At the heart of the ecumenical movement stands the keen desire of Jesus “that all may be one,” and churches around the world for over a century have answered this call through earnest and intentional efforts to overcome historic divisions and to unite in fellowship and service of the coming reign of God.
The constitutional basis of the World Council of Churches says that the WCC is a "fellowship of churches." For a strong fellowship, the member churches, as well as related regional and national councils, need to nurture a strong sense of ownership of the WCC’s work. The WCC agenda must reflect their experiences, concerns and expertise – that’s why they are encouraged to participate actively in planning and implementation of the WCC’s programmes and initiatives.
The WCC was created by the churches in order to call each other to visible unity. It also serves to strengthen relations and cooperation with churches outside the WCC, and among all Christians. Two advisory bodies help the WCC and its partners in this task: the Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches (JWG), and the Joint Consultative Group between the WCC and Pentecostals (JCG). The WCC also participates in the meetings held annually by the conference of secretaries of Christian world communions.