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Philosophy of Ministry 2016-10-18T08:12:44+00:00

Every member is a disciple.

Disciples are followers of Jesus Christ. They are committed to him and his Church. We encourage growth in commitment to Christ and his Church. God requires our absolute commitment, individually and collectively, as we minister. The leadership of ministries is shared; we emphasize a team approach at Every Nation Somerset West.

Disciples are learners. Every member must be a learner so his or her ministry can be effective. God deserves our best. We encourage innovation and creativity in ministry. We encourage people to try new things, knowing that not everything will work out the way we think.

Every member is a minister.

Salvation in Jesus includes a call to ministry. Every believer is created, saved, called, gifted, authorized, and commanded to minister. God has given all his children gifts, which can be developed and used in ministry. Everyone has something to offer. Developing and using one’s gifts is an essential aspect of stewardship and service. Membership at Every Nation Somerset West includes a commitment to ministry.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Every minister must be equipped.

Every member deserves personal assistance in discovering his/her meaningful place in ministry. Those involved in ministry deserve competent coaching and development. Every ministry will be assigned an Elder who will provide oversight and is committed to the success of that ministry. In some cases, additional hands-on leadership may be required, and in those cases, a Leader and/or Deacon will also be involved. Each Elder will provide training, encouragement, guidance, feedback and resources to the ministers under their care. The objective of ministry development is to mobilize and equip an army of ministers who are maximizing their unique gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences in a meaningful place of service within and/or outside the church. The equipping of the members for ministry is the number one priority of the pastoral team.

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13

Every ministry must be aligned.

Every ministry at Every Nation Somerset West must seek to fulfill our vision, mission, and purposes or we won’t do it. We are called to make disciples of our world, which is best done in a relational environment. We will strive to make sure that every project or activity or event helps fulfill our purpose. Everything we do at Every Nation Somerset West revolves around sharing Christ with those who do not know him, connecting them to God and to the church, primarily through small groups, training them to minister in the church and the world, and releasing those who have been trained to disciple others.

We will SHARE the gospel with our world, making disciples of all nations.

We believe that the only way to have a relationship with God is by accepting the salvation that his son, Jesus Christ, offers through his atoning work accomplished on the cross. So we will proclaim the good news to those who have yet to respond to it. It is the work of all believers to share their new life in Christ with all who will hear. Along with that new life comes a new understanding of truth, as revealed to God, and new habits to develop in our lives. So we share the gospel, a new life, new truth, and new habits, which will turn into a new character, being changed to become more like Jesus.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

We will CONNECT disciples into a relational discipleship small group.

Once an individual receives the salvation that Jesus offers, he/she begins to change from the inside out. They must be encouraged to be connected to God, through initiating and maintaining a devotional life that includes spiritual disciplines, reading the Bible, prayer, reflection, fasting, being led by the Holy Spirit, stewardship, and service. They must also be connected to others within the Christian community, for mutual encouragement and exhortation, and to be part of a team for ministry. They also need to be connected to their purpose, for which God created them in the first place. While some aspects of Christian growth and development are personal, most are communal. We must help new believers become connected with God, with others, and with their purpose. This is the fundamental purpose for small groups.

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2

We will develop those in small groups to MINISTER in the church and in the world.

Every believer is a minister, from the moment they are born again. Everyone can share their story. Everyone can help wherever they find themselves. But to reach one’s potential requires development and training. We have a commitment to help everyone reach their potential for effective ministry. So we will equip people for ministry, through a variety of methods. We will also provide opportunities for ministry, for on-the-job training. Then we will release them to minister. We don’t wish to micro-manage. We want to train people, and then free them to their greatest experience of ministry. We will equip people, give them opportunities to minister, and then release them to ministry.

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up …” Ephesians 4:11-12

We will release those who have been developed to DISCIPLE others.

The goal for the church is for disciples to be able to make other disciples, who can then make other disciples, and so on until the whole world is won for Jesus. This is obviously a big job, requiring a huge number of disciple-makers. While there are many kinds of ministries that an individual can pursue, every believer has the singular responsibility to become a disciple-maker. So we will help that along by first explaining the discipleship process, to provide a roadmap to help the disciple-maker have an intentional path to follow. We will then model that process by helping them disciple another, and release them to disciple on their own.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20

Our Environment – Group Life

The people of Every Nation Somerset West meet regularly, in large groups and in small groups. Each environment provides elements, which help people, become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. The large group gathering—the weekend worship service—provides a place for worship, biblical instruction, and fellowship. It also is a ‘safe place’ to bring a friend, as an introduction to what ENSW is all about. At ENSW, we define worship as “an appropriate response to the revelation of God.” We believe God is revealed as believers gather together to sing, pray, encourage each other, and receive biblical instruction. An appropriate response to that includes praising and thanking God for who he is and what he has done for us. It also means giving ourselves to him as a spiritual sacrifice, and to live that out throughout the week.

As good and necessary as the weekend service is, it is not the best environment for personal response or feedback. We believe that the best environment for intentional relational discipleship is a small group. Good small groups have three things: intentional leaders, a relational environment, and a reproducible process. We will train our small group leaders to have an intentional relational discipleship perspective regarding their small group. They will understand the process of discipleship and be able to lead those in their group through that process. They will each have a coach (Elder/s), who will talk with them regularly, provide resources, keep them on task, and provide encouragement toward helping those in their group become more Christ-like.

We will encourage every youth and adult in Every Nation Somerset West to attend worship services regularly and to belong to a small group. The worship service is the primary place for worship and instruction, while the small group will be a primary place of care and spiritual growth and development.

 

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