Ordained Bishops Age Limitations: Discussion on Church of God General Assembly, Nashville 2016

Church of God General Assembly, Nashville 2016
“ordained ministers 25 years of age and older”

Rationale: “….the motion, if passed, provides greater incentive for attendance to International General Assemblies and
ministerial credential advancement….”

Premise: A lot was said about ordaining younger ministers around the 2012 Assembly. The proposed Item 25, properly numbered recommending lowering the age requirement to 25 years, did not pass. Naturally, discussions stopped perhaps in wait for the next Assembly. But the question still stands open before our church.

Data on Average Age of our Ministers
Age 20-30 3.62% Ministers, .62% pastors
Age 31-40 12.61% Ministers, 8.09% pastors
Age 41-50 19.98% Ministers, 21.85% pastors
Age 51-60 25.84% Ministers, 32.18% pastors
Age 61 plus 37.95% Ministers, 37.27% pastors

Less than 9% of our pastors are under 40. Roughly 70% are 51 and over. The 20-30 numbers can be a little skewed because of many youth pastors and children pastors, etc. However, only 16% of ministers are under 40.

Rationale: This motion seeks to affirm the value of a new generation of ministers by giving them voice and vote in shaping the future mission, vision, and core values of the Church of God. It also expands the International General Council to include ordained women, whose anointed insights and spiritual discernment are much needed in addressing the growing complexity of fulfilling the Great Commission.
Ordained ministers are currently permitted to serve in the Church of God as pastors, ministers, chaplains, missionaries, and a wide variety of other vital ministries. As such, they are held accountable to the recommendations of the International General Council and decisions of the International General Assembly, yet they do not have opportunity to share their insights, ideas, experiences, wisdom, discernment, and concerns in the formation of those recommendations. This proposal seeks to remedy that. Additionally, the motion, if passed, provides greater incentive for attendance to International General Assemblies and ministerial credential advancement. Finally, if passed, service in an official elected or appointed capacity such as the presiding bishop, the International Executive Committee, the director and assistant director of Youth and Discipleship, the director and assistant director of World Missions, the Council of Eighteen (18 ), administrative bishops, and any other so identified by the Minutes will continue to be restricted to ordained bishops (S5. I. SELECTION, Item 5, International General Assembly MINUTES, page 67; S22. III. RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES, Item 2, International General Assembly MINUTES, page 101).

Reasoning & Logistics: When an active pastor is not allowed to vote in business sessions, the congregation he pastors is left voiceless. Alas, all business carried at the assembly affects the said church, which basically has no representation in General Council. So if a church pays for its young pastor to be sent to Assembly and represent the congregation, but without the right to vote this representation does not amount to much in the end. There is something fundamentally wrong with this. The argument of age is of course connected with one’s experience. But let’s face it, multitudes of pastors leave the ministry for one reason or another having already gained both age and experience. And unfortunately, so many of them leave exactly because of the experience they have had aging within the church. Actually in today’s world, if you have not gained enough life experience and if you don’t know yourself by age 25, you will most probably not gain what’s needed by age 30. Therefore, if a man is appointed to be pastor of a church by consideration and approval of the Administrative Bishop, he should be allowed to vote. If he is trusted enough to take care of the church’s spiritual life and business, surely he must be trusted to represent his congregation and vote toward its betterment as a part of the whole organization.

Further questions:

  1. How desperately do we need new blood in COG leadership?
  2. What is our Current Context of Leadership and Elections?
  3. Do you have to think young if you want your church to grow?

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122 thoughts on “Ordained Bishops Age Limitations: Discussion on Church of God General Assembly, Nashville 2016

  1. Melvin Harter says:

    No she is not, at least to me. However, to most of the CoG people today, she would be fully acceptable. That is because they see nothing wrong with women wearing jewelry and having short or bobbed hair. But in all reality, none of us holiness people should speak against anything (except in our sermons where we address the modern church as such) because we no longer belong to the CoG (Cleveland, TN).

  2. Melvin Harter says:

    However, what does bother me is the fact that Raymond Culpepper and his wife, (as well as many others) were raised in the CoG when it was a holiness church just like the rest of us were. So it is one thing never to have known the way and another thing to have known it and change into worldliness. Their only answer could be that they never believed it in the first place, even though Mom & Dad taught and showed them the way. If that be the case, then they are found to be liars because to join the CoG (pre-1986), and especially to hold ministerial credentials, the CoG held against such things, even to the point that you would be dismissed (excommunicated) from the church for doing do. And of course, we know where all liars go.

