This following is intended to capture the most important values at Woody as well as express some of the ways these can be put into practice in all areas of our community. This includes when we meet together in different settings, but also how we can embed them in our individual lives. This will be a living document that can be refreshed and updated. Hopefully it will give the reader some idea of what Woody is about, stimulate discussion and also enable the leadership to be held to account. If you have any feedback please feel free to get in touch with the Pastor or one of the elders.
The Word of God
We recognise the Bible as the authoritative Word of God and believe it is as relevant today as at any time in history. We believe it can speak to us personally and as a fellowship. We seek to explore the scriptures when we meet together and encourage each other to spend time individually listening to God through the Bible. We do this not to gain more knowledge for its own sake, but that we might be changed by it and might apply it in our lives.
- Reading and teaching of the Bible in our gatherings.
- Ensuring bible teaching develops understanding and has application in real life.
- Developing the discipline of regular personal study.
The Holy Spirit
We value and welcome the present work of the Holy Spirit. We therefore seek to listen and sense where the Spirit is leading us in all that we do as a church and desire to see the Fruitsof the Spirit growing in us. This impacts on our decision making, our gatherings (whether small or large) and as we lead our lives individually. We teach and encourage use of the Gifts of the Spirit to build up Woody and the wider church.
- Teaching on Spiritual Gifts.
- Creating space in meetings for the Spirit to move and to encourage the gifts to be exercised.
- Developing an understanding of the Spiritual Gifts that we have been given.
- Practicing those gifts appropriately to bless others.
- Cultivating the Fruits of the Spirit in our lives.
- Listening for what God is saying to us personally and corporately.
Being Real and Authentic
Woody is a place where you are free to be the person you are. You are welcomed and encouraged to be welcoming. You feel safe and help others to feel safe. Our community is diverse. Leaders are real and vulnerable. People are allowed to disagree. Broken people are valued and welcomed at Woody. However, we seek restoration, healing and growth, becoming the people God has made us to be, walking towards Jesus and being changed by Him. We might get things wrong but we aim to learn from it. Things might be a bit messy around the edges. There is grace.
- Teaching a welcoming culture.
- Ensuring a safe and secure environment in our gatherings.
- Creating opportunities for and encouraging the receipt of ministry.
- Putting in place appropriate safeguarding practices.
- Providing signposting to appropriate specialist services and ministries.
- Providing small group structures to develop open and accountable relationships.
- Being non-judgmental and developing a welcoming heart.
- Being open, honest, humble, teachable and loving.
- Walking alongside those that are hurting and broken.
- Understanding our safeguarding responsibilities.
- Participating in accountable relationships e.g. Life Group or Prayer Triplet.
We know prayer works. It is a foundation. We make opportunity to pray together when we meet as a body and in smaller groups. We encourage each member of the fellowship to pray individually.
- Providing regular opportunities for corporate prayer.
- Developing the discipline of personal prayer.
- Regularly offering to pray for others.
Faith is not just a hobby
Jesus invites us to follow him fully. Faith in Jesus is more than a hobby, it permeates our behaviours, choices, decisions and actions. We are a diverse community sharing life together. We encourage all those in Woody to grow in faith through personal study, prayer and serving others. We encourage all those in Woody to be committed to each other, loving one another, serving one another, giving, meeting together on a Sunday, through small groups and through getting regularly involved in the life of Woody and the community.
- Providing Biblical teaching with real life application.
- Providing opportunities and encouragement to engage within smaller groups and for discipling/mentoring.
- Providing opportunities to serve others/the community.
- Providing opportunity for testimony of faith in action.
- Encouraging the integration of all parts of the Woody community.
- Developing personal disciplines to grow in your walk with God so that He influences your lifestyle every day – in workplace, school, university, friendships, family, relationships etc.
- Serving within Woody.
- Serving the community.
- Giving – money, time, gifts etc.
