Here’s some stuff we’re into. They’re not just nice theological/philosophical principles – they’re things we’re striving to commit ourselves to, embody, live out, do, and invite others to join us in.
Jesus said it’s the greatest commandment. So it’s at the top of the list. Love God. Love people. And don’t be cheesy about it.
When we gather, we meet around God’s Word. We believe the Bible is Jesus-focussed and gospel-centred. It’s central to all we do. Jesus is the head of His church, so we let Him speak and lead.
God is powerful and can do anything. And He graciously invites us to depend on Him and to trust Him to provide for our needs. We acknowledge that we are powerless to change anyone’s heart – only God can do that.
We want to live radically transformed lives, and become more and more like Jesus as God’s Spirit changes us from the inside out. The old dodgy self must go, and the new fresh self must come.
This goes beyond being ‘nice’ to each other. The Bible says we’re brothers and sisters, so we’re committed to hanging out together, encouraging each other in the faith, and looking after each other as a spiritual family. Home Groups are our backbone. Our unity is not based on our race, age, gender, income, or any other common interest – but only on Jesus who levels the playing field.
Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations. We believe every Christian is to live a missional life where God has put them or where God calls them to go. There are about 24 million Aussies – most don’t know Jesus, and 60% of them don’t have a friend who is a Christian. This means we need to expand our circle of friends and to have gospel intentionality in all our relationships. As a church, we will focus on reaching the 25,000 people living in our region, and we will equip our members to promote the gospel amongst their friends, co-workers, families, neighbours and enemies.
We believe that establishing new churches, congregations, fellowships, and Christian communities is an effective way to see the gospel spread. God willing, we hope to start at least one new congregation or fellowship locally each year. We’re also linked up with the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (www.fiec.org.au), whose vision is to see 100 churches planted in the next 15 years. Specifically, we are supporting one of those new church plants (Mackay Evangelical Church) by praying for them and giving them 5% of our local giving. We’re also partnering with The Geneva Push (www.thegenevapush.com) to see many church planters raised up, assessed, resourced, and unleashed.
This is not just something for the ‘paid professionals’. It’s for every believer. We want to see everyone who calls CoastEC their home church serving the other members of the body as God has equipped them to. Everyone has a vital part to play. We build our ministries around people, not programs. We also want to serve our local community in practical ways.
Every Christian needs to be trained in their understanding, godliness, and ability to promote Jesus and build His church. We want to raise up the next generation of full time gospel workers (pastors, teachers, missionaries, church planters) through GAP (our 1-year Gospel Apprenticeship Program) and MTS (our 2-year Ministry Training Scheme). Our goal is to take on many GAP students and MTS apprentices per year.
Although we’re theologically conservative, we’re culturally liberal. This basically means we’re ‘normal’! The language we use and the style of our church services we have don’t require you to own a theological dictionary, a dated wardrobe or a time machine. Our gatherings are accessible to everyday people, because we’re everyday people too.