OUR CORE VALUES & BELIEFS
Kingdom & Cross
LifeStream Europe is committed to both the theology and practice of the kingdom of God, and the gospel of grace in Christ.
God’s plan of salvation moves from creation to new creation, and his reign brings wholeness of life for all creation. As God’s Kingdom-people, the worldwide church is commissioned and empowered by the Spirit to proclaim and demonstrate the coming of this kingdom.
We want to see the church actively involved in this mission, bringing ‘the presence of God’s future’ to our (host) nations, our cities, our neighbourhoods, and our hearts. We believe that the wholeness of God’s kingdom translates to ministries of reconciliation, social and ecological justice, healing (physical, emotional, and social) and deliverance, and to cultural and political engagement.
However, there is no Kingdom without the cross, no Kingdom-people without the forgiveness of sin by grace. Proclaiming the Kingdom is all about leading people to the king, Jesus Christ– a King who died on the cross for our sin, and was raised to life again – to receive forgiveness of sin, and a new life in Christ. It is through grace alone that we are adopted as sons and daughters of the Father – in the Son and through the Spirit of sonship.
Now & Not yet of the Kingdom of God (inaugurated eschatology)
We believe that the Kingdom of God has come in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, but still awaits its consummation at his return. Then heaven will descend on a renewed earth, and God will dwell in his creation.
Therefore, the Kingdom of God is both present and future, and the church lives in an ‘interim time’:
- We live from ‘the powers of the future age’ (Hebrews 6:5).
- While the powers of ‘this present evil age’ continue around us: suffering, injustice and evil has not come to an end.
In practical terms, this means for instance that when we pray for the sick, some will be healed and others will not.
Some Christians respond to this tension by saying that we must not expect to see the miracles of the Kingdom happening in the present time (a delayed eschatology). Others triumphantly declare that the wholeness of the Kingdom should always be experienced demonstrably in the here and now (a realized eschatology). In LifeStream Europe we embrace the tension of the now and the not yet of the Kingdom (inaugurated eschatology), anticipating to see God’s future breaking into our present time, but knowing that we are still awaiting the future inheritance of the Kingdom of God.
Word & Spirit
We are committed to the authority of the Bible as the written word of God, while also seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit and learning to hear and obey the voice of God in our lives. Therefore, we are committed to
- Both studying the Bible, valuing theological scholarship and education.
- And seeking the release of the gifts and workings of the indwelling Spirit, as an experienced reality in our lives. Prophetic words and teachings are always subjected to the authority of the written word of God, [and the spiritual leadership in our midst.]
Mission & Communion
We are committed to the church’s mission to proclaim and demonstrate the Kingdom of God, but living out the Kingdom begins with, and revolves around, our intimate communion with the Father, as his beloved sons and daughters.
- Creation is meant to share in the love of our triune God, to glorify and be glorified, and find its deepest fulfilment in its Creator.
- Mission, therefore, is all about restoring mankind and all creation in the loving embrace of God, through Christ. We seek the presence of God, and our deep communion with Him.
To have communion with God simultaneously means to have communion with his new Kingdom people, our brothers and sisters in the family of Christ. This church is where the gospel is incarnated, and where we are nurtured and made as disciples and witnesses, living out the Kingdom of God.
Unity & Diversity
As God’s Kingdom people of many tribes and nations, we celebrate both our unity and our diversity.
- We are baptized in one Spirit and made into one family – the Spirit transcends boundaries of race, gender, and culture, and transforms us into a spiritual house to be a royal priesthood for God.
- We are a colourful family, diverse in our cultural background, and we celebrate this diversity as an enrichment and a gift of our Creator, that glorifies Him. Together with all the saints – from all nations and tribes – we grow in the knowledge of the love of Christ and the fullness of God. Each culture enriches and contributes, yet at the same time each culture is flawed and subjected to the values of the Kingdom of God.
- Walking and learning together we grow in our understanding of the culture of God’s Kingdom.
As a network of international Christians in Europe, we are also diverse in our denominational backgrounds, in therefore in leadership styles, in worship styles, and church characteristics. This, too, we embrace – welcoming all who share our commitment to the theology and practice of the inaugurated Kingdom of God, and seeking to grow and learn together.