Affiliating with the EFCA and the MWD

Your church may find the right blend of autonomy and networking with the Free church

The value of affiliating

The process of affiliating

How can our church join the EFCA and MWD network of churches?

The EFCA  exists to glorify God by multiplying transformational churches among all people With a vision for multiplying disciplemaking congregations among all people, our MWD team delights in serving Midwest District churches in discovering and pursuing their vision and to be better together. EFCA churches are autonomous and interdependent. Each church self-governs, but we believe at our core that we are better together. The process for affiliating is:

1. Exploring

Church leadership contacts the MWD. Contact the MWD office to initiate the process: 

Church and district leaders meet. Appropriate leaders from both the church and the MWD will meet to explore together if this is a good fit and to learn mutual stories, motives, purposes, and practices.

Both parties decide to proceed. After this meeting, both parties decide whether or not to proceed with affiliating.

2. Aligning

Communication. Both parties will establish good channels of communication.

Newsletters. The MWD will add the church to the monthly newsletter and requests the church to do the same.
Pastor Network meetings. The pastor(s) of the church are welcome to join the regular pastor network meetings nearest the church.
Business meetings. The MWD requests, but does not require, an invitation to any (or a portion of any) church business meetings where their presence would be useful to the process.
Open. Both parties should feel free to communicate during this time as appropriate, including inviting an MWD ministry team member to talk about specific ministries. See the MWD website for a list of current ministry team members and specialties.

Congregational meeting and votes. The church will conduct a church business meeting to discuss and vote on the following items.

Statement of Faith. The church must adopt the EFCA Statement of Faith as presently published on the MWD website. (Note that the church can choose to adopt more specific doctrinal positions in separate documents, as long as they do not conflict with the EFCA Statement of Faith.)
Harmony. The congregation agrees that the church’s founding documents (Bylaws, Constitution, Articles of Incorporation, etc.) are in harmony with EFCA polity and practice.
Application. The congregation votes to apply for affiliation.

Credentialing. The MWD strongly encourages that the teaching pastor is credentialed with the EFCA either by a transfer of credential or by entering the credentialing process. We believe it’s important that all of our pastors are able to aptly defend our Statement of Faith from Scripture.

Formal submission. The church submits a letter to the MWD to formally request affiliation, including the following elements:

The reasons for seeking affiliation.
A statement of intent to uphold the doctrine and policies of the MWD.
The results of relevant congregational votes.
A statement of adopting the EFCA Statement of Faith.
A copy of the official documents of the church.

Board review. The MWD Board reviews the application at the next meeting.

Decision to proceed (MWD Board). If the application is fully formed and in accord with the MWD practices, the Board will then recommend the church for affiliation at the next annual conference.

3. Joining


  • The church must incorporate itself as a non-profit organization with the state in which it is based. This generates the EIN.
  • The church must acquire a federal 501(c)(3). A new plant can acquire this easily through the EFCA national office for free.
  • For a new plant, the church must complete the registration for plants with the national office at
  • For an existing church affiliating with the EFCA, the church must complete the registration for affiliates with the national office at

MWD annual conference. The Board will formally present the church’s application to the conference along with its recommendation to affiliate. Notice of the application will be included with the conference materials required to be published in advance of the meeting.

Vote. The conference of MWD churches vote on the Board’s recommendation.

Welcome. With an affirmative vote, the church will then be welcomed as a member church of the MWD with all the rights, privileges, and collaboration.

Church name: The church shall not use the name “Evangelical Free Church of America” until it  is welcomed as a member church by the MWD conference.

Helpful resources

Creating a non-profit in Kansas

Creating a non-profit in Nebraska

Note that new EFCA church plants can get their 501(c)(3) through the EFCA national organization. Work with the District Superintendent to start this process.

Use a search engine to search for "how to set up a non-profit in Nebraska" and read several of the sites that come up

See for example: