1. Great Companion Dependency
We know Jesus is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23). He is the one who builds the church (Matt. 16:18).
He is the one who calls out the assembly (Ekklesia). He is the one who arranges the body (I Cor. 12:11). He is the one who causes the church to grow (I Cor. 3:6). He is the one who walks with the disciple (John 14) and empowers him for fruitfulness (John 15).
Therefore, we expect our planters to practice prayerful dependence by developing a discipline of intentional living. Intentional living is an annual and monthly rhythm of prayer and planning. Start dependent.
2. Great Commandment Climate
People have two basic needs, to love God and to love one another (Matt. 22:37-40). Authentic worship (John 4:21-24) and authentic community (John 13: 34-35) are two major themes in the New Testament. The gospels are filled with parables like the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and the epistles are filled with love one another exhortations (Rom. 12:10). John forever linked the love of God with the love of man (I John 4: 7-21).
When a church radically loves God and people and creates an authentic worshipping community, it creates a corporate climate where growth naturally takes place (… all by itself. Mk. 4:28). Start loving.
3. Great Commission Balance
Many churches ignore both the front end (evangelism) and the back end (leadership development) of the Great Commission (Matt. 28). They become unbalanced based upon the leader's passion and priorities. The Great Commission involves bringing people to Jesus and membership in His family, building them to Christ-like maturity, equipping them for their ministry, developing leaders for multiplication and releasing missionaries beyond our walls for their life mission (Acts 1:8).
In order to create this Great Commission balance, church plants need to develop an intentional disciple making process that will move people from consumer to missionary. Great Commission balance naturally leads to reproduction and the multiplication of other new churches. Start missional.
4. Great Compassion Mandate
Jesus took on flesh and moved into the neighborhood (John 1:14-message). Today, He expects us to be His hands and feet. People are still “harassed and helpless” (Mt. 9:36). Preaching and meeting needs always go hand in hand (Mt. 9:35). Jesus expects us to be wholistic in our depth of ministries (Luke 4: 18-19) and missional in our breadth of ministries (Acts 1:8).
When a church has a balance of external and internal focus, when it is serving glocally (both local and global, not ignoring the Samaritan way), it becomes that radiant bride without stain, wrinkle or blemish (Eph. 5:27). Start compassionately.
5. EFCA Interdependency
EFCA churches are marked by grace and truth (John 1:18). Our distinctive is "In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ." We have learned through our history, we are "better together." Local churches, districts and ReachNational are joined together in a missional partnership of multiplying healthy churches among all people.
It is our expectation that our new churches would be committed to this mission of multiplication, health, and diversity, and would prayerfully ask God what is their fair share in advancing the Evangelical Free Church of America movement. Start interdependent.