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Author Topic: The ECFA and Great Commission Churches  (Read 16631 times)
AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2018, 01:17:29 pm »

Um, grooooooaaaan, God is Faithful.   Cheesy

But actually, yeah, if you were to sort of draw out the accountability structure it would look like:

ECFA (other entities too? unsure)
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GCC Board/GCC (the entity that is a member of ECFA)
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/ GCC Churches (all board members are pastors of the churches)



Is that what you guys understand as the structure?
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Linda
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2018, 01:18:53 pm »

I'd forgotten about this. Thanks Huldah for bringing this up.

Here is the link to where we discussed it before. Thought it sounded familiar.

I actually was troubled by this because I know a good group of Christians that did not join the ECFA because they were honest and did not want to have an independent board that might possibly conflict with their purpose. They followed the rules, so could not join. Unlike GCC.

http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/ecfa-membership/
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Free in Christ
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2018, 01:35:41 pm »

Just for clarity and accuracy's sake, a number of the GCC board members are not merely local pastors, as has been suggested. They are regional directors of GCC. (It is listed in their bios on the board page.)
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Boggs
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2018, 01:39:15 pm »

/ GCC Churches (all board members are pastors of the churches)

The two boards I am familiar with are not entirely composed of pastors. All pastors were on the boards, and were voting members of the boards, but they also selected lay members to serve on the board. At Cedarcreek there were typically 4-5 lay members and 2-3 pastors; at Coulee Rock there was 1 pastor and 5 lay members in 2011 and it is likely 2 pastors and 4-5 lay members today.
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Huldah
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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2018, 01:40:00 pm »

Linda, thank you! I wasn't aware of the older thread. Another website recently had something to say about the ECFA and some non-compliance by a different church (totally non-GC-related), so it made me wonder about GCC.

It probably comes off like I'm really happy that GCC has been caught doing something questionable (again), but in fact, I was pretty dismayed at what I found. It wasn't, "Hurray! And gotcha!," but rather, "Oh, no, this too on top of everything else? Where does it ever end?"
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Huldah
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2018, 01:42:47 pm »

The two boards I am familiar with are not entirely composed of pastors. All pastors were on the boards, and were voting members of the boards, but they also selected lay members to serve on the board. At Cedarcreek there were typically 4-5 lay members and 2-3 pastors; at Coulee Rock there was 1 pastor and 5 lay members in 2011 and it is likely 2 pastors and 4-5 lay members today.

Thanks, Boggs. Just to clear up any confusion, I'm not talking about boards of local churches. I'm only discussing the GCC board itself. I'm not even sure whether or not the local churches are ECFA members in their own right. I'll leave it to someone else to research that.

(edited because I mistakenly addressed this to Agatha)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 01:48:57 pm by Huldah » Logged
AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2018, 01:47:14 pm »

Fair enough, Huldah!  I get that.  And I don't want to seem like I'm "against you" either.  I've been trying to figure out the leadership structure and accountability for years.  Even as an attender.  I'm not all hell bent on destruction either (although I can see how it might feel that way from the outside!)  Just trying to figure it out.

Okay so it's:

                                                                                                             ECFA (and possibly any other accountability groups?)
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                                                                                                           /
GCC central (national) board (pastors and regional directors of churches)/ and member of ^^^^^^
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/ GCC churches---------------------->  who each are governed by lay members and paid staff at each church
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Each GC church congregation and elders

« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 02:09:38 pm by AgathaL'Orange » Logged

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Rebel in a Good Way
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2018, 02:08:25 pm »

John Hopler, as of last week, was using GCC's affiliation with ECFA as evidence that they are not an aberrant group.

I just e-mailed ECFA to ask them if the GCC Board as listed on the website meets their requirements for an independent board or if there they know of another GCC Board that does.  I then asked, if GCC does not have an appropriate board, why are they allowed to be members in good standing of ECFA?  And if they do, does GCC need to make information about the other board readily available?

