What is Activate Church Pt1?

A lot of people unfamiliar with Activate Church, ask us what type of church we are. As well as these people, there are others who have a certain perception of the type of church we are and in this blog I want to share with you my thoughts on the model of Church that we are embracing both in the present and moving forward into the future.

I have been and we as a church have been, and still are, on a journey of clarifying and establishing the foundational doctrines, culture and expression of the Activate Community.   

Activate Church is a Missional & Attractional church in practice 

We believe that the primary task of the church is to send Christians into the culture as missionaries of the gospel through relationships rather than primarily through programming. Jesus incarnation is missional and Jesus sent us out into the world to be missionaries, preaching the gospel to all creation and making disciples of all nations (Matt 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:7-8).

We have both a ‘come and see’ (attractional) emphasis and a ‘go and make’ (missional) emphasis. It’s not ‘either or’ but it’s ‘both and’. We gather together for corporate worship and biblical teaching on Sundays and invite people to these gatherings and we gather together during the week for biblical community in life groups to encourage one another and establish new believers in their relationship with Jesus (Acts 2:42-47). We  are sent out as missionaries into the culture the rest of the week sharing the gospel in word and deed wherever we get the opportunity. 

 Pure attractional churches need to move members from consumers to contributers and pure missional churches need to gather crowds to hear hard preaching to expose hearts and establish foundations. The overall goal is to see more people saved and more influence for God’s kingdom in the earth.

Activate Church is both closed-handed theologically and open-handed culturally

We are closed hand theologically (Jude 3) believing, teaching and practicing the unchanging truth of God’s Word. But we are open hand culturally as we engage with the culture as a missionary of the gospel (1 Cor 9:9-23). This means that we do not restrict people from drinking alcohol in moderation or getting tattoos for example because the bible remains open handed about this from a cultural perspective.

Activate Church is Pentecostal in expression and Biblical in Theology

We believe in the biblical expression of all of the gifts of the Spirit according to the limitations of Scripture. We believe in the essential need of being Spirit-filled and Spirit-led in life and ministry. Being Spirit-filled is ultimately evidenced by being like Jesus in mission and character, not simply by expressing a certain gift. Yes, we believe that speaking in tongues is the normal evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit but we believe more importantly that being like Jesus on mission is the fruit of being filled with the Spirit.

The point of Pentecost is mission, not tongues (Acts 2). The Corinthian Church were tongue talkers but a terrible witness for Christ in their community (1 Cor 14). That’s why Paul addresses them as he does.

We are also evangelical in our theology embracing the sacraments of baptism and communion, the centrality of the cross and Christ as our saviour God-man, the Godhead as trinity, the revelation of God, the inspiration of scripture, the autonomy of the local church, the total depravity of man and salvation of sin by grace through faith. For a more in depth study of our doctrines I will link you to our soon to be updated doctrinal statement on our new website currently being built.

Activate Church is an elder led church

We believe and practice the oversight of eldership according to 1 Tim 3:1-7. Elders are not a separate board to the leadership of the church. They are the pastoral oversight and doctrinal teachers of the church. The elders lead the church by example in character and family life, able to teach, set and protect doctrine and appoint, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, deacons and associate leaders of church-wide ministries.

We have embraced the egalitarian-complementarian position on women in eldership whereby we believe that men and women in church life can occupy and fulfill any role or office according to the Holy Spirit’s calling and gifting. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd and senior pastor of the Church and I am the lead pastor as the first among equals and the rest of the eldership is made up of senior-associate pastors, male and female.

Within the home we believe and practice that Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head of the wife and the husband is to use the authority and leadership role within the home not to manipulate or control but to serve, love and give himself up for the wife and family just as Christ gave himself up for the Church (Eph 5:22-33).

Stay tuned for more in the coming days.

Lead the Change!

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2 Responses to “What is Activate Church Pt1?”

  1. “Yes, while tongues normally accompanies the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we believe the Scripture teaches that it isn’t the only initial evidence of being Spirit-filled.”

    What does this ‘normally’ mean? Like anyone I can see the attraction in saying ‘normal’ as we all know of times when people don’t speak in tongues immediately but the same can easily be said of holiness and the fruits of the spirit. In no way would you with draw them from belief because of subjective experience. Both in precedence (consistent clear account) purpose (to delineate the NT/OT people amongst other reasons) and power (only gift specifically for the edification of the believer for mission) tongues are crucial because of WHY they exist. A simple question must be asked: Why would God ‘normally’ give one believer the only gift specifically for personal spiritual edification but not others?

    “the scriptures teaches that it isn’t the only initial evidence of being spirit filled”

    Obviously ‘initial evidence’ is a reflection on pentecostal doctrine. What else in scripture can be said to be ‘initial evidence’? Without doubt there are many crucial on going evidences of the fullness of the spirit without which I would doubt the initial experience but cannot say I see any other consistent ‘initial evidence’

    There are many great men and women who inspire me that do not speak in tongues and are not arguably baptised in the HS (although might be but do not speak in tongues not because they can’t but DONT) and this puts some people in a position to doubt consistent account in scripture esp in re: to Bap in HS but the same can be said of the Disciples pre – pentecost. They did amazing things but they still needed to wait.

    4 Life,

    Josh

  2. BTW – don’t mean to come across as a crank, not my style but just curious as to what you really mean. As a young pastor as well I have noticed some guys flex on many issues which without doubt are not salvation issues but the changes are often not really motivated by scripture but by philosphy and pragmatic outlook.

    Anyway, been hearing great things about Activate Church, I will have to pop down some time.

    4 Life,

    Josh

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