What is IFCA International?
Question: "What is IFCA International?"
Answer: IFCA International is a fellowship of evangelical, conservative churches committed to “enhancing the strength of the Church by equipping for, and encouraging toward, ministry partnerships to accomplish Great Commission objectives” (from the official IFCA website). The group is determined to see healthy and like-minded churches work together, while guaranteeing the autonomy of congregational governments. IFCA International is not a denomination; the group is an association of churches and individuals with shared convictions and a desire to prayerfully work together in the spirit of interdependence.
The IFCA was founded in 1930 as a successor to the American Conference of Undenominational Churches. The new organization took the name Independent Fundamental Churches of America and strove to provide fellowship, encouragement, and identification for independent churches and individuals. At the time of the founding of the IFCA, Modernism was on the rise in America, and the mainline denominations were coming under the influence of church leaders who denied the inerrancy of the Bible and other core doctrines. Many churches, taking a stand for orthodoxy, were leaving their denominations, and the IFCA was designed to give those congregations a spiritual home. In 1996, the name was changed to IFCA International.
Members of IFCA International hold to the absolute authority of God’s Word and believe the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life. The remaining sections of their Articles of Faith and Doctrine, including their doctrine of salvation, are based upon these strong views of God’s Word.
IFCA International’s five core values are noteworthy:
Biblical Doctrine – Contemporary importance of the historic fundamentals
Biblical Leadership – Christlike integrity, humility, zeal, and sacrifice
Biblical Outreach – Evangelism at home and abroad
Biblical Partnerships – Accomplishing more together than separately
Biblical Excellence – Doing the best we can for His glory
IFCA International is known for strong conservative doctrine and a rejection of ecumenism. IFCA churches have varying degrees of ecclesiastical separation and emphasize personal separation. Some IFCA churches have been known to take ecclesiastical and/or personal separation to unbiblical extremes, although the IFCA itself emphasizes a biblical balance.
Overall, IFCA International churches are good, strong, biblically based churches. As with any church denomination or association, though, sincerely ask God to lead you to the church of His choosing for you. Carefully examine the teachings and practices of a church before officially joining it.
Recommended Resource: Complete Guide to Christian Denominations: Understanding the History, Beliefs, and Differences by Ron Rhodes
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