OUR CORE VALUES
The presence of the Holy Spirit makes available to the people of God the same transforming power that energised the life and ministry of Jesus and raised him from the dead.
1. To Know God
We at Northgate believe God is good and that we are created to worship him.
For God so loved the world he sent his Son. His Son in turn shows us how to love God. To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind is both the first and the greatest of the commands profound in its grasp yet extraordinary in its simplicity. Not rules, regulations, nor programs - simply to love and pursue God in relationship as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Value in Action:
We value worship to God as being our fundamental reason for being. And as God loves the world, we know we are also loving and worshipping God when we love and steward well the planet and all who reside here.
2. Find Freedom First through Encountering the Gospel
We at Northgate acknowledge that we along with all of creation are marred by sin, thereby have fallen short of God’s glory and are in desperate need of restoration. God’s love for his creation is our good news in his Son Jesus who came to earth to redeem all and to show the way back to the Father. This unmerited free grace of Jesus is the hope of the world that all who call on the name of Jesus Christ will be saved. By this faith, you are adopted into God's family, co-heirs with Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. No longer slaves, but free to live life in all its fullness, for everything is transformed, our hearts, minds, identities, as well as our relationships.
This is why we consider the Gospel as core, for specifically and uniquely this is the finished work of Christ. Free and unmerited grace is hard to get our head around, our efforts and works are redundant. This is God’s mission, and he has established the church as his agent to accomplish the mission.
Value in Action:
We value reaching people with words and deeds to make known the hope
we have found in Jesus’s plan of salvation. To this, we will give ourselves in
faith to be led by the Holy Spirit, to people, places, and situations he wants
us to go to.
God’s model for reaching the world is best seen in the blessing of all nations through the existence of a community we call church.
3. Find Freedom through Presenting the Gospel in Community
We here at Northgate believe this gospel is available to positively transform every life without exception.
Isaiah 58:12 reads your people shall rebuild and ancient ruin, raise up and age-old foundation, you will be called the repairer of broken walls and restorer of street with dwellings. This for us at Northgate speaks of changed lives. We are all a little munted and in need of lives to be rebuilt, invitations to rise up, sin ravished lives repaired, and hope restored. However, you might describe this imagery we are speaking of transforming lives.
We must experience for ourselves the life-giving message of Jesus when we ask him into our lives and seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Here we experience the life-transforming freedom from false idols, 'alternative salvations’, and our vain and desperate attempts to fill the emptiness we feel. Long-term life change requires formative practices, from the individual and communal prayer, teaching, and worship of community.
Growing spiritually mature is best done in a community of informal relationships, not in a classroom or through a book. In community - people see how a gospel-changed heart works-in our humility as well as our boldness; in our quickness to repent, forgive, and reconcile; and in the uniqueness of our life practices.
Value in Action:
We value our freedom in Christ in every area of our lives which includes the practical, emotional, and spiritual arenas so we commit to regular prayer, bible study, small group, and communal church attendance. We look for wise mentors who encourage support and generally hold us accountable. We look to do the same for others.
4. Discover Purpose Changes Everything
We here at Northgate believe we are all gifted in certain ways to be valuable members of this community.
As the expression goes, 'freely as I have received - freely shall I now give.' The same good news which transformed and welcomed you now compels you to offer that same goodwill and welcome to ‘the other.’ Those we may have excluded, those who don’t share our values or beliefs, bringing the gospel to bear in our lives and theirs. The gospel changes everything for the good, so we take special delight in testimonies of His powerful work.
We are each called to be representatives of Christ, which means I have a personal responsibility to share the hope I have found. We see the church as the safest place to take the greatest risks so we give it a go. By my unique makeup and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I look out for people from any walk of life, any culture, any standing within the community to share this hope I have found.
Value in Action:
We value the discovery and implementation of the unique and special way
in which I have been made up. So we begin by discovering who I am and
what I am gifted through the Holy Spirit to do, and then we encourage you
to give it a go. For this reason, we don't recruit volunteers, we equip
leaders to change the world.
5. Make a Difference in this World
We here at Northgate believe the Christian faith is best worked out in community.
Because the gospel changes our hearts and identities, it shapes us to be the kind of people who can conduct far more transparent, honest, intimate, and loving relationships. So the gospel creates a new kind of community.
So whether community means significant others, small groups, or gathering on mass, we agree a Christ-centred community meets our longing to love and be loved, to know and be known, connecting with fellow sojourners to encourage, support, teach and love us along the way.
The gospel both makes us closer in our one-on-one relationships, while also creating a counter-cultural community in which all can see the difference the gospel makes. Whenever possible we do things through organic community and lay ministry rather than through staff-led programs. There are multiple ways to form a community, but for us, the small group fellowship will continue to be key. Small groups offer options as we aim to offer support in all areas of life, whether mental, physical, social, or spiritual.
Value in Action:
We value community in all of the forms and functions as a meaningful way
to serve and be served, to be included, and to include others. To make a
difference in this world requires a generous disposition as I give of my time,
energy, and resources as best as I can see the community grow and mature.
The church exists as the missional community of those who have responded to the gospel who now seek to live as a transformed / transforming community to the world.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BAPTIST?
The Baptist Church is a Christian denomination represented in most nations throughout the world. While the churches vary greatly in style, and the Baptists who make them up come from many different ethnicities, cultures and economic groupings, all share four distinctive beliefs:
Baptists believe the Bible is the inspired word of God given to humankind for guidance and instruction on how to live life to its fullest.
Baptists do not have a hierarchy of positions within their churches or their denomination. We believe all members are equal, all are able to hear the voice of God, and all have a contribution to make to the running of the church. We relate to one another and support one another, but each separate congregation makes decisions on how their church will function.
Baptists believe baptism is for believers; a sign of an individual’s faith in Christ and their commitment to following Him. We believe that the preferred means of baptism is full immersion.
Liberty of conscience
Baptists believe in the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state.
So how does that actually play out?
We’re one of over 240 Baptist churches in Aotearoa that make up the Baptist Churches of New Zealand. We are governed here at Northgate by a team of elders who are elected by our members. While we are quick to acknowledge Jesus is the head of our church, we are equally aware Jesus establishes a body he calls the church. In that body we are encouraged to seek pastors and staff as well as appoint elders) to offer direction to the people. Our membership process helps to complement these directives.