Soma distinctives


We believe the gospel is the good news of what God has graciously accomplished for sinners; not instruction for what man must do to be right with God. Through our Saviour Jesus Christ’s sinless life, sacrificial death and bodily resurrection, God has accomplished our forgiveness from sin and given complete justification to those those who believe in Him. This gospel is also the foundation for our confidence in the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom and the consummation of his purpose for all creation in the new heavens and new earth…

This gospel is centred in Christ, is the foundation for the life of the Church and is our only hope for eternal life. This gospel is not proclaimed if Christ’s penal substitutionary death and bodily resurrection are not central to our message.

This gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the truth and power by which people are sanctified. It is the truth of the Gospel that enables us to genuinely and joyfully do what is pleasing to God and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ.

The salvation offered in the gospel message is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; no ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved.

(Mark 1:1; Luke 24:46-47; John 3:16-18; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 1:18-25; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:2; 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 9:13; Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 1: 7-10; Colossians 1: 19-20; 2 Timothy 1:8-14; 2 Peter 3: 11-13; Jude 3-4; Revelation 21-22)


The Church is the people of God, saved by God’s power for God’s purposes in this world. We follow the logical flow of the gospel by answering the following four questions from the Scriptures:

  1. Who is God? Being…
  2. What has He done (particularly in Christ)? Doing…
  3. Who are we (the Church)? Being…
  4. How should we live? Doing…

The first three questions are biblical indicatives (or statements of fact). The fourth question consists of biblical imperatives that identify God’s intent or commands for His church. 

The order of Scripture indicates that God’s being (who He is) informs His doing. His doing informs our being (who we are). Our being informs our doing. This order matters and the implications are significant. We are the Church, God’s people, because of what God has done through Christ. So, as God’s people we don’t go to church. Rather we are the Church. This is not semantics. It’s ontological.  Along these lines, Soma churches emphasise the following three Gospel Identities:

We are…

  • Family – God is our Father so we love one another like brothers and sisters
  • Servants – Jesus is our King so we serve others (especially the weak and vulnerable) as Christ served us.
  • Missionaries – The Holy Spirit is our power to be witnesses to Jesus in both word and deed.

The Scriptures reveal several other identities of the Church such as: Saints, His Beloved, His Bride, HIs Body (or Soma in Greek). When these identities are emphasised, they bring out the rich dimensions of what God has created in Christ. Soma encapsulates these principles:

  • to be biblical, keeping God and the gospel functionally central in our churches
  • to emphasise being before doing as a guard against legalism and activism
  • to emphasise that our identity as God’s people is both individual and collective
  • to clarify for the church who we are from God’s perspective; keeping us from a litany of errors conceptually and practically as we seek to be faithful in worship and discipleship.

(Matthew 20:25-28; 25:31-46; 28:16-20; John 1:12-14; 13:1-17; 20:21-22; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:14-17; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Ephesians 1:3-10; 2:10; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 2:9-12; 1 John 3:1; 4:7-12)


The Holy Spirit is fully God and equal with the Father and Son. His primary ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. He also convicts unbelievers of their need for Christ and He imparts spiritual life through regeneration (the ‘new birth’).

God’s children have been adopted as sons and daughters; by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Holy Spirit graciously sanctifies, lovingly leads, comforts, convicts and empowers all who are brought to faith in Christ so that they might live in obedience to all Christ commanded.  

The Holy Spirit empowers the mission of making disciples. Our model for reliance upon the Spirit is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. He was filled with the Spirit and entirely dependent upon the Spirit’s power for the working of miracles, the preaching of the Kingdom of God and for all other aspects of his earthly ministry.

The Holy Spirit – who indwelled and empowered Christ – similarly indwells and empowers believers. Additionally, the Spirit has bestowed spiritual gifts on believers for the work of ministry and the building up of the Body of Christ. All of the gifts of the Spirit remain available today, but no particular one is required to give evidence for a believer’s baptism nor that a believer has been filled by the Spirit. The gifts are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry and are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines.

Holy Spirit empowered ministry is often embodied in corporate prayer and is essential in worship, mission and discernment. Soma churches are learning do desperately depend upon the Spirit; learning to acknowledge our weaknesses and to come increasingly to believe we do our best work in prayer.

