CONSTITUTION AND RULES
New Testament Church of God – Kenya
(NEW CONSTITUTION 2015)
1. Name and Headquarters
1. This organization shall be called the New Testament Church of God – Kenya (in this constitution referred to as the Church).
2. The National Headquarters of the Church shall be located in or near the city of Nairobi. The Church is an integral part of the Church of God, with international headquarters at Keith at 25th NW, Cleveland, Tennessee 37311, United States of America.
2. Objects of the Church
1. The Church is a religious body with the main objective to preach and to propagate the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the teachings of the New Testament in all nations of the world.
2. The Church purposes to dedicate its personnel and finances to the cultural, social, moral, educational and spiritual needs of the people of Kenya. This will be done through preaching, distribution of literature, ministering to the needs of the poor, teaching and development of pertinent educational facilities, such as Bible Schools and Nursery Schools. This will all be done within the framework of evangelical methods.
3. The contribution of material, moral and spiritual activities to the people shall be limited to the capacity of the Church’s personnel and material possessions.
4. The Church is a non-political and non-profit institution.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
1. In the verbal inspiration of the Bible.
2. In one God eternally existing in three persons; namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
3. That Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary. That Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. That He ascended to heaven and is today at the right hand of the Father as the Intercessor.
4. That all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that repentance is commanded of God for all and necessary for forgiveness of sins.
5. That justification, regeneration, and the new birth are wrought by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.
6. In sanctification subsequent to the new birth, through faith in the blood of Christ; through the Word, and by the Holy Ghost.
7. Holiness to be God’s standard of living for His people.
8. In the baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to a clean heart.
9. In speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
10. In water baptism by immersion, and all who repent should be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
11. Divine healing is provided for all in the Atonement.
12. In the Lord’s Supper and washing of the saints’ feet.
13. In the premillennial second coming of Jesus. First, to resurrect the righteous dead and to catch away the living saints to Him in the air. Second, to reign on the earth a thousand years.
14. In the bodily resurrection; eternal life for the righteous, and eternal punishment for the wicked.
1. Repentance. Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19
2. Justification. Romans 5:1; Titus 3:7
3. Regeneration. Titus 3:5
4. New Birth. John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 3:9
5. Sanctification subsequent to Justification. Romans 5:2; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:12
6. Holiness. Luke 1:75; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Hebrews 12:14
7. Water baptism. Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9, 10; John 3:22, 23; Acts 8:36, 38
8. Baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to cleansing; the enduement of power for service. Matthew 3:11; Luke 24:49, 53; Acts 1:4-8
9. The speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance as the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost. John 15:26; Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:1-7
10. The Church. Exodus 19:5, 6; Psalm 22:22; Matthew 16:13-19; 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; 2:42-47; 7:38; 20:28; Romans 8:14-17; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 12:12-31; 2 Corinthians 6:16-18; Ephesians 2:19- 22; 3:9, 21; Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 2:12; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 1:6, 7; Revelation 21:2, 9; 22:17.
11. Spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:1, 7, 10, 28, 31; 14:1.
12. Signs following believers. Mark 16:17-20; Romans 15:18, 19; Hebrews 2:4.
13. Fruit of the Spirit. Romans 6:22; Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 5:9; Philippians 1:11.
14. Divine healing provided for all in the Atonement. Psalm 103:3; Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 8:17; James 5:14-16; 1 Peter 2:24
15. The Lord’s Supper. Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
16. Washing the saints’ feet. John 13:4-17; 1 Timothy 5:9, 10
17. Tithing and giving. Genesis 14:18-20; 28:20-22; Malachi 3:10; Luke 11:42; 1 Corinthians 9:6-9; 16:2; Hebrews 7:1-21.
18. Restitution where possible. Matthew 3:8; Luke 19:8, 9.
19. Premillennial second coming of Jesus. First, to resurrect the dead saints and to catch away the living saints to Him in the air. 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1. Second, to reign on the earth a thousand years. Zechariah 14:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Jude 14, 15; Revelation 5:10; 19:11-21; 20:4-6
20. Resurrection. John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:5, 6
21. Eternal life for the righteous. Matthew 25:46; Luke 18:30; John 10:28; Romans 6:22; 1 John 5:11-13
22. Eternal punishment for the wicked. No liberation nor annihilation. Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 3:29; 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8
I. SPIRITUAL EXAMPLE
We will demonstrate our commitment to Christ through our practice of the spiritual disciplines; we will demonstrate our commitment to the body of Christ through our loyalty to God and commitment to His church; and we will demonstrate our commitment to the work of Christ through our being good stewards.
A. Practice of Spiritual Disciplines
Spiritual disciplines involve such practices as prayer, praise, worship, confession, fasting, meditation, and study. Through prayer we express our trust in Jehovah God, the giver of all good things, and acknowledge our dependence on Him for our needs and for the needs of others (Matthew 6:5-15; Luke 11:1-13; James 5:13-18). Through both private and public worship we bless God, have communion with Him, and are provided daily with spiritual enrichment and growth in grace. Through periods of fasting we draw close to God, meditate on the passion of Christ, and discipline ourselves to submit to the control of the Holy Spirit in all areas of our life (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14-17; Acts 14:23). Through confession of our sins to God we are assured of divine forgiveness (1 John 1:9— 2:2). The sharing of our confession with other believers provides the opportunity to request prayer and to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2; James 5:16). Through meditation on and study of the Word of God we enhance our own spiritual growth and prepare ourselves to help guide and instruct others in Scriptural truths (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:15, 23-26).
