ICGC CORE VALUES
Our Values define our behavior, decisions and choices.
Our Values determine our goals and priorities.
Our Values determine which ministries are set up or eliminated.
Our Values are the criteria by which we evaluate the performance of our Ministry systems, as well as, our corporate church performance.
1. Balancing Charisma with Character:
I.C.G.C. espouses a proper balance between the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (charismata), and the attention given to the Word of God in its public worship, and in the lives of its members. An over-emphasis on the Holy Spirit and His gifts creates "Fanaticism", an excessive and sometimes irrational zeal for God, without knowledge (Romans 10:2); what the Apostle Paul described as "tinkling cymbals and sounding brass" (1 Corinthians 13:1). Such zeal, often devoid of knowledge, is destructive; like a brush fire, it may 'burn' out of control. An emphasis on the Word alone, on the other hand, produces "Formalism". Again, the Apostle Paul described some as having "a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2nd Timothy 3:5). While some churches have emphasized the Holy Spirit, His gifts and power at the expense of character (e.g. The Pentecostals, Charismatics), others have focused on character, to the neglect of the Power.(some Protestant denominations).
In order to build healthy, dynamic Christians and churches, however, ICGC believes both Character, and Charisma are Equally needed.
Consequently, ICGC will encourage all her members to be baptized in the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:1-4, and have a free flow of the gifts of the spirit in their lives and ministry. The gifts of the Holy Spirit such as tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy etc., will also be allowed to operate freely and unhindered (under Pastoral oversight) in our services and Covenant Family meetings. Simultaneously, the teaching of the Word of God will have pre-eminence in our worship services and small group meetings. By working towards a proportionate balance between the two, we hope to produce a certain kind of Christian: one who is zealous, charismatic, passionate and endued with the power and (gifts of the Holy Spirit - Acts 1:8, Luke 4:18, 1st Cor.12:1-11), but also exhibits exemplary Christian character and conduct (i.e., the fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-23) through a sound knowledge of, and obedience to the Word of God.
2. Total Man Concept: (1st Thessalonians 5:23)
ICGC advocates a holistic approach to ministry. This is based upon our conviction that the gospel of Jesus Christ, properly interpreted, contextualized and applied, has the power to meet the needs of the Entire Person or the 'Total Man' - Spirit, Soul and Body.
The 'Total Man' concept strives to achieve a "proper balance" between the Spiritual, Natural, and everything else in between. This balance means:
- Salvation - for the Spirit
- Education/Emotional Well-being - for the Soul (Mind)
- Healthy Living, through Exercise and Proper Dietary Habits - for the Physical Body
- Financial Freedom and Well-being - through work; sound financial planning and management
Our ministry, whether at the corporate church or departmental level, will not end with the salvation of the Spirit, but include ministry to the Entire/Whole Person. Whatever community the Lord sends ICGC, community needs will be discerned and resources will be mobilized for ministries geared towards addressing needs in a holistic fashion.
3. The Covenant Family Concept: (Acts 20:20)
Of strategic importance in ICGC's Philosophy of Ministry is the Covenant Family concept; commonly referred to in other circles as "Home Cells" or House Churches. The human body consists of cells. The health of these individual cells ultimately determines the health and vitality of the human body. Similarly, the health and vitality of our home cell groups will ultimately determine the health and vitality of our churches.
The early church experienced phenomenal growth, not only because it was large enough to fulfill its evangelistic mandate, but also because it was small enough to minister to the personal needs of each individual through fellowship, pastoral care and "Body Ministry." Consistent with this paradigm modeled in the early church, I.C.G.C. will congregate every Sunday morning and Thursday evening for corporate worship, celebration and instruction in the Word, but also on Friday evenings, in smaller units called Covenant Families, (cell-groups/mini-churches) for evangelism and body ministry in various localities.
4. Lifestyle-Evangelism: (Mark 16:15-20, John 1:35-49)
Our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world for one primary purpose-to save the sinner. To us His disciples, He gave the same charge. ICGC subscribes to the notion that, not everyone is called to the office of an evangelist, as spelled out in Ephesians 4:11-13. We believe, however, that All are called to "do the work of an evangelist" (II Timothy 4:5).