  3. Melvin Harter says:

    Raymond Culpepper was my friend and still is. We were students at Lee together. However, we will all stand before a just God. The last time I talked with Raymond I believe was at his church in Birmingham. Actually, I ran into him in their garage that you take from their elevator. (Right where his secretary said he would be). He preached a great revival at North Cleveland CoG back in 1970 or 1971. I love Raymond Culpepper. His mother had written several personal letters to me. I still have many of Raymond’s father, Rev. J. Frank Culpepper’s sermons. A great preacher indeed. Don’t think I am degrading Raymond because I am not.

  4. Kerry Collins says:

    “Why is the Woman always the targets of standards ? My wife was raised in an independent Pentecostal group that really preached down to the ladies, while the men were not talked about as much, I have learned allot of grace being married to her these almost 28 years now, right at 20 years being a church of God pastor now. She even went through a re baptism in the name of he father, son, Holy Ghost to show her willingness to adhere to the COG teaching. She was originally baptized in Jesus name, she received the Holy Ghost at 8 yrs old, because her group taught her that one is not saved unless they spoke with tongues, she has came along way in her life.

    I am glad my wife is not posted as some example of what’s right or wrong.”

  5. Melvin Harter says:

    God created women’s bodies for men. That is a natural thing. So whenever a woman dresses in such a fashion of the world, men are drawn or tempted and can be drawn away. Oh, I know that I am not saying it just right, but most of you understand what I am saying.

  6. Melvin Harter says:

    While serving as a Professor at Swaggart’s bible college in Baton Rouge some years ago now, I took eight of my ministerial students to another church (not CoG) to hear a good friend of mine (CoG preacher). It was the worse thing I ever did. Most of the congregation were in shorts and other worldly attire. Twenty-one beautiful young people were on the platform, three around each mike. Those eight young bible college students had to fight demons of lust throughout the singing. The girls basically wore “Daisy Duke shorts” revealing their entire legs. Bare bellies were exposed. A tremendous amount of cleavage was revealed and these were beautiful, very attractive young ladies. We can expect this fashion of dress in the world, but in the church? God help us.

  7. Kerry Collins says:

    “I am for dignity and modesty in our dress codes, but I can assure you this conversation is leaned in one direction. Woman are a help mate, my wife has walked by my side with a grace a dignity that portrays Christ.

    Sure we need examples of Godliness absolutely and our leaders should exemplify that example.

    I have a tattoo that’s 37 years old, because for my 1st 25 years I was in the world and very lost, but for the last 30 years I have been saved, and the tattoo is still there. From the outward my tattoo may offend some, but my heart is converted and changed by God’s power.

    Bro. Melvin Harter I know what ya mean brother. I am praying for our GA because battle lines are being drawn. But I know and trust the heavenly father with the wisdom our people need in the COG.”

  8. Randy H Johnson says:

    “Brother Kerry, who died that you got the tattoo for?

    OH, nobody?

    Well, then, don’t worry about it. Pentecostal churches are a den of busybodies.”

  9. Kerry Collins says:

    “Brother Randy H Johnson I do not worry about it to much, but I can tell you it has kept me humble, when I want to have judgement all I have to do is look at my arm and then I see the reality of a lost 19 year old that was in the Army.

    None of us are perfect, that’s my point.”

  10. Kerry Collins says:

    “The results of that decision is with me every day, I know is covered in the blood, but we all have issues, not one is perfect, but only in Christ are we made perfect.

    I respect God’s house
    I wear a jacket
    But when people see it
    It’s like hey there is the cool pastor, he knows what the world can do, I was heavily into drugs, and alcohol, I help people navigate from that side of life. Now I am not a cool pastor I am just a pastor trying to help people. I know many if not most do have that to be worldly.”

  11. Charles Page says:

    Wait till you hear Tony Evans preach in Nashville (unless the executives advise him to tone it down with the women) at the general assembly!

