Vision & Values

OUR PURPOSE

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We are a Christ-centred community existing to spread a passion for Jesus Christ in the Anlaby Communities and beyond.

In our recent vision sermon we compared ourselves to a vine (see John 15).

We seek to:

MAKE disciples who make disciples – This is the essential growth function of the vine, the cell-division. We want to help people to grow in their knowledge of the transforming grace of God, that they might live for him in every part of their lives, and in turn help others. Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2.

SEND disciples to bless the Anlaby Communities – As the vine spreads it bears delicious fruit which benefit many. God called out a people that they might be a blessing to the whole world: We love our community and our city, and we long to be a blessing to them. Genesis 12:3; Galatians 6:10.

RESOURCE mission in West Hull – Think of the vine spreading across a fence, covering the barren surface with life and growth. We seek to work with others to make Jesus Christ known in the Anlaby Communities, in West Hull, and beyond. Matthew 28:18-20; John 3:16.

Listen to more about Our purpose and vision here.

Our Values

We believe that prioritising the first 3 core values will enable us to be effective in our mission, as we put each of our values into action.

Deepen: We believe that God has spoken, and continues to speak by his Spirit through his Word the Bible. We have the privilege of going deeper in our relationship with the living God through biblical preaching, teaching and discipleship.

Depend: '“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” says the LORD Almighty.' (Zechariah 4:6). We are completely dependent on God to work in our lives - and in the Anlaby Communities - by the power of his Holy Spirit. We express this in our personal and corporate prayer, and acting in His strength rather than our own.

Equip: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others” (1 Peter 4:10). We long for everyone in the church family to be equipped to serve God with the gifts He has given them, in every area of their lives.

Worship: As Christians we have received forgiveness, new life and a new future through Jesus Christ. We are compelled to respond to his love, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in passionate joy and service expressed in every part of our lives.

Serve: We love our Community and our City and we long to serve those in need, as we are able. We also work in partnership with the Anlaby Communities Trust to that end.

Care: Jesus said “By this all people will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). We are deeply committed to caring for one another, and those God brings across our path.

Invite: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11). We want other people to share in the joy we have found in knowing Jesus Christ – and therefore we are committed to inviting others, and helping them find answers to their questions.

MAKING THE VISION A REALITY - 1. MAKE DISCIPLES WHO MAKE DISCIPLES

by Steve Wilcox

On November 6 I spoke on a vision for St Peter's and St Mark's for the coming year. I encouraged us to think of the church family as a vine - an image that Jesus uses in John 15. As it receives its nutrients a vine grows, spreading out across the wall or fence on which it is located. It bears fruit as it grows, bringing delight to the owner of the vine and to others. It seems to me that the image of the vine is a good image for us to remember this year, as we continue to work out our purpose to be “a Christ-centred community existing to spread a passion for Jesus Christ in the Anlaby Communities and beyond.”

imageIn my sermon I presented 3 approaches we intend to take as a church, in order to fulfil our purpose. These 3 purposes have been agreed by the Church Councils. I'd like to explain a bit more about the three approaches. In this article I'll explain the second approach.

Approach 1 – Make disciples who make disciples

It's a few years since I took biology GCSE, so I thought I'd do some research into how vines grow. I discovered that there are two main causes of growth – cell division, and cell growth. That is, the cells within the vine (and its berries) expand, and at some point they divide to produce new cells, which then grow, and so on. (If there are any biologists amongst us they might be able to help us even more to understand this!) In the same way, the vine which is the church grows through Christians growing in their faith, and Christians helping others to grow in their faith. Jesus uses this very image in John 15, in which Jesus himself is “the vine”, and his followers – those who remain in him because they remain in his Word – are the branches of the vine.

Let's think of this through the eyes of Matthew, whose gospel we looked at in the autumn. For Matthew, every follower of Jesus is a disciple – that's what “disciple” means. If you call yourself a Christian, then you are a disciple. And what we find in Matthew's gospel is that the disciples grow in their faith as Jesus disciples them – as he teaches and trains them. So in some places we find him teaching them (eg the Sermon on the Mount); in other places we see him modelling the Christian life to them (eg Matthew 11:1, 8:18-20); sometimes he trains them (eg Matthew 10); at other times he rebukes them (eg Matthew 16:23); and at other times he encourages them (eg Matthew 13:16-17).

