How to become a DOVE church
DOVE USA is a family of churches in the USA who are a part of the DOVE International family. Our God-given goal is to continue to plant healthy churches throughout the USA and other nations. Follow the link on the “church locator” site to locate where there are current DOVE churches.
Our family of churches have been in existence since 1980 when we planted our first congregation. We grew to numerous celebrations, meeting at various locations in a seven county area in Pennsylvania , but we were all considered to be one church. We also planted three churches internationally. Then in 1994, we made the decision to go from being a “mother church” with church plants in other nations to becoming a “family of churches.” We established local pastors and elder teams to give leadership to these churches in Pennsylvania that were previously functioning together as one church. Additionally, we established an Apostolic Council to give oversight to these senior elders (senior pastors) and elder teams. This was the starting point of what we now call an “apostolic movement” that began January of 1996.
In 1996, we felt the Lord asking us to open our doors to other churches of like values and guiding principles that He would bring to us. We do not solicit churches but are open to churches joining us who desire to become part of the DOVE family. If a church is interested in becoming part of the DOVE family, they would first get to know us and determine if our values and guiding principles are the same. We build by relationships, and we begin to develop the relationship through phone calls, emails, and meeting together to get to know each other. The goal of this communication is a time of discernment so that the potential church can find out more about us and we can get to know the church better. We have a Handbook that is available for those who are genuinely interested in pursuing a relationship with DOVE. It answers many questions and outlines our structure as a movement of churches.
Contact our offices, and one of our apostolic leaders will follow up with communication to get the initial connection started. We can then follow up with providing a DOVE International Leadership Handbook, which explains how we are structured and how we function as a family of churches. We will also include other materials for the elder team to read and with which to become familiar. We would then dialog answering any questions that may have arisen through the reading of the Handbook.
Another way to get to know us better is to be our guest at one of our leadership gatherings. We have an international gathering in early spring that brings our leaders together internationally. We also have a number of leadership gatherings in the USA in various parts of the country. We recommend that churches who are considering becoming part of the DOVE family to visit us at one of our leadership gatherings. That way, they can get a better feel of who we are.
After we become acquainted and establish that the vision and values are the same, the church then enters into a one year “engagement” with DOVE. The purpose of the engagement is to give the church a chance to get to know us better and give us a chance to get to know them as well. At the end of the year-long engagement, the church and the Apostolic Council pray again to make sure that the Lord is calling us together. If the Holy Spirit affirms this partnership with all parties, the church becomes a partner church of DCFI .
We believe the church is built through God-given relationships, so we work together within the DOVE family with those whom the Lord places us in relationship. We resource the larger body of Christ through seminars, training, consulting, etc, but we are in much closer relationship with those whom the Lord has linked together in the DOVE family.
May the Lord richly bless you as you fulfill His destiny.