New Leaf Church exists to see lives changed by the good news of Jesus (John 3:16). Standing on the truth of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16) and relying on the power of prayer (James 5:16) and the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13), we will seek God’s Kingdom together (Matthew 6:10).
There are values given in Scripture that are universal to the church. We are called to love one another, to be “salt and light”, not to show favoritism and so on. The values described here are not our attempt to say what every church should be like, or even what should be most important in every church. Rather, they are our attempt to take the unchangeable truths of Scripture, and apply them to our specific church situation in 21st century central Maryland. It is not comprehensive – there are many more things than this that we value – but here are some of the major themes that should be apparent in our church.
Building Authentic Relationships
‘Authentic’ is perhaps an over-used word in the modern church, but we simply mean that we want our relationships to be real. What we say on a Sunday morning is what we do all week long. If we say to someone “I can come over and help you with that ” or “I’d love to get together for breakfast one day this week”, we follow through and actually do it.
We meet in small groups (which we call Life Groups) during the week to study Scripture, pray for one another, help & encourage one another, and just enjoy being together. And we expect to spend time together outside of organized church activities.
We desire to live out the command given by Jesus to the disciples in John 13 – “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
We seek to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24) and to function as a body of different parts as described in Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12, and Romans 12.
Pursuing Intentional Discipleship
We are committed to spiritual growth for all believers, however new or mature we are in our faith. Jesus commanded us to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). This starts when (or even before) a person is saved and continues as part of a lifelong journey. It is our hope that we will be transformed “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Building Strong Families
Strong families are the foundation for strong churches. Therefore we make it a priority to equip, strengthen and support members in building their family relationships. (Acts 10:2) This includes helping individuals and families to heal from or reconcile the broken relationships and past hurts that characterize most of our families.
Serving Our Community in Jesus’ Name
The two greatest commandments call us to “love God and love our neighbor” (Matthew 22:37-39). We recognize that as we seek to honor and love God, there is a natural overflow in our own hearts to love and serve others. Out of that, we strive to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus within our communities and with the people we rub shoulders with on a daily basis. Our hope is to compassionately serve those around with the same heart as Jesus.
Mobilizing for Missions
Matthew 28:19-20 commands us to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded”. Our ultimate goal and mission is to be a part of reaching the whole world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to make disciples of all the nations.