  12. Kerry Collins says:

    “Black Baptist are of a different group all together, Fred Luter out of new Orleans is a fire ball Baptist preacher, these guys are great preachers. I have heard them and Bro Mason from Philadelphia Pennsylvania who is an awesome preacher.

    I sat for 3 days at a local conference one time and 6 preachers went through the book of Colossians, verse by verse, for 3 days, you want to talk about awesome and instructive.”

  13. Aaron Richards says:

    I am from Bama and I love Bro. Culpepper. You are not the first one I have heard say that he should be the next General and I know why #cog

  14. Melvin Harter says:

    I like Bro Stephens and think he would be a great G.O. But electing an up-coming G.O. must never be based on a popularity contest. Prayer and fasting must be offered several months before the G.A. and the saints should seek the divine will of God in this matter.

  15. Charles Page says:

    “Brother Stephens has blocked me and on several cases! He desires to remain in good standing with the ‘base’ of the CoG and that probably he desires to be overseer.

    Interestingly we have parted ways over personal ministerial financial disclosure!”

  16. Kerry Collins says:

    Why is the Woman always the targets of standards ? My wife was raised in an independent Pentecostal group that really preached down to the ladies, while the men were not talked about as much, I have learned allot of grace being married to her these almost 28 years now, right at 20 years being a church of God pastor now. She even went through a re baptism in the name of he father, son, Holy Ghost to show her willingness to adhere to the COG teaching. She was originally baptized in Jesus name, she received the Holy Ghost at 8 yrs old, because her group taught her that one is not saved unless they spoke with tongues, she has came along way in her life.

    I am glad my wife is not posted as some example of what’s right or wrong.

  17. Melvin Harter says:

    While serving as a Professor at Swaggart’s bible college in Baton Rouge some years ago now, I took eight of my ministerial students to another church (not CoG) to hear a good friend of mine (CoG preacher). It was the worse thing I ever did. Most of the congregation were in shorts and other worldly attire. Twenty-one beautiful young people were on the platform, three around each mike. Those eight young bible college students had to fight demons of lust throughout the singing. The girls basically wore Daisy Duke shorts revealing their entire legs. Bare bellies were exposed. A tremendous amount of cleavage was revealed and these were beautiful, very attractive young ladies. We can expect this fashion of dress in the world, but in the church? God help us.

  18. Kerry Collins says:

    I am for dignity and modesty in our dress codes, but I can assure you this conversation is leaned in one direction. Woman are a help mate, my wife has walked by my side with a grace a dignity that portrays Christ.

    Sure we need examples of Godliness absolutely and our leaders should exemplify that example.

    I have a tattoo that’s 37 years old, because for my 1st 25 years I was in the world and very lost, but for the last 30 years I have been saved, and the tattoo is still there. From the outward my tattoo may offend some, but my heart is converted and changed by God’s power.

    Bro. Melvin Harter I know what ya mean brother. I am praying for our GA because battle lines are being drawn. But I know and trust the heavenly father with the wisdom our people need in the COG.

  19. Randy H Johnson says:

    Brother Kerry, who died that you got the tattoo for?

    OH, nobody?

    Well, then, don’t worry about it. Pentecostal churches are a den of busybodies.

  20. Kerry Collins says:

    Brother Randy H Johnson I do not worry about it to much, but I can tell you it has kept me humble, when I want to have judgement all I have to do is look at my arm and then I see the reality of a lost 19 year old that was in the Army.

    None of us are perfect, that’s my point.

  21. Kerry Collins says:

    The results of that decision is with me every day, I know is covered in the blood, but we all have issues, not one is perfect, but only in Christ are we made perfect.

    I respect God’s house
    I wear a jacket
    But when people see it
    It’s like hey there is the cool pastor, he knows what the world can do, I was heavily into drugs, and alcohol, I help people navigate from that side of life. Now I am not a cool pastor I am just a pastor trying to help people. I know many if not most do have that to be worldly.

  22. Kerry Collins says:

    Black Baptist are of a different group all together, Fred Luter out of new Orleans is a fire ball Baptist preacher, these guys are great preachers. I have heard them and Bro Mason from Philadelphia Pennsylvania who is an awesome preacher.

    I sat for 3 days at a local conference one time and 6 preachers went through the book of Colossians, verse by verse, for 3 days, you want to talk about awesome and instructive.