B. Loyalty to God and Commitment to the Church
The life of Christian discipleship calls for the fulfillment of our duties to the body of Christ. We are to unite regularly with other members of the church for the purpose of magnifying and praising God and hearing His Word (Matthew 18:20; John 4:23; Acts 2:42, 46, 47; 12:24; Hebrews 10:25). Sunday is the Christian day of worship. As the Lord’s Day, it commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead (Matthew 28:1) and should be employed for worship, fellowship, Christian service, teaching, evangelism, and proclamation (Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5, 6; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Colossians 2:16, 17). We are to provide for the financial needs of the church by the giving of tithes (Malachi 3:10; Matthew 23:23) and offerings (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-24; 9:1-15). It is our duty to respect and submit to those whom the Lord Jesus has placed over us in the church (1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; Hebrews 13:7, 17). Our exercise of authority must be as a spiritual example rather than as a lord over God’s flock (Matthew 20:25-28; 1 Peter 5:1-3). Furthermore, our submission must be a manifestation of the spiritual grace of humility (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5, 6). Finally, we are to avoid affiliation with oath-bound societies. Such societies may appear to have spiritual character, but by being oath-bound and secretive, they contradict Christian spirituality (John 18:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Christians must not belong to any body or society that requires or practices an allegiance that supersedes or excludes their fellowship in Christ (Matthew 12:47-49; John 17:21-23).
C. Being Good Stewards
In the Scriptures, the virtues of thrift and simplicity are honored, but the vices of waste and ostentation are solemnly prohibited (Isaiah 55:2; Matthew 6:19-23). The living of a godly and sober life requires the wise and frugal use of our temporal blessings, including time, talent, and money. As good stewards we are to make the most of our time, whether for recreation or for work (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). The idle use of leisure time degrades (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; 1 Timothy 5:13), but the edifying use of it brings inner renewal. All our work and play should honor the name of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). As good stewards we must use fully our spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 27-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:9-11) and natural talents (Matthew 25:14-30) for the glory of God. As good stewards we must recognize that the wise use of money is an essential part of the Christian’s economy of life. God has committed temporal blessings to our trust (Matthew 7:11; James 1:17).
II. MORAL PURITY
We will engage in those activities which glorify God in our body and which avoid the fulfillment of the lust of the flesh. We will read, watch, and listen to those things which are of positive benefit to our spiritual well- being.
A. Glorifying God in Our Body
Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and we are to glorify God in our body (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 10:31). We are to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Examples of fleshly behavior which do not glorify God are noted in several passages of Scripture (Romans 1:24; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8). Sinful practices which are made prominent and condemned in these scriptures include homosexuality, adultery, worldly attitudes (such as hatred, envy, jealousy), corrupt communication (such as gossip, angry outbursts, filthy words), stealing, murder, drunkenness, and witchcraft. Witchcraft has to do with the practices of the occult, which are forbidden by God and lead to the worship of Satan.
B. Reading, Watching, and Listening
The literature we read, the programs we watch, and the music we listen to profoundly affect the way we feel, think, and behave. It is imperative, then, that the Christian read, watch, and listen to those things which inspire, instruct, and challenge to a higher plane of living. Therefore, literature, programs, and music which are worldly in content or pornographic in nature must be avoided. A Christian is not to attend (or watch on television) movies or theatrical performances of a demoralizing nature (Romans 13:14; Philippians 4:8).
C. Benefiting Spiritual Well-being
The use of leisure time in the life of a Christian should be characterized by those activities which edify both the individual and the body of Christ (Romans 6:13; 1 Corinthians 10:31, 32). We are to avoid places and practices which are of this world. Consequently, a Christian must not be a part of any other types of entertainment which appeal to the fleshly nature and/or bring discredit to the Christian testimony (2 Corinthians 6:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22; 1 John 2:15-17).
III. PERSONAL INTEGRITY
We will live in a manner that inspires trust and confidence, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and seeking to manifest the character of Christ in all our behavior.
A. Trust and Confidence
A Christian should be trustworthy, dependable, and a person of his word (Matthew 5:37; 1 Peter 2:11, 12). Therefore, the swearing of oaths is contrary to a Christian’s trustworthiness and should be avoided (Matthew 5:34-37; James 5:12). Christ, by precept and example, taught that we love our enemy and prefer our brother (Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:10; Philippians 2:3; 1 John 3:16). We should behave in a way that will point others to Christ (Matthew 5:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1).
B. Fruit of the Spirit
If we live in the Spirit, we will manifest the fruit (attitudes and actions) of the Spirit and will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16, 22-25; 1 John 1:7). Trustful relationships with others are a natural outgrowth of our positive relationship with the Lord (Psalm 1:1-3; Matthew 22:37-40). A lack of fruit-bearing in our lives will be judged (Matthew 7:16-20; Luke 13:6-9; John 15:1-8).
