Grace Church Cowley

Values

Welcome to Grace Church Cowley.  We’re a friendly local church in Temple Cowley in East Oxford.

So where are we coming from?  Here are our three core values

1. Local

Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,”

(Matthew 28:19)

We’re a church in Cowley, for the local people of Cowley.  We’re not trying to be a church that Christians travel to from miles around or that takes people from existing churches.  Rather we’re a church for people who don’t do church.  We want to reach people in Cowley who aren’t part of a church – people who used to do church at some point in the past, and people who’ve never done church!  We are a church for literally anyone, no matter what your religious or non-religious background.

As a local church that means we want to be a diverse church, because Cowley is diverse.  We want to reflect the make-up of Cowley in age and stage, social, ethnic and religious background – literally all nations as Jesus said.  And our heart’s desire is to see people coming to trust in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour – in other words to become disciples, followers, learners of Jesus, just as he said.  After all, we’re learners too!  See “L plates” below.

2. Bible

Jesus said, “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life,” 

(John 5:24)

We’re a church that has the Bible at the centre of everything because it is God’s word to us.  We seek to be faithful to the whole message of the Bible because Jesus said that whoever hears this message and believes it has eternal life.  We long for many people in Cowley to do just that.  This message throughout the whole Bible, from start to finish, is about our need of a saviour and points us to the Saviour Jesus.   It is the good news, the gospel, of Jesus.  Therefore our heart’s desire is to give local people a chance to hear the good news of Jesus from the Bible.

3. Family

Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

(John 13:35)

We’re a real family, not just a club or an event we go to once a week.  When people come to trust in Jesus we become part of his family with lots of brothers and sisters, all having the same Heavenly Father.  We want to work hard at being a proper family by meeting together, eating together and doing life together in Cowley.  This is because Jesus commanded his followers to love one another – not in a superficial way and not because families find it easy to do that.  We want to genuinely, deeply, sacrificially love one another.  We believe this kind of community is what we are all longing for ,so it will be very attractive to people in Cowley.  Jesus said that if we are this kind of loving community then everyone will know we are his disciples.  Not just that we are individual witnesses to him but that together something special happens as our mutual love is a powerful witness as a group – a real family.

“L plates”

Jesus said: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

(Mark 14:38)

“Local”, “Bible” and “Family” are full of the letter “L” and we acknowledge that we are all still wearing our “L plates” like learners!  We are weak, messy people rather than holy, perfect people and so we know that we ourselves and our church are not perfect.  But we press on to learn more and more what it is to follow Jesus and to try and do this.  We constantly remember that it is not because of how good we are that Jesus saves us, but because of what he has done for us – paying for our failure with his death on the cross.  We remember that forgiveness and eternal life are a free gift, that’s what grace means, rather than something we have earned.  That’s why we’re called Grace Church.  And this grace, this gift, makes us press on all the more to follow Jesus better – even though in this life we will always be wearing our “L plates.”