Foundational Truths and Values
SEVEN FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS
These seven core truths are at the heart of the Disciple Nations Alliance.
They summarize the message we champion to churches worldwide.
JESUS IS KING (MATTHEW 28:18)
There is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; Luke 3:21-22). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Dan. 7:13-14; Eph. 1:20-22; Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 19:16). We proclaim with the prophet Isaiah: “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:7)
HIS PRIMARY AGENDA IS TO ADVANCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD (MATTHEW 6:9-10)
Christ’s purpose is to establish and advance His Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.” (Gen. 12:1-3; Matt. 6:9-10; Matt. 6:33; Matt. 9:35; Luke 4:43; Gal. 3:8) This Kingdom comes as a worldwide reality and exists wherever the Lordship of Jesus is acknowledged in repentance, faith, and obedience to His revealed will. (Isaiah 9:6-7) The Kingdom is a present reality. It offers present hope for substantial healing and restoration, though its fullness is yet tocome. (Matt. 13:33; Luke 11:20; Luke 16:16; Luke 22:15-26; Rev. 11:15; Rev. 21:1-2, 23-26)
BY MAKING DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS (MATTHEW 28:19)
We believe the Kingdom advances as individuals hear and accept the Gospel by faith, are born again, and experience inward regeneration and transformation, expressed by their obedience to “all I have commanded.” Nations are discipled as the church makes the Kingdom visible within its culture, by faithfully obeying God’s Word in every area of life and every realm of society, including the family, community, arts, science, media, law, government, education, and business (Gen. 1:26-28; Col. 1:18b).
HIS KEY AGENT IN THIS TASK IS THE LOCAL CHURCH (EPHESIANS 3:9-11)
The church (the body and bride of Christ) is God’s principally ordained agent in advancing the Kingdom of God (Matt. 16:18-19; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 3:8-11). The present expression of the universal church is the living, worldwide body of redeemed people who have placed their faith in the person and work of Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins, have been adopted as children of God, and have been given the Spirit of God as a pledge of their inheritance (Eph. 2:14-22; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
The local church is an intentional, community-based expression of the universal church. It meets regularly for worship, fellowship, teaching, equipping, and deployment for service. Each local church is called to live as the incarnate Body of Christ. As the church follows its Head, the message of the Kingdom becomes credible within the church’s community of service.
Nations are discipled as local churches send their members into every sphere of society. Acting as agents of transformation, these members use their skills and God-given gifts for ministry and service to others. By lifestyle and intentional action, they promote the reign of Christ in each of their respective spheres (Eph. 4:11-13).
THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH MUST BE WHOLISTIC (COLOSSIANS 1:19-20)
God is Lord of all. Therefore, His redemptive concern is comprehensive. He seeks to bring healing and restoration to all things by means of Christ’s shed blood on the cross (Gen. 1:31a; Rom. 8:18-23; Col. 1:19-20). The Kingdom advances as local churches reflect God’s comprehensive, redemptive concern for the whole of creation (Matt. 4:23; Luke 4:18-21). Therefore, the ministry of the local church must be wholistic. It must minister to whole persons: spiritual, physical, social, and mental. Further, it must encompass their relationships with God, with others, and with creation. Answers to questions such as these should set the agenda for the local church: What would our village look like if Christ were chief? What would our city look like if Christ were mayor? What would our nation look like if Christ were King, President, or Prime Minister?
THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH MUST BE INCARNATIONAL (JOHN 17:15-19)
The church is the body of Christ, just as Jesus was God in human flesh. The church manifests Christ as it ministers in the midst of the broken world (John 1:14; Rom. 13:14a, Eph. 5:1; Phil. 2:5-8). Christ’s compassion, love, sacrificial service, and humble obedience should be clearly reflected as the watching world looks at the church. The Godhead is a community: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore, God’s nature and character are more clearly manifested in the world as the church lives out the Kingdom life in incarnational community (Eph. 4:11-13).
THE LOCAL CHURCH MUST OPERATE INTENTIONALLY FROM THE BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW (COLOSSIANS 1:15-18)
The Bible is the inspired, infallible, powerful, and authoritative Word of God (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible presents a comprehensive worldview, revealing God’s truth to all peoples about the nature of ultimate reality, the source of evil, the origin and nature of the physical universe, the meaning and purpose of human life, and the goal of history. Christ’s disciples must be transformed by the biblical worldview. They must have their minds renewed by actively putting off false worldviews; distortions of the truth that Satan uses to enslave individuals and nations (Matt. 22:37; Rom. 1:18-23; Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Col. 2:6-8; 1 Peter 1:13). The discipleship of nations requires that Christ’s followers allow the biblical worldview to enlighten every area of their lives and carry it outward into every sphere of society (Isaiah 11:9b; Matt. 28:18-20; John 8:31-32).
Our Seven Operating Principles
We Seek Neither Power Nor Glory
The Disciple Nations Alliance is a Kingdom of God enterprise. The world’s mentality promotes competition for organizational territory and power. As a Kingdom enterprise, however, the Disciple Nations Alliance is not seeking power or glory, but the advancement of the Kingdom and the glorification of the King!
A School of Thought, Not an Institution
Although we recognize the importance of being organized, our primary goal is not to create a new institution. Instead, what we offer to the Church and the world is a “school of thought” or a set of ideas. We have consciously chosen not to build buildings or run schools; but we have chosen to participate in the spread of a set of ideas. To do this, we seek to partner with institutions that have existing infrastructures.
Following God’s Lead
We are not trying to create opportunities for ourselves. Rather, we are trying to participate in what God is doing worldwide, follow His lead and not set our own agenda. We desire to form relationships with people and organizations that share our vision and passion and want to seek God about how we might advance the Kingdom together. We don’t put our trust in methods or formulas. Instead, we desire to be flexible and ready to move at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. As we sense the leading of the Holy Spirit we will, with His strength, take initiative to increase opportunities to share the vision God has given us.
We seek to work collaboratively with like-hearted, yet different, organizations, believing that we will all be stronger as we band together around a common vision and purpose. When different organizations with different strengths and competencies work collaboratively, synergy is created—and the outcome is greater than the sum of the parts.
Getting Ideas Out as Widely as Possible
We are seeking to spread a set of ideas into churches, Bible schools, seminaries, mission/church-planting organizations, discipleship movements, and relief and development organizations. Through these organizations, we seek to influence the various sectors of society such as law, education, health, economics, the arts, media, etc. Since we want to widely distribute these ideas, we hold them—and the materials in which they are conveyed—very loosely. Those who join with us need to share this conviction: they are responsible to distribute and disseminate materials and ideas, but should not control, own, or franchise Disciple Nations Alliance materials or messages for their respective organizations
Relating to Each Other in the Love of Christ
As we form deeply valued relationships with people and organizations to advance the school of thought, we want our relationships to be built on the basis of mutual respect and the love of Christ rather than on position, status, structure or control. We desire to follow the teaching of the apostle Paul who said, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:2-6).
Optimizing Local Resources
Our desire is to help believers discover the sufficiency of God by discovering and stewarding local resources rather than relying primarily on outside resources. We have found that, even in the poorest countries, local resources can be discovered and used.