The mission of New Covenant Baptist Church is to see the First Commandment become the first priority for all nations through Jesus Christ (Mk 12:28-29, Mt 28:18-20)
New Covenant Baptist church desires to be a faithful channel of the whole Christian faith, conserving and propagating orthodoxy, orthopraxy and orthopathy, to our children, our families, and our neighbours, from here to the uttermost parts of the earth. We desire to believe the Truth, embrace the Good, and love the Beautiful for the fame of His name and the good of all nations.
New Covenant Baptist Church desires to be a healthy example church for ourselves, our neighbours and our co-labourers in our region and abroad through appropriate worship, God-honouring leadership, genuine fellowship, deliberate discipleship, and faithful stewardship.
New Covenant Baptist Church desires to be involved in educating people in the Christian faith and in wisdom: through Christian education, seminaries, discipleship ministries and ministry internships.
New Covenant Baptist church desires to be a church of sufficient influence to effectively reach its adjacent community, and use its resources to plant churches in its city and country, train leaders for its continent, and send missionaries abroad, for the transformation of rebels into worshippers from all nations.
The goal of discipleship is to teach believers to believe the truth (head), to practice what pleases God (hands), and to feel rightly towards God and creation (heart). Discipleship is shaping the whole man to love God. This is done through instruction (of various kinds), through example and modelling, through counselling, through exhortation and comfort, through rebuke and admonishment, through enlistment in service. Formal programs of discipleship can be helpful; what is ideal is to grow a culture of believers mentoring other believers. All ministries: children’s, youth, ladies, men’s, or other kinds are to have a discipleship focus.
We believe the preaching of the Word is the single most important discipleship time for the church. Preaching is to expound the Word, giving the correct interpretation of the text in context, and making wise and helpful applications. We see value in both working through books of the Bible, and in topical messages, though both are to be expository.
One of the greatest discipleship times for the church is Corporate worship. We hold to the Regulative Principle: only what God has prescribed in the New Testament is to be admitted into corporate worship. That is: the reading of God’s Word (1 Tim 4), the preaching of God’s Word (2 Tim 4:2), the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Col 3:16), the offering up of prayers (1 Tim 2:1-4), the collection of offerings (1 Cor 16:1-2), and the observance of the ordinances (Mt 28:19-20, 1 Cor 11:20ff).
We believe that pastor/elder/overseer is one office. We believe every pastor must feel called to preach or teach God’s Word, and desires to exercise spiritual oversight of the church as his primary vocation. He must meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Tis 1:5- 9, and 1 Pet 5:1-4. Since God has ordained that a man should earn his living from his vocation (1 Cor 9:1-14), and since the church is commanded to remunerate its elders (1 Tim 5:17-18), we seek to avoid, as far as is possible, so-called ‘lay elders’. That is, while it is lawful for an elder to be a tent-maker, or to refuse remuneration because of independent financial remuneration, we do not think it acceptable for ministry to be built off the back of unpaid elders, nor that a man should treat ministry as an avocation, instead of a vocation. Some form of full-time or part-time support, or regular honorarium should enable the
pastors to focus on ministry. We would prefer a plurality of elders, though if means do not permit, a church is still properly organised if it has at least one elder and more than one deacon (1 Tim 3:1-15). Between elders, a collegiality and mutual respect should exist, though no Scripture forbids leaders among leaders. For that reason, one of the pastors will be in the role of lead or senior pastor.
We believe deacons are to serve the church by handling much of the administrative and logistical matters that would distract the pastors from discipleship and spiritual oversight. That does not mean they are mere runners: they are to be men of spiritual maturity and insight, whose character qualifications match those of the pastors (1 Tim 3). Pastors are responsible for the spiritual oversight, leadership, direction of the church. Deacons help implement that vision and oversight, by bringing their gifts and skills to the leadership team.
Sunday School and Children’s Ministries
As a form of discipleship, the hour afforded by Sunday School to systematically teach doctrine and Scriptural truth is of great value. Sunday School children’s programs which trivialize the truth by attempting to turn into entertainment or amusement should be avoided. Ministries which target children can have age-appropriate material, teaching methods and activities.
Youth & Teen Ministries
The young people in a church need to be ministered to and discipled. However, we oppose the youth culture of the world, with its emphases on entertainment, frivolousness, casual dating, and idolisation of sex, material goods, and fame. When the church shapes its youth ministries to revolve around ‘fun’, social activities and being a Friday-night alternative to clubs and parties, we believe it fails to disciple its young people. Youth ministries are to work with parents to disciple young people to become serious, cross-carrying disciples, helping them to apply Scripture to their families, school life and changing world. Serious Bible study and serious acts of service are to mark a healthy youth ministry. Fun times and social activities will inevitably be part of a ministry, but it should by no means be the ‘drawcard’ or the bait. Such youth ministries will inevitably be smaller, and largely dependent upon support from parents and older Christians. They are more likely to produce adults that continue in the faith.
