During its formation and through its experience in a variety of situations the GCF has developed some processes and adopted some principles that it has found helpful in giving expression to its life.
The purpose of the Forum is to be ‘an open space wherein representatives from a broad range of Christian churches and inter-church organisations, which confess the triune God and Jesus Christ as perfect in His divinity and humanity, can gather to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges.’ [See Guiding Purpose Statement].
The GCF provides a flexible process in which all Christians and churches are invited to recognise in one another, particularly in those from very different confessions, ecclesiologies, traditions, cultures, or backgrounds the marks of living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Who Is Missing? All churches are invited to the Forum table. If any church is missing, the usefulness of the Forum is diminished. In response to God’s call for unity and the contemporary ecclesial situation of fragmentation, the GCF is always asking ‘who is missing from among us? Who still should be invited to gather?
- Half And Half. Approximately half of the participants in any Forum gathering are leaders of the older churches (Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Anglican) and half are leaders of the younger churches (Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Independent, e.g. African Instituted, mega churches, migrant churches).
- Participation Only. Since many of churches who gather in the Forum could not be members of the same body, there is no membership, only participation.
- Relational, Testimonial, Doxological. The Forum is focused more on birthing, extending, and deepening relationships between churches than on theological dialogue producing consensus texts. Its theological mode is more testimonial and doxological than theoretical and analytical.