In this form of church government, there is no authority outside the local church except for Christ himself. The Church (local congregation) is complete within itself and fully capable of determining all matters including the details of its statement of faith, the selection and (if needed) the ordination of its clergy, and the stewardship of its own properties and resources.
A. Christ is the head of the Church
B. A gathered fellowship of believers is the Church
C. The Church in fellowship with other like-minded Churches
Each Church is a group of Christians who regularly meet and worship together and who are bound to one another by a covenant. The words of the covenant may be borrowed from a historic Congregational Church or may be original to that particular congregation.
Each Church may and in the Congregational Way, each Church must - discover its own ministry for its own place. Each of us must uncover Christ's will for the work at our doorstep. This certainly means that we are working on varieties of ministries with varying priorities. It means that sometimes the prophetic word seems to differ, but perhaps no more than our places of ministry differ.
Ours is not the Church of the clergy, or a denomination, or of any wider council. The Congregational Church is the people's Church in Christ.
Southern Ocean Congregational Church
I. Statement Of Purpose
1. The name of this church shall be Southern Ocean Congregational Church. Southern Ocean Congregational Church has been called by God and organized to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, to worship and celebrate the sacraments, to minister to the needs of the members of the congregation and residents of the community, and to peace and justice in the world.
2. We covenant with one another to walk together as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the authority of The Bible, God's Word, our rule of faith and practice. We recognize each member's right to follow the Word of God according to the dictates of his/her own conscience, under the Holy Spirit's leading. We join one with each other, to worship, work and serve together, witnessing to the world the faith, hope, and love of Jesus Christ.
Southern Ocean Congregational Church stands on the great "alones" of the faith. Scripture alone directs us to Christ alone, who saves us by grace alone, through faith alone, enabling us to give glory to God alone.