"In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ."
That quote captures the ethos of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). And the essentials of the faith are summarized in the EFCA Statement of Faith, which was refreshed on June 26, 2008. Beyond the Statement of Faith, the EFCA has several distinctives, which are described here.
The EFCA is an association of some 1,500 autonomous and interdependent churches united by a mutual commitment to serve our Lord Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God. We are committed to cooperate with one another in ministry and fellowship as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission which Christ has entrusted to His Church. The growing ministry of the EFCA currently extends to some 50 countries of the world.
The terms Evangelical and Free in our society have come to mean different things to different people. Though they may seem outdated to some, or watered down to others, we invite you to read the definitions below to get a glimpse of why they are foundational to us as a denomination. Though they may be older terms, they are as relevant today as when they were chosen by our EFCA forefathers.
What does Evangelical mean?
The term Evangelical refers to our faith and our theology. We are committed to the proclamation of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, and to the Scriptures as being the inspired, inerrant, authoritative and sufficient Word of God.
What does Free mean?
The term Free refers to our policy, our structure and organization. We are committed to a congregational form of government.
In sum, we are evangelical, which is an affirmation of our “like faith,” our theology, our theological convictions (Statement of Faith); we are free, which is an affirmation of our policy, our structure, our organization-we are autonomous, congregationally governed, and interdependent (Articles of Incorporation).
Battle cries of the early Free church people were, Where Stands it Written, referring to the authority of scripture, and Believers Only, but All Believers, referring to the lone requirement for church membership.