guiding principles

life

The Upper Room is a community of people committed to following Jesus Christ and trying our best to live the way our Creator intended us to live. We are convinced that through following Christ we can experience more and more what it means to be fully human. In Christ, we have all we need for this life as well as the hope of an eternal future.

Scripture teaches that life in God’s creation is intrinsically good and is meant to be enjoyed, celebrated and lived to the full. We believe in a whole-of-life Christianity, recognising God’s presence in every aspect and every moment of our lives – in our relationships, our work, our play, our struggles and our suffering.

Because we “live and move and have our being” in Christ, everything in life is spiritual and potentially sacred. God is integral to and intimately involved in every part of every person’s life, whether or not we recognise him. Every moment of every day offers an opportunity to encounter and worship him and to help others discover the God who Scripture says is “not far from each one of us”.

love

Jesus taught us that we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love other people as much as we love ourselves. Love is a way of life. Following Jesus is not simply a matter of believing. It’s responding to a call to action, to a life of serving the needs of others and doing whatever is in our power to make the world a better place. Whenever we express love through good deeds, we both reveal God to others and encounter God ourselves, because God himself is love.

community

For us, church is about community because community is the essential nature of God: three persons – Father, Son and Spirit – coexisting in an indivisible unity of mutual love, service and interdependence. When God created human beings in his own image, his intention was that we should live together in community in a way that reflects the communal nature of God himself.

At The Upper Room, our desire is to experience (and try to be some kind of an example of) community as God intends it. We want The Upper Room to be an environment of love, support, acceptance, encouragement, mutual respect and service, a place where everyone can come as they are and where we help each other become everything God created us to be and live as God created us to live.

Embracing the dominant biblical metaphor of the church as “the body of Christ”, we see the church more as organism than organisation and as relational rather than institutional. We are convinced that it’s through relationship, not structure, that the pulse of God’s loving heart is felt.

Jesus invites every person to a way of life that offers fulfilment, joy, meaning and purpose. We believe that accepting his invitation to follow him is the best possible way for any person to live. Our hope is that our church community will be a place where people grow in their knowledge of Jesus as he truly is, are reconciled to God the Father and experience the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit.