Confluence is a family of churches together on mission. We work to strengthen existing churches, plant healthy churches, train and equip leaders, and partner with our global family. This happens as we share relationships, mission, core values, and leadership.

 

Relationships Really Matter

In Mark 3:14, we read that the first reason Jesus chose the twelve disciples is “so that they might be with him.” He did not gather these men simply because they happened to believe the same things or value the same things (they didn’t initially), but he gathered them first to relationship. For Jesus, relationships were not an add-on or a bonus but the means by which he carried out his ministry.

We see the same pattern in the New Testament, with family functioning as the prevailing metaphor for healthy church life. Confluence believes that an emphasis on relationships is a biblical imperative for any group of churches, and it’s crucial that we build strong relationships with one another. 

We build strong relationships because:

  • God is a relational God. 
  • God's plan has always been to fill the earth through families (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 12:2-3).
  • The New Testament churches embraced the language of family. For example, Paul writes in Ephesians 3:14-15: "I kneel before the Father from whom His whole family on heaven and earth derives its name."
  • The New Testament pattern of leadership had a relational bent (Romans 15:30-31, 2 Timothy 1:2; 1 Corinthians 4:17).

For those reasons, we are theologically convinced of the importance of strong, familial relationships between churches and leaders. We want to be churches that are not only on mission, but on mission together.
 

 
 

Mark tells us the second reason Jesus chose his disciples was so that “he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.” (Mark 3:14-15)  In other words, he not only chose them for relationship but also for mission. 

In John 20:21, Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Through the Church, Jesus’ mission and ministry on earth continues. We agree with Ed Stetzer when he says, “The church of God doesn’t have a mission as much as the mission of God has a church.” 

God calls people together for a purpose — his purpose. We believe that God has brought us together to serve his mission in ways that wouldn’t be possible if we were on our own. Confluence churches work together to:

  • Strengthen existing churches
  • Plant healthy churches
  • Train and equip leaders
  • Partner with our global family

Global Partners

Confluence churches also have growing relationships with churches all over the world. Through these partnerships, we are serving Christians in other nations and benefitting from what God is doing among global believers. Currently, we’re working closely with churches in Turkey, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Kenya, and Mexico. Additionally, Confluence is part of an international family of churches called Newfrontiers with connections in more than 1500 churches in over 80 nations worldwide.

 
 

Generally speaking, we are evangelical and adhere to both the Apostles and Nicene Creeds. Confluence churches also share these core values and distinctives:

Gospel-Centered

We believe that receiving the gospel — the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus and the associated benefits to man — is both a moment and a process. The same gospel that saves us in an instant also progressively changes us in every area of life. We believe the gospel delivers us immediately from the penalty of sin and progressively from the power of sin. It is the source of new life and also of a new lifestyle. 

Paul uses the gospel as motivation for generosity in 2 Cor 8:8-9 and for husbands to love their wives and wives to submit to their husbands in Eph 5:22-27. This means that the completed work of Jesus should be central across all ministries and in the lives all believers within a church. It means that instead of growing out of the gospel we need to increasingly grow into the gospel (Col 1:5-6, Eph 4:15-16).

Spirit-Empowered

Paul speaks of individuals being temples of the Holy Spirit and of the church being a house in which God lives by his Spirit (1 Cor 6:19, Eph 2:22). Laying a foundation of the Spirit in churches was high on the apostles’ agenda, strikingly portrayed by Peter and John in Samaria, and Paul in Ephesus, Galatia, and Corinth (Acts 8:14-17, Acts 19:1-17, Gal 3:2, and 1 Cor 12 & 14). 

We acknowledge the vital role of the Holy Spirit today, believing local churches should enjoy the presence, power, fruit, and gifts of God’s Spirit in a way that is attractive and beneficial to believers and unbelievers. And above all, we believe the Spirit empowers us for mission to our neighborhoods and nations (Acts 1:4-8).

Elder-Led

We believe that churches should be led by a called and capable team of elders with a team leader who is “first among equals.” We follow the Biblical pattern of male eldership teams and believe local church elders are the highest human authority in the local church. The team of elders should lovingly guard, guide, and govern those in their care, with the help of their regional hub leader. This emphasis on the autonomy of elders and the value of relationships means that Confluence churches are self-governing and also enjoy meaningful partnerships with each other.

We recommend reading The Spirit-filled Church by Terry Virgo for an in-depth description of what these core values look like when they are expressed in the life of a church.

 
 

The gift of leadership is necessary for any group of people to make progress together, whether they’re part of a family, a church, or a family of churches (Romans 12:8). We believe apostles are given to lead families of churches (Ephesians 4:11-12). It's this leader, along with his team, who casts the vision and sets the tone for what the family does together. 

Confluence churches are organized into five regional hubs, and the leaders of these hubs form an apostolic team. Bryan Mowrey serves as the apostle who leads this team. He is based at Jubilee Church in Kirkwood, MO, where he also serves as lead elder and regional hub leader for the Midwest. Here’s the complete list of regional hubs and leaders: 

  • Northwest: led by Bo Noonan
  • Northeast: led by Ian Ashby
  • Southeast: led by Carl Herrington
  • California: led by Travis Aicklen
  • Midwest: led by Bryan Mowrey

While most of their responsibilities are centered around their local and regional churches, hub leaders serve all Confluence churches, not only the ones nearest them. Because of the strong relationships between regional hubs, we collaborate often and learn from each other. Through regular communication, conferences, training weekends, and church visits, our regional hub leaders work together to serve and unify the whole family.

For an in-depth discussion of how apostolic teams serve and partner with local churches, we recommend reading Fathering Leaders, Motivating Mission by David Devenish.