Baptism of younger children
Given the easy-believism in our era, we are reluctant to baptise children under the age of 12. This is not because we doubt people are genuinely converted before that age, but because we wish to allow time for the child to embrace the taking up of his cross, and identifying with Christ amidst peer-pressure. We do not want to hurt the conscience of a little one who genuinely loves Christ, so there will be exceptions to this general rule, no doubt. We would prefer parents to watch carefully for fruit of regeneration before requesting baptism for their children.
The standard Bible version for teaching in NCBC is the New King James Version. We use the New King James Version (NKJV), because it is a literal, accurate and faithful translation of the Hebrew and Greek texts. The NKJV retains something of the dignity and beauty of the KJV, but uses language which is more accessible to a modern audience.We believe the best versions are those are most literal in their translation such as the KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, and HCSB. Certain versions such as the NIV or NLT may have a place in the life of a believer’s studies and devotions, but we do not favour them for public preaching and teaching.
We are cessationists, so we do not believe the biblical gifts of tongues, prophecy, words of knowledge and wisdom, miracles and healings function today as they did during the apostolic era. We do not believe that the charismatic interpretation of these biblical gifts, as in modern-day prophecy and charismatic corporate worship, are biblical or spiritually healthy. We encourage believers to exercise their spiritual gifts, by looking for needs in the body, to obey the one-another commands, to seek a variety of avenues of service and to see where they find greatest usefulness and fulfillment.
Biblical Counselling and Psychiatric Medication
We believe Scripture is sufficient to deal with life and godliness. God is the physician of the soul, and no malady affecting our mind and heart is outside the scope of Scriptural wisdom. Unbelieving psychologists may have valid insights into human behaviour, but all such must be weighed and interpreted through the grid of Scripture. While we do not endorse secular psychiatry’s tendency to medicate all emotional problems, we do recognise that there are cases of organically-based neurological problems that may require medication. However, a combination of good biblical counselling and sound medical tests must decide if medication is necessary.
The church is to send and support those who take the Gospel to other cultures. We support the ‘less-for-more’ principle: rather supporting fewer missionaries with larger amounts, so as to enable them to be on the field sooner, and so that the church’s interaction with its fewer missionaries may be intimate, personal and genuinely accountable. We believe the qualifications for a church-planting missionary are equal to that of an elder in a church.
The church’s primary responsibility in matters of poverty is to encourage diligence and responsible work in its members (1 Tim 5, 2 Thes 3:10), assist those believers who are in genuine need through no lack of diligence on their part (Gal 6:10), and assist those within the church who are genuinely destitute and without means of income (1 Tim 5). The church is not called to relieve societal poverty at large, though it may certainly exercise benevolence and kindness as part of letting its light shine before men.
Education and Christian Schools
Since the discipleship of children rests primarily with parents, the church cannot bind the conscience of parents regarding what educational choice they make. However, it is the church’s responsibility to point out that education is a huge part of discipleship, and therefore the choice of public school, private school, Christian school, or homeschool will have a large effect on discipleship.
Cooperative Ministry With Other Churches
Christians should seek maximum fellowship, all things being equal. All things are not equal, however, and co-operation can only take place where doctrine and practice are shared. Therefore, the greater the partnership and mutual assistance desired, the greater must be the likemindedness in doctrine and practice. Certain endeavours, such as shared church-planting, a shared educational ministry, shared leadership training require much agreement.
Patriotism can be virtuous, but the church is a called-out nation, not to be identified with any one earthly nation. When the church gathers, it gathers to honor Christ. No political party ought to be promoted from the pulpit.
Women and Ministry
We believe women are to be active, fruitful members of the body of Christ, serving and being served by other members. Older women are specifically instructed to teach younger women in godly womanhood. Every avenue of service is available to women except those that place them in a position of headship and spiritual leadership over adult men (1 Tim 2:11-12). For this reason the offices of pastor and deacon are for men only, as is any act of public proclamation of the Word of God to a mixed audience. Public teaching carries with it an injunction to submit to the one teaching, therefore the public teaching of the Word of God to a mixed audience by a woman places men in the dilemma of submitting to both the truth of the Word and to the one who has preached it, violating the principle of male headship in the home and church. Certain other acts in corporate worship, that carry connotations of leadership and public instruction, such as song leading, leading in prayer, or otherwise instructing the congregation, should be performed by men in the public assembly.
Isn’t it culturally outdated or demeaning to women to believe this?
Since we believe that the Bible is God’s Word, we believe God was able to write a book which would not go out of date or be irrelevant. The words written then were not conditioned by a particular cultural situation, nor was Paul a chauvinist or a bigot. Paul grounds these commands in the pre-cultural created order, and in the fall of mankind into sin. We believe that the public preaching of the Word is the declaration of authority, and the one who does so carries derived authority. Since God calls for male headship in the home and in the family, a woman preaching to a mixed audience would violate this principle. Headship does not mean superiority. God regards males and females as spiritual equals, while assigning them different roles in the home and in the church.