Principles

Principles for Community Life at the Church of St John the Evangelist

At St John’s, we believe that God calls us to help people become followers of Jesus, equipped for ministry in the church and in the world through nurture, evangelism, worship and service.

Jesus commanded us to love our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). As we strive to live as “the Body of Christ” (1Co 12:27, Ro 12:4-5), we realize that we fall short of the ideal, and that the discipline of being the Body of Christ frequently challenges our selfish nature.

Therefore we, the people of the Church of St John the Evangelist, Hamilton, commit ourselves to learn how to live in harmony and co-operation in order to fulfill our calling (Ro 15:5-6). In pursuit of that goal, we will seek by the grace of God to live our life together by the following principles:

  1. We will seek to love all our fellow members, neighbours in Christ, as we love ourselves (Mk 12:31, Ro 12:8, Col 3:14).
  2. We will seek to build one another up in our faith, affirm one another’s gifts and accomplishments, seek the good in others, and offer encouragement whenever possible (Ro 12:9-10; 14:19, 1Co 13:7, Php 4:8, 1Th 5:11).
  3. We will seek to understand other people’s opinions before expressing our disagreement, and, when we feel it necessary to disagree, will do so with grace and good humour (Col 3:12). 
  4. We will put the interests of the church and its mission before those of ourselves or our group. (Ro 15:1-3, Php 2:3-4) 
  5. When someone offends us by word or action, we will speak to that other person in order to resolve the matter. (Mt 18:15-17) 
  6. We will be ready to ask forgiveness when necessary, and will give it readily when it is asked for. (Mt 6:24-25, 18:21-22, Col 3:13)

We pray for the patient help of the Holy Spirit as we seek together to grow in discipleship by learning to practice these convictions.

Draft, October 12, 2010
As recommended by the Raising the Roof Group