Of strategic importance in ICGC’s Philosophy of Ministry is the Covenant Family concept, commonly referred to in other circles as Home Cells, House Fellowships, or Love Circles. ICGC believes that the early church in the book of Acts experienced phenomenal growth because of two basic reasons:
- It was large enough to fulfill its evangelistic mandate.
- It was small enough to minister to the personal needs of each individual, through fellowship and ‘Body-Ministry’.
It is this second dimension, (i.e. ministering to the individual and personal needs of parishioners), particularly in an era characterized by social fragmentation, disintegration of the family unit, isolation and loneliness, which needs to be addressed through small groups (Covenant families).
ICGC Covenant Families will consist of a group of six to twelve people, who consider themselves to be members of one family (the family of God), in covenant with each other, through the blood of Jesus Christ. The group, bound together by its covenant relationship to Christ and to each other, commits to growing together through mutual love, support, nourishment and care.
The importance of this ministry cannot be over-emphasized. The entire human body consists of cells. The health of these cells ultimately determines the health of the human body. Likewise, the health and vitality of ICGC’s Cell groups (Covenant Families) will ultimately determine the health and strength of the church as a whole.
It is worthy of note that Christ’s vision of reaching the entire world with the love and power of the Father, began with just 12 disciples; he had a vision big enough to make him think small.
Purpose of Covenant Families:
Evangelism – Covenant Families will be bases and ‘lighthouses’ for Evangelism in the community, illuminating the surrounding darkness.
Pastoral Care – Covenant Families will provide Pastoral Care, a support mechanism for church members, and ensuring that none falls through the cracks.
Spiritual Gifts – Covenant Families will enable us discern, nurture and affirm the Spiritual and Ministry Gifts Christ has set in the church.
Accountability – Covenant families will create a context of accountability for real life-change and character transformation among our membership.
Discipleship & Leadership Dev. – Covenant Families will encourage Hands-on Discipleship and Leadership development.
Church Planting - The combined result of the above is Church Health, Planting and Growth.