CHURCH BY THE TRACKS_
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Senior Pastor: Dave Morgan
What are we on about?
Church by the Tracks is an independent, Bible-based church. Our desire is to honour and serve the living God in everything we do. In light of this, we long to see all people:
KNOW: Following Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour and therefore joining his church.
GROW: Becoming more like Jesus by being shaped and changed by God’s word, the Bible.
SERVE: Loving and building others up by using their God-given gifts to serve one another.
GO: Promoting the good news of Jesus with their lips and their lives, both locally and globally.
We are committed to Jesus Christ’s mission to make disciples of all nations. We believe this happens through the prayerful preaching of the good news about Jesus in the context of loving personal relationships. For that reason, the focus of all our ministries is on listening to God speak to us in his word, the Bible, and on praying that God will be at work among us to transform people into mature disciples of Christ. We welcome people from all church backgrounds – or no church background at all – to join us as we meet together.
Governance, Accountability & Responsibility
Church by the Tracks exists under a Charitable Trust Deed and operates through the Trust Rules. Alongside the leadership and spiritual direction of the Senior Pastor, our church operates under the guidance of our Oversight Group (Elders), Administration Team, and Board of Reference.
Oversight Group (Elders)
The Oversight Group is a team of three elders, appointed by the Senior Pastor. Like our Senior Pastor, our elders are men who demonstrate maturity of Christian faith and character, in line with biblical principles found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. The elders interact with the Senior Pastor on ministry and doctrinal issues, and (when necessary) consult with the Board of Reference on the appointment of the Senior Pastor. Together with the Senior Pastor, the elders are responsible for helping to ensure that all our ministries take place in line with our Mission and our Statement of Belief.
Trustees & Administration Team
The Church is served by an Administration Team, made up of the Senior Pastor, the Church’s Trustees, and 2-6 others elected by the whole church. The Admin Team is responsible for property, finance and legal matters, including reviewing and managing the Church’s budget. A Trust Board, comprised of the two Trustees, manages the Church by the Tracks Trust.
Board of Reference
As a church, we look primarily to the Senior Pastor, the elders, and the members of the church to provide accountability and spiritual direction for one another, and for the church as a whole. However, as an independent church, we also believe there is wisdom in seeking support and occasional direction from Christian leaders outside our own fellowship. To that end, an external Board of Reference exists to offer wisdom and support to the Oversight Group on issues of doctrine, and on some issues around employment of the Senior Pastor. The Board is comprised of 3-5 respected Christian leaders, known for their maturity of faith and Christian character. The Board members are not active members of Church by the Tracks, but agree with the Church’s Statement of Belief and agree to support the Mission of our Church.
What we believe
Church by the Tracks is a Bible-teaching church that is independent in governance, but united with Christians around the world and throughout history in upholding the gospel of Jesus Christ. We hold the Bible to be the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct and weigh all our teaching against its standard.
We believe the teachings outlined in the historic church creeds (known commonly as The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed and The Athanasian Creed) are faithful expressions of the teaching of the Christian Scriptures. We hold to the Reformation teaching that God’s rescue comes by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Person and work of Christ alone as revealed in the Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone. We hold to the following summary of the Christian message as our Basis of Belief. Written assent to the following beliefs is required for appointment to the offices outlined in the Trust Deed and the Trust Rules.
(a) About God
There is one unique and eternal God, who exists in an everlasting loving relationship of Father, Son and Spirit—one God in three persons. God is sovereign in all things: including creation, revelation, redemption, judgement and the establishing of his kingdom. As sovereign loving creator and redeemer, he is worthy of all glory, honour and praise.
(b) About humanity
Men and women together are created in the image of God, and therefore enjoy a unique dignity in creation and a unique relationship with God. Men and women together have dominion over the created order. Tragically, human nature is universally sinful since the Fall and all are guilty before God. This leaves us under the wrath and condemnation of God. We are unable, without the prior regenerative work of God’s Spirit, to turn ourselves to God.
(c) About the Bible
There is no other way to know God except that he reveals himself to us. The Bible is God’s revelation to us. The words of the Bible are divinely inspired and infallible, as originally given, and have supreme authority in all matters of faith, conduct and experience. The Bible is sufficient for knowing God. It is not only central to the wellbeing of the church but is able to thoroughly equip the Christian community for life and godliness.
(d) About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He is both fully God and truly human. He entered fully into human experience. He endured temptation and he suffered and died. He was perfectly obedient to God his father. Jesus took on himself the consequences of human sin. He died and was buried. On the third day he rose from the dead bodily and is now exalted as ruler over all. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
(e) About salvation
There is only one name under heaven by which we can be brought into relationship with God: the name ‘Jesus Christ’. It is only through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, that the guilt, penalty and power of sin can be removed. In that death, God demonstrates his love to us most perfectly and establishes his victory over Satan and all his foes. The work of the Holy Spirit is necessary to make the death of Jesus effective in an individual’s life. The Spirit enables the sinner to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ, so that salvation is entirely of God’s grace, through faith alone, and not of human merit or works. Although we enjoy now the blessing of union with Christ and secure relationship with God, we await the final consummation of our hope with the return of Christ, the resurrection of our bodies and life with him eternally.
(f) About the Spirit in the believer’s life
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the father and the Son, and indwells all true believers. His role is to bring glory to Jesus Christ, thus making Jesus Christ central in all things. The Spirit works to illuminate believers’ minds to grasp the truth of the Bible, producing in them his fruit, granting them his gifts and empowering them for service. He grants his gifts for the purpose of service, not self indulgence. Their use is determined—not by personal desire for fulfillment, or satisfaction— but by the principle of building the church. Not every gift of the Spirit is given to the church at every moment of its life, only those necessary for building Christ’s body.
(g) About the church
The visible church is the gathering of believers around Christ in his word. It is a community of people intended by God to bear witness to him and actively seek the extension of his rule. Within its community both men and women are to seek proper expression of their gifts as they work to build the church in love. The Bible makes clear that in church leadership, as in marriage, the roles of men and women are not interchangeable. We are committed to expressing the differences within relationships of mutual dependence.