GICF is a group of expatriate Christians living in Guangzhou who meet together regularly. Our mission is to serve English-speaking expatriates by providing a stable environment for fellowship, worship, Bible teaching, mutual encouragement, and personal spiritual nourishment and growth. We also provide people with an opportunity to contribute to the community and help each other live effectively as foreigners in China.
GICF is self-supporting and self-propagating. A formally appointed leadership team is responsible for all aspects of the fellowship. These leaders come from different countries and denominational backgrounds, they are volunteers and are not supported by any Chinese or overseas religious organization. We have no official membership; rather we warmly welcome anyone to attend our Sunday morning service regardless of religious background or affiliation, subject to limitations of Chinese law.
The unique character of this fellowship provides a special challenge to unity. Our people come from over a dozen countries and an even greater variety of church backgrounds. The group is also very transient, with up to 50% of the congregation leaving each year to return to their home countries. Yet, unlike almost anywhere in the world, we are in a city offering little alternative for English-speaking Christian services. Therefore, a majority of the congregation, living in an unfamiliar environment, find that we are much more than just a weekly service, but a real community, providing all kinds of spiritual and practical support. Unity is highly valued and vital for our fellowship to thrive. To achieve unity, we expect leaders and people in up-front roles to:
· Distinguish primary beliefs (by which we are born into God's family) from secondary beliefs, which are variations within the family and need not divide us;
· Walk in the love of God, serving each other, demonstrating godly character.