Here at Redding First we believe the Church is not a place or an institution – it’s people. God’s Church is actually all of us traveling this journey of life, living as passionate disciples of Jesus. We realize that no one is perfect and neither is our world, but we also understand that God is wanting to use us to assist Him in unleashing His love all over this planet called Earth.
That’s why we have developed two tools to guide us on this journey of life. The first we call our DNA. It’s not a mission statement, or a destination, but rather a description of who we are supposed to be. This DNA is a part of our very make-up as disciples. We believe this is God’s DNA for us, His people, and we want to live it out in the fabric of our everyday lives so much, that it becomes as normal to us as breathing. If that resonates with your heart, we would love for you to join us on this journey of loving, connecting and serving!
The second we call “Essentials.” We recognize that while our DNA invites us into a way of life, we also need tangible expressions which can help us know how to live it out. These Essentials are concrete statements which provide us with direction and clarity as we journey together. These simple statements provide some ideas on how we can practically live out our DNA. When combined together, the DNA and Essentials provide a clear picture of a fruitful community of disciples.
Love God: Being Transformed by Christ
Life is a journey and none of us has reached our final destination yet. Until we do, we realize we need God’s constant shaping in our lives. Our original God-design, which is very good, has been twisted, so nothing short of God’s transforming work of grace through Christ can ever hope to change us from the inside-out. That’s why we believe we are people on a life-long journey of learning to love God.
Connect with Others: Helping Each Other Grow in Christ
God designed us to live in relationship. We were never meant to live without the contact and interaction of other people around us. Sometimes we think we need to live “watching our own backs,” but we’ve found that can be a pretty lonely way to exist. In fact, we have discovered that when we are willing to share life and Jesus with each other, it actually makes life more meaningful and creates a greater sense of purpose for all of us. That’s why we believe we are people on a life-long journey of learning to connect with others.
Serve the World: Sharing Christ Glocally
When Jesus was physically here on our planet he was the hands and feet of God for our world. But he had to go so we could receive a different form of God – the Holy Spirit. That Spirit now fills all of us, which means we literally become the hands and feet of God in the world today. And since Jesus’ life was our example and his whole existence was about serving others, we think that’s God’s pattern for us too. So whether it’s on the other side of the globe (Global), or the other side of the street (Local), that’s where we want to be Glocal (Global and Local). That’s why we believe we are people on a life-long journey of learning to serve the world.
Practicing the Spiritual Disciplines: Studying the Word, praying, tithing, fasting…
The Spiritual Disciplines have been a part of orthodox Christianity from its inception with Christ. He demonstrated the use of disciplines like prayer and solitude, the breaking of bread, and giving. We believe these kinds of disciplines are the avenues through which we express our devotion and love for our Lord, as well as the means through which we also deepen our love and devotion to Him. They are not a religious system of rules or regulations to follow, but the actions of authentic disciples of Christ.
Being obedient to the Holy Spirit: Submission, listening, responding, acting…
On the Day of Pentecost a new era was unleashed among God’s people. God’s presence now lives within each of us, not just in the person of Christ or in a tabernacle somewhere. Because of that present Agent, disciples of Jesus are constantly in touch with the Divine Presence. And just like God led the people of Israel in the Old Testament, and He led Jesus and the early church in the New Testament, He continues to use that same Spirit to lead and guide us today. Our calling as disciples is to simple listen and follow His leadership.
Cultivating authentic community with other Christians:
Accountability, encouragement, openness…
As Father, Son & Holy Spirit, relationship is built into the very character and definition of God. Since we bear the Imago Dei (the image of God), relationship is necessary to our survival as well. That means part of the very definition of being a disciple involves community. It is impossible to truly be a disciple without living in authentic community with other disciples. However, we live in a culture that is constantly telling us that we, as individuals, are the center of our universe – that what really matters is me. We must work against this lie from our culture to intentionally cultivate community discipleship.
Building organic friendships with the world: Intentional, loving, burdened…
One can’t be a disciple for long and not realize God is constantly seeking out the lost and broken of our world. The very act of becoming a disciple of Jesus involves recognizing that God has sought us out in our brokenness. That realization means that another essence of discipleship is joining God in His search for the lost and broken. Unfortunately, it’s easy to live inside the insulated bubble of Christendom, so we must work to break out of those boundaries and join God in His quest.
Tangibly demonstrating the love of God: Compassionate, partnering, dynamic…
On the final night of His earthly life, Jesus demonstrated ultimate love through an extravagant act of servanthood. In the process He told His disciples they needed to follow His example, and that would be the way the world around them would know and understand His love. That invitation to a life of service has been extended to every disciple since that night, and it includes all of us. Therefore, if we are going to reveal God’s love to the world around us, it will only happen as we partner with Christ in lives of servanthood.
OUR ARTICLES OF FAITH
We believe that the Old and New Testament Scriptures, given by plenary inspiration, contain all truth necessary to faith and Christian living.
We believe that man is born with a fallen nature, and is, therefore, inclined to evil, and that continually.
We believe that the finally impenitent are hopelessly and eternally lost.
We believe that the atonement through Jesus Christ is for the whole human race; and that whosoever repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is justified and regenerated and saved from the dominion of sin.
We believe that believers are to be sanctified wholly, subsequent to regeneration, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the new birth, and also to the entire sanctification of believers.
We believe that our Lord will return, the dead will be raised, and the final judgment will take place.
For more information about the Global Church of the Nazarene you can visit this LINK.