Vision / Mission / Values

Nobody knows exactly what tomorrow is going to look like. We don’t know just what mountains we’ll have to climb. We don’t know for sure what parties we’ll get to throw. However, we do know that God is good and that God is at work in the world. With that in mind St Luke’s is a community that leans into the future. This doesn’t mean we live hankering for tomorrow, for the next achievement, for the next latest-and-greatest gadget, acquisition, or experience. Rather we desire to live fully present and fully engaged in today and in God’s mission in the world today. We lean into the future as we partner with the Holy Spirits ongoing work of reconciliation and restoration in the world. One day all things will be put right. Peace will reign. Justice will flow. Love will abound. We want to live in a way today that leans into that future and makes it a reality in the now.

The church is intended to be a foretaste of this coming reality. At times the church has excelled. At times the church has messed up royally. At St Luke’s we’ve a number of values that we seek to imbibe and live out of that will help us to be the redemptive community we feel called to be.

We want to...

  • Live in the light of the BIG story of the Bible
  • Gather well
  • Scatter well
  • Embrace a vibrant spirituality
  • Keep things down to earth

 

Living in the light of the BIG Story of the Bible:

We’re for championing a life lived in the light of the grand-narrative of God's ongoing work in history, the grand-narrative of Jesus found in the Bible, Genesis through to Revelation. This story points to true life, to truth and hope, and to this all being found in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is the hope of the world. In him we find grace, forgiveness, hope and possibility and enter this through faith and repentance, in baptism, and in communion. With the help of the Holy Spirit we look forward to the ongoing journey of discovering, understanding and walking the way of Jesus.

We are committed to being a faith community who live out of a different story than that of consumerism, materialism, individualism and all those other words so often used to so accurately describe our western post-Christian culture. We understand the grand-narrative of the Bible to be a life giving, transformational, challenging, inviting, moving, all encompassing, subversive, counter intuitive, upside-down, passionate story of God’s love and God’s plan for His creation. As we enter into this story we find how to make sense of our own stories and of this mysterious and beautiful gift that is life.

We seek to properly exegete both the bible and our 21st Century post-modern culture. We want to live in the light of God’s word and its intent and meaning to the original readers; totally committed to the reality that it has meaning and truth for us today. At times this is straightforward and a matter of common sense. On other occasions it’s not so easy. At times it is easy to embrace the challenges of Jesus’ teaching. On other occasions, like it was for the disciples, it is so easy to miss the point. At times God’s word seems life changing and refreshing. On other occasions it seems dry and difficult to swallow. In all of this we’re committed to gathering around God’s word each Sunday and to allowing it to transform our lives. We look forward to the teaching of God's word being a moment in our gathering that is looked forward to with anticipation. Always we gather believing for the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives, struggles, dreams, situations and circumstances through the sermon and the preaching of God's word. May it always be a conversation that starts plenty more conversations.

Gathering Well:

Gathering as a church community is core to who we are at St Luke’s. Our Sunday gatherings are a time for our church community, strangers, sceptics and the searching to come together and celebrate the work of God in our lives and world. We don’t gather simply to watch or to consume a ‘service,’ rather we gather to participate in community. We gather to stand alongside each other, to love one another, to pray for one another, to encounter God in one another, to encourage one another, and to greet and welcome the stranger and the sojourner. We call this ‘churching’ and we gather to ‘church’ each other; it’s a verb! We swap stories and we invite one-day-friends into our conversation and our community. Gathering well starts with a smile, a hand shake a greeting, a conversation. It means ministering one to another, being willing to both give and receive. It’s a regular commitment to come together.

As well as our Sunday gatherings, we gather in smaller Connect Groups on a fortnightly basis. We also gather in two’s and three’s and as friends, families and strangers, over flat whites at cafes, for picnic lunches at the beach, with a glass of red wine and a meal in our homes; we discover that God is active in our midst.

Scattering Well:

As well as looking forward to gathering as a church we also look forward to scattering as a church. We embrace the challenge of living as image bearers, as those that bear witness to the reality of God in the nooks and crannies of everyday life. We are representatives of grace in our work places, where we study, in sports teams, to the stranger and in our various friendship circles; everywhere and anywhere life takes us. We understand we are called to be the church Monday through Saturday, to at times shine boldly as a light and to at times flavour subversively as salt the world around us, with creative and authentic proclamation of the Good News of Jesus.  St Luke’s does not exist as an escape from the world but rather as a community empowered by the Holy Spirit that is sent into the world. Our challenge is to build webs of loving, authentic and meaningful relationship with people of all shapes and sizes, each with their own interests and worldview, and with the help of the Holy Spirit to humbly point them towards Jesus. We rejoice that in Jesus Christ the new order of the kingdom of God's love has intersected the old order of our existence in this world. We rejoice that the Holy Spirit is at work to bring into completion God’s purposes in the creation of the world. The Holy Spirit is redeeming, liberating and renewing all things in line with the Kingdom of God and under the kingly reign of God in Christ Jesus. We accept the invitation of Jesus to be a part of the mission of God in the world.

