A final posting of items adopted at the recent 77th International General Assembly of the Church of God is listed on the website ga18.org.
Highlights include motions made after the International General Council of ordained bishops completed their original agenda on Wednesday afternoon, August 1.
Several items passed were of the “housekeeping” nature to modify verbiage of current bylaws. The first item was a resolution on Visional Actualization, followed by items four, five and nine on Doctrinal Affirmation, Structural Acclimation and Ministerial Activation respectively. Item 7 reduced the maximum tenure of state youth and discipleship directors in a non-mission state from eight years to four. Item 10 addressed how the credentialing process will be altered in regions outside the U.S. and Canada.
An item that was issued as Previous Notice dealt with the meaning and usage of the term “Bishop.” The Assembly decided that open Ministry Forums will be conducted globally for the next two years with the results coming back in a report at the 2020 General Assembly. A study commission was authorized to be formed to study the parameters of a possible scholarship fund at Lee and PTS for students who pledge to serve as church planters. A similar item (#33) called for a study “reorganizing the International Youth and Discipleship department and the possible partnership with Lee PTS to develop kids and student study series for kids’ church and student worship.”
Item #16 added a clause under Compensation for Pastors to include details for consideration of a pastoral sabbatical every five years. Item 17 added a new qualification for state overseers to have served at least five years as a senior pastor in a local church. In addition, state overseers must now actively participate in “continuing leadership development and training courses.”
Items 22 and 27 completed the resolutions presented in the original agenda with resolutions titled General Assimilation and Spiritual Acceleration.
Firm steps to address the changing face of ministry in the Church of God were addressed in items 24, 25, and 26. Item 24 directs the state/regional leadership to adopt plans to identify, train and engage young men and women for future ministry. Item 25 authorizes the appointment of a “Generational Task Force,” which will, “identify and embrace the differing requirements of generational ministry.” The task force dovetails into item 26 which authorizes the appointment of a task force to address the “Aging of Ministry.”
In perhaps one of the more significant moves authorized by the General Assembly was amending the required composition of the Council of Eighteen. The body, which is elected by the General Council and combines with the Executive Committee to form the International Executive Council, will now be required to be comprised of at least twelve (12) pastors and three (3) foreign nationals residing and ministering outside the United States. This measure, as well as the other items finalized on August 3, 2018 will take effect at the 2020 General Assembly.
For more information and details on all items adopted during the General Assembly, visit ga18.org and click on the Items Adopted option.