The Foundations course is run regularly at New Life Church and it is intended to give new comers an idea of the things we value as a church. The course follows the following topics:
Lovers of Jesus
Following Jesus means dying to yourself, and this is what the Bible says it looks like. So when anybody decides they want to follow Jesus, this is what happens next: repentance, faith and baptism. Following Jesus is the most exciting and significant thing you will ever do, because it’s the start of a brand new life, a life that is full and satisfying!
Jesus answered ‘I am the way the truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father accept through me’
As followers of Jesus we are totally unashamed to say that there is only one way to know God and that is through Jesus, there is no other way, we wholeheartedly believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. (John 14v6)
In 2 Timothy 3:16 the Bible tells us that ‘All Scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness’ .
We want to be a church that loves the Bible, a church with a passion and devotion to the written word of God. We Believe that the Bible contains the very words of God, his words that bring life and direction and revelation of God himself, so if the Bible says it, then that is enough for us. Jesus himself would say ‘It is written’ when he was faced with decisions, temptations and questions. Therefore, if Jesus lived by it, then that’s what we do.
A Church Empowered by the Spirit
He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, and whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up deadly snakes with their hands; and they will drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well’ (Mark 16v15-18)
In reference to the Holy Spirit, Jesus says again at the end of Luke ‘I am going to send you what my Father has promised: but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from high’. We want to be people who are full of the Holy Spirit and his power; we want to know him not as some mystical force, but as the person he is. The one that enables us to live out the life he’s given us and to fulfil the mission he’s called us to, to impact the land God has given us.
A Generous Church
We serve a very big and generous God, who loved us so much that he gave us his only Son, that whoever believes in him will have life, a full and satisfying life. Not only has he given us our life he has brought us into a loving relationship with himself, a relationship that is totally unconditional, based solely on his goodness and grace to us. If we have a God this generous to us his followers, then surely our response back has to be one of generosity to God and others, in all areas of our lives including our time, money, our families and the things we do and have, how we treat others, either in or out of the church.
A Serving Church
In 1Corinthians 12 Paul uses the analogy of the body when talking about the church. He talks about how each part of the body is uniquely different in the part it plays, yet so vitally important. At New Life we want to be a church where every single member is getting involved, using their God-given abilities to serve each other. It takes all of us as one body to achieve all that we do on a weekly basis. There’s a lot that goes on, not just on a Sunday, but throughout the week, not just in the churches building, but in the community, as groups and individuals give their time, energy to serve each other in very practical ways.
A Caring and Empowering Church
In John 13 Jesus says ’A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’
What does it mean to really love one another? What does that look like? With so many of us leading busy lives it is easy to miss each other, often not seeing someone for perhaps weeks at any given time, often resulting in people feeling isolated and uncared for. With this challenge in mind it is important that we, the body, are aware of these things, that we make sure we are looking out for people, calling them and encouraging them. It is why our small groups are so vital, places in which we get to spend time together and pray for each other. Places where we get to form good strong relationships. When people are cared for they have a much better sense of belonging and feel encouraged and supported in their lives.
At New Life leadership is something that is important to us, Jesus submitted to his father, even though he was equal to him, he served him. Wives are encouraged to submit to their husbands, even though they are equal partners, and husbands are told to serve their wives and love them as Christ does the Church. As citizens of our respective towns and cities we are told to submit to those in authority over us. In the New Testament we find that the churches had elders whose role it was to look after the church by leading, teaching, caring and protecting it. Then there were the deacons that served alongside them in various aspects of the churches ministries in order that people could be reached, loved, discipled and equipped to serve God and go out and make disciples. We are encouraged to obey those in leadership over us in our churches, whilst those in leadership are commanded to look after and care for the flock given to them. So Leadership for us here at New Life church is something we see as very important, seeing people growing in their God given gifting and taking the Lead in the places God puts them, both in and out of the Church.
One of the things that you see when you read the book of Acts is the account of the local church. Their foundation was simple: preach the gospel about Jesus, pray for the sick, and as people respond and become Christians, you start a local church. That local church then impacts its own local community. This is what we want to be, a church in Tameside that is impacting its community, that talks about Jesus, prays for the sick and sees people added into the church. We want a church that is full of people God has saved and who are now out in their local communities sharing their lives with others and seeing God move in the lives of those around them
Following Jesus means being caught up in the ongoing mission to preach the good news, pray for the sick, help the poor, make followers and see people live in the fullness of Life that God intends for us. That mission is for here in Tameside and beyond us into the bigger world.