C. Character of Christ
Love for others is the hallmark of the Christ-life (John 13:34, 35; 15:9-13; 1 John 4:7-11). In His relationship with His Father, Jesus displayed submission (Luke 22:42; John 4:34; 5:30). In His relationship with others, He demonstrated acceptance (John 8:11), compassion (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34), and forgiveness (Matthew 9:2; Luke 5:20). We cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit and manifest the character of Christ without being spiritually joined to Christ (John 15:4, 5) and without having the seed of the Word planted in our heart (John 15:3; 1 Peter 1:22, 23).
IV. FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY
We will give priority to fulfilling family responsibilities, to preserving the sanctity of marriage, and to maintaining divine order in the home.
A. Priority of the Family
The family is the basic unit of human relationship and as such is foundational to both society and the church (Genesis 2:18- 24). The divine origin of the family, along with its foundational character, makes it imperative that we give priority to ministry to the family, both from a personal and corporate standpoint. The practice of Christian disciplines and virtues should begin in the home (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7). Therefore, our families should establish some pattern for family devotions and should endeavor to provide a Christian environment in the home (1 Timothy 3:3, 4; 5:8).
B. Sanctity of Marriage
Marriage is ordained of God and is a spiritual union in which a man and a woman are joined by God to live together as one (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:7). Because of the divine character of marriage, it is a lifelong commitment with the only clear Biblical allowance for divorce being fornication (Matthew 5:32; 19:9). Sexual involvement either before marriage or with someone other than the marriage partner is strictly forbidden in Scripture (Exodus 20:14; 1 Corinthians 6:15-18). Understanding the sanctity of marriage, partners should strive to maintain a happy, harmonious, and holy relationship. Should divorce occur, the church should be quick to provide love, understanding, and counsel to those involved. The remarriage of divorced persons should be undertaken only after a thorough understanding of and submission to the Scriptural instructions concerning this issue (Matthew 19:7-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 10, 11). Should a Christian desire to remain single, this decision should be respected and should be seen as a viable Scriptural alternative (1 Corinthians 7:8, 32-34).
C. Divine Order in the Home
When God created man, He created them male and female (Genesis 1:27). He gave them distinctly different characteristics (1 Corinthians 11:14, 15; 1 Peter 3:7) as well as different responsibilities (Genesis 3:16-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7). In God’s order the husband is head of the home (Ephesians 5:22-31; Colossians 3:18, 19), parents are to nurture and admonish their children (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21), and children are to obey and honor their parents (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20). In order for harmony to exist in the home, God’s order of responsibility must be observed.
V. BEHAVIORAL TEMPERANCE
We will practice temperance in behavior and will abstain from activities and attitudes which are offensive to our fellowman or which lead to addiction or enslavement.
One of the cardinal Christian virtues is temperance or self- control (1 Corinthians 9:25; Titus 1:8; 2:2). It is listed as fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). We are admonished to practice moderation and balance in our behavior (Philippians 4:5). The Scripture indicates that it is within our prerogative to control our thinking (Philippians 4:8), our anger (Ephesians 4:26), and our communication (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 3:8). To exercise self-discipline reflects the power of God in our life (1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Peter 1:5-11).
B. Offensive Behavior
The Bible speaks clearly that we are to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others as a demonstration of our love for them (Matthew 22:39; Romans 12:9-21; 13:10; Philippians 2:3-5). At times it is necessary for us to control our behavior so as not to bring offense to others (Romans 14:13-21; 1 Corinthians 8:9-13). As we know Christ after the Spirit, we are also to know others in the same manner so we will not judge them after their outward behavior alone (2 Corinthians 5:16). A respect and tolerance for differences in others should characterize our relationships (Romans 14:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 8:8; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13; 1 Timothy 4:1-5).
C. Addiction and Enslavement
One of the primary benefits of our liberty in Christ is freedom from the domination of negative forces (John 8:32, 36; Romans 6:14; 8:2). We are counseled not to put ourselves again under bondage (Galatians 5:1). Therefore, a Christian must totally abstain from all alcoholic beverages and other habit-forming and mood-altering chemical substances and refrain from the use of tobacco in any form, marijuana, and all other addictive substances and, further, must refrain from any activity (such as gambling or gluttony) which defiles the body as the temple of God or which dominates and enslaves the spirit that has been made free in Christ (Proverbs 20:1; 23:20-35; Isaiah 28:7; 1 Corinthians 3:17; 5:11; 6:10; 2 Corinthians 7:1; James 1:21).
VI. MODEST APPEARANCE
We will demonstrate the Scriptural principle of modesty by appearing and dressing in a manner that will enhance our Christian testimony and will avoid pride, elaborateness, or sensuality.
According to the Biblical idea, modesty is an inner spiritual grace that recoils from anything unseemly and impure, is chaste in thought and conduct, and is free of crudeness and indecency in dress and behavior (Ephesians 4:25, 29, 31; 5:1-8; 1 Timothy 2:9, 10). Therefore, modesty includes our appearance, dress, speech, and conduct and can be applied to all situations. The essential issue is, does our style of life please or displease God?
