For any organization, ministry flows out of relationships—our relationship with God and others.
Without relationships there can be no ensuing evangelism, discipleship,
accountability, ministry or fellowship. (Exodus 20:1-17; Exodus 34:6-7; Psalm 31:23; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 119:97-98; Psalm 145:8; Proverbs 10:12; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:34-44; Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:33; Luke 6:27; Luke 10:27; John 13:34-35; John 15:12-13, 17; Acts 4:32; Acts 11:27-30; Romans 12:10; Romans 13:8-14; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 Corinthians 16:14; Galatians 5:13-14; Galatians 6:9;
Ephesians 4:13; Philippians 2:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 13:1-3; James 4:11-12; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 2:17; 1 John 1:1-10; 1 John 2:1-29; 1 John 3:1-24; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Peter 3:8-9; 1 John 1:7-8)
We believe that the authority of the Church is in the “gathered” church.
“When two or three are ‘gathered’ in my name there am I in the midst of them.” We
take our marching orders from the Holy Spirit which is in our midst and therefore do not look to Bishops or Archbishops as having authority over the headship of Christ’s Spirit in the local church. While we may recognize Bishops consecrated and elevated by their own churches and organizations, we do not believe in apostolic succession. (Daniel 12:3; Acts 6:1-7; Acts 20:28; Romans 8:16-17; Romans 12:1-21; Romans 13:1-6; 2 Corinthians 12:1-21; 2 Corinthians 13:1-13; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Timothy 4:6-8; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-11; John 16:13)
We believe that God will provide to desiring believers an empowerment of the Holy Spirit for the evangelization of the lost and the operation of spiritual empowerments in the Church today.
Unity in essentials, freedom in nonessentials and charity in all things. (Proverbs 17:9; Acts 17:29; Acts 20:35; Romans 8:37; Romans 12:9-21; Romans 16:17-20; 1 Corinthians 9:22-23; 1 Corinthians 11; 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:5-10; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 6:15; Philippians 2:1-4; Colossians 2:2-3; Colossians 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8-11; 1 John 4:7-21; 1 Corinthians 10:23-33)
We believe in the koinonia or fellowship between true believers and a spirit of love taking preference over a spirit of dominancy, division and discord caused by pride or arguments over endless genealogies or doctrines that are not central to orthodox salvation issues.
We believe it is the Church’s apostolic commission to take the good news of the Gospel to every tribe and tongue.
We support church planting, missions and works of charity. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Acts 20:24; Romans 11:29; 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2; 2 Corinthians 6; 2 Corinthians 9:14; Galatians 6:9-10; Colossians 1:28; Colossians 4:2-6; 2 Timothy 4:2-5; Hebrews 3:12-14; Hebrews 6:1-3; James 5:20; Colossians 1:25-29; 2 Timothy 1:8)
IMF is not a fellowship based primarily on the teaching of apologetics although we are a confessional faith group that believes in orthodox Christianity as defined in our Statement of Faith, the Apostles’ Creed and our statement of Core Values.
It is a Fellowship of recognition, relationship, affirmation, affection,
service, encouragements, helps and true thanksgiving to God for those who seek to answer God’s call to Christian ministry and service. (Daniel 9:4; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 3:19-26; Acts 13:38-39; Acts 16:31; Acts 17:3; Romans 10:8-10; 1 Corinthians 7:20-24; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 5:13; Colossians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; 2 Timothy 4:5; Titus 2:1; Hebrews 10:23-25; James 1:25-27; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 1 Corinthians 7:20-24)
We do not believe that a seminary or bible school degree is a requirement for ministry.
However, we believe it is biblically imperative that we study to show
ourselves approved unto God as workers who need not to be ashamed rightly dividing the Word of truth. Many of our leaders and members hold earned Seminary and Bible College degrees. Our goal is to reveal Christ to believers and unbelievers in act, disposition, state, thought and will. (Proverbs 9:9-12; Acts 26:22; Romans 8:1-2; Romans 10:1-4; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 1:17-31; 1 Corinthians 4:1-16; 2 Corinthians 10:17; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 2:14-26)
We do not believe that knowledge by itself can ever take the place of a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit of God and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
We spend a life time “theologizing” our biblical and extra-biblical knowledge and our personal spiritual experiences with those moments of
understanding that come when the Holy Spirit teaches us through divine
revelation. St. Paul reminds us that, “the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the
deep things of God.” (Zechariah 4:6; John 7:16-17; John 14:17; Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12)
We believe in accountability.
Candidates for membership and credentials in IMF must have their ministries recognized and recommended to us by the senior
pastor(s) of an established congregation(s), as well as other recognized church officers, ministers, ministries and/or lay leaders in the local church. (Proverbs 13:10, 18, 20; Proverbs 15:31-33; Proverbs 27:6, 17)
We believe we are called to humility and that pride is deceitful and separates us from God and our fellow man.
