We think that the thing God desires most for us is that we love Him, and love one another (Matthew 22:34-39). At least that’s what Jesus said.
And what do we think that looks like? Well, we try to see ourselves as a loving community of people who are really committed to being changed to be more like Jesus, both on the inside and outside. We also think that everything God has given us is intended to be shared with everybody else too.
We believe that every human life has meaning because God has made each one of us uniquely for His purpose. In the Bible we discover the values and principles that make life worth living and it’s our guide, and authority, when it comes to our core beliefs. These commonly shared convictions inspire and lead us in all our decisions, plans and practices. At Forest Brook we seek to really know Jesus as both Saviour and Lord, and to follow His teachings. As a church, we affirm the central beliefs held historically by the Christian faith.
So what makes us different from the rest?
We do have our distinctives. These are some of the things that we value as a church and which help to shape who we are and our particular expression of the Christian faith:
• We value building a faith community where everyone feels accepted, cared for and loved, irrespective of gender, race, age, social status or background.
• We value developing and equipping every person so that they can realize their full potential in Jesus Christ. We call this discipleship.
• We value earnest, believing and persistent prayer as the primary way we change the world, and ourselves.
• We value all the generations of people worshipping together, young and old. So our worship service is flavoured so that everyone can participate.
• We value the harmonious partnership between church and parents to work on behalf of kids and young people. We call this “orange”, because it’s represented by the blending of two colours (red and yellow) in making something new (orange). In the same way, the whole church community partners with those who are parents to help raise great kids and youth for Jesus!
• We value our particular Christian heritage. While our congregation is pretty eclectic these days, our roots are in the Christian Brethren movement, which got us started with some pretty good stuff.
• Plural leadership. Forest Brook is led by a group of individuals who form our Elders’ Leadership Board. These are spiritually mature members of the
congregation who provide the spiritual oversight of all aspects of our church life. In other words, we’re not personality or pastor-driven.
• Every-member ministry. This means we believe that every single Christian has been called and gifted by the Holy Spirit to play a part in the overall mission of the church. Our job is to help each other discover what that is, and get on with it.
• A high-view of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Every Sunday we focus on the Lord’s Table to celebrate communion. This way we remember every week that what makes us Christian is not our beliefs or values – but the incredible gift and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
• And finally, we value sensitive and effective outreach and service to those beyond our church; in our neighbourhood, city, country and the world. The bible says that we love others, because Jesus first loved us (1 John 4:19). That’s our mission.