(Matthew 3:11; 12:28; Luke 4:1, 14; 5:17; 10:21; John 1:12-13; 3:1-15, 34; 14:12; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8; 2:14-21; 4:29-30;10:38; Romans 8:9, 15, 26-27; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-13; 12:28-31; 14:1-33; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-5; 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18) 


Soma churches are committed to making disciples within the context of Missional Communities (or Gospel Communities). Missional Communities are a central environment for us to ‘Be the Church’ as the priesthood of believers. 

Disciples of Jesus are called to increasingly submit to Him in all of life; are being changed by Him; are called to obey Him as well as to teach others to do the same. Discipleship is the process by which we – through the Word and by the Spirit – bring all of life under the lordship and empowering presence of Jesus Christ.

Missional Communities are designed to create an environment where disciples are made and formed by Jesus. They are a context where believers live life-on-life, life in community and life on mission together.

  • Life-on-Life
    • Being together in everyday life allows Jesus’ disciples to be visible and accessible to one another and to the world. We see each other in the everyday stuff of life so that we learn together what it looks like to follow Jesus in all of life. We are able to assess and encourage growth in discipleship through close familiarity and deep accountability.
  • Life-in-Community
    • One-on-one discipleship will lead a disciple to look like the one who discipled them. Community discipleship leads to disciples looking more like Jesus as He uses the diverse people and gifts within His body. Community is also the context in which we care for each other as good family and live out the ‘one another’ passages of Scripture (e.g. bearing one another’s burdens, praying for one another, submiting to one another, etc.)
  • Life-on-Mission
    • Mission reveals areas of life that need repentance and ensures we are equipping people to make disciples who make disciples. In order to lead people to see all of life as worship and discipleship, we must equip disciples to engage their everyday lives with gospel intentionality; doing what we would normally do differently in light of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.

When a discipleship environment maintains a healthy balance – with regards to gospel/Scriptural truth, community, spiritual disciplines, accountability and mission – we see the fruitful advance of the gospel. This looks like evangelism and edification, new believers coming to trust in Jesus, and maturing believers being conformed to the image of Christ.


Both men and women are together created in the divine image of God and are therefore equal before God as persons; possessing the same moral dignity and value. Men and women have equal access to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Men and women are both recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. God’s intent for the Church is for both men and women to be encouraged and equipped to minister and serve in accordance with their gifts. In the home, both husbands and wives have the responsibility of nurturing and revitalisation within a marriage and family. However, God has given to the man primary responsibility as the head of the household to exercise servant leadership and sacrificial love which Jesus himself modelled and embodied.

The Elders (plural) of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Jesus Christ to provide oversight, to set an example of what is normative for the church and serve the church through prayer and equipping. The office of Elder is restricted to men who are an example of what a godly man looks like leading a household.

(Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18; Acts 18:24-26; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; 3:1-7; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7)


God has reconciled all peoples into a multiethnic family in Christ (Eph 2:11-22). God has also given us a ministry of reconciliation. This means we follow Jesus’ humble example in His incarnation. Jesus emptied Himself, came down to earth and communicated to us in a way we could understand. Jesus made it possible for the gospel to be communicated without cultural hindrance. Soma churches attempt to remove any unnecessary cultural offenses to the gospel as we seek to be a welcoming community for all no matter where we are from.

Every team of leaders/elders and their societal & cultural context is different. God will grant each group a unique combination of capacity, calling and gifting that suits the context he sends them to for the work He calls them to do there. Just like every family member has things in common – alongside expressing their commonalities in unique ways – Soma expects to see our common convictions expressed with great diversity and contextual consideration.  We seek to reveal this beautiful theological reality in our Australian context.

We believe we ought neither to retreat from our culture nor to conform to it. Instead, we are to engage culture boldly with humility and by the Spirit and the truth of the gospel as we seek its transformation and submission to the lordship of Christ.


The church has a clear biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus, mission is not a program in the church but an essential identity of the Church. The Church is the missionary people of God sent into all of life to accomplish His purposes.

