doesn’t know Jesus yet – because we were once disconnected from God too. The cross shapes our approach to justice and to how we operate as members of society as individuals and as a community.
Without Jesus and his death and resurrection there could be no Christianity, no church, no Living Church.
We can only connect to God, we can only truly connect to each other through the cross of Jesus.
Our vision is all about the wonderful cross of Jesus. We hope this is a vision that you want to be part of too.
No. We don’t.
We want you to hear this very clearly. The mission to reach the city and reach the world takes money – and we do talk about giving and money – because Jesus spent lots of time talking about giving and money – but Jesus wants much more than your money. Jesus wants you. All of you.
We talk about money – mostly in Bible Talks where giving comes up in the passage we’re looking at. We don’t pass a collection plate around during our services. We don’t manipulate or cajole. We will always link talking about money to talking about Jesus and talking about God’s mission to change lives.
We talk about money, but if you’re not following Jesus, if God hasn’t transformed your heart yet then we do not want your money. Keep it. We want you to meet Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus we want you to be our guest. We want you to come along to church each week and hear about who Jesus is and what he has given you.
If you are a follower of Jesus, if your heart has been transformed by what God gave you at the Cross, then we want you to think about how you can give generously of your money, your time, and your whole self.
Our commitment is to using the money we are given to invest in God’s mission, to be and to be transparent about where it goes. It’s not about lining our pockets or funding massive building projects – it’s about saving lives.
Here’s a video that explains giving at Creek Road clearly.