Core Value 4
I strive to safeguard the E.F.C. distinctive and doctrine
One of the major functions of the district organization in the E.F.C.A. has been to be a gate keeper for all the associated churches throughout the United States. In the district is placed the trust and authority for acceptance of new churches into the association, as well as the credentialing of our clergy.
When people move from other districts where they have attended an Evangelical Free church and seek a new church home, they expect doctrinal similarity and theological purity. That can be assured only when each district, working together from common policy, safeguards association and membership in the E.F.C.
The Board of Directors, along with our various committees, will continue the credentialing and application standards that have been applied to all of our existing churches and clergy. It is a privilege to be an Evangelical Free Church or to be ordained within our organization. Not all churches are welcome, some have been rejected, and others have been asked to drop their affiliation because they do not hold to the same standards and theological distinctive of the Evangelical Free Church of America. Not everyone who seeks ordination, an arduous process with very high standards, is granted that privilege in the E.F.C.
This is a part of the function of the District which you have created and help to support. It is a less tangible value in our culture which desires immediate and visible product for their investment. However, it is an extremely valuable asset that the District provides to all who are a part of the association of Evangelical Free Churches, and one which takes extreme administrational time and attention.
The placement process for churches that are looking for new or additional pastoral staff falls into this category as well. This is another time consuming commodity that churches don’t use every month, but when needed, is invaluable. Those who are recommended to search committees through the district office have gone through careful screening before being recommended. Most are either credentialed already with the E.F.C., or are willing to complete the process upon being called to a church.