The heart and center of everything we believe and practice in our faith is directly connected to obeying the Great Commandment, “to love God and to love one another”. History and current times reveal that for the most part, Christians have not had much trouble loving God. It is the loving one another that has been and is a big problem for believers. The scripture is very clear of the importance of knowing and practicing what it really means to love one another. The Apostle John clarifies that if you cannot love your brother who you can see, than you really do not love God. So, we believe loving one another is the most important attitude and activity of a Christian’s and a church’s life. We believe this is 1st Century Christianity!
Second to and directly connected to obeying the Great Commandment, is fulfilling the Great Commission, to share Jesus Christ and His message of love with the entire world. We believe in practicing 1st Century Christianity with 21st Century technology. Using technology available, our intention is to discover, disciple, and develop other believers and lead them into meaningful virtual church membership and/or to begin their own Grace Christian Fellowship in their own home or area. We believe wherever two or three believers gather in the name of Jesus Christ, this can be a church. Grace Christian Fellowships worldwide will provide the resources necessary for all of this to occur throughout the world, reaching and discipling the nations, building the kingdom of God, waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. In one sense, we are committed to developing “last-day churches” all over the world, seeking to affect communities and cultures for Jesus, anticipating His return.
All of this goes to say that we believe God wants small “family-like” churches all over the globe. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus, they will influence and affect every sphere of their lives and world they live in. We are not against the bigger church, but this is not the model we find in the New Testament or the design God has called us to produce in the world.
We believe that the church should be very careful regarding the matter of incurring too much debt. This kind of debt is related to going beyond what a congregation is able to pay back without seriously affecting their regular budget to provide ministry. Churches that incur too much debt for any reason can place themselves into bondage to the debt where the focus of the church can shift from areas of ministry to the indebtedness. Careful prayer and consideration should always be involved when purchasing expensive things like land and buildings. Following God’s direction in faith is a hallmark of the people of God but this faith walk with God should include a little bit of common sense, guarding against following ego instead of God!
One other important unique quality to mention is in relation to our church government and leadership. We believe that God raises up a senior pastor who has the vision and mission that God has given to him and for the church. The senior pastor is like the “captain of a ship” that has the responsibility for leading the church to fulfill the vision and mission God has given him for the church. He is at the “helm” seeking to provide guidance and influence over all areas of the church’s life in relationship to the vision and mission. He is fully submitted to the elders in the church for accountability of all areas of his life to remain a Spirit-filled man of God with integrity. The elders and deacons of the church are individuals who are strongly committed to helping the pastor to fulfill God’s vision and mission he has for the church. They are strongly committed to stand with the pastor, support him, and are submitted to him as he provides leadership and direction.We believe that elders and deacons selected and set apart for the ministry in a Grace Christian Fellowship can be either male or female. The desire here is to have the mind of Christ, which in a multitude of leaders can be more safely obtained. There is a commitment on the part of all the elders and/or deacons to abandon selfish desires, ambitions, and goals, so that no selfish or hidden agendas motivate anyone. Love, humility and the advancement of the kingdom of God through our vision and mission are of utmost importance.