JOINING THE FAMILY
As the vision of Victory Churches International continues to gain momentum, both in North America and around the world, an increasing number of churches are seeking to join up. There are tremendous advantages to being part of a bigger movement. As someone once said, “If you want to get somewhere, find the people who are going there and join them.” We believe that there are thousands of churches that God has called to be a vital part of this movement, we just haven’t met them yet.
Before such a merger can work, both parties must thoroughly understand the implications and the expectations of this kind of relationship. The church must ask itself the following questions:
- Do we truly understand the need for this kind of relationship? Have we realized our limitations as an independent local church and appreciate the need for a greater team effort? Are we motivated by a Biblical conviction of the need for apostolic relationships?
- Are we in sincere agreement with the articles of faith, governmental structures, policies and procedures of Victory Churches? Are there any points of difference that might jeopardize the relationship in the future?
- Are we ready to fully participate in the vision, making ample opportunity for Victory leaders to share their hearts and impart apostolic vision to both our leadership and our congregation?
- Are we prepared to trust God to build the relationship, through prayer and fasting, ongoing fellowship, and putting forth the necessary effort?
- Are we prepared to participate financially? Every Affiliated Victory church tithes 10% of its general income to their national administration so that funds can be available for national church planting initiatives?
All these must be honestly, realistically, and prayerfully assessed. Great relationships take time to build but they are always more than worth the effort. Once a church is satisfied that it truly shares the same vision and same heart as Victory we ask for an official letter of application. The next twelve months is considered an engagement period, giving the church time to bring all aspects of its ministry into harmony with both the spirit and the structure of VCI before being granted full affiliation.
During this period a church should seek to send delegates all VCI meetings, including general/national conferences, regional conferences, pastor’s quarterlies, and other events. They should open their pulpits to other Victory leaders as they are available and visit other Victory churches as they have opportunity. Remember, it’s about building relationships! Furthermore it gives the church time to make any necessary changes to their own bylaws and procedures. This is the time to make adjustments in their operations and begin contributing to financially to the support of VCI church planting and missions with their tithes.
At the end of this twelve month period, if all goes well, the church will be welcomed into full membership with the signing of the Affiliation Agreement.
[button size="small" type="gray" link="http://www.victorychurches.ca/resources/vcociaffiliationagreement2012.pdf" target="_blank" align="right"]View/Print sample Affiliation Agreement[/button]
Joining a larger group is a great benefit to a local church, enlarging its vision, fellowship, and opportunities to make a bigger impact. New churches, in turn, can add fresh perspectives and new strengths to the greater family, expanding its vision and scope of ministry.
Like a marriage, the nurturing of a strong, healthy, and life-long relationship takes time and commitment from both parties. But in the long run it has the potential to make both much more fruitful then both could ever be apart.