As described in “Our Ministry Principles & Objectives” (link), HBC is affiliated with IFCA International. IFCA International is not a denomination but rather an affiliation of churches working to encourage and enable each other to accomplish the goals established for the local church by the Bible. As noted on “Our Ministry Principles & Objectives” (link) page, HBC is an elder led church. This means IFCA International, unlike many denominations, does not exercise authority over HBC’s affairs. One of HBC’s and IFCA’s convictions is that the Bible’s New Testament clearly shows that each local church is to be independently governed by a group of elders.
As stated on IFCA International’s website,
IFCA International is a Fellowship of churches and believers from around the world who are committed to biblical ministry in an effort to enhance the strength of the Church by equipping for, and encouraging toward, ministry partnerships to accomplish Great Commission objectives.
“Great Commission objectives” refers to Jesus’ commands to His followers, just before He returned to heaven at the end of His earthly ministry. He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19‑20 (NIV84)
Many of HBC’s members have been built up and strengthened via the work of IFCA over the years. Midwest Church Extension, the organization which was instrumental in helping us begin HBC (add link to Our History page), is also a member of IFCA. You can learn about the many aspects of IFCA on the IFCA International website; however, here we summarize three specific ministries of IFCA international in which we participate.
Greater St Louis IFCA Regional
IFCA International is organized into many regions (or regionals). HBC is part of the Greater St Louis Regional. Regional men typically gather five times a year for a time of fellowship and Bible teaching. Our regional churches typically gather once or twice a year for a special time of fellowship such as a Good Friday service or a “fifth Sunday” evening time of singing. The goal of these events is to encourage and build each other up for the work of the ministry.
Annual Adult Convention
Each year, typically during the last week of June, IFCA members and church delegates, gather from the US and around the world for the annual IFCA adult convention. The convention begins on Monday afternoon and ends on Friday at noon. Times of worship through singing and preaching of the Word are held each morning and evening. IFCA business is conducted by the IFCA board with voting matters being decided by IFCA members and IFCA church delegates. Such matters might include changes to the IFCA constitution or election of new board members. Several “breakout” teaching sessions are available for convention delegates to choose from each morning. Mealtimes at convention are a great time of fellowship and encouragement as delegates are able to meet brothers and sisters in Christ from around the US and the world. This often leads to ministry and prayer cooperation that would not otherwise have happened. The author of this article can attest to the significant encouragement he has received along with his wife by attending the IFCA national convention.
Annual Youth Convention
This event is described at Ministries.
We thank God for IFCA International. We believe the encouragement and resources IFCA provides enable HBC to be more effective at accomplishing the responsibilities God has given us as a local church.