FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement”
The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches recently updated its “Values Statement.” It is well-worth your time to read. There are FIEC affiliated congregations in England, Scotland, and Wales.
1. God-honouring and self-effacing
We serve with the chief end of seeing God glorified in the churches which make up the FIEC and also in the wider church. We do not seek our own honour or fame, but that of our triune God.
2. Dependent and humble
We realise that our work is in vain unless blessed by Christ the Master-Builder and we express our humility and dependence in prayer, committing ourselves to praying for our churches and their leaders, and for ourselves, coveting the prayers of others in our work.
We fight against self-reliance and worldliness. We long that we might be filled with the Spirit and his fruit be evident in all our dealings with others.
We want to be those who are continually thanking God for the work he is doing in our churches and in the world. We want to avoid presumption, ingratitude, and a failure to see God at work in others.
3. Godly and faithful
We want to be those who are growing in godliness and gifting, investing in both.
We challenge ungodly behaviour amongst ourselves and seek to spur one another on. We refuse to distort the word of God, and we renounce secret and shameful ways.
We renounce worldly wisdom in favour of the wisdom of Christ. We seek to be reliable, trustworthy, and fully faithful in our work by keeping the commitments we make in the course of our work. We are quick to acknowledge mistakes and seek the forgiveness of others whilst also forgiving as we have been forgiven.
4. Respectful and gentle
We will respect the autonomy of the local church and each church’s individual independence by encouraging the development of qualified and godly local leaders.
We will not claim or exercise authority over our churches, but seek – where appropriate – to counsel, persuade and reason, gently calling churches to be faithful to the commands of Scripture. We seek the good of others before ourselves. We recognise and pray against the sins of boastfulness and pride.
5. Hard-working and honest
We aim to be eager, diligent and conscientious, giving ourselves wholly to our work. We seek to avoid overwork, seeing this as a symptom of pride. We want always to act in ways which are clear and transparent. We flee from dishonesty and distortion.
6. Courageous and clear
We are concerned for theological integrity and adherence to our doctrinal basis and ethos statements, both in ourselves and those we serve. We will take care in the way we speak about other matters over which churches legitimately disagree.
We are courageous in upholding and applying the truth of the Gospel whilst also calling error to account. We always seek to communicate in straightforward ways.
7. Loving and comforting
We long to be motivated by a deep affection for all God’s people and – in particular – those in our churches, striving for harmony and (where needed) reconciliation.
We abhor self-promotion. We are realistic about both the joys and hardships of Christian ministry, and want to encourage others in this exacting task. We want to cultivate and demonstrate empathy and compassion towards those who are struggling.
As far as it depends on us, we want to live at peace with everyone.
8. Fair and generous
We seek to serve all our churches impartially, for example making no distinction based on the size, location, or personal relationships that churches might have with members of the team. We will seek to communicate in ways which include the entirety of our family of churches.
We long that each church should gladly serve others and look to find ways to help this happen. We resist favouritism and nepotism and openly declare interests. We want to be generous with our time and energy in the service of our churches.
The Revd John Stevens is the National Director of the FIEC. He is one of the pastors at Christchurch Market, Harborough. There are approximately 50,000 members in the FIEC.