RADICAL MBB FAMILY/COMMUNITY
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matt 18:20) which is a form of church/fellowship of believers. As this is mentioned in the book of Acts 2:42-47: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. It was a “church” in nascent phase which was called “fellowship of believers”.
According to John Stott, “The church is part of the gospel”. The kingdom of God is most fully and clearly expressed in the people He has redeemed, the community of the kingdom, who have been forgiven, cleansed, delivered from the powers of the kingdom of darkness and come under the redeeming power of Christ. We believe the church/fellowship of believers, as God’s new community, is the primary and best expression of the gospel, and so the house/place and agent of God’s special purposes. We should be seeking corporately to incarnate in our body the vision, values, and characteristics of the redeemed community of the Jesus Christ. These include: deep and intimate fellowship, which means the radical sharing of lives both spiritually and practically, seeking first the kingdom together, sacrificial Christ-like love, and acceptance of others. The way we live together and love one another is a first fruit of the new age of the Kingdom which we enjoy, and a dynamic power that reaches into a world of fractured relationships and broken lives. Such church/fellowship of believers should be ideal for MBBs and their extended family, and more.
The gospel of the kingdom is inherently linked with reaching out to others, as it encompasses God’s plan and purpose of cosmic and final restoration of the world through His Spirit commissioned church/fellowship of believers. It is impossible to believe the gospel without also embracing God’s purpose, for the Gospel just is the good news of that mission being accomplished through Christ (and his church/fellowship of believers).
We want God’s heart for the world to be clearly understood, and a passion for His special purposes consciously cultivated. We want to see in every MBB of the church/fellowship of believers a strong awareness, ownership of, and participation in God’s special purposes. We want every MBB to have a passion for God’s special purposes for the immediate family and universal community of Muslims in the world, an understanding of the church/fellowship of believers’ place in the world, and to be equipped for and involved in the spread of the gospel through personal and corporate witness.
We want to have an “outward” orientation in all that we do: in our individual callings, gathered worship, teaching and preaching, prayer, social and cultural activities, and life together. We want to develop a commitment among the MBB leaders and the advisory council first and to every MBB to being part of a MBB church planting movement in the UK.
CENTERED IN CHRIST AND HIS KINGDOM
The gospel is the GOOD NEWS that Jesus Christ has arrived and the kingdom of God is dwelling in this fallen and broken world. He has brought the light that is over-powering the forces of darkness, and bringing with it the reconciliation and restoration of the whole of creation. The gospel is more than just personal forgiveness, assurance of a life in heaven, or even personal sanctification, though it is all these things.
The gospel is therefore holistic, and must address all the effects of sin. Not merely, the personal and private spiritual issues of the individual, but also the social, cultural, economic, political, and even natural consequences of the fall which destroys the family and community of MBBs and seekers after they come to know Christ personally. Every force that conspires to destroy the glory of God in man, society, and creation, falls within the transforming scope of the gospel of the kingdom. We want to encourage in church/fellowship of believers a vision for this grand scope of the gospel and a consuming passion for the pursuit of the kingdom of God.
CENTRALITY OF GRACE
The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of GRACE. We thus want to see MBBs being taught and encouraged through example of other MBBs and opportunity to own their weaknesses, repent, and to look to Christ in faith; moralism/legalism is not only to be avoided, but exposed; self-righteousness and condemning attitudes are challenged with encouragements and admonitions to love, extend grace, forgive, and accept others as we have been accepted by God himself.
We emphasise the grace of God in the gospel by reminding ourselves that we are far worse than we think and that God’s grace is far greater than we can imagine. We practice this by encouraging a lifestyle of repentance and dependent faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the centre and source of (the kingdom of) grace. Our relationship with Him determines the quality and character of all else. Therefore we want to encourage MBBs to engage with Jesus through faith, and to have a church/fellowship of believers in which everybody is living by renewed repentance and faith and encouraging others in the same.
SOCIALLY, CULTURALLY AND SPIRITUALLY RELEVANT & BIBLICALLY FAITHFUL: Balanced and Appropriately Contextualized Church/Fellowship of Believers
A church/fellowship of believers will seek to make its worship, teaching, fellowship and all that it does to be relevant to the MBB & PMBBs communities in the UK which God has called us to reach. Thus the languages used will seek to reflect the constituency of MBBs and PMBBs. Worship will be flexible, contextually sensitive and appropriate for MBBs and PMBBs. The assumptions, values, and issues (religiously, culturally, socially and physically) will be understood and engaged in preaching, teaching, discipleship and counselling and etc. We will expect to have and be sensitive to seekers and unbelievers in our midst. In all of this, the eternal Word of God is the governing rule without any compromise. We are seeking to bring the eternal word Muslims, they may not read the Injil (Good News) of Jesus Christ but they read you and me, therefore, we should reflect the Love of Christ and the MBBs and (PMBBs) are his living letters for Muslims.
EVERY MBB and PMBB MINISTRY
The task of MBB leadership is to “equip God’s people for works of service” (Eph.4:12) for Jesus and His Kingdom. Each MBB brings gifts necessary for the building up of the Body of Christ. Hence the whole body of Christ must be mobilised, envisioned, trained, encouraged and facilitated for ministry, both evangelistic and within the church/fellowship of believers and outside. We want to see every MBB of fellowship of believers exercising their gifts for the good of the body of Christ, in service to the world, and for the glory of God.
TRANSFORMING LOCAL COMMUNITIES OF MBBs
The gospel we believe is not merely private and spiritual, but is the power to address all of the effects of the fall: theological, personal, societal, social, cultural, economic, political, and natural. We therefore will seek to bring kingdom transformation in all of these fallen structures.
RADICAL KINGDOM CENTRED PRAYER
The priority of the Kingdom of God in the life of the church and the individual Christian should have a two-fold effect: First, the vision of the Kingdom of God (“Thy Kingdom come …”) should inform the breadth and depth of our prayers: nothing less than replacing the effects of the fall with the new creation of the Kingdom, “far as the curse is found”. In other words, we are called to believe and work for the eradication of sin, curse and evil, to be replaced by SHALOM, in every corner of this universe!
Secondly, this vision exposes any pretensions that such a transformation could occur through man’s wisdom or ability. It is simply impossible for God’s kingdom purposes to be fulfilled through man’s ability.
Prayer is thus absolutely essential. Prayerlessness is often the result of attempting things which are in fact humanly achievable; and that amounts to having a small vision. But God’s Gospel purpose of cosmic shalom in light of our frailty and sinfulness, drives us to our knees.