New Forest Community Church Vision

What’s in this document?

  • Who we are
  • Where we are heading
  • Why we are taking this route
  • How we will get there
  • Mission, discipleship and worship
  • Leadership
  • Our status as a charity.

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Who we are

We believe that God is someone we can experience personally; someone who loves, inspires and challenges us. We see church as a family who love the spiritual reality of our relationship with God. Our key binding principles are to love God and love each other and we seek to be as inclusive as possible, celebrating the uniqueness of every person.

We also view the Bible as God’s truth and spiritual authority. To use church terminology, we are ‘charismatic evangelicals’. NFCC started as part of a Christian movement in the 1970s and we have been part of the ‘Salt & Light’ network of churches since 2011. We are God’s people in the New Forest district.

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Where we are heading

We want to be a church family that lives out our belief in, and love for, Jesus Christ; to allow God’s love and life-changing power to impact our community. We want to grow in numbers and produce new church families that do the same things in other communities. Our main focus is on God’s immense love for humanity; a love that challenges and inspires us to make new followers of Jesus: new disciples.

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Why we are taking this route

We believe that the ultimate aim for any church is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people: not as a system of belief, but as a power that can transform everything it comes into contact with.

We believe that the most effective way of communicating this message is to live as a Christ-centred family as part of our local community. As our family grows, it logically follows that we should encourage people to be part of new Christ-centred families, either across our own region or further afield.

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How we will get there

We recognise the need for a culture that actively encourages our God-given gifts and skills, seeks to develop future leaders, and prepares people to start new church families. We need to grow as a Christ-centred family to ensure that we do not ‘plant’ a new church at the expense of our presence in, and impact on, the village of Marchwood.

As we grow, we will build a team, identify a location and then plant a church. To ensure this vision is fulfilled, we will explore and communicate three aspects of Christ’s character:

  1. The way He reached out to others He didn’t know
  2. The way He loved those that identified with Him
  3. The way He loved God

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Mission, Discipleship and Worship part 1: Mission

The Bible tells us that God has a plan to bring wholeness to His Creation. Mission is the part we play in that plan, which is centred on the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The main objective for NFCC mission activities is to lead people into a relationship with God.

As part of this, we seek to consistently promote godly principles of justice, equality, compassion, peace, love, joy, patience, kindness and goodness. We also seek to embed them into our church culture and local community.

We seek to evolve NFCC mission by:

  1. Cultivating the expectation that the power of the Holy Spirit will be demonstrated: that there will be supernatural signs and wonders that our church and community can experience
  2. Collaborating with other churches, ministries and organisations seeking to express God’s love, justice and authority to a broken and hurting world
  3. Seeking to engage our community through church initiatives such as Christians Against Poverty (CAP), evangelistic events, fun days and Messy Church
  4. Specifically focusing on families

Linking mission, discipleship and worship

Mission informs the process of making disciples – discipleship – clarifying what we are preparing for and what new disciples will need. Mission is also a catalyst for worship, inspired by God, who intervenes on earth through His people.

Mission, Discipleship and Worship part 2: Discipleship

We are disciples, following Jesus. Discipleship is the process through which we seek to learn from, and be transformed into, the likeness of Jesus Christ. We practice intimacy with God and authentic family relationships. We also seek to encourage, equip and empower each other to grow in maturity as part of the Church of Jesus Christ.

We seek to evolve NFCC discipleship by developing Christ-centred character as laid out in the Bible, exploring how Jesus:

  1. Thought critically about His culture
  2. Communicated with others
  3. Expressed inclusive creativity amongst His community
  4. Collaborated with others to achieve His goals

Linking mission, discipleship and worship

Discipleship empowers and enables mission. As disciples gain new intimacy with, and understanding of, God the desire to bring others into that intimacy and understanding will grow. This also produces passionate, authentic expressions of worship and stronger family relationships.

Mission, Discipleship and Worship part 3: Worship

Worship is any act that gives glory to God. Here we define it in its narrow sense: an expressive act of adoration, exaltation or veneration offered to God, inspired by His character and relationship with us as a church.

Worship is also a declaration of who God is and how we feel about Him. We express this by focusing on scripture, praise, devotion and prayer. Through worship, we foster intimacy with God and closeness to each other; we find our voice as a community; and we experience, sustain and develop unity as a people.

We seek to evolve NFCC worship by building on the strength of our existing expressions, developing:

  1. Inclusivity
  2. Creativity, drawing inspiration from performing arts and other cultures
  3. Prophetic expressions of worship
  4. Expectation of the power of the Holy Spirit

Linking mission, discipleship and worship

Worship allows us to experience God in a unique way: a positive shared experience that creates openness and trust in relationships. It is the transforming force in discipleship and the power behind mission.

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Leadership

To realise this vision, a biblical system of leadership is critical. We define a leader as a person, male or female, who has been given a gift by God to achieve His purpose for leading a group or activity; who acknowledges God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; is recognised as one who is empowered by the Holy Spirit; and believes in biblical truth and authority.

There are three functions of NFCC leadership. Leaders of all functions collaborate to ensure effective support and development for the sake of the Gospel.

  • Group Leaders and Ministry Leaders are responsible for the purpose of the group or ministry they lead.
  • The Pastoral Team focus on the spiritual, emotional, mental and medical health of the church family.
  • The Oversight Team stand accountable before God for the expression of the church family as a whole. In complex issues or situations, the final decision rests with them.

No single function has any greater honour than any other. There is a high level of accountability, both within NFCC and within Salt & Light.

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Our charity status

For the sake of openness and transparency, we choose to exist as a charity. We have a board of trustees who are accountable to the Charities Commission in relation to the purpose for which the charity was created. For further information surrounding our Memorandum and Articles of Association, please email info@nfcc.org.uk