We believe we are called to servanthood and to service as a love slave in the household of God. Can a servant be greater than his master? Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Matthew 18:4; Matthew 23:12; Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 16:18-19; Proverbs 22:4; James 4:6, 10; Philippians 2:3-11; John 13:14-16, 35; Mark 9:35)
We believe that compassion and forgiveness are better than rightness and justice.
Justice has caused more harm than injustice when we have demanded
our rights, rather than choosing to “lay them down.” We believe in grace, but not “cheap” grace. It is free, but it costs us everything. We believe in hope, but not “cheap” hope. Not promises for material wealth, lazy living, or a life without trials and tribulation, but the promise of the Father that in our weakness His
strength is made complete and that we are made overcomers in Him. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 8:9; Luke 7:13; Mark 6:34; Luke 23:34; Colossians 3:13; Romans 12:14, 17, 19-21; Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-10; Ephesians 4:32; Romans 6:1-2; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:19)
We believe in building up, not tearing down.
We believe in working hard, but
without it being burdensome. (Jeremiah 24:6; Ephesians 4:15-16, 29, 32; Hebrews 10:24-25; Colossians 3:16-17; Colossians 3:23-24; Galatians 6:1-2; James 5:16; Proverbs 12:25)
We believe in accepting a seat at the foot of the table while preferring our brothers and sisters and lifting them up...” if you do it to the least of these my brethren... you have done it unto me.”
God is in the promotion business. Let
Him take care of it. (Luke 14:7-11; Matthew 25:31-46)
We believe that a kind word spoken in love (an encouraging word even when the blemishes of new birth and the dirt, dust and stuff of this world is readily seen in the lives of one of these young ones whom we seek to encourage and mentor in Christian ministry) is never an abdication of truth or a lack of responsibility, but a word fitly spoken in faith, seeing those things which are not yet, but are the substance of things hoped for... and we believe that it is seed sown in good soil which will not return void.
We do not believe we live to ourselves, but that we are a part of a bigger family—real family... the family of, “our Father which art in heaven...” Others are not far from the kingdom, they need someone to invite them to “have dinner” with the Savior.
John’s Revelation tells us, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and
will sup with him, and he with me.” St. Matthew reminds us of Jesus’ own
words, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:32-35; Luke 8:19-21; Revelation 3:20; Matthew 11:28-30)
We believe in open communion in the administration of the Lord’s Supper to all true believers.
(1 Corinthians 11:27-30)
Water Baptism in faith is a means of grace.
We believe in water baptism for all believers in obedience to Christ’s
commandment and in covenantal dedications or baptism of children as an act of faith and commitment by the parent(s) and the congregation to raise the child in the love and admonition of the Lord praying and trusting that when they become of an age of accountability they will of their own free will confirm their personal faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. We believe that water baptism in and of itself does not save a child or an adult, but rather the grace of
God experienced through the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit in one’s life and godly sorrow for sins committed, the turning away from sin and the turning toward God and by placing one’s faith solely in Christ as Savior and Lord. (1 Samuel 1:24-28; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-6; Ephesians 2:4-9; Ephesians 6:1-4)
We believe in recognizing the gifts and calling of God in the lives of women as well as men.
We do not believe that either a man or a woman should be “puffed up” in pride and seek to take a dominant position one over the other, but that the gifts and calling of each one will make room for themselves and when valid will be recognized and affirmed by the Body. (Joel 2:28-29; Proverbs 16:18; Luke 2:36-37; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 4:8-12; James 4:10-11)
We believe in being faithful... and in recognizing and dealing with our imperfections.
Our walk with God is a progressive process and our ministries are progressive too. The Father will not allow us to wait until we are fully grown to begin helping with the harvest. Spiritual growth will often be somewhat parallel to ministry growth. (John 4:35-38; Hebrews 6:1-6; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 2 Peter 3:17-18)
Sometimes one runs ahead, or one lags behind.
But we have no choice to turn
away and leave our calling. We try by God’s grace to be faithful... not in our
strength, but His... not in our failure, in His forgiveness, not in our rebellion, in
His long suffering, in His disciplining and in our brokenness and spiritual healing and somehow through it all God redefines and brings good out of it and is glorified. (Zechariah 4:6; Romans 11:29; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29; Hebrews 3:1-6)
We believe in loving, serving, encouraging and helping to enable.
When we become more of a burden than a blessing we have lost our mandate and we have no spiritual authority to continue. (2 Chronicles 35:1-2; Matthew 5:13-16; Romans 6:5-8; Galatians 5:13-16; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Revelation 2:2-5)
We do not believe in quitting.
We do not believe in giving up as we grow older. We learn to release power and position, to become available to God for our next assignment as our health and mental competency allow, but always doing what we can. Always working, always witnessing, always serving, always reading God’s Word and praying for ourselves and others until our ultimate and final assignment is complete. St. Luke wrote of King David, “After he had served the purpose of God in his generation, he fell asleep and was laid among
his fathers.” (NASB) The key word is “served.” (Luke 2:36-37; Acts 2:42-46;
1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Timothy 4:5-8; Revelation 2:10; 2 Timothy 4:6-8)