Emerging from our convictions about the priesthood of all believers, we affirm that in Jesus Christ all people are equal. Each one is free to be in relationship with God and to express a faith that is not coerced. Faith cannot be predetermined by someone else, but is the right of and responsibility of each individual as they seek a relationship with God based on their own personal commitments. A further extension of the principle of the Lordship of Christ and the priesthood of believers is to be found in the CINOC conviction that there must exist a separation between the church and civil governments.

  1. Jesus is Lord

CINOC believe that Jesus Christ, being eternally God, only begotten Son and the visible expression of the invisible God, effectively procured salvation for all creation through his death, burial and resurrection. He is the one assigned by God the Father to rule with authority over all of creation. Every area of the believer’s life and the life of the church is to be subject to the Lord.

  1. The Word of God is the Authoritative Rule of Faith and Practice

CINOC believe that God communicates his will through the inspired Word of God. For CINOC, the Bible is the final authority in matters of faith and practice.  It is to be interpreted responsibly under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit within the community of faith.

3. The Priesthood of All Believers

The Bible affirms the value of each person as having been created in the image of God, and also declares each person morally responsible for his/her own nature and behaviour. CINOC believe that inherent in the worth of each person is also the right and competency of each individual personally to deal directly with God through Jesus Christ. This principle also suggests our responsibility to serve other believers in intercession and nurture: we are priests to each other.  CINOC believe that no group or individual has any right to compel others—forcefully or politically—to believe or worship as they do. Rather, CINOC have historically been champions of religious liberty.

  1. A Believers’ Church

CINOC believe that Jesus Christ chooses to form his church by bringing together believers for the purpose of worship, witness, fellowship and ministry (both spiritual and social). CINOC recognize the church universal as all who truly profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. They also profess their understanding of the church as being visibly expressed in local congregations. Each local church must thus be made up of believers who, upon their profession of faith and their baptism (almost always by immersion), are incorporated into the local church through the activity of the Holy Spirit. CINOC believe that Believers’ Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances required by the New Testament and are to be administered by the local church.

  1. Mission and Evangelism

We have a story to tell that is mandated by our Lord in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20. Our calling is to share God’s message of love and salvation with each person.   Each Christian has a duty to share their faith with others.  CINOC continue to be very active in mission efforts, both in local and global contexts. We recognize that mission is not just evangelism, but also includes promoting justice, social welfare, healing, education and peace in the world.  It is a holistic approach that expresses care for both the needs of the human soul and the social needs that affect all of life.

6. Church Autonomy and Association

Government in a local church is controlled by the principles of the priesthood of all believers, the Lordship of Christ, the authority of the Scriptures and the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Christ, present in the lives of congregational members, leads them corporately to discover and obey his mind and will. Such ‘congregational government’ calls for and expresses the equality and responsibility of believers under the Lordship of Christ. CINOC churches also recognize the need to temper the exercise of their autonomy in order to ‘associate’ by linking regionally, nationally and internationally for ministry, mission, support and fellowship.

7. Freedom and Equality

Emerging from our convictions about the priesthood of all believers, we affirm that in Jesus Christ all people are equal. Each one is free to be in relationship with God and to express a faith that is not coerced. Faith cannot be predetermined by someone else, but is the right of and responsibility of each individual as they seek a relationship with God based on their own personal commitments. A further extension of the principle of the Lordship of Christ and the priesthood of believers is to be found in the CINOC conviction that there must exist a separation between the church and civil governments.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” (Eph. 4:11)

A family of Fivefold Ministry churches, transformed by Christ and revealing God’s kingdom.

Canadian International Network of Churches (CINOC) exists to equip our churches and leaders to engage in their mission from God, in their communities.

CINOC supports local churches and their communities by training leaders, supporting innovative ministries, responding compassionately to social needs, responding to crises and providing churches with administrative and financial services. In partnership with local churches, CINOC also plays a collaborative role in seeding new expressions of churches for today.

By providing resources for churches and leaders, we seek to share the good news of Jesus with our neighbors and share with others the love Jesus has shown us.

CINOC exists as a five fold ministry to help equip our churches and leaders so as to engage with their mission from God, in their community.

