In the next month or so, we have planned two church services where we (TFC) plan to hold a combined church service with two other COG groups – UCG and COGWA. These services are local to us here in Central California. Some have asked why we are doing this so I would like to explain.
To understand our motivation, it would be good to review some of our original material where we stated some of our aims and goals. What we are now finally able to do stands on our founding principles.
For example, here are some excerpts from the article Spiritual Awakening and Governance.
“The Father’s Call seeks to follow a spiritual path of strengthening individual relationships with the Father and the Head of the Church – Jesus Christ. The Church is a spiritual organism and is not bound by organizational structure. While the Church must be organized, the source of unity within the body is spiritual in nature.”
“We recognize and accept the need to change past practices and to strengthen and help heal the body of Christ. With the love and guidance of the true Shepherd, we commit to doing what is necessary to allow Him to give us His mind so that we can serve His flock as He intends. The God Family is the model for how His expanding family – the Church – is to function.”
One of our specific goals was: “To define a ministry of reconciliation—firstly, within the ministry itself, and secondarily, to seek reconciliation of the scattered flock—mending relationships with God and each other (2 Corinthians 5:17–20).”
At the time, we spoke of lowering the boundaries that exist between organizations. Some are interpreting this to mean that we are seeking to find another organization into which we can merge. This is definitely not the case. It is our desire to see the spiritual body brought back into a single unified body, but given the state of the Church it would be presumptuous for us to think we can achieve that. Christ will do that in His time. We certainly need to be spiritually ready for whatever He wants done in the future.
Our goal at this time is a spiritual merger. The Body of Christ is a spiritual organism and not a physical organization. Our small group is just one part of the Body. Christ said he had “other sheep” which were “not of this fold,” but He made clear that they should “become one fold.” We do Him a disservice if we use corporate affiliation to separate His sheep. Christ also said that the world would know us as His disciples if we love one another. We can’t preach the gospel effectively if we ignore that. As God loves us, so we are to love one another. So, where we can see alignment in doctrine and spirit, fellowship serves both preaching the gospel and feeding the flock. That has been referred to as the two legs of the great commission.
Ultimately, we want to see a healed, unified, powerful Body of Christ. Truth in doctrine and repentant hearts are prerequisites, and both are only possible via the Holy Spirit. From there, we have to work to serve and sharpen one another, to rebuild culture and tradition, and cultivate a harmonious environment for God’s Church and those He will call to it. Then we can be used as God intends – as a light and a witness to the entire world. We are not at that point today.
We are working to lower barriers by reaching out to our brothers and sisters in Christ as we believe scripture requires us to do. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). This is not about corporate mergers but the spiritual merging of the body of Christ. What better time of God’s calendar year to do this than around the platform for God’s Plan of Salvation.