WHAT WE BELIEVE
These are the ideas, the truths of Scripture, that shape Tamworth Baptist Church.
#1. IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS
Our biggest problem is sin and the answer is Jesus. Our church has cherished as our motto a summary of the great commission, “know Christ, make Him known” (based on Matthew 28:16-20). At the core of all our ministry is the desire to grow in Christ and to introduce others to him and his saving grace. We remind ourselves that Jesus is the source and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
This means that our ministries, our activities, our relationships, and our buildings-- everything, shares the same purpose – to help us grow in the grace of Christ. If something doesn’t sooner or later bring people to Jesus, or grow them in Jesus, or strengthen them in Jesus then we don’t think it’s the best thing we could be doing. (Colossians 3:17)
#2. THE BIBLE IS OUR BOTTOM-LINE
We are convinced that God speaks to us through the Bible. (1 Peter 1:2 and 1 Tim3:16) That is where we hear God’s voice- in the independent, unbiased word of God. “The Bible is our authority in all matters of faith and practice.” We look to the Bible first, and then we consult others or consider contemporary wisdom or reflect on our feelings. It’s only through the Bible that we know the real Jesus.
So, when we come to our Sunday gathering we don’t want to hear what the preacher has to say, we want to hear God speak through his word. In a church meeting we don’t want a democracy; we seek God’s will by reflecting on his Word.
#3. PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT
Church is not a building or a time slot it is a family. We are a family. Families are people connected to each other. God makes it very clear through the apostle Paul that each member of the church is important (1 Corinthians 12-14). Each church member is a child of God. The church exists to build people up- We are given gifts to build people up – in Jesus. (Ephesians 4) We firmly believe that people are more important than programs. It doesn’t matter to us whether something is official or unofficial, big and flashy or small and quiet, what matters is that people are built up in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We encourage people to meet with other people to read the Bible and pray.
#4. RELATIONSHIPS MATTER
Read any letter in the New Testament and see how many ‘we’s and ‘us’s and ‘one another’s there are. We don’t do this on our own. But more than that- everything is relational. Good relationships make things better and bad relationships ruin everything. Whenever we get together it’s about building relationships, not just doing things. Church isn’t something you go to, it’s a family- you are the church. This is why life groups and 1-to-1 meetings are such an important part of our church life. If you just come to church for an hour on Sunday and sit there you don’t understand what church is and you are not doing what the Bible says. You can’t love someone if you don’t know them. And once you get to know them you’ll probably have to forgive them. We will always ask people to follow Matthew 18 to reconcile relationships because relationships are everything. In everything we do here we seek to help people build deep, lasting relationships that we might be built up in Christ together.
#5. WE BELIEVE IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
Jesus said I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18) We do not believe the church is an accident of history or a side effect of salvation. The church is what God is doing. Read Ephesians 4, focus in on verse 10. The church is God’s victory parade. The church is where the wisdom of God is displayed. God is glorified when his people cling to his grace and proclaim his gospel in the church. What God is doing here at TBC is exciting, it’s eternal, it’s essential.
We are passionate about being the church Jesus is building. We will give preference to ministries and activities that build the local congregation, unashamedly. Before we support an event, an outreach, a ministry, an organisation we want to know how it will build people into a local church. Read 1 Peter 2, this is why Jesus came, to bring us back to him, together.