Creating churches, changing worlds
It has been my privilege to be a part of the CRC since 1971, when in my late teens, I came to Christ under the ministry of Leo Harris. I was deeply impacted, as were countless thousands, by his inspirational leadership and powerful preaching. This Charter embodies the ideals and ethics that he stood for and his passion for Jesus’ Church to simply model the New Testament pattern.
Our CRC movement today, is a vision driven and values based movement, with a far reaching ministry focus to reach into every nation and touch all the people groups of our world.
May the concepts embodied in this document inform, encourage and challenge you as to what it means to be a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ in this 21st Century world in which we live.
Pastor Bill Vasilakis
The CRC Churches International has been raised up by God as a fellowship of local churches and ministers with a purposeful spiritual vision, mission, ministry and set of shared core values. These succinctly expressed statements reveal our deeply held beliefs and underpin and guide all of our various activities.
Our movement (previously known as the National Revival Crusade 1945-1952; Commonwealth Revival Crusade 1952- 1963; and Christian Revival Crusade 1963-1998) began during World War II, offering hope to our Nation whose very existence was being threatened. It was birthed with a passion to reach lost people with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to crusade for a national Christian revival with a unique Australian approach to ministry. In this Charter we state those convictions that give this Movement its distinctive and identifying features. The principles expressed in the Charter are the basis for affiliation with, and continuing fellowship in, CRC Churches International.
In the mid 1980s it was recognized that the CRC, which commenced in Australia and New Zealand in the 1940s, became an inter-connected International Movement with Papua New Guinea being its largest constituent member. In the 1990s CRC Churches International was operating in the Philippines, China, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Sri Lanka. With the continuing expansion of the CRC into numerous nations throughout the world, it is anticipated that other national CRC Movements will be invited to join this Association of CRC National Churches.
Recognition is given, and tribute is made, to Pastor Leo Cecil Harris, who through his unique abilities and apostolic ministry was used by God to establish and give leadership to this fellowship of churches in 1945. He was recognised as President of the fellowship until his decease on the 24th September, 1977.
3.1 Our vision is to help expand the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth by creating Bible-based, contemporary local churches and ministries (Acts 1:8).
3.2 Our mission is to exalt Jesus Christ in all that we think, say and do, and to extend His influence throughout the world by:
- Proclaiming Christ’s Gospel with the expectation that supernatural signs will follow as the normal New Testament pattern (Mark 16:15-20);
- Planting Christ-centred churches that are autonomous, interdependent and self-propagating (Acts 14:21-28);
- Promoting Christ-glorifying Christian communities which outwork the miraculous and character transforming ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:42-47); and
- Producing Christ-following disciples who seek to obey the Great Commandment and Great Commission (Matthew 22:36- 40; 28:18-20).
4.1 Word Based
We believe that God will work through His living, authoritative and relevant Bible. We show this value by:
- Ensuring that all our theology, ministry practices and organisational policies and processes are Biblically based;
- Continually reforming ourselves, our local churches and our movement by aligning ourselves to God’s Word.
4.2 Multiplying Churches
We believe in the God-inspired multiplication strategy of covering the earth with churches. We show this value by:
- Ensuring our churches are autonomous and interdependent for the purpose of reproducing new churches;
- Continually releasing our people to outwork the Great Commission blueprint for New Testament revival as mandated by Jesus.
4.3 Interdependent Ministries
We believe in connected, cooperative and accountable ministers and churches. We show this value by:
- Ensuring our church leadership teams avoid the extremes of both independence and dependence, through responsible and accountable practices;
- Continually looking to Jesus as the Head of the church, to call and anoint the right men and women to lead the churches of our movement.
4.4 New Creation Message
We believe in the liberating power of the New Creation Message that secures and strengthens our foundations in Christ. We show this value by:
- Ensuring that we teach “rest” in the finished work of Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection on our behalf, and in the reality of Christ in us through the person of the Holy Spirit;
- Continually enforcing our authority in Christ and appropriating all the privileges we now possess as members of God’s Family.
4.5 Gospel Of Grace
We believe in a Gospel-centred and grace-pervading Christian message that must never be added to or changed. We show this value by:
- Ensuring that we maintain our abiding conviction that Jesus Christ can save and transform anyone who places their full trust in Him;
- Continually embracing repentance and obedience as integral aspects of our response to God’s grace.
