Key beliefs & distinctive values

What we believe and how we act

Key Beliefs

We agree with the statements of the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith.

We believe in…

  • The one true God who lives eternally in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
  • The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
  • The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God – fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
  • The dignity of all people, made male and female in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
  • The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ – born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
  • The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
  • The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
  • The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
  • The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
  • The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers – given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
  • The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.

12 Distinctive Values

These paint a portrait of King’s. We’re not saying that any of them are unique to us but together they show what makes us who we are.

1. Amazed by grace

God has done it all, and we didn’t deserve any of it! All of us were rescued from our sins and judgement because of the plan that God the Father lovingly made, which was achieved on our behalf by Jesus and revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. This isn’t just a theology of salvation, it’s how we do everything as a church. We come to God freely, thankfully, and confidently. There’s no desperation to impress Him or each other because we know that Jesus has done it all. We never use guilt to persuade people. Everyone is aware of their own faults and God’s wonderful mercy, so there’s no place for holier-than-thou attitudes. We have a great time rejoicing in all of this.

2. Defined by the Bible

God has spoken to the world perfectly, finally by His Word: it tells us who He is, who we are, how He can rescue us, and how we can live in the good of that. Because it is God’s timeless word we trust that it is the supreme authority for us today: it’s not out-of-date or merely a starting point for discussions – it absolutely shapes everything we do. We want every member of King’s to love God’s word, to read it, feed on it, and share it with others, and we prioritise teaching from it at our Sunday meetings. A vital part of our leadership training is learning how to rightly understand and communicate what God has said to us all in the Bible.

3. Filled with the Spirit

We love having God the Holy Spirit with us. New Testament church life was dominated by His work and we don’t think that we have any less need of Him today! We want to experience the presence and love of God, we want to receive spiritual gifts (prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc.) to strengthen the church and astonish unbelievers, we want Him to work powerfully in our lives to make us more like Jesus. We call the moment this begins the baptism of the Holy Spirit: an experience (usually at some point after becoming a Christian) that brings Him into a person’s life in a radical and ongoing way. What exactly this looks like varies from person to person. We expect Him to be present and active every day of our lives, helping us to live now and giving us a taste of eternity with God to come.

4. Focusing on the church

God’s plan for telling the world about His Son and discipling His followers is the local church. Establishing and building churches is how Jesus’ first followers responded to His Great Commission, so we’re doing the same. Sometimes this means not getting involved in other Christian events and activities run by standalone parachurch organisations. Instead, we encourage and work with many other churches in Edinburgh, and around the world through New Ground (see “Welcoming apostolic ministry” below). When we’re looking to collaborate with Christian organisations we will always prioritise those who are rooted in and serve local church life.

5. Involving everyone

Just as every part in the body is needed in order for the body to function, so every person in King’s needs to be involved in our life together. Attending meetings as a spectator is to miss what God has for you. Although we have people on paid staff doing pastoral and administrative work, we know that the church only works when everyone is playing their part. All the things we do, we do in teams. We want everyone in King’s – according to their ability – to get involved with a serving team, which will bless others and help them develop their God-given gifts.

6. Building community

Many people’s first impression of King’s is that it is a welcoming community, and that’s exactly what we’re aiming for. “Family” is one of the primary metaphors used in the Bible to describe the church and we take this joyfully seriously. We don’t address each other by titles or put leaders on pedestals, we encourage real sharing of lives, being honest and relaxed with each other, and we make sure that we have a lot of fun together! Small groups are essential for this, and you have to belong to one to be a member of King’s.

7. Expecting growth

God makes things grow – we see this in nature and we expect to see it in His Church. King’s has grown since it began in 2002 and we make decisions and plans for the future with this in mind. We want to raise up and send out more leaders, we want to plant and grow churches We should also see this in the lives of our members, as they grow in maturity to become more like Jesus. This happens through mutual encouragement and challenge, service, teaching, help in the different seasons of life, personal devotion, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

8. Following appointed leadership

God appoints and empowers certain men to guard and govern the church together as a team: the phrase we tend to use for this is “elders”. The many aspects of church life are shared among a larger team of men and women, volunteers and paid staff, but it is the elders who are ultimately responsible to God for the church. The New Testament describes the qualifications for eldership, and they are appointed by recognised apostles in consultation with the church. We always want a team of elders rather one person leading things by themselves, but within that, we recognise one of the guys as having the role of team leader. For a more detailed explanation of this, please read our document, “Defining Leadership at King’s”.

9. Welcoming apostolic ministry

We are delighted to be in New Ground, part of the Newfrontiers family of churches. New Ground is led by David Holden, and is made up of around 40 churches located across Europe (Newfrontiers totals over 1,500 churches around the world). Our relationship with New Ground is entirely voluntary: we have no financial or legal obligations to them but we receive Dave’s recognised apostolic gifting, which brings vision, life and provocation to us, and brings us into a network of mutually-beneficial relationships. We frequently invite people from New Ground churches to visit us, we attend conferences and prayer events together.

10. Baptising believers in water

Jesus told His first followers to baptise all those who gave their lives to Him, so this is what we do: fully immersing them into a pool of water in the church building, after they have told their story of conversion. Because we see this as the pattern for believers we don’t baptise/christen infants and it is a prerequisite for membership of King’s. For more detailed explanation of this, please read our document, “Baptism at King’s”.

11. Honouring families and singles

Jesus said that people are to live in celibate singleness or faithful heterosexual marriage. We want to celebrate both of these and help people to live in the situation they are in. Marriage exists for more than the good of the husband and wife (and any children they may have): it is a picture of how Christ relates to His Church, with husbands called to take the role of Christlike leadership, and wives demonstrating the Church’s reception of this. Singleness is just as precious a gift, as both Jesus and the apostle Paul taught.

12. Planting more churches

We think that the world needs more churches who reach out to their communities with the good news of Jesus. Because of our location and shared mission with New Ground, we’re particularly focused on making this happen in Scotland and Europe: identifying, training, and sending out leaders; supporting church plants with expertise, finance, and prayer.