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CNEF

Conseil National des Évangéliques de France
(CNEF)

E-mail address: E-mail address cg@ocnltc@a@cgtg@@lhe@cknheyfq.b@o@rtg

Website: http://www.lecnef.org/

Chairman:

Christian Blanc E-mail address

Vice-chairmen:

Marc Emmanuel Deroeux E-mail address

Edouard Nelson E-mail address

Secrétaire:

William Joutet E-mail address

Treasurer:

Frantz Galland E-mail address

Administrator:

Jean Salmeron E-mail address

Coordinator:

Rachel Carlier E-mail address

Director:

Clément Diedrichs E-mail address

Lawyer:

Nancy Lefevre E-mail address

Service directors:

Romain Choisnet E-mail address

Thierry Le Gall E-mail address

Postal address: 123 Avenue du Maine, 75014 Paris.

Telephone: 01 43 21 12 78.

The CNEF provides a platform for exchange, reflection and dialogue with a view to strengthening bonds and increasing the visibility of French protestant evangelicalism, whilst respecting its diversity. The CNEF represents around 75% of the French evangelical movement.

Introduction

This charter was written to present succinctly, but as clearly as possible, the intentions of the founders of the CNEF. This document is more general than the statutes: it explains the reasons that led to the creation of the CNEF and the spirit in which it is intended to function.

History and context

In response to an invitation from the national council of the French Evangelical Alliance (AEF) and of the national committee of the French Evangelical Federation (FEF), a large majority of the leaders of church unions and Bible colleges in France met for the first time on the 6th January 2001 in the chapel of the Nogent-sur-Marne Bible Institute. Recognizing the way in which Evangelicals were divided and deploring how this hinders an effective witness, the assembly decided to meet again on the 18th June 2001 in the same place for a day of prayer and fasting. On this occasion, several leaders on behalf of their federations or unions, asked for forgiveness for attitudes that have created tensions in the past and showed their desire for a mutual recognition and a willingness to develop closer links.

It was therefore decided to share what had been experienced with the different church unions, federations and associations and to ask a working group to examine how a platform could be created to represent, if possible, the entire Evangelical spectrum.

A first draft was proposed on the 7th January 2002. On the 6th January 2003, representatives of the French Evangelical movement created the “Conseil National des Évangéliques de France” (CNEF) and unanimously adopted a first text where the CNEF was defined as “a place for sharing, discussion, dialogue and prayer, a platform for strengthening links and improving the visibility of French Protestant Evangelicalism in all of its diversity”. This platform comprised five poles: AEF, FEF, Assemblies of God (AOG), Pentecostals and Charismatics, and Evangelicals that are members of the French Protestant Federation (FPF).

A representative committee was formed from amongst the members of the CNEF comprising representatives from each of the five families. This committee had the task of, among other things, organising the life of the CNEF and discussing possible and desirable ways forward. At the same time the committees of the AEF and the FEF sought to reinforce their relationships and meet together regularly to advance the project.

From 2003 to 2007, the CNEF met twice a year; it designated working groups to discuss ethical questions and church planting. It also consecrated time to prayer, fasting, the study of the different families represented and discussions about the future.

On the 12th September 2006, the CNEF adopted a code of conduct in which the members expressed their desire “by their behaviour and their relationships, to favour the advancement of the reign of God and to accomplish their vocation, which is to serve and to witness to the same Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by the grace of God”.

On the 7th September 2007, the committees of the AEF and the FEF met together and were convinced that they had arrived at a decisive moment. Each had realised that the multiplication of the number of representative bodies constituted not only a handicap in their relationship with the authorities and with the media, but also a waste of human and material resources, and even a bad witness. They therefore decided to submit a project to the representative committee of the CNEF that would allow the CNEF to fulfil its role of representation and organisation completely and efficiently and thereby to position the Evangelicals as a non-negligible component of French Protestantism.

On the 11th September 2007, the representatives of the French Evangelical movement decided unanimously to submit to their respective organisations this project that was characterised principally by a transfer to the new organisation of the activities and missions of the AEF as well as those of the FEF that contribute to the common good of Evangelicals, notably in terms of representation before the authorities and contacts with the media.