Then, at the end of Matthew's gospel, Jesus gives his marching orders - “Go and make disciples of all nations...” (Matthew 28:19). In other words, the disciples are to learn from all that he has shown them – and they are to do the same with others, in his name.

This being discipled and making disciples is the key ingredient to the growth of the church / vine / body of Christ. It is the engine, the driver, the cell growth and cell division. It is something that every member of the church family – every disciple – should be concerned about and keen to see. Which is why we have made it one of our key approaches to “Make disciples who make disciples.”

But we might be able to think of several objections at this point. Someone might say “But I don't want to take my Christian faith too seriously – it's just one part of my life after all.” But Matthew would respond that every Christian is a disciple; and we find out what it means to be a disciple in the Bible. We are not at liberty to define for ourselves what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ – we must allow him to define it for us.

Someone else might say “This makes it sound like I'm someone else's project – to disciple me.” Nobody is anybody else's project; rather, each of us are disciples and it's right that we seek to grow as disciples and welcome others who seek to help us in that endeavour.

Another person might say “I don't know how to grow as a disciple, let alone how to make disciples.” And it's fine not to know – but how about asking someone to show you what it looks like? There are a number of us who would be more than happy to talk to you about that.

How might we do this?

So how might we as a church family “Make disciples who make disciples”? In the vision sermon I set out a number of ways in which we might seek to do this.

> Sundays must be our starting point. We meet as God's people to encounter God, to worship him, to be changed by him, and to be sent out to serve him in the week ahead. In other words, we meet to grow as disciples, to encourage each other, and to praise God as disciples of the Lord Jesus. Let's go to church with that attitude, Sunday by Sunday.

> Life groups – Numbers of people are finding that Life groups are a fantastic way of growing as disciples, as they hear God speak to them regularly in a more intimate setting than Sundays provide. It also gives more opportunity to think about what God is saying to each of us personally, as well as to pray for each other.

> Meeting one-to-one – discipling one another – A number of people in the church family meet together in groups of two or three to read the bible, talk about living as a Christian, and pray together. This can be done formally or informally, but I recommend it highly. I've heard it said that each Christian needs a Paul (someone to disciple them), a Barnabas (someone to walk alongside them and encourage them), and a Timothy (someone to disciple).

> Discipleship in our DNA – The Ministry team are currently reading a book called “The Vine Project”, which makes suggestions as to how making disciples can become part of the culture of the church. Please pray for the leadership of the church as we seek to make this more and more a reality, for God's glory.

MAKING THE VISION A REALITY - 2. SEND DISCIPLES TO BLESS THE ANLABY COMMUNITIES

by Steve Wilcox

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On November 6 I spoke on a vision for St Peter's and St Mark's for the coming year. I encouraged us to think of the church family as a vine - an image that Jesus uses in John 15. As it receives its nutrients a vine grows, spreading out across the wall or fence on which it is located. It bears fruit as it grows, bringing delight to the owner of the vine and to others. It seems to me that the image of the vine is a good image for us to remember this year, as we continue to work out our purpose to be “a Christ-centred community existing to spread a passion for Jesus Christ in the Anlaby Communities and beyond.”

In my sermon I presented 3 approaches we intend to take as a church, in order to fulfil our purpose. These 3 purposes have been agreed by the Church Councils. I'd like to explain a bit more about the three approaches. In this article I'll explain the third approach.

Approach 2 – Send disciples to bless the Anlaby Communities

As a vine spreads across a wall or fence, it bears fruit – delicious fruit which can be used for a great variety of purposes, bringing blessing to many. In the same way, we long to be a blessing to the Anlaby Communities. When God makes his great promises to Abraham, he says “All peoples will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3). Later on, when God's people are in exile in Babylon, God tells them to “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for if it prospers, you also will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7). In the New Testament, Jesus tells his followers “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). And in Galatians Paul writes “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).

How do we “send disciples to bless the Anlaby Communities”? A great deal of this already happens quietly, behind the scenes. There are members of the church family who visit other needy and lonely people; those who serve as school governors, on the parish council, or on other community bodies. There are those who visit the schools and day centres. There are those who are salt and light in the local U3A groups and other community groups, not to mention in their workplaces. On 6 June we will be holding a day of prayer at St Peter's (more details to follow). In advance of that, I hope that those who serve in the community in different ways will be able to let us know, so that we can give thanks and pray for them.