B. Appearance and Dress
Our life, character, and self-image are reflected by our apparel and mode of dress. The admonition of Scripture, “Be not conformed to this world,” reminds us that our manner of dress must be modest and decent (Romans 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:22, 23). It is not displeasing to God for us to dress well and be well groomed. However, above all we must seek spiritual beauty, which does not come from outward adornment with jewelry, expensive clothes, or cosmetics, but from good works, chaste conversation, and a meek and quiet spirit (Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 3:3-5).
C. Pride, Elaborateness, Sensuality
As godly people we are to abstain from all lusts of the flesh and avoid dressing in a manner that encourages immoral thoughts, attitudes, and lifestyles (Galatians 5:13-21; 1 Peter 2:11; 2 Peter 1:4). Our beauty does not depend on elaborate, showy dress; extravagant, costly attire; or on the use of jewelry or cosmetics but on our relationship with Christ. External adornment, whether clothing or jewelry, as an outward display of personal worth, is contrary to a spiritual attitude (James 2:1-4).
VII. SOCIAL OBLIGATION
It should be our objective to fulfill our obligations to society by being good citizens, by correcting social injustices, and by protecting the sanctity of life.
A. Being Good Citizens
As Christians we are members of the kingdom of God as well as a social order of this world. Obedience to God requires us to act in a responsible manner as citizens of our country (Mark 12:13- 17; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). Therefore, we should support civil law and order; hold our leaders in respect and pray for them; participate in school, community, and governmental activities; exercise our voting rights; and speak out on clear-cut moral issues. God’s law is supreme, but we are to obey the laws of our country insofar as they are not in conflict with obedience to God (Acts 5:29). When it becomes necessary to disagree with practices and requirements of government, we should do so out of a concern for the promotion of righteousness and not out of delight in discord and controversy.
B. Correcting Social Injustices
Love for others and the recognition of the equal worth of all people in the sight of God (Acts 10:34; 17:26) should compel us to take steps to improve the situation of those who are underprivileged, neglected, hungry, homeless, and victimized by prejudice, persecution, and oppression (Matthew 22:39; Romans 13:8-10; 1 John 3:17). In all of our dealings, we must be sensitive to human needs (Luke 10:30-37; James 1:17) and guard against racial and economic discrimination. Every person should have freedom to worship and participate in the life of the church regardless of race, color, sex, social class, or nationality.
C. Protecting the Sanctity of Life
God alone confers life (Genesis 1:1-31); therefore, we are responsible to God to care for our physical life and that of others. If the circumstances require, we must be prepared to risk our life in the service of our neighbor (John 15:13); but the general rule is that we must respect our physical life and employ every worthy means to maintain it. Since God alone confers life, God alone must decide when it is to be ended (Psalm 31:14, 15). Because a human fetus is sacred and blessed of God, we believe we have the responsibility to protect the life of the unborn (Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41). It is our firm conviction that abortion, and euthanasia of the aged, mentally incompetent, terminally ill, and otherwise handicapped, for reasons of personal convenience, social adjustment, or economic advantage, are morally wrong. Furthermore, we believe it is our Christian responsibility to care for the earth and its resources. In the beginning God gave man dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-30). This does not, however, give us license to pollute our natural environment or to waste the resources of the earth.
I. NEW BIRTH
1. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
2. Is being born of water a natural or a spiritual birth? Natural, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6)
II. ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
A. Water Baptism
1. Water baptism is to plunge or dip, or a burial beneath the surface of the water and a lifting out again.
2. Water baptism is not a door into the church, but an act of obedience after one has been converted.
3. We recognize immersion as the Scriptural mode of water baptism. We recommend that our disciples be baptized by a minister who is baptized in the Holy Ghost. However, inasmuch as the apostles baptized before and after Pentecost, we leave this matter with the conscience of the individual, and we should not exclude them if they are satisfied with their baptism, provided they have been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
4. That water baptism be administered by ordained ministers or bishops, and that it be in accordance with the commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:19: “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”.
5. That we authorize the printing of certificates of baptism and recommend that they be issued to those baptized by the officiating minister.
B. Lord’s Supper (Communion) and Feet Washing
The subject of Communion and Feet Washing was considered and the Assembly decided that both are taught in the New Testament and may be engaged in at the same service or at different times at the option of the local churches. In order to preserve the unity of the body, and to obey the sacred Word, it was recommended that every member engage in these sacred services, which should be observed one or more times each year
III. FAMILY WORSHIP
Family worship was considered and the Assembly recommended and urged that the families of all the churches engage in this very sacred and important service at least once a day, and at a time most convenient to the household, and that the parents should see that every child is taught as early as possible to reverence God and his parents, by listening quietly and attentively to the reading of God’s Word and getting down on his knees during the prayer. The pastor and deacons of each church were advised to use their influence and make special efforts to encourage every family in the church to engage in this devotional exercise every day.
IV. DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
1. That all former rulings on divorce and remarriage be revised to read as follows: All parties who have put their companions away for the cause of fornication, having been divorced and remarried, provided they are otherwise qualified, are eligible for membership in the Church of God.
