Designed for Mission
The Fellowship of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (FELC) was created solely for the purpose of Christian mission. Mission happens where member churches engage the world with the Word of God. FELC views its chief mission as proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, sacrament, and action. FELC is thus designed for doing church rather than just staging church (view the FELC Mission Statement).
Built on Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions
FELC stands solidly upon God’s Word as recorded in Holy Scripture (Bible) and as accurately interpreted through the Lutheran statements of faith (called Confessions or confessional writings). From this foundation, FELC seeks to teach and preach a pure understanding of the gospel for a living faith in Jesus Christ as the salvation of the world (view the FELC founding principles).
Reformation Approach to Church Oversight (episkopé)
The 16 th century Lutheran Reformers valued effective oversight (episkopé) of parish ministries. In fact, they considered such oversight to be not only useful but necessary. The need for parish oversight did not, however, equate to the need for bishops. In fact, when the papal bishops refused parish oversight, the Lutheran Reformers assumed this responsibility by setting up teams of church experts charged with parish visitation. FELC has adopted and adapted this Reformation practice through the creation of democratically elected Councils of Visitors. FELC Councils of Visitors serve and support parishes in their mission to the world (view the FELC constitutional arrangements for ecclesial oversight).
Prudent with Declarations and Statements
FELC maintains that Scripture and the Lutheran confessions are sufficient for addressing almost all matters of the Christian faith and life. Areas of human existence not addressed by Scripture are not essential to Christian mission. Supplemental church declarations and position statements often sound promising. By their nature, however, they frequently signal a loss of faith in Scripture’s sufficiency. For this reason, FELC exercises prudence in issuing declarations and statements.
Member Church Equality and Mutual Accountability
FELC is a fellowship of member churches. Each congregation is the church where church happens when the gospel is rightly proclaimed in word and sacrament. FELC member churches have equal voice in all matters of the fellowship. FELC member churches also have the final say in the adoption of any national church legislation. Equality, accountability, and effective democracy supported by a strong system of checks and balances characterize FELC’s common constitutional life (view the FELC constitution and bylaws).