(or, what makes us different)

1) An increased emphasis on prayer

Prayer is an expression of an increasing hunger for God. We have to train and mobilize the congregation for prayer. It is no coincidence that most of the world's fastest growing churches are committed to fervent, focused prayer.

2) All believers equipped for ministry

God can use ordinary church members in addition to full-time staff. A key principle to the early church's success: All believers are called into the ministry, gifted for ministry, need to be trained for ministry, and should be sent into ministry.

3) An openness to experimentation and change

We aim to be relevant to the world around us, though not at the expense of kingdom authenticity and Biblical soundness. We need to ask ourselves:

- What kind of culture do we live in?

- What kind of church will it take to reach that kind of culture?

- What kinds of ministries does that church need to reach that kind of culture?

- What kind of leadership will it require in order to have those kind of ministries?

- What kind of staff and supervisors will be needed to equip and encourage those kind of leaders?

4) Willingness to endure ridicule and persecution

In a world where right and wrong is relative, we need to take a firm stand on what we believe in, even at the expense of our pride and person. We need to make a distinction, to set the pace to live for eternity in a society that lives for today. We have assumed that we are protected by good laws and constitutional guarantees. But good laws cannot protect us if they are interpreted by wicked people. How will we do in times like these? We will flourish, if we have set our hearts to be willing to swim against the tide.

5) A commitment to unity

We need to be open to fellowship with anybody who is truly following Jesus. This unity will not happen simply because we see the scriptural mandate in John 17 or Psalm 133. This has to be forged in practice, in mutual support, in actively working and praying together. It is a key to survival and victory in a hostile environment.

6) A changing pastoral posture

We need to make a quality commitment to the church and its leadership. As our pastors pour out their lives to care for and affirm us, we too must support and affirm them and their families.

7) A sense of global optimism

Christianity will far outlast any of our congregations or groupings. In spite of everything, we believe that the Gospel will flourish across the world. To make a difference in this era, we need to have an unshakable optimism in knowing that God is alive and well and that He will carry out His sovereign plans. We will not be intimidated by the current cultural environment, for we have an overwhelming confidence that God is ready to act on our behalf in the extension of His Kingdom.

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© Nicholas Tay 1996