Doing the work of an evangelist does not imply a legalistic response to the Father's business, one done out of a sense of duty to the Master. To the contrary, spirit-led evangelism is spontaneous, a lifestyle, a natural outcome of a spiritual income; it is the kind one does out of intimacy with the Lord. This lifestyle means that we will equip our members with the foundational doctrines of Christ, knowledge that will prepare them to give an answer very readily to anyone who may ask us for the reason of ourr hope in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). It also means we will develop and maintain friendships and relationships with those within our social networks and spheres of influence - neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances at the gymnasium; PTA meetings, etc. (Oikos), as well as maintain our testimony and witness before them, sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and ready to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ to those within these circles, whose hearts the Lord may open to receive.
5. Celebrative and Reflective Worship: (Psalm 66:1, Psalm 46:10)
This speaks to our style of worship. We believe that our public worship services should be moments of both Celebration and sober Reflection. The Lord invites us to "Enter into gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise." (Psalm 100:4). An attitude of thanksgiving during praise, releases the presence of God, and "in His presence there is fullness of joy." "The joy of the Lord is our strength" (Nehemiah 8:10) Joy, cannot be contained or hidden - it is always expressed or demonstrated. Demonstrations of joy may take several forms, such as, singing, clapping, dancing, etc. and may include the use of various modern instruments of music as well.
Our worship will also include times of sober reflection on the Lord. He said "Be still and know that I am the Lord your God" (Psalm 46:10). It is during such times of quiet and sober reflection that the Lord whispers and reveals His mind and intentions to us. Our worship will assume a contemporary flavor as opposed to traditional methods and styles (e.g., singing of hymns).
6. Hands-On Discipleship and Leadership Development:
(Matthew 28:18, 2 Timothy 2:2)
A vital dimension of the Great Commission is the element of Discipleship. The Lord calls us not to have "decisions" made, but to make "disciples". "Go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey..." (Matthew 28:18-19)."Teaching them to obey" is the biblical injunction, and it implies instruction done for the purpose of application, not just information.
This unfortunately has not been the model exemplified in a lot of churches and bible training institutions. A medical doctor's training does not begin and end with medical school. Medical School is usually followed by several years of internship. He may have dissected guinea pigs at the medical school, but during his internship, he will have to dissect a real human being, often under the watchful eyes of supervisors. The idea is to have the trainee doctor work in an environment similar to the one he/she will be working in after his/her internship. Thus he/she acquires the skills and gains the experience needed in real-life situations. This is Hands-on Discipleship.
ICGC will conduct an on-going "Apprenticeship Program." Under this program, there will be a total mobilization of all members for gift-related ministry or service. Here gifts will be discerned and matched (as much as possible) with ministry. Opportunities will be created for every willing member to nurture, develop and utilize their God-given leadership potential. The apprenticeship program will utilize the model below as a mentoring format:
I do it - You observe
I do it - You help
You do it - I help
You do it - I observe
We do it together - as partners
It is important to note that a leader's best training occurs while he/she is training and mentoring others.
ICGC's Annual School of Ministry will continue to play a pivotal role in Discipleship and Leadership Training and Development, and every church member will be required to participate in the various phases of the training process held yearly. The phases are as follows:
* Level One - Foundations of Faith; (first steps in Christ)
* Level Two - Discipleship/Leadership Training and Development
* Level Three - Missions: The Pauline Paradigm of Church Planting
Through this process, we hope to multiply and reproduce disciples and leaders who will carry on with the mission and vision of ICGC.
7. Missions and Church Planting: (Acts 13: Mark 1:35-38, Acts 16:5)
ICGC is committed to planting reproducible New Testament churches. We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was a missionary (Mark 1:35-38). Every church founded on Him, we believe should be missionary in vision and outlook. Cross-cultural church planting in particular is at the center of this missionary vision; it goes to the very heart and core of our beings, an integral part of our spiritual DNA. Our convictions regarding Missions and Church Planting are also based on the following reasons:
- Historically, the planting and proliferation of churches has been the key to the growth and expansion of Christianity. The book of Acts attests to this fact (Acts 13:1-4, 16:4-5)
- Church planting offers people a greater variety of options. No one church, style or approach touches every person the same way. Different churches can offer a greater variety of styles and emphasis, thereby meeting different needs and ministering to different categories of people.