  23. Charles Page says:

    Brother Stephens has blocked me and on several cases! He desires to remain in good standing with the ‘base’ of the CoG and that probably he desires to be overseer.

    Interestingly we have parted ways over personal ministerial financial disclosure!

  24. Brian Crisp says:

    Not sure on a lot of their early false doctrines but there are several now. But what denomination is perfect. None at all. They have gone through many changes though.

  25. Charles Page says:

    I am referencing the false doctrines they rejected which was clearly evident from the early history. They lost many people at the beginning.

  26. Jim Price says:

    As I recall the false teachings were in the eye of the beholder. I think of it as a power struggle between this group and the A.J. Tomlinson group.

  27. Billy Monroe Poff says:

    It was in the late teens into the early 1920’s that snake handling began after it was endorsed by George Went Hensley, a Church of God minister. The practice was quickly repudiated by the Church of God leadership and Hensley left the COG IN 1922 and the small number of congregations which practiced it left with him to become independent congregations generally using the name ‘Church of God with Signs Following’. Hensley died in 1955 after being bitten by a snake during a church service.

  28. Charles Page says:

    I’m referencing the situation in 1902. They had a great revival already and multitudes were involved but by 1902 there was just a handful of people. Conn refers to the “interlopers” who produced false teaching. The small group had reject these teachings and I am asking what were these teachings.

  29. Billy Monroe Poff says:

    There was no Church of God in 1902. There was only the Holiness Church at Camp Creek. It grew from that and adopted the name Church of God in 1907.

  30. Jim Price says:

    We may get a hint of these false teachings in Wade Phillips book ( pg 98 & 99 ) the chapter heading was ; Born With A Birth Defect. In it he said that Spurling believed in freedom of conscious and thus allowed each member to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. They did not overtly condemn tobacco or liquor especially if used for medicinal purposes. Even fornication was tolerated and murder was tolerated if the community thought that the one killed deserved to die. Divorce and remarriage was also permitted under certain conditions. In effect the laws of the old west was in action in the mountains of east Tn.. As the movement traveled to Cleveland in the early 1900’s the folks there declared some of the above to be false teachings. They were not so much teachings as acceptance of the human condition. One wonders how our history would have been different if it had remained non-judgemental and less legalistic.

  31. Ed Brewer says:

    ….until well after embracing Pentecostalism, it is my understanding that the early church wrestled almost exclusively with the identity of the church in scripture, and more specifically the necessity of being included in the ‘succession’ of the locally prevalent landmark tradition (the landmark Baptist movement didn’t even see itself as Protestant, but rather tried to trace their lineage all the way back to the Apostles – membership was admission to the ‘Bride of Christ’ and all others were to be only guests at the marriage supper) – in a very real way, to leave the Landmarkism of Holly Springs et al was to intentionally abdicate the ultimate reward of being Christian, and with illiteracy the norm rather than the exception the people cavitated in confusion until someone came along that could articulate effectively the alternative ecclesiology necessary for acceptance of such a risky theological change of alignment. Tomlinson’s identification of the new movement as ‘the Church of God of the Bible’ along with his dramatic supernatural encounters solidified and legitimized the movement’s foundations and gave the humble folks something to be for rather than something to be against — even in their exclusivism, the early leaders of the COG did a service to future generations by making it OK to make the change in the minds of average men and women.

  32. Jim Price says:

    I was able to double click and then hit the + key & was able to read just fine.I am not arguing here that Spurling nor Phillips got everything right, just relating what I have read.

  33. DeLonn Rance says:

    How unfortunate that this prediction of the future of Pentecostal research does not include the strength of the Pentecostal movement, missions, framing the potential research only in terms of Global Christianity.

  34. Tom Torbeyns says:

    Interesting question 🙂 I am against anti-intellectualism but the Bible never commands ministers to go into ministry school as we currently know it. 🙂

  35. Tom Torbeyns says:

    I believe it’s removing itself more from the anti-intellectualist tradition, which is a good thing. 🙂 For more information, see the interesting essay of my Czech Pentecostal friend Michael Buban on his website selah.diet/en/ 🙂

  36. Martha Storm says:

    Most of early Pentecostal leaders were quite educated. Parham, Seymore, Tomlinson, Simpson to name just a few. Some of the elders in the group Charles Page Jim Price Luchen Bailey and others could testify that education was on high in their times as well. Why do you feel that higher education should not be mandatory for young Pentecostal preachers today?