So, we will see what happens.  I will call if they don't follow up shortly, I have kids about to come in the door any moment. 

I can't find the written information right now, but local GCC churches give financially to GCC.  This allows them to be under their umbrella, have access to the training materials, conferences, etc. So GCC is definitely an organization that manages finances and is itself a member of ECFA. 
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Huldah
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« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2018, 02:17:25 pm »

Thank you, Rebel! I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to say.
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Godtrumpsall
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2018, 02:32:13 pm »


The Webster's definition of gossip is quite different than God's definition. 

Prove it.

Okay, so let's take away the term gossip at look at this from a different viewpoint. Maybe I see this as an issue of the tongue as well, and controlling or not the tongue, and a whole host of other things that we should be obeying in the Word.  It is interesting to read in the Bible what power the tongue possesses, but I won't post verse so you will have to look them up yourself.  But I want to talk about what we are to be doing as believers?  And before anyone accuses me of being holier-than-thou, I am just as wretched as the next person, I make constant mistakes, but by God's grace I am here, following Christ the best I know how with the help of the Holy Spirit.  So what does God say to concern ourselves with?  As Christians?  This is what I believe, and see when I read the bible:  I am supposed to be concerned with spreading the gospel.  I am to be concerned about every person I meet, and if I have an opportunity to be a light, to be a chance to share Christ's love and truth with someone else.  This is first and foremost our God given job on this earth as Christians.  I am supposed to think about what is true, and lovely, and good, trustworthy and noble and right. I am supposed to lay down my life for others; my spouse, my family, my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I am supposed to love my neighbor as myself.  I am supposed to be a representation of Christ like love.  I am suppose to forgive.  I am supposed to love my enemies.  I am supposed to be an example.  I am supposed to obey God's commandments.   

Do you think this site does more good in "protecting others", as some of you say, or do you think it does more damage?  Think about this, there are people among you that are not believers.  But this site shows me that some find it more valuable to be here, arguing and accusing, brother against brother, sister against sister, while those watch from the outside and say "see, this is why I hate Christians", and when people are not here arguing, you keep complaining and bringing up past wounds and mistakes that have been done to you, and for some of you, decades ago. I am not saying that you have not experienced hurt and offenses, and maybe even suffering, but this time here could be used differently, like increasing God's kingdom, instead of pushing people away from Christ, and from church.  So you feel validated  here, which I believe is some false form of healing (I feel like one can get validation here, but not real healing), and you feel like you are protecting others, but mostly likely what this site is doing is pushing some further away from Christ.     
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Huldah
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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2018, 02:49:50 pm »

I highly doubt that their stringent annual accreditation process would over look a very blatant breaking of the rules of governance.  
Okay, okay, I said I wouldn't engage GTA on this thread again, but this is a point that I haven't addressed yet. Here's the "stringent" accreditation process, straight from the ECFA website, http://www.ecfa.org/Content/Membership-Requirements.

You fill out a form.
You attach the required financial documents.
You pay the fee.
If you bring in enough revenue, you submit to a financial audit.

I rest my case.
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Godtrumpsall
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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2018, 03:07:17 pm »

I highly doubt that their stringent annual accreditation process would over look a very blatant breaking of the rules of governance.  
Okay, okay, I said I wouldn't engage GTA on this thread again, but this is a point that I haven't addressed yet. Here's the "stringent" accreditation process, straight from the ECFA website, http://www.ecfa.org/Content/Membership-Requirements.

You fill out a form.
You attach the required financial documents.
You pay the fee.
If you bring in enough revenue, you submit to a financial audit.

I rest my case.


what is on the form, how long is it? 
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araignee19
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« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2018, 03:11:30 pm »


The Webster's definition of gossip is quite different than God's definition. 

Prove it.