2. Inasmuch as the divorce evil has grown to such alarming proportions and since the Church of God is a holiness institution divinely ordained to serve the best interests of the human race, therefore, be it resolved that we reaffirm our traditional position regarding the sanctity of the home and the sacredness of marriage vows, both of which should be held inviolate for the protection of our national security. Inasmuch as we also consider such present social trends to be detrimental to the home, the church, and the nation, be it further resolved that the minister be an example of Christian chastity and that his marital status be above question. The Church of God must have the highest type ministry—a ministry whose moral and spiritual experiences provide the incentive to develop the Christian character indispensable to the national honor of our republic and the preservation of our Christian principles.
V. LODGES AND FRATERNAL ORDERS
1. The Church of God teaches against members belonging to lodges.
2. Should anyone unite with the church who has insurance with a fraternal or secret order, he may continue his insurance with said order, provided he does not attend their secret meetings.
VI. DIVINE HEALING
We recommend that our people in testifying to divine healing refrain from using expressions making thrusts at physicians or the use of medicine. Preach and testify to divine healing as a privilege, giving God the glory.
VII. COMBATANT MILITARY SERVICE
The Church of God believes that nations can and should settle their differences without going to war; however, in the event of war, if a member engages in combatant service, it will not affect his status with the church. In case a member is called into military service who has conscientious objections to combatant service, the church will support him in his constitutional rights.
This Assembly agreed to stand with one accord in opposition to the use of tobacco in any form.
IX. QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q. Should those who do not pay tithes have a voice in the church?
A. If a member does not have enough interest in the church to support it with his tithes, he should have respect enough for the church to keep quiet in business meetings.
RESOLUTION RELATIVE TO PRINCIPLES OF HOLINESS OF CHURCH OF GOD
The foundation of the Church of God is laid upon the principles of Biblical holiness. Even before the church experienced the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, its roots were set in the holiness revival of the past century. It was, and is, a holiness church—holiness in fact and holiness in name.
The passing of 90 years has not diminished our holiness position or convictions. The years have, instead, strengthened our knowledge that without holiness it is impossible to please God.
We hereby remind ourselves that the Scriptures enjoin us at all times to examine our own hearts. The continuing and consistent life of holiness requires this. Conditions of our day desperately require it. The subtle encroachment of worldliness is a very real and unrelenting threat to the church. We must therefore beware lest we become conformed to the world, or lest a love for the world take root in our hearts to manifest itself as lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, or the pride of life.
For these reasons, we present the following:
WHEREAS, the Church of God is historically a holiness church; and
WHEREAS, we are enjoined by the Scriptures to be so; and
WHEREAS, a tide of worldliness threatens the spirituality of the church;
BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Church of God, reaffirm our standard of holiness, in stated doctrine, in principles of conduct, and as a living reality in our hearts; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we, the Church of God, believe a life of holiness is a balanced life in spirit, mind, and body, and that it places the believer in a Christ-like relationship to God and fellowmen; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we, as ministers, maintain this standard in our own lives, in our homes, and in our pulpits; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we, as ministers and members, rededicate ourselves to this purpose, and guard our lives against conformity to the world in appearance, in selfish ambition, in carnal attitudes, and in evil associations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we, as ministers and members, seek to conform to the positive virtues of love, mercy, and forgiveness as taught by Jesus Christ.
SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES FOR MINISTRY
Begun in 1886, the Church of God has been signally blessed of God. The growth of the church is attributable to a number of factors. Some of the most significant are (1) obedience to the Word of God; (2) reliance upon the Holy Spirit; (3) faithfulness to our call; (4) evangelistic fervor; (5) openness to all people; (6) missionary outreach; (7) discipleship training; and (8) a deep desire to retain the roots of Pentecostal worship, prayer, revival, and holiness.
As with other religious organizations, we now face great and complex challenges. About us are undeniable signs that tough times lie ahead for any movement attempting to survive and grow with an attitude of business as usual. We must take an honest look at our challenges, and we must not complacently assume immunity to the difficulties faced by other larger, more traditional denominations, some of which are already in the embrace of noticeable decline.
We fully accept the uniqueness of our position as one of the leading Pentecostal churches in the world. We see ourselves as a divine work of the Holy Spirit, a vital part of a spiritual movement called to help usher in revival and bring renewal to a spiritually hungry world.
For all of us, this is an awesome and sobering responsibility.
STATEMENT OF VISION
Our vision arises from our understanding of what the sovereign God purposes to do for and through His church. The Great Commission remains our mandate from Christ.
The Church of God is to be:
1. A movement committed to the authority of Holy Scripture for faith and direction.
2. A fellowship whose worship brings God’s power into the life of the church and extends that power through the lives of believers into the marketplace of life.
3. A body that is directed by the Spirit, fully understanding that baptism in the Holy Spirit is both a personal blessing and an endowment of power for witness and service in fulfilling the Great Commission.
4. A people who hunger for God, experience the presence of God, and stand in awe of His holiness as He changes believers into conformity with Christ.
5. A New Testament church which focuses on the local congregation where the pastor nurtures and leads all members to exercise spiritual gifts in ministry.
6. A church that loves all people and stands opposed to any action or policy that discriminates against any group or individual because of race, color, or nationality.