4.6 Stable Spirituality
We believe in a balance between the ‘Word’ and the ‘Spirit’ as we express our dependence on Jesus Christ. We show this value by:
- Ensuring that we equally value the Word of God and the Spirit of God as absolutely essential for the growth and stability of all believers, ministers and churches;
- Continually assessing that works attributed to the Holy Spirit align with the inspired Word of God.
4.7 Contemporary Ministry
We believe that our churches should be creative and culturally relevant while remaining doctrinally pure.
We show this value by:
- Ensuring that we prayerfully and wisely adapt and change our worship modes, outreach methods and organisational processes;
- Continually monitoring that we maintain our Biblical beliefs and principles as we effectively relate to our constantly changing society.
4.8 Harmonious Relationships
We believe in pursuing unity and walking in love in our churches and amongst our ministers. We show this value by:
- Ensuring that integrity and right relationships are paramount, so we can experience the Godly power and spiritual synergy of dedicated teams;
- Continually working at love and unity, doing all in our power to strengthen and develop the ties that bind us together.
4.9 Dynamic Faith
We believe in a forward-moving and daring faith that undergirds everything we do for Jesus Christ. We show this value by:
- Ensuring that we move in a faith realm that prays, believes and acts according to the Holy Spirit’s confirmed leading;
- Continually affirming that faith is the means by which our potential authority in Christ is outworked in real spiritual power.
4.10 Selfless Service
We believe in the call and cost of Christ-appointed ministers who willingly embrace sacrificial servant-hood as a way of life. We show this value by:
- Ensuring that CRC Ministers know the depth of spiritual passion that comes from an authentic call of God;
- Continually encouraging people to value the cost of being a servant of Jesus, resisting the temptation to desire a crown without a cross.
5.1 Dynamic Churches
We will resource our churches and their leadership teams to grow, be healthy and reach their God-given potential.
5.2 Church Planting
We will align ourselves with Christ’s master-plan for world evangelisation by Spirit-led church planting.
5.3 Ministry Training
We will provide Christian education for all age groups and work towards releasing the divinely bestowed ministry-gifts of Christ into full operation within the church.
We will facilitate the identification of new ministers, invest in their training, entrust them with ministry opportunities and release them to fulfil their God-given call.
5.4 World Missions
We will embrace Jesus’ Great Commission as our first priority, accepting the responsibility for developing a world missions vision in our churches. We will support and engage in missionary enterprise in other lands with a view to establishing indigenous local churches and ministry ventures.
5.5 Youth And Children
We will impact the youngest of our generation for Jesus by inspiring and equipping our churches to have spiritually effective ministries for children and youth.
We will propagate the message of the Word of God and engage in evangelism by all means, such as public meetings, the printed page and the mass media.
5.7 Kingdom Citizens
We will encourage an attitude of Christian fellowship toward all believers in Christ and will honour all civil governing authorities according to the Scriptures.
5.8 Family Values
We will uphold marriage as a life-long, monogamous, legally- performed marriage between a man and woman, in which there is constant love, continual care, mutual respect, Godly order, submission and sexual intimacy. We also uphold the family as the basic social unit of society.
We recognise that, within the framework of the Church Universal, there is the necessity to be associated with a group of churches of common faith, values, vision, mission and leadership. The CRC is such a group and believes that association with it should not interfere with our love for, and fellowship with, the Church Universal in whatever contact we may have with it.
We accept the New Testament portrayal of the Church Universal organised into autonomous, interdependent and self- propagating local churches. Our concept of the local church is that of a loving Christian community that is:
7.1 Autonomous i.e. self-governing, having full authority to manage its own affairs; and self-ministering, having sufficient ministry-gifts to lead its congregation according to the Ephesians 4:11-16 pattern;
7.2 Interdependent i.e. relationally connected, cooperative and accountable to the CRC family;
7.3 Self-propagating i.e. seeing itself as a base for outreach activities as expressed in the Vision and Mission of the CRC, conducted either on its own local initiative or in cooperation with other local churches;
7.4 Governed by Overseers (or by whatever title the spiritual oversight may be known) and served by Deacons or any other such Helpers; and
7.5 Composed of people who:
7.5.1 Are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; Are baptised in water by immersion; Ideally are baptised in the Holy Spirit;
7.5.2 Are in submission to the ministry team and spiritual oversight as they shepherd, disciple and lead the local church; and
7.5.3 Hold membership in no other local church.
8.1 We accept that fellowship finds expression on various levels of life and activity, such as fellowship between people and God; within a local church; between local churches in a group like the CRC; and with the Church Universal on both a personal and local church level.