Okay, so let's take away the term gossip at look at this from a different viewpoint. Maybe I see this as an issue of the tongue as well, and controlling or not the tongue, and a whole host of other things that we should be obeying in the Word.  It is interesting to read in the Bible what power the tongue possesses, but I won't post verse so you will have to look them up yourself.  But I want to talk about what we are to be doing as believers?  And before anyone accuses me of being holier-than-thou, I am just as wretched as the next person, I make constant mistakes, but by God's grace I am here, following Christ the best I know how with the help of the Holy Spirit.  So what does God say to concern ourselves with?  As Christians?  This is what I believe, and see when I read the bible:  I am supposed to be concerned with spreading the gospel.  I am to be concerned about every person I meet, and if I have an opportunity to be a light, to be a chance to share Christ's love and truth with someone else.  This is first and foremost our God given job on this earth as Christians.  I am supposed to think about what is true, and lovely, and good, trustworthy and noble and right. I am supposed to lay down my life for others; my spouse, my family, my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I am supposed to love my neighbor as myself.  I am supposed to be a representation of Christ like love.  I am suppose to forgive.  I am supposed to love my enemies.  I am supposed to be an example.  I am supposed to obey God's commandments.   

Do you think this site does more good in "protecting others", as some of you say, or do you think it does more damage?  Think about this, there are people among you that are not believers.  But this site shows me that some find it more valuable to be here, arguing and accusing, brother against brother, sister against sister, while those watch from the outside and say "see, this is why I hate Christians", and when people are not here arguing, you keep complaining and bringing up past wounds and mistakes that have been done to you, and for some of you, decades ago. I am not saying that you have not experienced hurt and offenses, and maybe even suffering, but this time here could be used differently, like increasing God's kingdom, instead of pushing people away from Christ, and from church.  So you feel validated  here, which I believe is some false form of healing (I feel like one can get validation here, but not real healing), and you feel like you are protecting others, but mostly likely what this site is doing is pushing some further away from Christ.     

Yes, I think this site does more good than harm. I don't think letting unbelievers see that Christians are not always in agreement is bad. Some unbelievers may use it as justification to leave God (although if they are looking for jusification, they will find it somewhere else anyway) but others will see that it makes us human and that we care about truth in addition to unity. I think more people hate Christians because they won't admit they struggle and doubt and fear than hate Christians because they do occasionally have theological disputes.   

We will likely never agree if this site can help facilitate healing. But I absolutely believe it does more than validate people. That's all I'll say there.

Finally, I agree with all those things you said we should do as Christians. I just don't agree this site conflicts with those goals.

If you would like to continue this discussion, maybe we start a new thread focusing on if this site is good or evil. Then people can duke out the merits of this site all they want. This thread was started to address a very specific question which is pending more information. I for one am looking forward to seeing that information and would like it to not be lost in side conversations.
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Rebel in a Good Way
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« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2018, 05:18:44 pm »

This thread might be helpful in discussing the value or lack thereof of this forum. 

http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/i-don't-understand-this-website/

I will report back what I find, but when I contacted the MN Psychological Association to ask about confidentiality they said they can't answer my questions unless I become a member!  So...didn't get very far that time.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2018, 06:17:18 pm »

Wow, thank you for your organized searching on this topic, Huldah and Rebel.  I, for one, really appreciate it.
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UffDa
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« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2018, 11:52:44 pm »


   
Re: The ECFA and Great Commission Churches
Reply #7 on: Today at 11:31:19 am
Quote from: Huldah on Today at 11:01:24 am
Quote from: Godtrumpsall link=topic=1777.msg16715#msg16715
I would assume they are  speaking of the Board members of individual churches.  A national board would not be  appropriate to fulfill the roles described by the ECFA...such as overseeing financials, setting salaries for staff, etc.

Incorrect. I've documented my post thoroughly; please read the sources before posting unfounded assumptions. The ECFA is speaking of the boards of their member organizations; that would be GCC itself. Also, the roles you describe are not part of the ECFA's mandate for member boards. As quoted above, member boards do not manage the organization; they oversee the managers. They do not set staff salaries; they review financial statements, approve the hiring of independent auditors, and similar oversight tasks. You can read http://www.ecfa.org/Content/Comment3 for further understanding of the board's role in financial considerations.