Our pastors are not alone:

– 1800 pastors leave the ministry every month.

– 40% of pastors will not be in ministry in ten years.

– 50% of pastors feel unable to meet the needs of the job.1

– 80% believe that pastoral ministry negatively affects their families.

– 45% of pastors say they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent they needed a leave of absence from ministry.

– 33% felt burned out within their first five years of ministry.2

There is no way to entirely alleviate the pressure that pastors face on a daily basis. However, the strain is greatly compounded when the five fold ministry gifts are not fully operating in churches today.

It is not God’s intention for pastors to attempt to equip and build up the body alone. There are no scriptures that even suggest that one senior shepherd has been given everything necessary to perfect a particular congregation.

Five fold ministers are meant to cooperate in their special gifting and abilities, and together govern, guide, gather, ground and guard God’s people.

God’s Hand of Ministry

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God… “ (1 Pet. 5:6)

When Christ ascended, He took His whole ministry mantle, divided it, and gave it in five parts to men and women. All five are needed to perfect, mature and equip the saints “till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of… the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). The function of these gifts, also sometimes called equipping or ascension gifts, and how they fit together can better be understood through the analogy of how a physical hand functions.

The Apostle: The Thumb

The thumb is not in opposition to or over the fingers, but it is designed to complete the full function and power of the hand. Apostles function in administration and (together with prophets) lay the foundation with proper doctrinal and spiritual structure (Eph. 2:20). Apostles move primarily in the gifts of healing, faith, working of miracles, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, and (sometimes) prophecy.

In a modern church setting, they would oversee the development and sending of apostolic teams for miracle ministries, as well as activating, imparting and demonstrating the apostolic anointing to other bodies of believers. They would participate in going to other regions and nations to establish new churches and help local pastors restore order and unity in existing congregations.

The Prophet: The Forefinger

The forefinger is often called the pointer finger—the prophet functions in revelation and points the way for believers. The office of the prophet is different than the gift of prophecy—it carries a governmental authority and role with higher responsibility. The gift of prophecy is for edification, exhortation and comfort, whereas the prophet flows in areas of guidance, instruction, rebuke, judgment and revelation—whatever Christ chooses to speak for the purification and perfection of His church.

Prophets are also given the special ability to recognize God’s gifts and callings on individuals and can activate people into their ministries. Not everyone who prophesies is a prophet (just as not everyone who moves in miracles is an apostle).

In a church today, prophets would oversee the development of qualified prophetic teams to be able to give accurate and timely personal prophetic words, and form prophetic presbyteries—groups of ministers and elders who come together for the purpose of ministering prophetically to individuals or a church body.

The Evangelist: The Middle Finger

The middle finger extends the furthest on the hand—it represents the outreach ministry extended to evangelize the world.

An evangelist in today’s church would oversee evangelism teams and outreach. The evangelist would maintain passion and vision for winning souls to Jesus, in addition to training prophetic evangelists.

The Pastor: The Ring Finger

The ring finger is the wedding ring finger, symbolizing the pastor’s commitment to his flock. Prophets and evangelists might come and go, but the pastor is bound to the local saints in a shepherding relationship.

Those in the pastoral department of a local church would oversee home group leaders and assist the senior pastor in duties such as weddings, funerals, visitations, prayer, counseling, and other ministerial capacities.

The Teacher: The Little Finger

Although it’s the smallest finger, the little finger is essential and provides balance. The teacher grounds the church in truth through instruction in the principles of the Word of God.

The teaching department in a modern-day church would oversee the educational and training ministries, which also includes writing and developing curriculum, and performing teaching duties.

In Conclusion…

– A person does not call or appoint himself to any of the fivefold ministries. It is a gift or call of Christ Himself and, in time, is confirmed by other believers.

– Generally, a five fold minister has one initial primary calling and divine enablement to fully manifest one equipping gift. They may also have a secondary leaning in another five fold area, and additionally, be called to manifest other five-fold gifts at various times.

– Finally, a pastor may conform his or her congregation to his/her doctrines, beliefs and methods of ministry but not into Christ’s fullness. It takes all five ascension gifts working together to accomplish this.

May we, as a church, humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and recognize those He has empowered to represent His heart.