  37. Tom Torbeyns says:

    I think it’s useful but God can use a donkey so He can also use the less fortunate in finances (if no one supports) or brains. There were some strange teachings going around in the day like if you arrive in Japan you can all of a sudden speak Japanese and British-Israelism to name just 2. 🙂

  38. Martha Storm says:

    Every church movement and in regard every movement as well have strange moments in its history that does not necessarily invalidate it. What does this have to do with Pentecostal education for young ministers?

  39. Tom Torbeyns says:

    Who says every movement has strange moments and does that justify those strange moments? If young Pentecostal ministers have an intellectualist approach to things, such strange teachings are less likely to occur. 🙂

  40. Corey Forsyth says:

    “If I could go back in time, I would definitely pursue a degree. At the same time, I would never feel as though education should be required for ministry. Peter was not an educated man, yet we see Jesus holding him in high regard and certainly his ministry record should speak for itself. Paul was quite educated and obviously his was a world changer.
    Making a rigid case for education, or even against education, cheapens God’s abilities and typecasts the vessels He will use to spread the Gospel.
    My personal opinion is that education should be viewed as a means for enhancing the ministry God has called you to, not a required path to qualify you for ministry.”

  41. Martha Storm says:

    From your example Peter was not educated and God used him for barely 2 books in the NT. Paul was highly educated and God used him to write over 1/2 of the NT. But today even with all his education Tom Torbeyns or any other among us will not account for writing any of the NT (except for some apocryphal parts on facebook). So again a question for Pentecostals TODAY

  42. Charles Page says:

    “Dr Robert Crick stood on the steps of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary and invited me to take a break from ministry and enroll in the seminary. I gave a quick answer without hesitation, “”no thank you”” In reflection that answer was from an utterance of the Holy Spirit.

    I have the greatest admiration for Chaplain Crick. I would not be what I am now if I had yielded to that temptation. Thank you Holy Spirit for your guidance.”

  43. Louise Cummings says:

    I don’t think it should be mandatory. But it would be for their benefit to have all the knowledge they can accomplish , especially in our world today. I do think if they are serious about preaching or ministering in any way. They should well studied in The Word. We are living in a different world today. They need to know what they are facing. And be well prepared. Most needs to be alone with God and His Word. Listening to Gods directions. Then eduction to face a world like we are living. I think eviction is great. But Preaching comes from God and His directions.

  44. Martha Storm says:

    Several denominations have already moved toward mandatory. What would be the reasoning behind that? Ministry education is expensive

  45. Louise Cummings says:

    I don’t believe eduction should teach anyone to preach. That comes from God. But I can see how it would be good in learning how to present yourself in a way that people would listen when you have an approach that people would listen. And learn and study to show yourself approved unto God , a workman that needs not to be ashamed.

  46. Russell A. Morris says:

    Ray H. Hughes, in his book “Pentecostal Preaching” writes, “A man’s best may not always include formal education. Circumstances, responsibility, age, and many other factors make it impractical, if not impossible, for some men to prepare themselves formally for Christian ministry. Every man’s preparation, however, will include giving God one’s best…This giving of one’s best will certainly require those who have the opportunity for formal training to walk that path tenaciously, regardless of hardship or expense…[Some] men have not the self-discipline, the fortitude, or the courage to pursue a consistent course of study…and they condemn those who honestly seek knowledge through formal study…The ministry demands a lifelong commitment to study and research…there will never come a time when the successful preacher can cease reading and studying.”

  47. Charles Page says:

    “I was hampered in ministry because of a strong southern drawl. Even in college I was told it would hold me back.

    Anyone with a southern drawl is seen as uneducated and unsophisticated.

    If you have a strong southern accent you will need a good education to rid yourself of the ac cent (or have the demon cast out) if you expect to be a good minister today.”

  48. Luchen Bailey says:

    I am for our young ministers getting as much education as possible, after all the disciples of Christ had a much higher level of education than I takes for a man today to get a M. Div. They spent 3 yrs day & Night with their teacher. No teacher ever lived that was greater than Christ.