Sharing the Gospel and Making Disciples
Jesus commands us to make disciples. We are committed to sharing the good news of Jesus with those around us and to encouraging those that respond to grow in their understanding and personal faith journey and to be baptised.
- Providing ways to develop skills and confidence in sharing the gospel message and personal faith stories.
- Providing opportunities to disciple others, with appropriate equipping.
- Participating in missional activities.
- Taking opportunities to share your faith with others around you.
- Participating as a discipler or mentor.
Worship is vital part of who we are as individuals and a fellowship. We are created to worship God. As a community we create opportunities to worship.
- Providing opportunities to worship corporately in a range of different ways.
- Teaching what it is to worship.
- Regularly attending worship services to participate in corporate worship.
- Developing disciplines and attitudes to personally worship throughout your life.
We are encouraged by hearing the stories of God at work in the lives of those in Woody and further afield. We create opportunity for the sharing of personal stories when we meet together so that our faith can grow.
- Creating opportunities in gatherings for testimony to be shared.
- Being willing to give account of how God has been at work in your life.
Generosity and Stewardship
We believe that all we have comes from God and belongs to Him. We are called to steward it wisely and are generous with the many blessings we receive. We are generous with our material wealth and our time and energy.
- Being good stewards of resources entrusted to Woody and using these resources (financial, building etc) to bless others.
- Being committed to giving whether it be financial, time or gifts.
- Serving within Woody and the community around you.
We believe God has a wonderful plan for Woody and for each person in this World. We are excited to see those plans revealed and will encourage expectation within Woody. We desire to see expectant worship, expectant prayer, to be expectant of the work of the Holy Spirit and to grow in expectancy through hearing testimony. We come to gatherings prepared to praise and worship.
- Leading gatherings anticipating the presence and work of the Holy Spirit.
- Coming to gatherings with an attitude of expectancy.
Equipping and Releasing
We recognise that Woody is located in a part of the city with a transient population. This means as a fellowship we will have a transient population, particularly in our student community. However, we invest in equipping all those in the fellowship, enabling them to walk into what God has in their future. We are joyful and willing to be a sending church, to be generous and to release.
- Investing in all who attend Woody.
- Praying blessing on all who leave for pastures new.
- Engaging fully even if you know you will only be around for a short period.
- Not becoming downhearted as people move on, but choosing to bless.
Serving the Community
Woody was planted in Cathays. Whilst we have members and attendees from across the city we are rooted in our local community. We continually seek ways to engage with and bless the communities around us.
- Creating clear opportunities for members and attenders to serve in Cathays.
- Engaging in service ministries.
- Seeking opportunities to bless and serve all the communities we are part of.
Justice is a key theme in the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments declare God’s opposition to injustice. Jesus showed us many ways we can live justly, from supporting those facing injustice to tackling the sources of injustice. As such, fighting against injustices (spiritually, physically, and emotionally) and making conscious, just choices is part of our ‘DNA’ as Christians. We encourage all those in Woody to seek out opportunities to live justly and to make a positive impact in the world. We do not seek justice to make ourselves ‘feel better’, but rather to reflect Christ-like love and action to those around us.
- Providing Biblical teaching with real life application and challenges to pursue justice.
- Encouraging all those in Woody to view seeking justice as an essential part of their faith and relationship with Jesus.
- Sourcing or purchasing things responsibly, from utilities to tea and coffee.
- Partnering with charities and other churches (through either practical or financial support) to tackle injustices and regularly feeding back encouragement and testimonies.
- Raising awareness of and seeking out opportunities to provide support (spiritual, emotional, practical) to those in our local communities who face injustices.
- Being an advocate for justice and a role model to show others how to live justly.
- Taking opportunities to actively fight for justice, by addressing the source of injustice (for example, signing petitions) or supporting those impacted by unjust systems or behaviours.
- Consciously living life, aware of our impact on other people’s lives and the environment, and considering ethical, sustainable options when possible.
- Taking responsibility for educating ourselves about different injustices and how we can help, as nothing will change until we are aware of them.