Also, I must re-emphasize that this thread is about the GCC organization specifically, not about the boards of its member churches. If you'd like to discuss the role of individual church boards, please start another thread for that topic. Thank you.

EDIT TO ADD: Regarding gossip, I've cited my sources: the ECFA and GCC websites. That means that if I'm wrong, then two things are true: first, that one or both of those sources is posting erroneous information, and two, that they are gossiping about themselves.

This is on GCC website

Each member church in GCC is self-governing and has final authority over its own affairs. The local church (rather than GCC) appoints and oversees its own elders and staff. Also, GCC does not own any church buildings or have any control over church budgets. Each church in GCC is a voluntary member of the association for the purpose of advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ with other like-minded churches. By being part of GCC a church is voluntarily agreeing to live by the doctrines and values taught in the Scriptures as described in the GCC Statement of Faith and Core Values Paper.

I read this as GCC is not part of financial decision making issues within each individual church.  ECFA deals in providing a high degree of financial accountability.  I would also assume that churches would choose to be a part of ECFA to provide individual churches with  financial accountability with donations, ministry spending, salaries, benefits and so forth. I don't see how GCC could have a need for this financial oversight, as GCC in itself is not a "church" with a building, and pastors, and so on.    I don't believe GCC receives any donations/offerings, as again they are not a church.  I believe the men that are listed as board members are employees of their respective church locations, not necessarily employees of the GCC organization itself.  So there are quite a few items that should be clarified first before this statement is made.  You don't know the facts, but you have stated them as facts.  This is bothersome.

I found 2 locations on the GCC website that states that GCC joined the ECFA in 2002:
http://gccweb.org/about/history/chronology/

And in a letter written by John Hopler in the Project Care section:

http://ae32b6f7a6ad6f5ae1f0-a966d7fcbad4fbcd7d1dccf3fbabbb92.r98.cf2.rackcdn.com/uploaded/p/0e4539600_1442587037_project-care-website-statement-4-3-12.pdf

The very last page of Evergreen Community church financial statement for 2015-2016 (the most recent audit posted) it details the amount of finances that ECC has given to the GCC Northlands Region, that ECC manages the finances from other GCC Northlands churches, and the amount given to the GCC from the GCC Northlands Region.

http://www.evergreenbloomington.com/uploads/Evergreen_Church_Audited_Financial_Statements_2016.pdf
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Godtrumpsall
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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2018, 06:26:16 am »

John Hopler, as of last week, was using GCC's affiliation with ECFA as evidence that they are not an aberrant group.

I just e-mailed ECFA to ask them if the GCC Board as listed on the website meets their requirements for an independent board or if there they know of another GCC Board that does.  I then asked, if GCC does not have an appropriate board, why are they allowed to be members in good standing of ECFA?  And if they do, does GCC need to make information about the other board readily available?

So, we will see what happens.  I will call if they don't follow up shortly, I have kids about to come in the door any moment. 

I can't find the written information right now, but local GCC churches give financially to GCC.  This allows them to be under their umbrella, have access to the training materials, conferences, etc. So GCC is definitely an organization that manages finances and is itself a member of ECFA. 

Just curious if you have heard back from ECFA?
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Rebel in a Good Way
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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2018, 08:20:30 am »

Yes, I just heard back and will post the exact answer when I am on my computer and not my phone. ECFA does not require that organizations post their board members online and says they verify that boards meet their requirements.
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Digital Lynch Mob
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« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2018, 09:08:15 am »

SECTION 2.7 Authority. The Board of Trustees shall manage and conduct the legal and financial business of the Church. The board shall set all policies that involve legal implications and shall oversee any legal issues.
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Linda
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« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2018, 09:13:36 am »

Is that the ECC Constitution?

Ive heard that the only way members can read the Constitution is at the church office. That it cannot be removed or copies made. Is that true?

When was the Constitution last amended?

Also, DLM, are you on the BOT?
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