On the 29th January 2008, the plenary session of the CNEF asked the representative committee to continue with the elaboration of this project. In the following months they organised a timetable and began writing the statutes. At the same time the CNEF decided to open its membership to para-church organisations.

On the 19th and 20th January 2009 the whole project was validated. It was presented in its entirety to each church and para-church organisation over the course of the year. The texts (Statutes, Internal Rules, etc.) that define the CNEF were finalised.

On the 19th January 2010, the plenary assembly adopted these texts. These were then communicated to the churches and para-church organisations so that they could formalise their requests to become members of the CNEF with a full knowledge of all the details.

On the 15th June 2010, the founding assembly of the CNEF was held at which more than a hundred representatives of the French Protestant Evangelical movement officially created the CNEF, adopting the statutory texts and naming those who would run it.

Identity

The CNEF sees itself as being in the line of the Reformation and of the revivals which followed it. Its members all share a fundamental Evangelical conviction as declared by the Evangelical Alliance’s statement of faith. They may have differing theological views on points that are deemed as being not important enough to divide them. They also agree with the statements of the Lausanne Covenant and the Manila Manifesto. The CNEF will take over those missions of the FEF that contribute to the common good of Evangelicals as well as the vision and commitments of the AEF. It is a member of the European and worldwide Evangelical movements (European Evangelical Alliance and the World Evangelical Alliance).

Vision

All believers throughout the world, redeemed by the Son of God and filled by his Spirit are one in Jesus Christ. They are called to worship the Lord and to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. This universal witness to the Gospel by all Christians responds to the most essential needs of our world. The members of the CNEF therefore declare, with all those who would wish to join with them, that they want to unite their hearts and minds to honour God and to obey his Word for the progress of the Gospel.

Thus, the CNEF is a common platform for all its members, a base for reinforcing the links between its members and to allow Evangelical Christians to better understand each other. It also seeks to live out the unity given by Jesus Christ nationally, regionally and locally. It wants to promote different actions notably in the domains of prayer, evangelism, training, mutual aid and Christian witness. It also wishes to promote a more sensitive Evangelical presence, to develop their action in society and to be the voice of Evangelical Christians, and when necessary, make heard an appropriate message.

Mission

As the representative body of French Evangelical Protestantism, the CNEF is authorised to exercise amongst its members, or in their name, a role of dialogue, information, representation and project management. It seeks to reinforce fellowship and dialogue between its members as well as collaboration and sharing of their resources. Whilst respecting the individual initiatives of its members, it can initiate actions that further these aims and contribute to the progress of the Gospel.

It seeks to promote a greater visibility and understanding of French Evangelical Protestantism, as much in relation to public opinion as to the media, political authorities, the administration, other Christian confessions or other representative bodies. The CNEF seeks to develop a useful dialogue with the French Protestant Federation, taking into account their shared historical roots and the challenges facing the entire Protestant movement.

As a general rule, it does all it can to help its members to be “the salt of the Earth and the Light of the World”.

Values

At the heart of its commitment and its practise, the members of the CNEF seek to live in agreement with the code of conduct of the CNEF and with the values that inspired it.

They are strongly attached to religious freedom, in particular that declared in the European Convention on Human Rights. They acknowledge their solidarity with the World created by God and seek to announce the Gospel to it in all its dimensions.

They want to be particularly attentive to the development of quality relationships, respecting the identity of other members, without necessarily subscribing to their particularities. They seek to favour an attitude of respect and openness between themselves, avoiding disputes over differing views and commit themselves to expressing positively all possible fellowship.

They favour dialogue and collaboration, and encourage projects and actions initiated by the CNEF, all the while recognizing that each has the freedom to not participate in everything that is proposed. Unity is not a synonym for uniformity and allows diversity.

They seek to behave in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ and to have a coherent behaviour. This is why they seek to always act in honesty, humility, love and truth, and to ensure that their teaching and practises, both in public and in private, are in agreement with Biblical revelation.

Founding charter adopted on the 19th January 2009 by the members of the CNEF at Nogent-sur-Marne and validated by the founding assembly of the CNEF on the 15th June 2010

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