7. A movement that evidences love and concern for the hurts and loneliness of the unsaved through aggressive evangelistic, discipling, and nurturing ministries.
8. A church that is Christ-centered, people-oriented, and need- sensitive in all its programs and ministries.
9. A movement that promotes policies and ministries which reflect an open, sincere effort to remain relevant to each generation.
STATEMENT OF MISSION
The mission of the Church of God is to communicate the full gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19, 20) in the Spirit and power of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4, 6, 13-18).
COMMITMENTS TO OUR MISSION AND VISION
These items reflect our core values in regard to fulfilling our mission and vision.
We commit ourselves to making prayer the highest priority of the church demonstrated by:
Every local church becoming a house of prayer for all nations.
Emphasizing communication with God as the highest privilege and greatest responsibility of every member.
Modeling by all church leadership of an active and effective prayer life.
Uniting with other believers in corporate and intercessory prayer.
(Isaiah. 56:7; Mark 11:17; Romans. 8:26; 1 Corinthians 14:14, 15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:1-4, 8; James 5:14, 15)
2. PENTECOSTAL WORSHIP
We commit ourselves to gather regularly as the local expression of the Body of Christ to participate in Pentecostal worship that exalts God, engages the heart, mind, and soul, and challenges to deeper commitment and discipleship. This commitment will be demonstrated by:
Assisting local churches in planning and preparing for meaningful, anointed worship.
Equipping pastors and other worship leaders to lead authentically expressed, spiritually alive worship.
Modeling varying styles and forms of worship that glorify God and encouraging outreach and service.
Emphasizing the importance of Biblical stewardship and the centrality of God’s Word as elements of worship. (John 4:24; Psalm 29:2; Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Isaiah 58; Matthew 25:31-46)
3. WORLD EVANGELIZATION
We commit ourselves to intentionally reaching the unconverted, baptizing them in water, and leading them to unite with the church. This commitment will be demonstrated by:
Viewing all the nations of the world as our mission field.
Encouraging our local churches to adopt and intercede for an unreached people group. Resource materials will be provided by the Ministry of World Missions.
Asking all national churches of the Church of God international to adopt and implement measurable steps to evangelize and disciple unreached people groups inside and outside of their own regions (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 15:19-24; Revelation 5:9). Encouraging every local church to increase a minimum of 10 percent per year through conversion growth.
Cultivating a genuine passion for the lost that will compel members to personally communicate the gospel of Jesus and demonstrate His love to those outside the faith.
Discipling new believers and passing on our faith to the next generation.
Practicing lifestyle evangelism. (Matthew 9:37-38; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-18; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15)
4. CHURCH PLANTING
We commit ourselves to identifying, training, and resourcing God- called church planters and to intentionally planting new life-giving churches. This commitment will be demonstrated by:
Focusing designated resources of the local church, state/ regional offices, and the International Offices for planting new churches.
Starting the number of church plants equal to a minimum of 3 percent of the total number of churches in a state/region/nation annually.
Developing a certified training program in our Ministry of USA Missions and educational institutions for church planters and home missions.
Emphasizing the health and viability of new church plants as well as the number of churches planted.
Affirming the different models of church planting for different situations.
Recognizing church planting as an apostolic ministry for our day. (Matthew 16:18; John 4:35; Acts 2:47; 14:23; Ephesians 5:25-28)
5. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
We commit ourselves to identifying and developing individuals whom God has called and given leadership gifts and challenging them to become servant-leaders. We will demonstrate our commitment by:
Creating an environment in which men and women with ministry gifts are developed to serve as servant-leaders.
Equipping, empowering, and releasing lay leaders to serve as ministry partners both inside and outside the local church.
Providing relevant resources and training opportunities for both clergy and laity.
Encouraging pastors to lead through vision, to communicate the vision to the congregation, and to organize the body and each of its ministry groups so the vision can be realized. (Mark 3:13-15; 2 Timothy 2:2; 2:15; 3:14-17; Ephesians 4:11-13)
We commit ourselves to the challenge of being a church that genuinely cares for one another and for those who are lost, hurting, and needy. We will demonstrate our commitment by:
Building loving, caring relationships within families, between members, and within the communities we serve.
Obeying the Care Commission of Christ in Matthew 25.
Cultivating compassion and showing mercy to the unloved, the undesirable, and the unreached of our society.
Establishing in each local church some type of outreach ministry that demonstrates our genuine concern and love for the disadvantaged or oppressed. (Psalms 86:15; Matthew 25; Luke 6:36; Acts 20:28)
We commit ourselves to the principle of interdependence, acknowledging our interconnectedness and dependence on all the members of the Body of Christ. We will demonstrate our commitment by:
Reaching out to others in the Body of Christ for collaboration, resource sharing, and learning opportunities.
Encouraging local churches to build relationships with like- minded and like-hearted churches in their communities to work together to reach the lost. Involving clergy in the processes of mentoring, coaching, and consulting on the local, state, regional, national and international levels to increase the level of trust and support among ministers. Engaging in dialogue and partnership with local, national, and international organizations who seek to fulfill the Great Com- mission of Christ. (Colossians 2:19; 1 Corinthians 12:14-31; Galatians 6:1-6)
That we commit ourselves to utilizing every available medium and means to effectively maintain open and perpetual communication with our constituency. This commitment will be demonstrated by:
Understanding that communication is the process of exchanging information, imparting ideas, and sharing the message so it is understood by others.
