Our Vision, Values and Basis of Faith
To be a network of Christian churches and organisations working together towards the salvation and transformation of Southampton and the surrounding area, with particular reference to communication, prayer and mission.
The core vision to facilitate colaborative communication, prayer and mission has been worked out in the following ways:
To be a forum for leaders of evangelical churches and organisations to relate and work together, offering opportunities for mutual support, prayer and worship
To be a communication network for ideas and initiatives to be shared both for member organisations and others outside the SCN.
To be a corporate voice to the city council, media, police and other key groups in the city.
To work in partnership with the wider body of Christ in Southampton, eg. CTS, in issues that affect us all.
To liaise with the national Evangelical Alliance
Since 2005, SCN has sent round notices of news and events to a growing database of church leaders and administrators, with the aim of maximising the scope and potential of church activity and minimising unnecessary overlap. In 2007 we launched a website to make this information even more accessible and in January 2009 we were able to upgrade our website to handle our growing database and make it easier for Christians across Southampton to find and submit relevant information.
The importance of praying together for our city is something that SCN have recognised from the outset. We believe we need to be bringing the needs of our city before God, listening to Him and responding together at every level: invidually, in our local churches and areas, and as an entire city. From October 2012, SCN has employed Katie Coles with the specific brief of encouraging and coordinating prayer in the city. SCN also organise City Prayer meetings each year.
SCN has always aimed to develop a greater sense of mission and purpose across churches in the city. Since SCN began in 2005, this has resulted in a number of corporate mission events including some joint Alpha/Exploring Christianity meals, and citywide events during Hope 2008. Since early 2009, SCN has been praying and thinking longer-term with regards to mission in the city. We praise God for the sense of unity he has grown among us and look forward to working together in our proclamation of the gospel and serving of the city over the coming years.
We recognise that the gospel is rooted in relationships and our desire is to promote good and faithful relationships between Christian leaders, Christian churches and organisations, and the whole church community in our relationship with God.
In our mission to the city we will endeavour to work collaboratively where that will be more effective than working individually.
We will endeavour to resource one another's initiatives by sharing good practice and leading expertise.
We will seek God together in prayer in our desire to fulfil the great commission.
We will endeavour to provide a structure for fellowship of Christian leaders where required.
We will try to communicate effectively the challenges and opportunities that God gives us in the city.
We will endeavour to make a corporate response over issues that affect our mission.
3. BASIS OF FAITH
The network is evangelical in terms of a priority for mission and authority of Scripture. Whilst that is the desire and requirement for network membership, we recognise the enormous value of partnership with non-evangelical churches in some aspects of our city life. Southampton Christian Network subscribes to the Evangelical Alliance basis of faith.
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 and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.
We recognise that there will be times when churches express divergent views over secondary issues. For example: baptism, leadership, church structures, gifts of the Spirit, etc. Our desire is to be united around the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the work of his Spirit, the love of God and his saving grace.