  49. Luchen Bailey says:

    Ministers need a good education today as we are reaching people with a higher degree of education. I know from experience as I was the pastor of a church that had 3 college teacher 2 professor at the local State University,3 public school teachers and 2 with their Dr. degree. Now that is a challenge.

  50. Martha Storm says:

    Great discussion indeed. Would love to hear from some of the educators here too Wolfgang Vondey Vinson Synan William DeArteaga David Willaim Faupel Amos Yong Donald W. Dayton and even Rick Wadholm Jr Again the question is not if we need education which is a given, but if it should be mandatory for the ordination of Pentecostal ministers

  51. Luchen Bailey says:

    The Church of God has a mandated program for Ministerial licensing, called MIP (Ministerial Internship Program). I served for 20 years as teacher and State Coordinator in CA/NV. It is a great program. This program cover a vast area of training which is needed to be able to meet the demands of leadership. However we must be careful that we don’t go too far in our requirement of a degree before being licensed in our church. I do thing that every minister that is truly interested in meeting the need of their people will apply themselves to higher education. I am 83 years old and retired, having studied at University of Ohio, UC Barkley, Lee University, Asbury Theological Seminary . Pentecostal Theological received a D. Litt degree from Ashley University, yet I still apply myself to daily study and have a deep desire to know more of what is in His word.

  52. Corey Forsyth says:

    So what is the measure of a good school? Accreditation? Denominational affiliation? Wouldn’t we have to have a baseline theological knowledge on order to determine which continuing education we should pursue?

  53. Martha Storm says:

    “There’s some generalization of the discussion that it is not necessarily part of the OP. Jim brought a topic that is well established but is beyond the scope of the question asked. It is a given that some education for young ministers is a must. The question here, however, has to deal with mandatory DEGREE – meaning not just 10-20 college hours here and there to improve your preaching skills or theological awareness but a full blown theological degree, in most cases at masters level, as a prerequisite to ordination.

    Some mainline denominations have long mandated that a M.Div. (not MS, MA, MBA or even Th.M. but a full blown 100+ hours M.Div.) is mandatory for anyone desiring to be ordained by their organization. We are now observing that the same rule is established for young Pentecostal preachers who are entering the ministry. The common denominator is that the said degree must come from a state accredit or approved by the denomination educational institution.

    Such demand is pricey. Annual baccalaureate/masters tuition at a Christian university nowadays hits $15K. With added room and board this makes easy $20K per year. Which one of you younger (or older) fellow ministers here can easily afford this with your annual budget if such measure becomes mandatory for you to be even ordained with a Pentecostal denomination?”

  54. Paul Hughes says:

    If not higher education, then extensive mentoring, please! Ignorance and self-importance, both often mitigated by a program of discipline, responsibility, and servanthood, are no credit to the Kingdom, but detrimental.

  55. Paul Hughes says:

    The Apostle Paul dealt with people in Corinth who deemed themselves “spiritual” in an attitude of elitism on an experiential basis. We still have those today. Elitist attitudes are hardly the monopoly of the highly educated. Elitism is a human conceit.

  56. Mark Konjilsky says:

    Good comment Harold Beesley “Without a doubt! Absolutely!!!!” Concerning is that some younger theologians today portray views that are not purely Pentecostal. They are not even cahristmatic but more of Baptist, or European Episcopal or even some sort of Indonesian pseudo theology that is hard to relate to classic Pentecostalism. Tom Torbeyns has articles on the true Pentecostals which IMHO have little if any to do with Pentecostalism and describe theology that is classic Augustinian and can easily pass for Catholic or any other old continent western white male theology. Link Hudson on the other hand has problem understanding that gift of tongues is for today both as initial evidence and among the gifts of the Spirit. Thus proposed Scriptural examinations are shallow, lacking any theological systematics, no exegesis of the original text or any other examination of Scripture that can make them theology proper but simply a personal opinion from a limited personal experience and world view as related to the Global Pentecostalism. This is disturbing and discouraging at the same time. And while proposing a mandatory education may be a far fetch, some systematic theology and several years of both participation and observation of proper Pentecostal worship and liturgics should be a must. Where else young ministers should get their ministry mentoring and theological training?

