5 Priorities of Citizens Church
Every church has certain things that are most important, critical beliefs or values that will always take priority; Citizens Church is no different. As we’ve moved through this process and done what we can to understand God’s heart for this church we believe that He has led us to these five priorities. We may learn new ways to say and express them over time but we believe these will be guiding principles for us as we build a new church.
The gospel is the good news of God’s saving work through Jesus to those who are far from Him AND the gospel is the power of God to those who are in Christ. We will be a church that never lets the truth of the gospel become “old news”. We will endeavour to be people who look deeply into the depths of the truth and power of the gospel to mine out every bit of good news there is for us in our lives today. In every setting, from young to old, we will do whatever we can to clearly and holistically teach and live out the gospel.
After Jesus commissioned His disciples He told them to wait for the Gift of the Father: the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to believers to empower them as witnesses to the work and message of Jesus in every corner of society and we believe He still does that work today. We will be people who passionately pursue the Holy Spirit—giving space for Him to speak and move—not just in gatherings but in all parts of our lives. We believe in all of the gifts of the spirit and believe that we will see the renewal of our city as we learn to be people who live full of the Spirit.
Everybody wants to find a place where they belong. A place or a group that understands them, serves their needs and walks through life with them. The problem is that everything in our culture wars against genuine community with a vision of individualism. When we place ourselves at the centre of our universe, community becomes a means to serve our self only; even our own faith. But, the vision of community we see in the New Testament is much different than what we see today. In the New Testament, we see believers who prioritize being together, share what they have, invite in strangers and work out what it means to follow Jesus, together. Our faith is not designed to be lived out in isolation but in the context of a broader community for the sake of the city in which we live. This is the vision of community we are striving for.
Discipleship to Jesus is not just about a collection of right beliefs it’s an invitation into an apprenticeship with Jesus as our teacher. In the context of community we want to be a people who practice the way of Jesus together in the city. We will lean into the rhythms of the Kingdom and align our lives and practices to the blueprint Jesus gives us in the gospels.
We believe that our God is a sending God. He sent the world His very best in His son Jesus and we want to do the same. We believe the best strategy we have to reach people far from God is by planting new, disciple-making communities...so we will develop leaders, give sacrificially and commit to sending our best for the sake of reaching more people in more places.