This doesn’t mean adopting a particular program or organizing a particular event for our community. It means embracing missional living as a lifestyle. It’s about zooming in and being sensitive to what the Holy Spirit maybe doing in someone’s life and having the faith to participate in this. It’s about zooming out and appreciating God’s heart for justice and our role as Christ followers to stand for justice in the world. We’re on mission and missional living means living with an appreciation of God’s life changing work in the here and now as well as living in anticipation of and in the light of the coming reality of God’s new creation. Missional is also about proximity, it’s a choice to live near to and to be aware of the hurt and brokenness in our world. It’s a choice to live in meaningful relationship, not only with other Christ followers, but with friends not remotely interested in anything to do with God. It’s not just an idea, its tangible acts of love, of kindness, of thoughtfulness and of inclusion. Scattering well means immersing ourselves in the life of our local community. It’s about building friendships and networks of relationships. Then within all of this it is the ability to genuinely be salt that flavours the world, boldly loving as well as strongly but humbly critiquing that which is sinful and counter to the way of the Kingdom.

Vibrant Spirituality:

At St Luke’s we’re open to God’s Spirit at work in the world and believe all Christ followers, can and should, live in real and authentic relationship with the God. We’re committed to that and in all we do want to help people develop a vibrant relationship with God. We want to be a place where people know God intimately and hear God’s guiding and leading voice in their lives. We recognize that people are uniquely created and connect with God in different ways. In light of this we seek to celebrate the varieties of ways that people connect with God and have done throughout Christian history. Amongst other things a vibrant Christian spirituality will be naturalistic, traditional, contemplative, celebratory, intellectual, ascetic, sensory, service orientated, and justice orientated. Various pathways of connecting with God are more meaningful for one person than they are for another. There is something beautiful about this. At the core of a vibrant Christian spirituality is a trust in the Holy Spirit and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Spirit inspired living leads to an intimacy with God who breathes life into all we do.

From day to day we encourage our community to lean into the spiritual pathways most natural and most meaningful to them, occasionally exploring pathways that don’t come so naturally. In our gatherings we celebrate vibrant spirituality and the various ways in which Christians for hundreds of years have connected with God. We’re all learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. We understand that an art instillation can lead one person into a breathtaking encounter with the Divine while for another it is the lyric and melody of song. Others need time to sit in quiet contemplation with the bread and the cup at communion. Others need to cheer and to shout.  So we mix things up. One Sunday we may use set prayers, we may stand and read them together. Other Sundays might involve interactive worship stations that are designed to create and opportunity to reflect on an issue or subject and incline your hear towards God. Two out of three Sundays we sing together offering our praise and worship to God in song.

Down to Earth:

At St Luke’s we try to keep things real. We try to keep things simple. We try to keep things pretty down to earth.  We always want to do the best we can with what we’ve got for sure. At the end of the day though, church isn’t a show. Church is a community that gathers around God’s word, the life of Jesus, baptism and communion. It’s a community that scatters to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel. We’re not trying to attract people in with clever marketing, flashy lights or the brilliance of our programs. Those things have their place no doubt, but they are not number one on our list of things to do. We want to be a community that is authentic in our following of Jesus and passion for God’s kingdom. We want to be a community that loves each other and loves others. We’re for simple church and try to keep our ‘program’ at a minimum. We want to create space for people to hang out with friends and family, to be in a sports team, to have free nights where they can get some ‘church folks’ and some ‘unchurched folks’ over for a BBQ. We don’t have it all together and you don’t have to have it all together. We’re on a journey and we’re enjoying taking it one step and one day at a time. The trajectory of the biblical story is God seeking to bring heaven to earth, in the Garden of Eden God walked with man, God dwelt with Israel in the tabernacle and the Temple, Jesus came from heaven to earth, Jesus prayer that God’s will would be done on earth as in heaven, Jesus is coming back to earth, heaven and earth will one day be one again. Christian living isn’t about escaping from ‘here’ to ‘there,’ it’s about truly engaging in this life and in Christ truly finding life. It’s very down to earth. We’re trying to keep it that way.