CrossWay is both an autonomous local church and connected on a national scale with a group of like-minded believers known as the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). If you want to know more about the national and international movement known as the EFCA, you can find it at www.efca.org.
1. Who We Are Locally
We have been here in Grand Rapids for almost 50 years and are committed to being a place where Jesus can be met and a people who will help you to meet Him, walk with, and love Him.
Over the years, we have gained a reputation for faithful adherence to Scripture, seen in our strong ministries of Bible teaching and preaching. If you are a Christian who loves “meat” and not just “milk”, we believe you can find that here.
We have also gained, over the years, the capacity for being a place where those who might be weary or wary of church can come and find a home. You see, sometimes “religion” can beat people up with guilt-ridden performance expectations that are not necessarily helpful, biblical, or God’s desire for us! The only “yoke” we want you to carry is Christ’s. Yes, He’ll put us to work, but it will be a good-fitting work from a gentle and humble heart (Matthew 11:28-30)!
As a local church that is free to govern its own affairs under the authority of the Word of God, we are not a “free-floating” independent group of believers who are accountable to no one but themselves. Being connected to a larger group of like-minded believers such as the EFCA gives us both the freedom to set the course of our ministry locally, but also the interdependence, accountability, and resources connected to the larger body of Christ.
2. Who We Are Nationally/Internationally
The terms “Evangelical” and “Free” in our culture have come to mean different things to different people. Though they may seem outdated to some, or watered down to others, we invite you to read the definitions below to get a glimpse of why they are foundational to us as a denomination.
What does “Evangelical” mean?
No, “evangelical” does not denote a political voting block. The term “Evangelical” refers to our faith, our theology. We are committed to the proclamation of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, and to the Scriptures as being the inspired, inerrant, authoritative and sufficient Word of God.
What does “Free“ mean?
Originally, the term “Free” meant “non-state” church. That is, “Free” churches in Europe were birthed from the Reformation and refused to accept state-funded clergy who would then tell them (via the state) how to run their church, what to believe, etc. Instead, free-church folks said to the state, “We are free to govern our own affairs under the authority, not of our king or queen, but of the Word of God and King Jesus”. So “free” simply refers to our polity, our structure and organization. We are committed to a local congregational form of government.
Distinctives of the Evangelical Free Church of America
“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ.”
The EFCA is more than a denomination – it is an association of some 1,500 autonomous and interdependent local churches and church plants who voluntarily belong to a spiritual movement which we believe is being orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. The growing ministry of the EFCA currently extends to some 50 countries of the world.
We share a common commitment to follow Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives, our ministries, our families and our churches. He is the head of the Church which is His body.
We do not desire to build merely a large human organization but instead to be involved in building the eternal Kingdom of God. We enjoy teaming and fellowshipping with Christian brothers and sisters of many backgrounds, cultures and nationalities who embrace the:
- lordship of Jesus Christ
- authority of the Scriptures;
- compassion to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ to the poor, hurting and lost people
- concern to evangelize and make disciples of Jesus Christ
- desire for holy living
- commitment to be set free by Christ day-by-day.
The EFCA is growing to include people from every generation and region of the United States representing an increasing variety of ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds.
We invite you to explore the possibility of joining us in the ministry fellowship of CrossWay Community, a local expression of the EFCA!