Second, there are more organised groups which seek to bless the Anlaby Communities. Light lunches would be a good example of this – providing a meal and fellowship twice a month.

Third, there's the Anlaby Communities Trust (ACT). This was set up a couple of years ago, as a vehicle for St Peter's and St Mark's churches to serve the community, as well as providing a suitable means of operating the St Mark's pre-school. Already through ACT we have been able to provide food parcels to a number of needy people in the community, and to provide a forum for various community groups to meet together and share ideas.

On 10 June, the Anlaby Communities Day is being held at the St Mark's site. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to make connections with the community, as well as to bring the Anlaby Communities and their various organisations together on one occasion. A huge amount of work has gone into the planning of the day – in particular by Gill King, Katie Waltham and Sarah Haynes, who are all trustees of ACT. Do come along and support the day; do help in some way if you're able to; and do please pray for the day (not least that it doesn't rain!)

Making the Vision a reality - 3. Resource mission in West Hull

by Steve Wilcox

On November 6 I spoke on a vision for St Peter's and St Mark's for the coming year. I encouraged us to think of the church family as a vine - an image that Jesus uses in John 15. As it receives its nutrients a vine grows, spreading out across the wall or fence on which it is located. It bears fruit as it grows, bringing delight to the owner of the vine and to others. It seems to me that the image of the vine is a good image for us to remember this year, as we continue to work out our purpose to be “a Christ-centred community existing to spread a passion for Jesus Christ in the Anlaby Communities and beyond.”

In my sermon I presented 3 approaches we intend to take as a church, in order to fulfil our purpose. These 3 purposes have been agreed by the Church Councils. I'd like to explain a bit more about the three approaches. I'll explain the first approach in this article, then in subsequent articles I'll explain the other two approaches.

Approach 3 – Resource Mission in West Hull

imageAs we think about the vine, we imagine it gradually spreading across the wall or fence on which it is located. In the same way we long for the spiritual vine to grow across the Anlaby Communities and across Hull as more and more people come to a saving and life-transforming faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The need for the gospel in Hull is very great – as I set out in my recent post (see below). But it's not just about church attendance. It's about people's relationship with God, and the transformation that brings to lives.

The greatest need of every human being is a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus warns us that hell is a real place, and because of the human condition of sin those who have not put their trust in Jesus will go there for eternity. But “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish (eternally) but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). People need to hear about the Lord Jesus and to put their faith in him in order to have life with him for all eternity.

But Jesus doesn't just transform our eternal life; he transforms our life now as well. We are aware of many social problems in the Anlaby Communities and in Hull; and yet the reality is that the single best way of helping a person's social needs is for them to come to a living faith in Jesus Christ. We see countless examples of this in the gospels – as a person comes to know Jesus Christ, their whole life is transformed for the better. (See, for example, Mark 5:15, 18-20; Matthew 9:22; Luke 7:36-50). I could tell more stories of how this has been the case in West Hull in the 21 century. To summarise then, people desperately need to know Jesus Christ for themselves – and this means people in Anlaby, Anlaby Common, Anlaby Park, Rokeby Park, as well as the rest of West Hull and the surrounding villages.

It may be hard to believe, but relative to most other Anglican churches - and most other evangelical churches - in West Hull, we at St Peter's and St Mark's are well resourced. And God has given us a vision to work with other gospel-centred churches. And therefore it is right that we should seek to work with others to resource mission in West Hull.

How might we do this?

In the vision sermon I set out 3 ways in which we might seek to do this.

> Annual programme of outreach – I have asked John Telford to help us to develop an annual programme of outreach, so that we have regular events to which we can all invite our family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

> Work with other gospel-centred churches – We will seek to work with other gospel-centred churches as much as we can, so that we can help one another in the vital task of mission.

> Plant churches – A church plant is a new congregation: for example, the 4pm service. The desperate need for the gospel compels us to find ways to reach whole new communities. There are currently communities within our parishes we are not reaching, and of course communities elsewhere in the city who are not being reached. We may not be in a position to plant a church just yet; but we can plan and pray to that end. It is much better to have a plan to plant churches when we are small, rather than when we are large and comfortable.

Do pray for the leadership of the church as we plan and pray more about these things. And if you have any ideas, or would like to get involved, do speak to myself, John Telford or a warden.