THEPrinciples

Of Truth. The Gospel tells a story, that much is clear, and is culturally accessible to an unbeliever from a post-Christian culture as it is obvious to the Christian. We believe that the story of the Gospel and its Book, the Bible, also makes truth claims about its history and, moreover, asserts propositions that form the bedrock of our message and theology. Our ministers and churches are self-consciously biblical and theological, and unapologetically confess the truth of the historic creeds of the Church including the formulas of the Reformed tradition, especially the Westminster Confession. Far from an obstacle to missions in the 21st Century, the theology of the Scriptures is essential to it.

Of Church. The Trinity is the ultimate reality of the universe and so relationship is at the foundation of all things. But the Trinity is more than relationship or even love simply considered. In “the Land of the Trinity”, as C.S. Lewis called that majestic and infinite union, there is also power, role, even covenant. Consequently, it takes more than simple community to reflect the truth of redemption and manifest the reality of the Trinity. The Church fully considered as community is also a Kingdom, a Temple, a Family and much more. With that in view, our mission is unapologetically ecclesiastical. We plant Churches, not simply communities, and churches must have shape and office and ritual if they are to fully reflect the New Testament profile. We believe that if you love Jesus, you will love his Bride in all her mystical, relational and organizational wonder and confusion.

Of History. The newer the idea the further back in history its first expression can be found. Innovation and experimentation are essential components of faithful mission churches, but the arrogance of the modern frequently blinds us to the wisdom of our fathers and mothers in the Faith and not everything must be re-invented. Just as Redemption is embedded in history so are the redeemed people of God. We believe that the heritage of the Church should inform and often guide its present.

Of Time and Means

Philosophy of Ministry Consensus Foci
In this context of mutual trust, the network has recognized some philosophy of ministry targets that illustrate member churches’ shared affinities. While this list is representative, not strictly definitive, these “ministry targets“ help focus our goals and resources and communicate our general ministry philosophy to prospective church planters. It is important to understand that there is a good degree of diversity in the ministry styles of the network churches themselves. We also acknowledge that church planters must use resources selectively and may need to pursue important ministry goals in phases.

With these considerations in mind, it is helpful to sketch some characteristic philosophy of ministry targets.

Characteristic Philosophy of Ministries Targets:

  • Central emphasis on gifted, expository preaching and the other means of grace.
  • Commitment to biblically and theologically driven worship that engages the local culture.
  • Commitment to “gathering” of the elect by biblical evangelism and mercy.
  • Commitment to the “perfecting” of the saints through educational discipleship ministries.
  • Commitment to cultural engagement through dialog, service and practical apologetics.
  • The practice of the Lord’s Supper at least once a month.
  • The regular exercise of corporate prayer.
  • The long-term commitment to a full Lord’s Day ministry.
  • The vision to plant more churches.

Particular Characteristics in the Church Planter:

  • Character that meets the qualifications for the leaders of God’s people.
  • Theologically articulate, with a love for the Reformed faith.
  • A history of personal and ministry outreach and evangelism.
  • Track record of effective leadership.
  • A desire to pastor as well as to plant a church.
  • Assessment qualification of “PR” or higher.
  • Ordained minister in the PCA.
  • The ability to raise funds.