Christians sometimes give the impression that living for Jesus is a duty, and we’re slightly embarrassed about it. But in John 10, Jesus described himself as the Good Shepherd who gave his life for his sheep. He said his sheep listen to his voice, they know him and they follow him. In doing that his sheep get to experience life to the full!
Therefore we are shameless about saying that knowing, listening to and obeying Jesus in everything is the very best way to live! We’re shameless about that, but not arrogant, because it’s all about Jesus Christ, not us, it’s all about what he does for us, not what we do for him. Because he died and rose, we as his gathered, redeemed people, have “every spiritual blessing in Christ!” (Eph 1:3)
At Streatham Central Church we want to express this wonderful biblical principle in three main ways, each with three areas of application.
1. Shameless in Worship
The Old Testament Temple with its walls and thick curtains was a visual reminder that sinners cannot enjoy the presence of their Holy God. But Jesus Christ has broken those barriers down by his death and resurrection, so in him we have a shameless confidence to enter God’s holy presence in praise and worship (Heb 10:19), especially in these three ways:
Enjoying God’s presence when we gather as his redeemed people
By trusting in Christ, we become the ‘living stones’ of God’s Temple, and so we want to pursue the reality that we can enjoy and experience God’s presence more together than we can on our own (1 Pet 2:4-10; Ps 42:1-4).
Being shamelessly prayerful
Jesus tells us that we should approach God in prayer with “shameless audacity” (Luke 11) asking him to give us everything we need, holding God to his great and precious promises in Scripture (John 15:7), confident he will answer us.
Living radically different lives
In Romans 12, members of the local church are exhorted to offer their bodies (plural) to God as a living sacrifice (singular), motivated by the gospel mercies of God. So at Streatham Central Church we want our whole lives, lived together in a watching world, to be ‘the worship event’ rather than just the Sunday gathering.
2. Shameless in Community
We want to foster a shameless intimacy, inter-dependence and openness that breaks down all the pretence of being sorted and allows the Lord Jesus to re-build us into a people who reflect his beautiful character. To be this work in progress we want to be:
An intimate Family
When we trust in Christ, we become children of God and we join a new family that has a deeper, eternal reality than our physical families. We want to live out that reality.
An inter-dependent Body
Since “the manifestation of the Spirit has been given to each member for the common good” (1 Cor 12) we want each member to say and believe, “I am connected to everyone else, I am responsible for everyone else, I am dependent on everyone else, and so I need to open up to everyone else”.
Speaking the Truth in Love
We want to grow in maturity as a family and body by every member teaching each other, through the living and active word of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
3. Shameless in Mission
The Apostle Paul was “not ashamed of the gospel” because it is God’s power to save a dying world. We also want to be shameless about letting as many people as possible hear the same good news in Streatham and beyond.
Empowered by the Spirit to be Jesus’ witnesses to all kinds of people
Every disciple is commissioned by the Lord Jesus to be a disciple-maker of all kinds of people. So we want to depend on the Holy Spirit to empower us, to share the gospel of Jesus and our lives with those in the various communities around us.
Reaching unreached nations from Streatham
We want to raise up and send out church-planters to some of the most unreached people-groups in the world. We pray that the international diversity of Streatham will provide us a base from which to launch this global mission strategy.
Motivated by the gospel to care for those in need
We give a percentage of our income to support gospel-centred social transformation projects, and we want to proactively care for the needs of those in our church, and known to our community.