- Church Planting creates the opportunity to develop new leadership, thereby maximizing the spiritual potentials of churches and their members. The vitality and momentum generated in church planting, if harnessed, can provide the stimulus and impetus for further outreach and growth in both the parent (old) church and the new church plant.
- The call to discipleship given in Matthew 28:18-19 makes it imperative that we plant more local churches. It is in the context of the local church that disciples are made. In this setting, the newly converted have the most supportive environment and the accountability needed for character transformation and Life-change. In this setting also, gifts are discerned and developed under Pastoral oversight, as believers are mobilized for Kingdom business. This is what discipleship is all about. The more churches we plant, the greater the likelihood of us making more disciples for further missionary expansion.
- World realities make the planting of new churches an absolute necessity. The world's population is growing at an alarming rate. Almost seven billion people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds currently inhabit the planet earth. A great majority of these people live within what missiologists call the "10/40 Window." This window extends from 10 to 40 degrees North of the Equator, from North Africa through the Middle East to China and Japan. The fifty-five (55) least evangelized countries in the world are in this region. Three (3) billion people (i.e., 57% of the world's population live here). Also, all three (3) major non-Christian religions - Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism originated here and are deeply entrenched in this region, not to mention the fact that the poorest people on earth also live here (showing the direct correlation between poverty and spiritual darkness).
- To reach this vast array of races, cultures and ethnic groups, with the gospel of Jesus Christ, more cross-cultural church plants are needed. The irony is that more and more citizens or nationals of the countries in this region have migrated and are still migrating to seek greener pastures in the United States, especially California and Los Angeles (the third-world capital of the world) Missions it must be noted here, has come to America. A strategic door to the "regions beyond," ICGC believes has been opened with the arrival of these nationals. It is the Lord's doing and the church in America needs to be sensitive to it.
8. Racial Healing and Reconciliation: (Ephesians 2:14-15, Galatians 3:28, Acts 17:26)
We believe that our churches should be agents of change, healing and reconciliation in a society/world often racked and polarized by race, color and ethnicity. ICGC believes that the Church and Religion have contributed in no small measure to this dismal state of affairs through such erroneous teachings as, the Doctrine of the Curse of Ham, which speaks to the genetic inferiority of all people of color, especially those of African descent. Such teachings and philosophies have buttressed the ideologies of hate groups such as the Aryan Nation, the K.K.K. etc., leading to acts of violence such as the bombing of 'black' churches in the South. The polarization that occurred in our country in the wake of the O.J. Simpson verdict, the Rodney King beating trial and the riots that followed, bear ample testimony to how pervasive this problem is in our society.
I.C.G.C. has no illusions about curing a centuries-old malady, but as long as Sunday morning remains the most segregated hour in our nation, "judgment must begin from the house of the Lord." If racial healing and reconciliation will ever become a reality in the United States, it must begin with the Church and the people of God (II Chronicles 7:14) ICGC's action - plan for fostering racial healing and reconciliation is as follows:
- Plant multiracial and ethnic churches (Acts 13:1)
- Model racial and ethnic diversity at every level of leadership, and create an environment friendly to all races and cultures in our churches.
- Highlight the problem through seminars and conferences
- Dispel through proper information, the fear, suspicion and ignorance, which are usually at the root of all racial and ethnic tensions.
- Dispel from a biblical perspective, misconceptions about interracial dating and marriage, and encourage the development of friendships and relationships with those of other racial and ethnic backgrounds among the members of our congregations.
- Conduct joint worship services and community-impact programs with churches with a different racial or ethnic majority.
- Organize talk shows and seminars on the subject of racial healing reconciliation in high schools, junior colleges, colleges and other institutions of higher learning.
In conclusion, it may be perhaps necessary to remind ourselves of this one fact, and that is: we may all have come to America on different ships - some arrived by way of the Mayflower, others by the Amistad (slave ships); some came fleeing tyranny, while others came simply as tourists; regardless of why or how, i.e. what ship we came on, however, we are all today in the same boat - either we all float together or sink together
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