A mandated “Further Study” report on the “Meaning and Usage of the Term Bishop” in the Church of God will be a topic of discussion and debate at the upcoming 77th International General Assembly set for Orlando, Florida, July 31-August 3, 2018.
The previous Assembly in Nashville in 2016 directed the Executive Council to prepare the “Further Study” for review in 2018. The mandate directed that two other very important subjects be studied and addressed in the same document.
“Along with studying titles of all ranks of ministry, the measure called for a study on the qualifications of ministry and on the very important subject of women in ministry,” stated Church of God General Overseer Tim Hill.
The exact measure from the 76th International General Council/Assembly, 2016 reads as follows:
After a detailed review by the International Executive Council of the meaning and usage of the term “bishop,” further study needs to be done that will better address whether it is necessary to change the current nomenclature in order to clarify and fulfill the intent of the International General Council with respect to the designation of the ministerial rank in the Church of God. We also recommend that the study include a detailed look at the title of “Ordained Bishop” and any effect it has on the legal and cultural issues of the International Church and on the IRS rulings concerning the national church. Further, that the following issues and relatedness of these issues be part of this report:
1. Titles for all Ranks of Ministry
2. Qualifications of Ministry
3. Women in Ministry
That this study be brought back to the 2018 International General Council.
A comprehensive, 35-page report on these topics comes with a recommendation for the General Council to consider during their business sessions, which begin on Tuesday, July 31 at the west Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center.
Hill recently wrote to the ordained bishops who will be present at the General Council saying, “I encourage you to read the entire report, so that we may have an informed discussion on the topics addressed.”
The full agenda for the upcoming Church of God General Assembly is slated to be released on Tuesday, June 19 on GA18.org.