We are called to make Christ known through the Gospel and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring his lordship to bear on every dimension of life. The primary way we fulfill this mission is by making disciples who make disciples leading to the starting and establishing of Gospel-centered churches of Missional Communities. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of the churches God enables us to plant around the world.

(Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 10:5-25; 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19; 24:46-47; Acts 28:31; Romans 10:14-15; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:10; 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10)


The Soma Family of Churches is committed to the pursuit of Gospel Saturation in North America and beyond until we see every man, woman, and child have a daily encounter with Jesus in word and deed. We believe the local church is God’s means for bringing this about. We see God’s heart for unity in the church when we observe Jesus’ prayer in John 17, and we desire to press into God’s desires. We observe the Apostle Paul’s “concern for all the churches,” evident in both the content and tone of his letters, and this global concern was a powerful force used by God in building the early Church. Finally, we recognize that Gospel Saturation is too big (i.e. every man, woman and child) for any one church, or family of churches, to tackle so we eagerly pursue Kingdom Collaboration with other partner churches, networks, ministries, nonprofits and individuals. For all these reasons we believe it right and good to care about all of God’s church and not just our church or family of churches.

The Soma Family pursue’s partnership with other organizations that adhere to Christian orthodoxy. Each city is unique. Leaders in each context prayerfully discover areas where partnership increases strength and fruitfulness. Among them may be shared commitments like: pastoral connection events for building relationships and trust, centralized justice initiatives, sharing resources (e.g. facilities, sound equipment, etc.), city-wide prayer gatherings, or church-based theological education (Porterbrook, Antioch/BiLD, Surge, etc.).

(John 17; 2 Cor 11:28; Eph. 1:22-23; Phil 2:1-2; Col. 1:3, 27-28; Gal 2:10)


“The church is reformed and always [in need of] being reformed according to the Word of God” (Van Lodenstein). The passive verb phrase “always being reformed” speaks to the Spirit’s work through the Word of God to bring about greater faithfulness and fruitfulness. We are always on the receiving end of God’s self-revelation, and because we see through a glass dimly, we need help from the Scriptures, the Spirit, our contemporaries, and other saints throughout church history to help us get it right. We aim to have the humility to admit when we have gotten it wrong and to turn. Michael Horton has observed that the phrase,“The church is reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God….keeps us from making tradition infallible but equally from imbibing the radical Protestant obsession with starting from scratch in every generation.” Practically, this looks like taking time as elders to evaluate our Family of Churches, to learn from others, and to make adjustments as necessary. When sin is involved, this could look like the the Soma servant leadership team, the Soma board, or Soma elders repenting publicly of ways we haven’t trusted God or loved well.


The story of God, as told in the Bible, reveals the missional record of who God is and what God is doing in, through, and for the world. It is the true story of the whole world. This single story from Genesis to Revelation is the controlling metanarrative that contextually shapes the way the church understands her identity and, consequently, her mission in the world.
Discipleship is story participation. Followers of Jesus grow in their maturity as their lives conform to the true story of the world. Since the only way humans make sense of their existence is through stories, God’s story provides the church with a countercultural, true story to live out together as Jesus’ witnesses to the presence of the new creation.
The story of God is not merely a rhythm or an evangelistic tool. It is the foundation through which we ground our understanding of the Gospel, theology, and life. Without being grounded in this metanarrative the church is susceptible to both being swept into idolatrous narratives of the dominant culture andpossessing sub-biblical, ecclesial methodologies.
The story of God protects missional communities from methodolatry. It allows each church to work out what it means to be God’s saved people in their respective cities as they base their identity and mission on the story of God. Only as the church continues to grapple with this unfolding story will they joyfully dwell together as sons and daughters of the most high God and faithfully witness to the resurrection of Jesus through the power of the Spirit.



We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, from more than 150 nations, participants in the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, praise God for his great salvation and rejoice in the fellowship he has given us with himself and with each other. We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the gospel is God’s good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation. We desire, therefore, to affirm our faith and our resolve, and to make public our covenant.


We affirm our belief in the one eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that, even when borne by earthen vessels, the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew.

(Isaiah 40:28; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6,18; Ephesians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:7)


We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.

