Mission & Vision
Redwood Reformation Church’s mission is to turn New Zealand back to the “God of nations” named in our national anthem—starting with Rotorua. Our long-term vision is “Christendom 2.0”: a return to Christian culture in our city, in our nation, and in the whole world, as Christ’s Spirit works through the church fulfilling the Great Commission.
A. Theological foundations
1. The complete claim of Christ over all things
This is the gospel: the message that Christ Jesus has triumphed over sin, death, and Satan, and been made lord over all things. All human beings and institutions are therefore duty-bound to turn from their own ways, and to faithfully submit to his will in all things. Those who do, being united to him by faith, become sons of God, and inheritors of everything he receives from the Father. Through his Spirit, he transforms them into his own image, and empowers them to represent him. This is aptly summarized in the expression, all of Christ for all of life.
Matthew 28:18–20; Ephesians 1:20–22; 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Philippians 2:9; Colossians 2:10; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 1:5; 12:5; 21:2, 9–10, 24–25; Psalm 2:7–12; 24:1; 72:11; 82:8; 89:27–29; Isaiah 2:2–4; 49:22–23; 60:1–2, 11–12, 15–16; Daniel 2:44; 7:13–14, 27; Acts 17:30; Romans 13:1–7; 1 Peter 2:13–14; Zechariah 14:8–9; 1 Timothy 3:15; John 3:35; Ephesians 1–2
2. The Great Commission as the means of advancing Christ’s claim
Jesus’ directive to the church universal is to make the nations into disciples. The Great Commission thus encompasses not just people as private individuals, but also as public figures involved in public institutions: fathers and households, businessmen and businesses, leaders and community groups, magistrates and councils, judges and courts, parliaments and ministers, and every kind of human institution and government.
3. The ministry of the church as fulfilling the Great Commission
It is our duty to bring all people the good news of Christ’s redeeming claim over them; instructing them in his will for every facet of their lives; praying that they would receive and submit to his rulership; modeling obedient faith to them through the grace given us in the Holy Spirit; baptizing those who repent and believe; feeding and fellowshiping with them through both word and sacrament; and discipling them so that they may grow in holiness unto the full maturity of faith.
B. The long-term principles we are building on
1. Glorifying & fearing God alone
Because we fulfill the Great Commission on behalf of Jesus, we are committed to magnifying his name (not our own reputations), to advancing his kingdom (not our own institution), and to obeying his commands (not the demands of men or our own flesh). We must always represent him, doing our uttermost to preach and practice what he commands—boldly and with zeal, knowing he is for us, yet humbly and with meekness, knowing our own sins and weaknesses, and that we serve only at his pleasure. We will do this regardless of the cost to ourselves, of the condemnation of false teachers and wicked magistrates, or the disapproval of misled sheep and deceived unbelievers.
2. Scriptural fidelity
Because fulfilling the Great Commission involves teaching everything that Christ commanded, we are committed to the authority and sufficiency of God’s word in both making us wise for salvation, and in equipping us for every good work (whether religious, domestic, or civil). We are equally committed to the continual work of knowing and applying God’s word ever more deeply and comprehensively.
3. Inter-generational faithfulness
Because fulfilling the Great Commission will take generations, we are committed to being faithful in small things, so that we may both lay a foundation for future work, and raise up faithful men and women from our own families to build great things upon that foundation.
4. Humble cooperation
Because fulfilling the Great Commission will take the whole body of Christ, we are committed to both working with, and being eclipsed by, other faithful men. As well as men from our own congregation, we wish to work in mutual participation with other churches that preach and practice the exhaustive lordship of Christ. We will do so without prejudice for doctrinal differences, as long as they do not pollute the gospel.
C. What our work must look like
1. Celebrating the Lord’s Service faithfully
We gather on the Lord’s Day to rest in him, be served by him, and to renew covenant with him as one body—in a way that is simple, joyful, beautiful, and reverent. We feed his sheep with the solid food of both his Word, through comprehensive preaching, and his Supper, through weekly communion; and we set the whole pattern for weekday service through careful liturgy.
2. Helping everyday Christians deeply read & apply God’s word
We teach all our members patiently to become skillful in reading and appreciating God’s word. We instruct them in the hard but satisfying work of deeply understanding it, submitting to it, and applying it to every issue of life, in a way that is careful, clear and encouraging.
3. Fostering a church culture that is accessible & challenging
We have a way of life, worship, singing, teaching, discipleship, and mutual participation that loves and serves people as they are, while seeking excellence in all things. We are proactive about caring and praying for others, while also expecting, encouraging, and helping them to see all of life as service to God, so that they may press on to perfect love and piety.
4. Limiting our ministry to what God has defined for the church
We believe in all of Christ for all of life, not all of church for all of life. We don’t create ministries or programs just because there is a need. We instead ask who God has assigned the responsibility for that need. This ensures that we don’t assume the duties given to households or states, nor replicate or interfere with their work. We leave room to instruct our members in taking up their own responsibilities of ministering to their families and communities, and avoid creating obligations or expectations that are onerous or overbearing.
5. Cultivating strong & fruitful Christian households
We guide our members to build happy and holy marriages that image the bond of onetogetherness between Christ and his Church. We equip them to establish a family culture of worship and service, to instruct and disciple their children in God’s ways, and to develop godly influence in the world at large.
6. Planting new churches & cooperating with existing ones
We work alongside qualified fellow-laborers to build God’s kingdom, and we seek to treat them as more important than ourselves. We are diligent to cultivate the kind of wisdom, workmanship, and strength that will make us effective stewards of the resources and the harvest that the Lord provides.
7. Leading in the public square
We wisely and patiently shape Rotorua’s culture through contending for the gospel and exercising Christian leadership in the arts, business, education, politics, medicine, media, charity, and whatever other avenues God opens. We seek to instruct civil leaders in what Christ requires of them, while modeling this obedience by submitting to them when they are acting faithfully on his behalf; and by resisting when they are working against his law.