NEW Creation Christian Community was birthed in the 1970s. Some of us had been baptised in the Spirit, were moving in new spiritual discoveries, and had begun to understand the nature of a truly New Testament church. We were enthused by the Spirit to follow the teachings of Jesus without attempting to dilute them in any way.
We saw the need to face up to such issues as who are our true brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children – as we belong together in the family of God. We read the warnings of Jesus concerning the danger of riches and the need to beware of the false security of worldly wealth and possessions. We noted how Jesus taught that we should be content with food, clothing and shelter, which God would provide as we seek first His Kingdom. We saw how Jesus emphasised the need, for the sake of our souls, to share wealth with the poor and so to produce justice, equality and kingdom brotherhood. We noted how Jesus called people to be fully committed disciples, to renounce all other things and to expect conflict with the natural family.
And so we realised that we must be a ‘church which Jesus builds’ – and become an ‘alternative society’, a community (as with the first Christians following Pentecost) where we could work out the practice of God’s new society in covenant brotherhood, with supernatural signs and wonders, with oneness in perfect love and with people regularly being saved. We noted how these were the things which proved that Jesus had ascended to the right hand of God as Lord and King and had sent the Holy Spirit to empower, build and spread His church.
And we saw that such apostolic communities were the proper environment for receiving disciples of Jesus Christ, drawing them into strong unity in His cause, and equipping them with spiritual gifts and character strengths to build and serve His church.
It has not been an easy path. There is the inevitable pain of building trusting relationships with a variety of people, many of whom have suffered hurts and rejections. Forgiveness, patience, and enduring love are vital qualities for successful community living.
Noel Stanton was the founder and former Apostolic team leader of the Jesus Fellowship / Jesus Army.