The ICOC, or International Churches of Christ, is a family of congregations spread across 147 nations of the world. We are made up of over 700 churches with a diversity of people from various age groups, economic and social backgrounds. We believe Jesus came to break down the dividing wall of hostility between the races and people groups of this world and unite mankind under the Lordship of Christ (Ephesians 2:11-22).
We believe anyone, anywhere who follows God’s plan of salvation in the Bible and lives under the Lordship of Jesus, will be saved. Christians are saved by the grace of God, through their faith in Jesus Christ, at baptism. (Ephesians 2:10, Colossians 2:11-12, Romans 3:22, Acts 2:38, Matthew 28:18-20) While holding to sound doctrine is important, the ICOC teaches that Jesus is “full of grace and truth” (John 1:17) and that ultimately God decides who will be saved. Our churches are committed to teaching disciples to continually follow Jesus, allowing him to heal them and make them whole, and seeking to bring his good news to others.
Our theological roots are in the Restoration (Stone-Campbell) Movement of the early 1800s and in the Campus Evangelism movement of the Churches of Christ as lived out in the Crossroads Church of Christ in Florida in the 1970s. The Boston Church of Christ began in 1979 with about 30 members, and grew into the International Churches of Christ with more than 37,000 members within its first 12 years. Most recently we have grown from 88,000 members in 590 congregations, to currently 112,000 members in 675 congregations in 144 countries. We are inspired to build churches in every country, city, town and village.
Our fellowship is organized into 36 regional families of churches that span the globe and collaborate and cooperate to honor God in respectful unity.
About the Leadership
Our leadership is structured to avoid two extremes: disconnected autonomy and overly-centralized authority. While congregational leadership roles are well documented in scripture, global and regional roles appear far more flexible and dynamic in the New Testament. Through much prayer and discussion, we cooperate and collaborate through servant leaders from the various areas of the world.
In 2017, we formed a Catalyst Team to spearhead our global leadership and Regional Family Chairs (RFC’s) to communicate, serve and lead the 36 Regional Families of churches around the globe. Delegates serve alongside the RFCs to bring in further diversity of age, gender and perspective. It is a relational plan to facilitate cooperation and collaboration in carrying out Jesus’ mission and vision for the church. While we are committed to cooperation and relationship, there is no overall legal entity.
The Catalyst Team is made up of two elders, two teachers, two women’s ministry leaders, a representative from the Global Missions Service Team, a representative from the Evangelist Service Team, as well as seven representatives from the Regional Family Chairmen. The purpose of the Catalyst Team is to provide vision, focus and direction for the Regional Family Chairmen and to the Delegates.
Regional Family Chairmen and Regional Women’s Chairs are chosen by their respective regions. Click here to see our churches organized by geographic regions around the world.
Delegates: Each region appoints at least three Delegates. Larger regions appoint one Delegate per 1,000 disciples rounding up. At the annual leadership meeting each Delegate has one vote. The first three delegates of any Regional Family of Churches are one man, one woman, and one next generation leader.
Service Teams are charged with providing specialized training and best practices according to their specific responsibility, while helping to build and maintain unity among churches globally.
Click here to see our current list of leaders serving in these capacities.