THE GOSPEL WE PREACH
We at Nowra Baptist Church have been gathered together by God as a result of the good news (“gospel”) of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe the Bible is God’s Word and its message has as its focus the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to us to save us from the penalty of death (ie. separation from God) due to all people for our rebellion against God. Through His death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God are granted to those who put their trust in Him as Saviour and Lord.
There are many great passages in the New Testament which summarise the gospel and speak of it as the focus or fulfilment of God’s Word. Two you may like to look up and read are Romans 1:1-4, 16 and 1 Peter 1:3-5, 10-12.
THE GOAL OF NBC
Our goal is to proclaim God’s word, the gospel, to all people, both Christians and non-Christians alike. This means calling on people to put their trust in Jesus as their Saviour and to follow him as their Lord. Our great desire is to see non-Christians become Christians, and to see Christians continue to live and grow with Jesus as Lord. As Paul says,
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7
We summarise this in the statement, “Presenting Jesus to Everyone”.
THE MAJOR TASKS OF NBC
By their words Christians proclaim God’s gospel and by their lives they lend it credibility. We thus need to help Christians grow in their understanding and lifestyle in order to achieve our goal.
The goal of NBC will be achieved as we undertake the following tasks:
Encourage Christians to grow in their faith in Jesus and love for others;
Equip Christians to serve the Lord in every part of their lives;
Extend God’s Kingdom by sharing the Good News about Jesus with others.
All activities that our church engages in must be directed to our goal and will fall within one or more of these 3 Tasks.
PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH LIFE AND MINISTRY AT NBC
The Goal and Tasks of NBC have implications for the way we think and act. Those implications are spelt out in the following principles.
The Bible is the means by which God speaks to us and is sufficient for a person to become a Christian and to grow in Godliness. It is the only way He has promised to speak. Understanding the Bible and applying it to our lives is foundational to all we do. This principle provides the basis and the shape of all ministry in our church.
Love for one another flows from truly believing the gospel.
Prayer is fundamental to both our personal and corporate Christian life as it expresses our relationship with God and our total dependence on Him.
Mission is the heart of the Bible’s message and consequently needs to be part and parcel of the ongoing life of both the individual and our church. We must actively promote and support missionaries and mission societies both near and far.
Ministry is service. Every believer is in ministry.
Church services must focus our attention on what God has to say to us through His Word, the Bible. Our attentive listening to God and consequent lives of grateful obedience is our worship.
Church services must be warm and welcoming, interesting and understandable.
Small groups are a vital aspect of Christian growth and care. They help encourage and equip Christians through Bible study, prayer and caring for each other whilst other groups can be designed to reach out to, inform and care for non-Christians. (See also “Congregational Care at NBC”)
The leadership of our church must comprise people who are Godly, mature in the faith and supportive of our church’s Goal, Tasks and Principles.
The organisation and structure of our church must be geared to promote effective Bible-centred ministry.
Assessment of existing activities and the development of new opportunities must happen continually.
Every aspect of our church life, our relationships, activities and environment must both promote the gospel and be conducive to its spread.
The pastors have as their role the responsibility of ensuring, as far as they can, that the above principles are held to and put into practice.