Our DNA and Values
Our DNA and genetic code is like the original seed before a church is planted. If you could cut open different aspects and ministries within the church you should see the same DNA flowing within them. It is what is inside us. These areas of ministry are essential to Presence Church, and should identify us as a family. These attributes should be a summary of our hallmarks, our values and are what characterise us. These are listed in no particular order and they are our core values.
1) GOD’S PRESENCE. We are presence centred people, who carry him everywhere we go. We get to enjoy Him, listen to Him, encounter Him, love Him and invite others into those same experiences and realities. Jesus said that he only did what he saw his Father doing, and that the Father loved to show him what he was up to. We too want to live like Jesus in surrender to a loving, trusting and obedient relationship with God.
2) THE BIBLE is central to our teaching, faith and life, and should be taught clearly and accurately. Whilst we value what God is saying we also we value all the things that God has already said, and default to the bible when making decisions. The bible is our highest authority when navigating our way through life. We trust that God will continue to use the bible powerfully in shaping our lives, our church and the world around us. The Holy Spirit brings revelation to the bible, and activates what is already written. When we hear his voice, we believe that what we hear will not contradict what is written. However it may contradict our understanding of what is written. That is why we take knowing and trusting the bible really seriously to help us discern following both the written word of God and his spoken words of God.
3) WORSHIP is not just singing, but it is not less than that. Worship is glorifying God with our whole lives. Times of corporate musical worship are precious to us, and should be contemporary and in the freedom of the spirit, whilst being intimate, accessible and have integrity. Worship is one of the ways in which we encounter God’s presence which is one of the reasons why we sing to God, and not just about God.
4) CULTURE OF HONOUR is a phrase that has been deeply sown into our hearts and the way we value others. Whilst we often make mistakes and disappoint people, we want to treat every single person as the royalty God calls them, and value them the way God values them. We want to call out the gold in their life rather than point out the trash, and treat each person as if they were Jesus. It is imperative for us to value relationships with others more than our doctrines, beliefs and opinions, and to fight to maintain relationship with one another, rather than fight with others. Our heart is often to prefer others. We always want to value ourselves and others the way that our Heavenly Father does.
5) FUNCTION AS A “FIVEFOLD’ CHURCH. Paul writes in Ephesians that God has given Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers to build up the church into maturity and equip them to live fully as a body. Presence church functions as a “Fivefold” church for lack of a better phrase, who recognise the gifts of these five unique yet specific types of disciples and want to see them all walking in their God given calling within the church family and the city. We don’t merely value what they can do for others, but we value the unique way God has created them to be. Each person is a gift to the family.
6) SMALL GROUPS are the basic structure of the church; the place of belonging, relationships, self- disclosure, growth, discipleship and practice of ministry. It is where we can do life together and should be the primary place where we experience pastoral care from others.
7) THE KINGDOM OF GOD is what we seek above all else. We love both God our King and his Kingdom. We understand that Jesus wants us to be “kingdom minded” and for the revelation of his kingdom to shape the way we do church and life. Jesus had two primary messages. He taught on the kingdom of God more than anything else, and it is important for us to see God get his way in our lives, and the lives around us. He taught us to pray for His will to be done, and His kingdom to come in the Earth as it is in Heaven. The kingdom of God is reality of God in Earth, his rule and reign. When God gets what he wants. This means we want to see the kingdom advance whether it is in a persons life, or through impacting our community and city, or through the expansion of the church. Presence church must always have a vision to grow and multiply and to touch other parts of Ireland and the world, through church planting and missions projects.
8) FAMILY is what we are. If the kingdom of God was Jesus primary message, the revelation of God as a Father was a close second message. The revelation of Kingdom and God as a Father can not be separated and are 2 sides of the same coin. We understand that the church is called to be more than a community, but to be family. We have a Heavenly Father, Jesus is his son and our big brother, and we are called to be brothers and sisters to one another. We recognise that we are sons and daughters, children of God, and God wants all his children back. We also believe that we are called to be spiritual parents and to be spiritual Fathers and Mothers to others.
9) SPIRITUAL GIFTS are in every believer – they are to be identified, trained and released into operation for the benefit of others. We must be more gift-based than organisational based. This requires training and discipleship to be fundamental to us being “the church” and “equipping the saints” to live the life and calling that God calls people too.
10) SIGNS AND WONDERS were a normal and regular part of Jesus life, His disciples life and in the early church. We are called to do the same ministry as well. To practice love, compassion and power in terms of healing the sick and broken, driving out demons and doing the supernatural works of God as seen in the New Testament. We long to see this as the normal life of every follower of Jesus, and for the world to have the encounters with God that He paid for with his life.
11) MINISTRY TO THE POOR is very important to God and to us – it should be a regular practice in terms of feeding, clothing, helping, serving etc God always wants us to care for the poor, the hungry, the forgotten, the overlooked, the broken and least.
12) OUTREACH & EVANGELISM is the call of every believer – to help others fall in love with God through friendships, power encounters, and other expressions of Gods love. His love is good news. Real Church growth means reaching out into the lives around us, into the rest of the world and advancing God’s kingdom. Our heart is to share the person of Jesus and His spirit and not just share our faith. For people to have encounters with God and not reduce it to encounters with “Christians.” We want people to meet the person of Jesus and not a religion.
13) OTHER CHURCHES must be loved, respected and worked with, because we are part of the one Body of Christ. We must be intentional to develop and pursue good relationships with the broader Church, and be eager to love and serve other christian communities as well as those outside the church. We want other churches to thrive because of what God is doing in Presence church. There is only one Church in Cork, one church in Ireland and one church in the world, and we are a small part of that Church.