After understanding the belief system of the International Church of Christ, it may be easier to understand their religious practices that include the following: prayer buddies, discipleships, the One Year Challenge, and the ICOC Ministry Training Academy. Each has a pivotal role within the International Church of Christ and therefore will be discussed further in the following paragraphs.
Once a week Bible studies are held within a group of members of the church. People are typically paired up with someone of the same sex, though opposite sex partners are not uncommon. From there, excerpts from different passages are discussed and studied in much depth. Also during this bible study, the buddies tend to confess their sins with each other in order to provide a means for further discussion on how to better oneself. The sins that are confessed are also kept on a list that is circulated throughout the church for future sermons and to allow others from different International Church of Christ churches to pray for those people and their sins (Longhenry).
Similarly to prayer buddies, discipleships are pretty much what the International Church of Christ is known for; without having a discipleship, one is not a true Christian (CARM). In this process of discipleship, an older member of the church is paired up with a newer member in order to oversee their lives and help mentor them onto the right path for salvation (Who Are We?). The discipler (older member who is the mentor), makes all these decisions for the disciple which can range from confessing their sins to them all the way to where they should live and who they should associate themselves with. Life decisions are dictated by the discipler, and the disciple is expected to submit to those decisions otherwise they are not a true Christian; they are the person who helps push the disciple to salvation (CARM). Dating in the world of a member in the International Church of Christ is also very strict. A relationship must be initiated by a discipler, who will then go to the interested person’s discipler and make sure the two people are a good match for each other before sending the two out on a date. The final decision of whether or not the two shall be together is up to the disciplers of them. This also means that in the courtship one must be pure in order to maintain the beliefs of the church, but once two members are married; all purity goes out the window (Ashkar). The discipler will often ask their disciple very intimate questions about their relationship including how often they have sex, what positions are used, and will even recommend trying different things. The discipleship is so intense that people claim to have heard their loved ones on the phone with discipler very late at night! (Reveal)
The “One Year Challenge,” is a one year break either during or immediately after college for younger members of the International Church of Christ. During this time, they are stationed in an U.S. state or...