Allow me to introduce…The Evangelical Free Church of Finland (EFCF) is a ‘Made in Finland’ revival movement. The EFCF has been influencing life in Finland for over 120 years. Rising from a historical Lutheran context, our independent denomination of 100 congregations is now present all over the country and, through our mission and development projects, all over the world. We serve our neighbours through wide-ranging Mercy ministries and children’s and youth programmes. Our training centre in central Finland and our Theological College in the south serve both the needs of those looking for short courses and those needing training up to diploma level.
The soul of our movement are our local congregations and it is there that the Free Church movement intersects with Finnish life and culture. Congregations of differing sizes interact with their own local environment playing out their own individual roles. Congregation size varies from just a small group to over a thousand members. Salaried workers are few as the emphasis is on an active laity. This encourages participation and ensures that activities spring from the needs of the members and their immediate context. At the beginning of 2013 the total membership is just over 15,000.
The Free Church movement emphasises personal faith in Jesus Christ and the desire to live as His disciples in a changing world. Faith in the Saviour leads us into a personal relationship with the heavenly Father and frees us to embrace to life in all its richness. The Gospel is good news: by believing in Jesus our sins are forgiven and on a personal level we begin to learn who God really is. This is a life-long process that we can share with others through our congregational life.
We believe that God has revealed himself in nature and in history, especially through his Son Jesus. Gods’ revelation is communicated to us in the Bible, from which springs the time-tested principle: concerning the central tenets of the Christian faith, may unanimity reign, in matters of secondary importance we give room for enquiry and questioning, in cultural issues the principle of love determines expression and methods (in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas).
The Free Church movement has always promoted social action stemming from our Christian commitment. This translates into caring for and influencing the environment where we live. Having a Christian worldview has given birth to societies with a respect for human rights and a clear sense of justice. This has created and implemented action that focusses on the poor and the neglected. This is true of our Free Church history and hopefully our future too. The Free Church movement does not want to become a revivalist ghetto, where our concern for our neighbour ends when they chose not to believe. Every person as God’s creation has worth and is important to him.
The EFCF enjoys working with other Christian Churches and organisations. Our original “alliance” DNA still flows in our veins. Christ’s prayer for his disciples, “that they would be one”, has echoed in our worship services and meetings. Let us together find ways to fulfil this dream.
The best way to get to know the EFCF is to drop by! Our activities are open to all and anyone can freely participate in our meetings and programmes. A list of our congregations can be found on this website under the “seurakunnat” tab.