Exploring the best media choices available to enable the trans- forming message of Christ to all mankind and cultural contexts. Discovering new ways and means of efficient and effective electronic mediums to maintain continuous connection with our constituency.
Empowering ministry resources available to the church for immediate response to the needs of the world and the mission engagement of the church.
Employing every facet of communication to expand the global reach of Christ’s message, sustaining open exchange of ministry concepts, encouraging the strengthening and growth of local churches, enlisting and equipping the next generation of leaders, and fulfilling our mission and vision as a movement that is Christ-centered, people-oriented, and need-sensitive in all its ministry endeavors.
We commit ourselves to the Lord’s command to make disciples of all nations, to develop committed and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, and to be people of conviction identifiable by:
i. Their commitment to know what they believe and who they are in Christ;
ii. Their competence through spiritual discipline, calling, and empowerment, and;
iii. Their character development, which will result in reproducing themselves, disciples making disciples.
This commitment will be demonstrated by:
Understanding that discipleship must be intentional for all believers upon their acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior. If we are to retain them, they must be taught and have someone who will disciple them.
Asking every church to prioritize discipleship in every facet of their ministry. Everything that is planned and executed in the local church should be identified as part of the discipleship process for those who are involved. The local church must understand that the growth process is ever evolving and must provide a framework by which growth can happen.
Providing resources and discipleship experiences that will assist pastors and church leaders in the discipleship process, understanding that models may vary, but the outcome will be committed Christ followers.
Understanding that passing the faith to the next generation will require making disciples of all ages. Discipleship must begin at the earliest age and continue. (Matthew 5:43-48; 22:37-38; 28:19-20; John 14:15, 21-23; 15:10; Acts 1:8; 2:1-11, 41-47; Romans 12:1-2; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Galatians 5:22-25; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-23; 2 John 6).
We commit ourselves to education as a vital part of all phases of the Spirit-filled Christian life. Education is to be nurtured by the church: locally in rural areas, towns, and cities; regionally in counties, states, and geographical regions; internationally in every country with a Church of God presence; and globally on every continent of the world. We will demonstrate our commitment by:
Developing and fostering means of self-education with access to educational resources.
Recognizing local-church institutions which provide education in church and/or school formats.
Affirming in public places those who minister in education.
Sponsoring educational institutions of higher learning to equip laity, ministers, institutions, and ministries.
Providing curriculum and materials which affirm the doctrines, practices, mission, vision, and commitments of the Church of God.
i. To become a member of the church, one must:
i. Make a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior.
ii. Receive classes from his/her local pastor on the doctrines, practices, and government of the Church.
iii. Be baptized in water by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
iv. Be faithfully involved in the local congregation for a period of not less than three months.
v. Be received officially as a member by an authorized minister of the Church.
ii. All rules of government affecting the members of the church shall be determined by the International General Assembly of the Church of God of which it is a part, according to the Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance.
iii. Each local congregation shall maintain a membership roll with each member’s complete name, address, and age upon uniting with the Church. An up-to-date copy of said membership roll shall be sent to the National Office on the 31st day of August in each year.
iv. A member’s name shall be removed from the roll for non-attendance if he/she has not attended the worship services of the Church for a period of six months, unless there is a good, justifiable reason (such as employment in another area where there is no New Testament Church of God, illness, etc.). The Pastor should make every effort to contact the member and attempt to restore him/her to the congregation before removing his/her name from the roll.
v. Neither nationality, race, tribe, color, sex nor language shall have any bearing whatsoever on a person’s eligibility to be a member of the Church.
a. This group shall consist of all Ordained Bishops, Ordained Ministers, Exhorters and holders of the Kenya National Preacher’s Identity Cards.
b. Qualifications: All applicants for any rank of the Church ministry must:
i. Be a member in good standing with the local congregation. After the local pastor has received authorization from the Administrative Bishop, each applicant must be set forth or recommended by the local congregation.
ii. Have the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance.
iii. Be thoroughly taught and informed in the teachings, doctrine, and practices of the Church as set forth in the Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance.
iv. Faithfully pay their tithes into the local congregation.
v. Be active members of the Church retirement/pension scheme)
c. For the ranks of Ordained Bishops, Ordained Minister, and Exhorter, all applicants must meet all of the qualifications and requirements as set forth in the Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance Sections (S22. Ordained Bishop), S23 “Ordained Minister”; and S24 “Exhorter”.)
S1. APPLICANTS FOR MINISTRY
I. MINISTERIAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
1. To more adequately ensure the formation of proper ministerial attitudes, and to offer a structured approach to practical ministerial training, each state or territory, where possible, shall provide beginning ministers with the opportunity to serve an internship under an experienced and competent pastor.
2. Guidelines for the internship program shall be established by the International Executive Committee and implemented by the Office of Ministerial Development in cooperation with overseers.