(2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; John 10:35; Isaiah 55:11; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 1:16, Matthew 5:17,18; Jude 3; Ephesians 1:17,18; 3:10,18)


We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognize that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-Man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as ‘the Saviour of the world’ is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God’s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.

(Galatians 1:6-9; Romans 1:18-32; l Timothy 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; 2 Peter 3:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; John 4:42; Matthew 11:28; Ephesians 1:20,21; Philippians 2:9-11)


To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that, as the reigning Lord, he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.

(1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Acts 2:32-39; John 20:21; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)


We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and Man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.

(Acts 17:26,31; Genesis 18:25; Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 45:7; Genesis 1:26,27; James 3:9; Leviticus 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; James 2:14-26; John 3:3,5; Matthew 5:20; 6:33; 2 Corinthians 3:18; James 2:20)


We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church’s mission of sacrificial service, evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God’s cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God’s people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.

(John 17:18; 20:21; Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Ephesians 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Galatians 6:14,17; 2 Corinthians 6:3,4; 2 Timothy 2:19-21; Philippians 1:27)


We affirm that the Church’s visible unity in truth is God’s purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organizational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily advance evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of

regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church’s mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience.

(John 17:21,23; Ephesians 4:3,4; John 13:35; Philippians 1:27; John 17:11-23)


We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelize belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A re-evaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ’s Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church’s mission.

(Romans 1:8; Philippians 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8)


More than 2,700 million people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelized. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church. There is now, however, in many parts of the world, an unprecedented receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are convinced that this is the time for churches and para-church agencies to pray earnestly for the salvation of the unreached and to launch new efforts to achieve world evangelization. A reduction of foreign missionaries and money in an evangelized country may sometimes be necessary to facilitate the national church’s growth in self-reliance and to release resources for unevangelized areas. Missionaries should flow ever more freely from and to all six continents in a spirit of humble service. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, to understand, and to receive the good news. We cannot hope to attain this goal without sacrifice. All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism.

(John 9:4; Matthew 9:35-38; Romans 9:1-3; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Mark 16:15; Isaiah 58:6,7; James 1:27; 2:1-9; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34,35)


The development of strategies for world evangelization calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God, the result will be the rise of churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture. Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Because men and women are God’s creatures, some of their culture is rich in beauty and goodness. Because they are fallen, all of it is tainted with sin and some of it is demonic. The gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness, and insists on moral absolutes in every culture. Missions have, all too frequently, exported with the gospel an alien culture, and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture. Christ’s evangelists must humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others, and churches must seek to transform and enrich culture, all for the glory of God.

(Mark 7:8,9,13; Genesis 4:21,22; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Philippians 2:5-7; 2 Corinthians 4:5)


We confess that we have sometimes pursued church growth at the expense of church depth, and divorced evangelism from Christian nurture. We also acknowledge that some of our missions have been too slow to equip and encourage national leaders to assume their rightful responsibilities. Yet we are committed to indigenous principles, and long that every church will have national leaders who manifest a Christian style of leadership in terms not of domination but of service. We recognize that there is a great need to improve theological education, especially for church leaders. In every nation and culture there should be an effective training programme for pastors and laity in doctrine, discipleship, evangelism, nurture and service. Such training programmes should not rely on any stereotyped methodology but should be developed by creative local initiatives according to biblical standards.

(Colossians 1:27,28; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5,9; Mark 10:42-45; Ephesians 4:11,12)


We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God’s armour and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thought and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church.

(Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Ephesians 6:11,13-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)


It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference. We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practice and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God and as set out in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom. At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable.

(1 Timothy 1:1-4; Acts 4:19; 5:29; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 13:1-3; Luke 4:18; Galatians 5:11; 6:12; Matthew 5:10-12; John 15:18-21)


We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole Church become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice.

(1 Corinthians 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3; John 3:6-8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 7:37-39; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psalm 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Galatians 5:22,23; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; Romans 12:3-8)


We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we re-dedicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives.

(Mark 14:62; Hebrews 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matthew 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Revelation 21:1-5; 2 Peter 3:13; Matthew 28:18)


Therefore, in the light of this our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace, and for his glory, to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!