As a church our vision is that we are ‘a caring community with every member equipped to demonstrate Christ, working with others to advance God’s Kingdom in Chard and the world’.
Our values are the basis of all we do – that we seek God, love generously and expect positive transformation in our personal lives and together as a family.
Forefront has no formal membership list but we do invite those who want to worship with us to make a public commitment to the church and its work.
All who have come into a relationship with God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ are members of God’s church and can worship here. In addition, we encourage everyone who is interested in the Christian life to attend our meetings and experience a loving, non-judgmental welcome.
We expect those who do join us to take personal responsibility to grow in relationship with God and develop the likeness of Christ, as the Holy Spirit enables.
Such growth is an internal matter for each believer, encouraged by the mutual support of a family of like-minded people. Just as a single coal burns best in a grate full of coal, so we seek to shine out in company with others. Here is a brief summary of how we express that growing depth of relationship as a local church. You’ll find a few references from the Bible, which we consider authoritative, but there is plenty more to say on each topic. This is the visible part of what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ and members of his body:
Baptism is a specific instruction of Jesus Christ and was the practice of the New Testament Church. It is the first act in a life of obedience to God. We expect all adult believers to be baptised by immersion, demonstrating they have turned away from a life without God and entered into a new living relationship with Him. (Matt 28:18-20, Acts 2:38-39, Rom 6:1-4)
Worshipping, learning and praying together is a priority. We meet together regularly as a church each Sunday, which is a Christian tradition and convenient for most of us. We invite a speaker to talk about God’s word and worship together in song. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper together twice a month, once on Sunday morning and once in the afternoon. We also come together for prayer, business meetings and on other occasions. (Acts 2:42-46, 2 Tim 3:14-17, Col 3:15-17)
Participation in a small group (we call them “Life Groups”) is a valuable opportunity to build deeper friendships, care for one another, apply God’s Word and make ourselves accountable for our spiritual growth. We encourage everyone to be a member of a Life Group if possible, and have groups at various times and on different days to make this possible. (Acts 2:42-47, Heb 10:23-25, Rom 12:13)
Using the gifts and talents God has given enables each of us to serve Him and build up the body. The Bible is emphatic that everyone has something to offer if they are living in obedience to Christ. After a believer has settled into a Life Group, we encourage them to commit time and energy to discovering and developing their gifts in the church or within the local community. (1 Cor 12:4-11 and 27-31, Rom 12:3-9, 1 Peter 4:10-11)
Giving should be regular, thoughtful, generous and joyful. We do not specifically teach that we should give a ‘tithe’ (tenth) but rather that we are to be ‘stewards’ of all that God has given us. For some that may mean giving less and for others more. 15% of all offerings is given by Forefront to missionaries and ministries whom we support around the world. For those who pay tax, we encourage giving by Standing Order and using the Gift Aid scheme as an act of good stewardship. (2 Cor 8:1-15, 1 Cor 16:2, Luke 21:1-4)
Submitting to one another and to the church leadership is a sign that we value relationship above activity (though we hope to be active, too!) As members of God’s family we are called to love, serve and submit to one another. Our understanding of leadership is that God places leaders (plural) in every church to serve, lead and care for the members and to ensure we all work together in unity. (1 Thess 5:12-15, Eph 5:21, Heb 13:17)
Sharing our faith with others is every member’s response to Jesus’s commission to ‘make disciples’. We support missionaries overseas, but we also want to share the Good News with friends, family and others where we have an opportunity. We desire to show our faith by the good that we do and the way we live, and by a readiness to explain our faith when asked. (Matt 28:18-20, Matt 5:13-16, 1 Peter 3:15-16)