  57. Mike Times says:

    I recently stumbled upon the following comment that struck me as rather absurd:

    [QUOTE]but rather a list of 10 men who I think would make great members of the EC.

    My Council of 18 list will include:
    *Men under 40 who have successfully pastored/grown a church
    *Men over 40 who have done the same OR shown administrative giftedness
    *Men from different parts of the country…not just the southeast or Texas
    *Men from other countries who are promoted by our denomination (because we depend on the crowd to tell us who can fill the international spots)
    [END QUOTE]

    The problem with a pre-selected “wish” list of 10 men is as follows:

    *Men under 40 who have successfully pastored/grown a church excludes
    1. women
    2. missionaries
    3. any other ministry / occupation besides pasturing
    as it omits any requirement for economic success / responsibility / accountability

    *Men over 40 who have done the same OR shown administrative giftedness

    Excludes the same 3 groups and all men over 40 who meet the said requirements but have not YET shown “administrative giftedness” (whichever way the meaning of this phrase could be interpreted in a ministry context).

    *Men from different parts of the country…not just the southeast or Texas

    *Men from other countries who are promoted by our denomination (because we depend on the crowd to tell us who can fill the international spots) – Why? Why don’t we have a valid and detail information on our ministers abroad so we don’t need to depend on the crowd for information? After all, is this a popularity contest or an exercise of our spiritual discernment?

  58. Vicky Holms says:

    This may seem a bit radical for my fellowship (Assemblies of God), but I would like to go on the record as saying that ordination ought to be the aim of every pastor and not because of education, credentials, or prestige, but because it offers a testimony of faithfulness (at some level). To be ordained (in my tradition) requires one to be in ministry for a minimum of 2 years and a few extra courses (if one didn’t go through one of our official schools).

  59. Nathan Hellrung says:

    The recent exposure of Rick Joyner’s fake doctoral degree has sparked the old discussion about accrediting all ordained ministers.
    Pentecostal denominations in the US are gradually moving to require a mandatory degree prior to ordaining all active ministers. C Peter Wagner describes this as the first sign of a movement going nominal and powerless. Many in the Assemblies of God agree that ordination ought to be testimony of faithfulness and not because of education, credentials, or prestige. What are the feelings in your church organization?

  60. Jim Price says:

    Thinking about healing: Philip Wylie; ” says that half the patients that go to see a doctor have a condition that cannot be cured by medicine.” Theirs is a soul sickness; a run in with reality, a bumping up against society that they cannot understand and don’t know how to deal with. At some level they sense that they are not adequate for the world around them and forever caught up in an economic system where they cannot win.
    Usually their work demands too much and/or pays too little, expectations of their employers are too high and unreasonable. Even most churches convey to them that they are coming up short. Little wonder that there is so much emotional sickness.
    Yet it to this very people to which the pastor can preach and minister in ways that bring understanding and healing.

  61. Stan Wayne says:

    I agree with above – Christian education in Sunday school and youth would be fantastic if it also trained youth in poor families in trades, college entrance, FAFSA apps, trade school, apprenticeship in ‘tent making’ and the like as well as more serious bible study like Greek alphabet vocabulary

  62. Mark Konjilsky says:

    Ilya Okhotnikov reported some about that but Spurling was sound. It was their coming out of nominal denomination they struggled with

  63. Mark Konjilsky says:

    “First we had – The millenials – the millennial generation
    They turned into x-ers – who turned into exiting the church,
    The texters – texting in church (instead of chewing gum)

    The new comers
    The new goers
    The come-outers

    Home-churched
    Small group churched
    Unchurched
    De-churched
    Re-churched

    The church hoppers
    The church droppers
    The church try-ers
    The church refugees

    Ex-Christians
    Post-Christians
    Not-Christians
    The gone to church all my life but never been saved Christians

    The Dones – done with Church but not with God
    The Nones – not having a clue what/who they are

    The gone-s and of course the run-off-ters
    (spelled in the movie “”Oh brother where art thou”” as R-U-N-N-O-F-T)

    All described by the all inclusive
    politically incorrect
    BUT completely biblical word:
    BACK SLIDERS

    (notes from my upcoming sermon TIME to TAKE out the TRASH”) Alan N Carla Smith Steve Webb David M. Hinsen David Lewayne Porter Terry Wiles”

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