Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.  – Matthew 4:23

Disciples, seeking to imitate Jesus’ ministry to teach and preach AND help and heal, formed HOPE worldwide (HWW) to meet the needs of the poor through coordinating, supporting and equipping disciples to carry out His ministry and providing an entity that could attract a wide range of resources toward this effort. If we as disciples are to reach the world for Christ and to go into all nations, we must be filled with the compassion of Jesus to love people and care for their needs.


The mission of HOPE worldwide (HWW), like that of the church (ICOC), necessarily flows from Jesus’ mission for his disciples. Without the ICOC, there would be no HWW.

In the past few years the leadership of HWW performed a thorough self-assessment and has invited  input from numerous sources seeking how to better carry out Jesus’ ministry. This proposal is the result of years of study and recent fruitful discussions between leaders of the ICOC and HWW. We present this proposed Alignment Document to the ICOC Delegates for their consideration, input and eventual  decision in the Proposal Approval Process for 2015.

Direction for HWW

The items noted below are intended to provide guiding principles for our on-going partnership as HWW and ICOC leaders seek to fulfill the mission of Jesus.

Each section is intended to provide an outline of a Connecting Principle and the Commitments of HWW (globally or locally) and the ICOC (either of all disciples or focused on the ICOC Leadership, either locally or represented by the Service Teams).

1. Alignment

We wish to “renew the vows” / connection between the ICOC and HWW. We want to align and strengthen our common purpose and work together to seek, save and heal a hurting world.

Connecting principle: Ensure that HWW and the ICOC are aligned around a common and unifying goal of HWW being the ICOC and disciples in action in our collective service to the poor inside and outside the church.

Commitment of HWW: HWW will work in partnership with the ICOC to support disciples as they follow Jesus’ example of “teaching, preaching and healing.” HWW will support disciples to serve the poor and needy in this endeavor.

HWW will work with the ICOC to clarify the role of the International Day of Giving and other means of fundraising in support of the HWW global network.

Commitment of ICOC: ICOC Leadership at all levels will create a biblical culture of service to those in need, inside and outside the Church. This is an important part of achieving Jesus’ ultimate goal of making disciples of all nations.

ICOC churches and leaders commit to give sacrificially to support HWW spiritually, financially and by encouraging disciples to participate in local and global initiatives.

Local ICOC Leadership will decide with their local HWW chapter/affiliate on the role and extent that HWW will play in helping the poor in the church locally. Where churches seek to support poor disciples in other countries, they will agree on HWW’s role with the HWW chapter/affiliate and the local church in that country.

2. Operational model

The way in which HWW operates needs to shift in order to achieve the unifying goal of HWW being the ICOC and disciples in action in a similar way around the globe.

Connecting principle: HWW Chapters/Affiliates and ICOC Churches will work together to develop and support local programs which allow disciples to serve the poor and needy in their area. 

Commitment of HWW: HWW Chapters/Affiliates will work closely with local ICOC Leadership to develop and support programs on a local level which achieve this and which are sustainable.

HWW will work with the ICOC globally to (1) support and develop programs (such as HYC, Brigades, Hospitals, Disaster Relief) that are global in nature, (2) support administration of the HWW global network and (3) provide disciples with opportunities to serve consistent with the principle of being the ICOC and disciples in action serving the poor and needy.

The HWW global network will serve as a repository for best practices and effective programs, communicating successes and lessons learned as well as providing management and training.

Commitment of ICOC: Local ICOC Leadership recognizes the importance that this places on the selection of the HWW Chapter/Affiliate leader. Local ICOC Leadership will make sure that its local HWW Chapter/Affiliate is able to appoint a leader who is suited to work with the local church leadership over the longer term to fulfill this role.

3. HWW Board Composition and Executive Leadership

There needs to be good alignment and coordination between HWW and the ICOC at the level of the Board and Executive Leadership.

Connecting Principle: The HWW Board is responsible for the fiduciary and legal responsibilities of HWW. In meeting these, the Board will collaborate with ICOC leadership for spiritual direction and partnership in finding and approving candidates to fill key leadership positions.

Commitment of HWW: HWW will commit that the HWW global Board is comprised of:

  • ICOC Church Leaders
  • Lay Leaders who are and continue to be commended by their local church leadership based on objective standards consistent with the local context.

Also, the HWW global Board will include appropriate representation (possible example: a Chapter/Affiliate board member and/or program leader) and other forms of valued diversity (age, country/national origin, ethnicity/race, gender, and professional background.)

HWW will commit that members of the HWW Executive Leadership Team are and continue to be commended by their local church leaders based on objective standards consistent with the local context.

All HWW Affiliate Boards will commit that their members (along with members of their senior leadership) are and continue to be commended by their local ICOC Leadership based on objective standards consistent with the local context.

Commitment of ICOC: The ICOC HWW Advisory Board will continue to collaborate with the HWW global Board in spiritual direction and finding and approving candidates to fill Board (including church leaders willing and able to influence financial support for HOPE worldwide) and key leadership positions. This Advisory Board will begin with the same ICOC Advisors invited to the HWW March 2015 Board Meeting.

4. Communication

HWW and the ICOC need to work together to tell our story and better communicate the role the ICOC plays in HWW’s success. We need to decide how to brand consistently with our identity taking into account the local context.

Connecting Principle: The relationship between HWW and the ICOC should be communicated in public and private in a transparent and accurate format that enhances our shared mission and values and which takes into account local ICOC and HWW concerns.

Commitment of HWW: The history and relationship between HWW and the ICOC will be clearly stated and accessible on websites, etc. The local HWW Affiliate and local ICOC Church Leadership will decide how to do this in a way that is appropriate in the local cultural and legal context.

Commitment of ICOC: ICOC Leaders at all levels will work with local chapter directors, local HWW affiliate representatives and disciples to communicate HWW messages by every means possible. This includes an appeal to others in our communities to join in our service.