At Freedom Church Chester, we believe that true freedom comes through faith in Jesus. Our vision is to see lives transformed by the gospel through planting churches…
As a Christ-centred church which enjoys God’s word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, these are the values we seek to live by….
Outward looking with compassion for Chester
As we read through the Bible we gradually discover the story of God’s great plan to rescue us, His people. In it we see God’s fatherly heart for those who are lost and damaged because of sin. But God’s plan only became fully known when He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to live, die, rise again, ascend into heaven and pour out His Holy Spirit.
God’s purpose has always been to bring His Kingdom to earth, as it is in heaven. This was all made possible by and in Jesus. He is the one who came to proclaim good news to the poor. He was sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18).
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
So Jesus tells us to go… As the Father sent me, so I send you (John 20:21).
The most amazing thing about God’s strategy is that he chooses to use us. But he has not left us to do it alone – He has sent a great helper, the Holy Spirit.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).
For us this means Chester, Cheshire, the UK and to the nations.
We are commanded to be outward looking, lead by God’s word and the Holy Spirit: to have love and compassion for the city of Chester. God’s plan is to restore men, women and young people back to Himself; His way of doing this is through local churches.
We are called to join together with churches in this city, with a message of grace, hope and freedom, but we also believe we come with a prophetic voice to do our part in reaching this city and to plant churches beyond these city walls.
Generous in everything
As a church we want to be known for our generosity in everything we do. This involves our money, time and our attitudes. Here are two reasons why we should be generous…
- Everything belongs to God. The reason why most people struggle to give is because they do not understand that everything already belongs to God. Most of us live under the myth that ‘the money in my pocket, my time, my possessions are mine.’ But the Bible clearly tells us that the whole earth belongs to God. Exodus 19:5 says, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is Mine”. Everything from farming to industry, from mountains to banks, everything that we own and everything that we don’t – it all belongs to God. Psalm 50:10 says, “For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.” Haggai 2:8 says, “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts.” It’s an issue of ownership. If we realise that our house, our car, right down to the loose change in our pockets have all ultimately been given to us by God and belong to God, it will change the way we think about how we use our money and time. If I feel that all I own is mine rather than what God has graciously given me, then being generous will be painful. We will feel cheated by God. But if we realise everything we have belongs to Him and we are stewards or investors of God’s resources, in giving we are only redistributing what is already His.
- Giving is worship – what we do with our resources says a lot about our hearts. Luke 16:13 says, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
We have two options – we can either worship ‘money as god’ or we worship God with our money. Which one we put first in our lives is a heart issue.
God has blessed us so much; in Jesus we see the richness and blessing of a loving God. We do not deserve God’s mercy or His forgiveness. But He sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the ultimate price for our sin with His life. We owe Him everything – He alone deserves our worship. Once we have experienced the grace and love of Jesus in our lives it should drive us to worship. Generosity should come from a heart that loves Jesus and worships Him. Worship and giving are intrinsically linked.
The truth is that God deserves our best and we serve a generous God, so as individuals and a church let us be be marked by our generosity in everything.
Creatively reflecting God’s best in everything we do
Creativity is a God-given gift. We have been made in the image of God. In Genesis 1 God spoke creation into existence out of nothing, but in Genesis 2, God’s pattern changes. Adam is made from the dust, shaped into the form of man and life is breathed into him. With Eve, He again takes something else, this time Adam’s rib and transforms it into something new.
All humans who ever lived follow God’s creative example. Painters take canvas and paints and mix them in such a way as to create landscapes and portraits. Craftsmen and women create amazing things from wood or steel – everything from industry, to engineering, to music and art – we see creativity all around us.
Within each of us is a creative flair that we should use for God’s glory. Let us be people who enjoy beauty and creativity in others but also learn to think and approach life with a freshness and creative attitude as we live out the gospel in practical ways.
We want to always aim to do the very best we can, in a way that brings honour to God. Let us never settle for less than God’s best in our lives.
Encouraging everyone to grow in faith, developing the gifts & talents God has given
God has given us so many different abilities: Ephesians 4:11 tells us that God equips His church – “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:28:
“And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.” We could add to this list…
There are two sides to this:
- Being teachable. That is, we never stop learning. We need to be the people God has made us to be, and we should not be chasing after someone else’s gifting. Together we want to see people grow in their faith and develop their God-given talents. We need to be hungry to grow in God and desire spiritual gifts.
- Teaching others. We need to be known for our encouragement of others. We believe that God has called us to plant many churches and that means we need to develop new leaders and to see people take on new responsibilities. We want to be both keen to learn and eager to encourage and build others up: where men mentor, equip and build young men, with good accountability in place, and where women get alongside young women to teach them, showing them and encouraging them to develop their gifts.
Value everyone, irrespective of their differences
There are many places in the Bible we could turn to, not least the gospels (the witness accounts of Jesus’ life), to see how Jesus treated people with respect and fairness. But the words of Galatians 3:26-29 sums this up really well:
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
We want to be a church where everyone feels welcome, everyone is valued, and where everyone is treated as we ourselves would want to be treated.
When any group of people gathers together it is so easy for cliques to form. The gospel challenges this, calling us to a different way of thinking and living. The gospel is for everyone, irrespective of nationality, skin colour, age, gender, sexuality, social background or educational ability.
Everyone is loved and valued by God and as His representatives in this community we must reflect that by the way we treat others. This means that we should be making close friendships with people from groups, classes, races, who, apart from the gospel, we would never know or care to know.
As a church we want to make everyone welcome. This does not mean we compromise the truth of God’s Word – it means we allow God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to shape us so that we show love and compassion to those around us and value everyone irrespective of our differences.
Committed to working together to build the Kingdom of God
God uses all of us to reach a lost world. As a new church we are committed to working together both as individuals, but also as part of the wider body of Christ. Our aim, from the start, is to make sure we are committed to building God’s Kingdom, not just another church.
As we grow, we want to make sure that we build on a good foundation not only with an emphasis both on the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, but with a commitment to working together to build God’s kingdom.
A great Old Testament example of this is found in the story of Nehemiah. Here we see Nehemiah lead, but we see many different people, with different skills, working together to rebuild a destroyed city.
In the New Testament, Paul teaches us the same thing in Ephesians 4:11-13, Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Everyone in the body of Christ needs everyone else; we can not function effectively in isolation. The best and most efficient work is always done as we work together to build God’s Kingdom. And we are committed to working together to build the Kingdom of God here in Chester.
We Believe in…
1. The one true God who lives eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2. The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
3. The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God—fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
4. The dignity of all people, made male and female in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
5. The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
6. The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
7. The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
8. The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
9. The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
10. The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers—given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
11. The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed, eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.