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Convergence Church Network (CCN) aims to collaborate with like-minded Christians to promote, encourage, instruct, and support churches committed to the convergence of Word and Spirit as a distinguishing feature of their ministry.

We are not a denomination.
We are a fellowship of like-minded churches.

Denominations are typically characterized by a highly centralized office in which member churches are subject to elected officials' oversight and governing control. Denominations are more hierarchical, while networks are more relational. Denominations also engage in church planting and global missionary support and typically require a much broader agreement from its member churches on doctrine.

Rationale: Why Form a New Network?

Some may wonder why bother with forming a network. What is the rationale for its existence? For one thing, partnership in ministry can exist within a single local church and among multiple churches. Paul refers to “your partnership in the gospel” (Philippians 1:5) when describing his relationship with the Philippians. This likely has in view more than simply that they all preached the same good news.

Networks can maximize a local church’s strength and provide aid and support to minimize and overcome a church’s weaknesses. Local churches are often blind to their shortcomings and overly impressed by their success. It helps to bring external eyes to bear on what a local church may not be capable of seeing. The value in a network is found in the fact that one church can benefit from seeing the strengths in other local assemblies while those same churches can identify the strengths and shortcomings of one’s own local body.

The sad but undeniable fact is that a type of fracture has erupted in the evangelical world, a “divorce” and an ever-widening breach between the so-called Word and Spirit churches. We might even say that what God has joined together, Christians have put asunder. God has clearly joined Word and Spirit and bound them together in unmistakable terms.

But the commitment, courage, sacrifice, and energy it takes to heal this spiritual chasm has proven too much for many pastors. So, they end up capitulating to one or the other side, typically to whichever orientation is easier and results in the least damage or loss of members and financial support. But God never intended his church to be this way. He calls us in Scripture to embrace both Word and Spirit without qualification and never to play off one to the minimizing or exclusion of the other.

Sadly, those in the Word camp are often embarrassed by the extremes of certain sectors of the Pentecostal-Charismatic world and see nothing but uncontrolled emotional chaos and a failure to remain tethered to the sufficiency of Scripture. Many in the Spirit camp are fearful that an emphasis on theology and doctrinal precision will quench the Holy Spirit and lead to a life-less, joy-less, power-less church that supplants power with truth.

This network exists to push back against both of these tendencies and to preserve intact and inviolable the rigorous functional authority of Scripture and the freedom and fullness of all the supernatural operations of the Spirit. Both truth and power. Both mind and heart. Both principle and affection. The “convergence” is required of all who trust Christ as Savior and desire to honor his name.

The Network exists with this two-fold goal:

Goal #1: We want to help “Word-oriented” churches

We want to come alongside churches that are theologically continuationist but functionally cessationist and move them into a more vibrant expression of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Goal #2: We want to help “Spirit-oriented” churches

We want to come alongside churches that operate in the full range of all spiritual gifts but are untethered to Scripture and teach them how to bring the work of the Spirit into alignment with the authoritative Scriptures.

People often tell us there is simply no hope for reconciliation between the two. They say that a local church in the 21st century committed both to the centrality and functional authority of the Bible and to the effective, Christ-exalting operation of all spiritual gifts is a myth.

Are they right? Is it a hopeless dream that Word and Spirit can function together in a local church the way God originally intended?

Biblically Grounded & Spirit Empowered

So, what precisely are we talking about? We are talking about a congregation of born-again followers of Jesus who are gospel-centered, who are intolerant of manipulative excess and self-serving fanaticism, on the one hand, and delight in speaking in tongues, praying for the sick, and prophesying to the edification, encouragement, and consolation of other believers, on the other.

We are talking about individual Christian men and women who are intellectually exhilarated by complex biblical truths yet unafraid of deep emotional delight and heartfelt affection for Jesus. We are talking about theologically sophisticated followers of Christ who are open to and hungry for the present tense voice of the Spirit while always subject to the functional and final authority of the written text of Scripture.

We’ve heard it countless times: “You can’t live with the expectation that the Spirit will speak to you beyond Scripture (but never contrary to it) and at the same time build your life and ministry on the rock-solid foundation of what he has already said in and through Scripture. You can’t speak in authentic NT tongues and, at the same time, preach verse-by-verse through the books of the Bible. You can’t pray expectantly for miraculous healing and be devoted to the importance of Hebrew and Greek exegesis. And you certainly can’t expect anyone else to participate in a local church that purports to embrace both sides of this unbridgeable divide.” Or so they say.

Are they right? Is the reconciliation between Word and Spirit a hopeless dream and a waste of time? We don’t believe so. If the Triune God has bound the two together and wedded them in marital union, who are we to encourage, condone, or permit their separation?

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