"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel." -- Philippians 1:27 (NIV)
Our 2017 ICOC Delegates meeting in Chicago represents an important mile marker for us as a global fellowship. It synthesized the recent collaborative efforts from 2500 leaders throughout 34 regional family discussions. Furnished with insights from these discussions, we assembled with broad consensus to reach the world for the gospel of Christ, to work together, and to communicate more effectively all along the way.
The 2017 Northeast Elders Retreat will be held on November 3-5 in Chicopee, MA. The retreat is for elders, elder candidates and their wives.
This year's featured speakers will be Al & Gloria Baird from Phoenix, AZ. Al has served as an elder for several churches on both the east and west coasts. He and Gloria are well qualified to share about their experiences and dreams for the future.
BEFORE the Delegates Meeting:
2500 leaders from around the world gave their input on needs for our movement to accomplish God's mission in the future. Task Forces were charged with focusing of one of five consensus areas of need: Missions, Structure, Finances, Communication and Unity. Each Task Force, made up of a variety of leaders from around the world, was charged with creating conceptual options for the Delegates to consider in their particular focus. All the Task Force Options were published on DisciplesToday.org and icocleaders.org by the end of August.
As recorded in Acts 15, a historic meeting took place in the early church to consider some very difficult questions that has arisen in the brotherhood of believers. As it states in vs.6 "the apostles and elders met to consider the question" where "much discussion" took place and to be sure persuasive messages and impassioned pleas were offered regarding the topics at hand. We can most likely know that many ideas were exchanged and strong statements were made along the way. In the end we see a unified front, and a clear way for the church of the first century to move forward.
This week's ICOC Weekly features a talk with Ed Anton about leadership discussions currently taking place in our fellowship, entitled Forward By Faith - ICOC 3.0. In this special episode, Ed addresses the genesis of the discussions, the history of the process to this point, and the plan moving forward.
The Teachers Service Team met in early April in Dallas of 2017.
Here are the items we discussed:
The Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology (RMSMT)
We began with a report from Glenn Giles, the director of the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology in Denver. The school offers both online and hybrid (online and face-to-face) classroom courses toward three state authorized Master's degrees, one in Christian Ministry and one in Biblical Studies and now a Master's Degree in Biblical Studies with Languages (Greek and Hebrew). The school also in its relationship with Lincoln Christian University provides for students to transfer up to half of the credits taken at RMSMT toward LCU accredited Masters degrees in ministry and theology, including specifically the Master of Arts in Bible and Theology and the Master of Divinity degrees. We have just had our first RMSMT student (Jan Louie Uy) transfer graduate credits into the LCU Master of Arts in Bible and Theology program.
March 2016 MeetingThe first service team meeting of 2016 was in March. The primary discussion for this meeting was the women's role. The teachers are studying the biblical role of women and how we can better utilize the gifts of women in our churches. The Women's Service Team asked us to consider this topic.
Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. – Psalm 105:1 (NLT)
Over the last few months, over 2,400 leaders from all of our family of churches around the world have been going through a healthy evaluation of the ICOC as a global movement. Three of the strongest topics of consensus have been: