Knox Church Plan (2018 – 2020)
We are captivated by the biblical vision of the realm of God, made known in Jesus, given in grace.
We believe we are called: to be a community following Jesus, alive to God’s Spirit, working to make real God’s realm
Values informing our life together:
• Unity in Christ
• Justice for all creation
• Worship of God
• Love and hospitality
• Diversity and inclusiveness
Signposts giving direction to our life together:
1 Intentional faith development
We want to grow in discipleship through all stages of life. We will provide opportunities for learning in addition to weekly worship. We will deepen relationships across the full breadth of Knox Church.
Why: Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into Christ who is the head. From Christ, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16
• We will grow participation in small groups as a way to help us connect to one another, share our faith and explore questions in a safe inquiring environment.
• We will promote spiritual practices that enable people to encounter God.
• We will have open, clear and timely communication among groups in the congregation.
• We will continue to strengthen our Kids Friendly identity, mentor young people, strengthen our young adults group, encourage adult education, and facilitate cross-generational learning.
• We will go to be with people in their homes and work-places, in cafes and other places of gathering.
2 Radical hospitality:
We want to invite, welcome, receive and support people who are strangers and keep discovering with them the richness of life in a loving Christ. We will develop relationships that might lead to neighbours offering us hospitality including in unfamiliar environments. We will go the second mile to include people and be changed by our interaction with them. Knox will increasingly reflect the cultural and demographic make-up of our neighbourhood.
Why: Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware. Hebrews 13:2. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9
• Our communication with the wider community will signal openness and interest in what is happening around us.
• We will continue to develop close relationships with churches worshipping in Knox buildings.
• We will deepen our cross-cultural experience, enabling the diversity of culture of people at Knox to be reflected throughout our life.
• We will continue to work with neighbouring churches in connecting with tangata whenua.
• We will continue to work ecumenically.
• We will keep improving our welcome in worship.
3 Authentic worship:
We will gather to encounter God in Christ. We believe that in worship God transforms lives, heals wounds, renews hope, shapes decisions, provokes change, inspires compassion and enlists people for God’s realm. In worship we will offer our most authentic selves, strongest feelings, most intelligent thoughts and deepest longings. We will worship with passion in response to God’s grace
Why: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before God with joyful songs.” Psalm 100 “Be filled with the Spirit as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves … giving thanks to God at all times.” Ephesians 5:19
• We will continue the basic formats of morning services and in having worship that is accessible, multi-generational, creative and participatory.
• We will enrich worship with music and the arts
• We will continue to build a sustainable evening congregation with interactive worship.
• We will have other informal gatherings for worship.
4 Risk-taking mission and service
We will be involved with projects, efforts and work that make a positive difference in the lives of others in the purposes of Christ, whether or not people choose to be part of Knox. We expect to be stretched beyond serving people we already know. We will encounter people, situations and needs we would not normally encounter other than in following Jesus. We will offer ourselves in purposeful service to others in need and to God, so God can transform the world.
Why: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8.
We encounter Christ in the wider community. Our purpose as church is to participate in what Christ is doing there. Christ identifies especially with people who are poor and marginalized and builds a society in which everyone is valued. This involves challenging the power and way of the Empire and countering what is destructive of creation.
• We will continue to support and partner organisations which enable us to live out our faith and act for the common good, organisations such as Presbyterian Support, A Rocha, 350 Otago and Christian World Service.
• We will continue to work for climate and economic justice.
• We will continue to support Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous and other organisations as we are able.
• We will work with local businesses and organisations to build a sense of neighbourliness and mutual support in our part of the city.
• We will continue to connect with the University, Polytechnic, Columba College, Otago Girls High School and other such educational bodies.
• We will publicise community actions consistent with our vision and mission.
• We will promote issues of justice and wider concern in the Presbytery and Assembly.
• We will continue to deepen our relationships with people of other faiths.
5 Selfless generosity:
We want to nourish an unselfish willingness to give in order to make a positive difference through Knox Church in the wider community. We will give in ways that exceed expectations and extend to unexpected measures. We will thrive as a congregation because of extraordinary sharing, willing sacrifice and joyous giving out of love for God and neighbour. We will offer our material resources to support causes that transform life. Such giving will also help change our lives.
Why: The biblical notion of stewardship is a broad one; that everything in the world and those in it belong to God (Psalm 24). What we receive, therefore, including our gifts, talents, and wealth, belong to God. We are the guardians, managers or stewards of what is God’s. We are called to give back what we receive to further God’s purpose in the world.
• Church Council and Deacons Court will keep strengthening their collaboration so the practical outworking of the Knox plan is smoothly executed.
• Church Council and Deacons Court will continue to find ways for the Knox buildings and land to be developed and used to fulfil Knox’s mission of making real God’s realm.
• The Knox Enterprise group will pursue innovative and ethical funding sources and recommend action to the Church Council.
• The Church Council will establish an annual rhythm of education about stewardship