"The Four Anchors" or "Anchors of the Faith"

Assembly leader involved: Tim Geftakys

All prospective new members of the former Geftakys Assembly were discipled through a ten-part study called "The Four Anchors", developed by Timothy Geftakys. It was never handed out in print; it was disseminated only through personal discipling.


The Four Anchors study was the main Geftakys Assembly discipling tool. The four anchors were derived from a verse in Acts chapter two:

The new converts "were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

The "Four Anchors" were framed for potential recruits as the foundation of the Christian life. The appeal was to learn serious personal discipleship. "The apostle's teaching" was not just ordinary Bible reading; it was in-depth Bible study. Fellowship was not just on Sunday around the coffee and donuts in the courtyard; it was authentic involvement in each others' lives. Prayer was not just, "Help!" or "Thank you"; it was wrestling in prayer all night on your knees.

However, in the presentation, each of the four elements were described in another aspect as well:  as a pattern laid down for the proper corporate expression of the church. The hidden agenda was to persuade Christians that Acts 2:42 was the only correct expression of the church. Classic "bait and switch". All other churches were seriously wrong, and--surprise!--the discipler happened to know of a church that followed this New Testament pattern, the Geftakys Assembly.

The personal growth application of these points was that the only way to reach spiritual perfection was through a church with this vision. "The early church used these four practices as anchors to prevent them from making shipwreck of their faith. Becoming a disciple in this kind of church was the only anchor of the soul". In this way the "Four Anchors" twisted the Scripture to begin redefining the meaning of salvation. Attention was directed away from what God did in Christ, to what they must do to follow Him. This initial indoctrination was then reinforced as new people "made the commitment to fellowship" to the Geftakys Assembly, and constantly heard these themes expounded. "Getting Hooked" is a young couple's story of how the Four Anchors study brought them into the Assembly from a Baptist church.

Taken in context, Acts 2:42 does not teach this. The next verses go on to say that many miraculous signs were done, the believers had all their possessions in common, and they met together every day in the temple. Are these also anchors of the soul? No, this passage is historical. It is simply describing what went on in the early church.


Readers' Comments

A Reader, 12/22/05  "It is very true – the 4 anchors were used to hook you into obedience to the group. I have a story to tell that still stands out very clearly to me.  I had just been saved through hearing the gospel at a Vineyard church when I met the 'saints' on campus.  I got into an anchor group with Tim G. and one of the campus workers because I wanted to grow in my faith.  I was invited to make the 45 minute drive to Fullerton for Sunday meetings but had refused so far.  One day I was recounting to Tim how much I enjoyed the Sunday meeting at the Vineyard when Tim answered, “But did they break bread?”  In other words, I (and they) couldn’t possibly be pleasing the Lord to the fullest because we weren’t obeying the scripture that indicates worship means having the Lord’s supper (according to Assembly interpretations). Therefore, Vineyard worship wasn’t really true worship. I was immediately put into a place of guilt where my choice would indicate whether I wanted to be a serious Christian or not. That was the Assembly way…"

Comment, 12/22/2005   "Reading this story brought something into focus. I always thought at least the Assembly didn't recruit unwilling members by manipulation--we were all there willingly except the children. But your story shows how guilt was the manipulation, and "The Four Anchors" study was the main tool."

Reader, July 24, 2007  "I remember the Sunday when Tim gave his famous "the anchors of the faith are like four legs on a desk" sermon officially initiating Anchor groups. George got up and proclaimed what a wonderful talk it was and how he loved the illustration about the annoying school desk where one leg always was shorter than the rest. He then announced Tim being a Leading Brother and in the Work full time."

Comments on the Anchors from the Assemblyboard, March 2003  "The idea of "corporate" this and that was merely double-speak to somehow lead us to believe that what we were doing was really special. We had a "vision for the Pattern" that was somehow deeper and better than what others had. Furthermore, this "corporate" mentality crept into the way we interpreted parables and such. Everything pertained to the group, not to us as individuals. The group became all important, and our individual worth was entirely contingent on how much we did for the cause."


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