CEC exists to REACH all people of all ages with the truth of Jesus, to UNITE them with other believers, to help them to GROW in their faith and to discover their POTENTIAL as they HONOUR God.
Reach is our word for Evangelism or mission. Unite is our word for Fellowship. Grow is our word for Discipleship. Potential is our word for Ministry. Honour is our word for Worship. These are the five principles; the five pillars of the church which we are seeking to build upon here at CEC. In fact Jesus speaks about these five key principles in two important passages or statements that he makes.
The Great Commandment
Matthew 22:36-40: “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD with all your heart…soul…and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The Great Commission
Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says to His disciples, “GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, BAPTISING THEM in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and TEACHING THEM TO DO everything I have commanded you.”
These two verses give us the five instructions or principles for the church.
1. “Love God with all your heart” [WORSHIP]
The church exists to worship God. Anytime you’re expressing love to God you are worshipping with all your heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a group or by yourself. When you love God with all your heart, you’re worshipping.
2. “Love your neighbour as yourself” [MINISTRY]
The church exists to minister to people. Anytime you’re expressing love to somebody else in the name of Jesus, even a cup of cold water given in His name, that’s called ministry. Each time you reach out in love to others you are ministering to them.
3. “Go…make disciples” [EVANGELISM]
The church exists to go out and reach people for Christ, to communicate God’s Word. As Christians we are ambassadors for Christ, and as the Great Commission tells us we are to evangelise the world. It is every Christian’s responsibility to share the Good News wherever we go. We are to tell the whole world of Christ’s coming, His death on the cross, His resurrection, and His promise to return. In fact the task of evangelism is so important, Jesus actually gave us five Great Commissions, one in each of the gospels, and one in the book of Acts.
4. “Baptising them” [FELLOWSHIP]
The church exists to provide fellowship. Baptism is the symbol of Fellowship that says, “you’re one of us”. We’ve incorporated you into the fellowship. You’re part of the family. It’s a symbol not only of new life and salvation. It’s also the symbol of fellowship. You’re part of the body of Christ. As Christians we’re called to belong not just to believe. We are not meant to live lone-ranger lives; instead we are to belong to Christ’s family and be members of his body.
5. “Teaching them to do” [DISCIPLESHIP]
The church exists to edify, or educate God’s people. Discipleship is the process of helping people become more like Christ in their thoughts, feelings and actions. As a church we are called not only to reach people, but also to teach them. After someone has become a Christian, he or she must be discipled. It is the church’s responsibility to develop people to spiritual maturity.
And that’s all we are seeking to do as a church. It’s real simple. We invest all our time, and all our energy, and all our money, and all our effort, and all our reputation to bringing people in and building them up and training them for, and sending them out for, the glory of God. That is our reasonable worship.
As a church our hope is that we increasingly become a church that grows warmer through fellowship; grows deeper through discipleship; grows stronger through worship; grows broader through ministry; grows larger through evangelism; and grows stronger through prayer.