8.2 While recognising that fellowship will be the stronger and more intimate in the smaller and closer circles, we accept that fellowship in all of the above spheres (8.1) can be maintained without conflict of loyalties if a proper sense of priorities is held.
8.3 Fellowship is preserved only when privileges are counterbalanced by the following indispensable factors:
8.3.1 Loyalty within our CRC fellowship and to its values, vision, mission and ministry is maintained;
8.3.2 Contribution to our CRC fellowship is made from the resources of each of its members;
8.3.3. The discipline of fellowship is accepted, each assuming the responsibilities and restrictions resulting from his/ her loyalty to the CRC and its ideals.
8.4 We accept that the principles of fellowship are violated when any one member takes independent action knowing that it is contrary and harmful to the interests and desires of the fellowship as a whole, whether in their local church, within our CRC family, or in the Church Universal.
In every case, liberty of action must be limited by consideration of the interests of others within the fellowship.
The following policy is accepted as governing all ministry functioning in and for the CRC.
9.1 Only credentialed persons, or those endorsed by the National or State Executives, may officially represent the CRC.
9.2 It is expected of such persons that they give due respect to the churches to which they are invited and at all times maintain the highest ideals of Christian fellowship and ministerial and financial ethics. A reciprocal policy by persons visiting CRC churches is expected and appreciated.
9.3 CRC platforms are open to all ministers approved by the respective local oversight, subject to the Principles of Fellowship set out in Clause 8.
9.4 While CRC churches are encouraged to give generous financial assistance to visiting ministers, such ministers should be requested not to solicit funds, nor to seek names and addresses of members for follow-up purposes, without the approval of the local oversight.
9.5 It is expected that visiting ministers will avoid presenting any doctrine, publicly or privately, to any member of a church, knowing that it is contrary to what is normally taught in the church concerned; or to distribute magazines or other literature, audio tapes, videos, cd’s, dvd’s etc., unless the approval of the recognised oversight of the church is obtained.
10.1 Inasmuch as finance plays an important part in the activities of local churches, we accept that the highest possible standard of ethics must be maintained in view of the following considerations:
10.1.1 Responsibility to Jesus Christ as His stewards;
10.1.2 Faithfulness to the people who have entrusted their offerings;
10.1.3 A good testimony before the community as a whole;
10.2 In practically outworking this principle, and to ensure we are beyond reproach in this area, it is expected that:
10.2.1 A proper accounting system shall be adopted as required by the civil authorities;
10.2.2 The financial affairs of the local church shall be managed by a responsible officer, or officers who are accountable to the senior governmental authority of their local church;
10.2.3 A balance sheet and a complete financial report shall be furnished each year to the members;
10.2.4 Books of account shall be duly audited each year by a non-member of the church and presented to the members for their endorsement.
The CRC believes in and presents the following basic truths:
- In the Bible as the inspired Word of God.
- In God, the Creator, who has revealed Himself in the Persons of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit;
- In the Divinity and sinless Humanity of Jesus Christ, and in His miraculous ministry, His suffering and death on the Cross as the only Saviour for the sins of the world, and His resurrection from the dead;
- That Jesus will return to the earth as its final Judge of the living and the dead;
- That all people fall short of God’s perfect standard and can only find forgiveness through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ;
- That all people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ will witness a transformation in their lives, exemplified by repentance and holiness of conduct;
- In Christian Baptism, by full immersion in water, of those who have personally placed their faith in Jesus Christ;
- In regularly celebrating the Lord’s Supper, remembering Jesus Christ’s saving work;
- In the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, with the normal initial evidence of speaking in unknown languages;
- In the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit;
- That God heals the sick today through active faith in His grace;
- In the power of prayer;
- In God’s community of believers, the church and its responsibility to spread the message of the Gospel to all people and nations.
Alterations, additions to, or repeal of any of the provisions of this Charter shall be made:
12.1 By a two-thirds majority of members present; and
12.2 At a properly convened meeting with a four tenths quorum of the National Council of the CRC Churches International – Australia Inc; and
12.3 After sixty days written notice has been given to all those holding a National Minister’s Credential, with details of proposed alterations, etc.