II. INTERNSHIP REQUIREMENTS
In order to coordinate the present licensing requirements with the Ministerial Internship Program (MIP), the following measures are to be implemented:
1. Place questions concerning the ministerial candidate’s involvement with MIP on the license application.
2. Coordinate the MIP reading list with required texts for various levels of ministry.
3. Require all MIP participants to be licensed at exhorter level, or be in the licensing process (having passed the examination and awaiting certification), before being eligible for the MIP program.
4. Require all exhorters to participate in the MIP, or its equivalent, before being promoted to the rank of ordained minister. Equivalent shall be defined as the MIP reading requirement under the supervision of the state overseer, or one whom he appoints, plus one of the following:
• `One year of pastoral ministry
• `One year of evangelism ministry
• `One year of associate pastoral ministry
• `One year of specialized ministry listed on the ministerial report form (e.g. Chaplaincy, etc.).
III. RULE REGARDING SETTING FORTH APPLICANTS FOR MINISTRY
The local church or churches should refrain from taking action on setting forth applicants for the ministry until the district overseer has conferred with the Regional Bishop; and he [the district overseer] shall be authorized to do so during a church conference [approve setting forth the applicant] by the National Administrative Bishop.
IV. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF APPLICANTS FOR MINISTRY
1. All applicants for the ministry, including ordained bishops, ordained ministers, exhorters, ministers of music, and ministers of Christian education, must have the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
2. All ministers shall adhere to the Teachings and Doctrines as set forth by the International General Assembly of the Church of God.
3. All ministers are required to pay tithes to retain their license.
4. All applicants for ministry shall serve as exhorters before making application for ordained minister certificate, except ordained ministers coming from other reputable organizations, licensed ministers of music, and ministers of Christian education.
5. All applicants for the ministry should be actively engaged in ministry before being recommended for credentialed ministry.
6. All applicants for the ministry, including those advancing in rank, must give consent to the National Administrative Bishops office, Regional, District to conduct criminal background checks.
V. DIVORCED AND REMARRIED APPLICANTS
1. No applicant whose former spouse is living, or whose spouse’s former spouse is living, shall be considered eligible for ministerial credentials except in cases where the divorce occurred because of the infidelity of the former spouse (see Matthew 19: 9); or that the divorce occurred prior to conversion (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) or due to abandonment by an unbelieving spouse (see 1 Corinthians 7:15). Conversion is interpreted as that point in time when one makes a public commitment to Christ, followed by a consistent Christian lifestyle. In no case shall this provision apply to one who once walked with Christ [lived as a Christian], but who later divorced and/or remarried while living in a backslidden condition.
2. The records of all such applicants shall be investigated and approved [or disapproved] by the respective state overseer, his council, and the International Executive Committee, prior to his or her being set forth [for the ministry] by the local church.
3. Applicants for ordained bishop who have a living former spouse, or whose spouse has a living former spouse, shall be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the International Executive Council, before being set forth [for ordination] by the local church.
4. Persons with previous marriages, who now prove them- selves faithful to God and to present family responsibilities, shall be permitted to hold the rank of exhorter, ordained minister, or ordained bishop, provided they are otherwise qualified.
5. Applicants for ministry who have more than one previous marriage ending in divorce, or whose spouse has more than one previous marriage ending in divorce, must be approved for any rank of ministerial credentialing by a two-thirds majority vote of their respective National Office/Regional Council, and by a two-thirds majority vote of the International Executive Council, before proceeding with the credentialing process, provided they are otherwise qualified.
VII. INTERNATIONAL MINISTERIAL CREDENTIALING
All ministers duly ordained in the Church of God by a given national office may also receive an ordination credential from the International Offices of the Church of God, provided they apply through the DISTRICT/REGIONAL/NATIONAL ADMINISTRIVE BISHOP and their respective area superintendents.
A. Use of the Title Bishop
We recognize that there may be cultural differences in various countries that would limit the usage of the title of bishop. In such cases, countries should be allowed to use the title as appropriate. In Kenya, while we recognize that some ministers hold international certificates as Ordained Bishop the title of Bishop shall be used by the Administrative Bishop and Regional Bishops only.
S2. Ordained Bishop
I. QUALIFICATIONS OF ORDAINED BISHOPS
1. The applicant for ordination as bishop must meet the Biblical requirements as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
2. An applicant for ordination as bishop may be ordained when he is twenty-five (25) years of age, provided he has had at least eight (8) years of active ministry, or when he is thirty (30) years of age, provided he has had at least five (5) years of active ministry, if he is otherwise qualified. In those cases in which a ministerial applicant has had verifiable active ministerial experience prior to receiving credentials, exceptions to the age qualifications can be made upon recommendation by the ministerial applicant’s administrative bishop and with the approval of the Executive Council
3. In the case of military chaplains, the International Executive Committee shall be empowered to waive age, time, and performance minimums for ordination as bishop, if the applicant is otherwise qualified.
4. Must have the baptism in the Holy Ghost
5. Must successfully pass the examination given by a duly constituted board of examiners for ministerial candidates. It is understood that the examination will embrace areas of church government, doctrine, and general Biblical knowledge.
6. Applicants for ordination as bishop who have a living former spouse, or whose spouse has a living former spouse, shall be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the International Executive Council before being set forth by the local church
7. The wife of the applicant for ordained bishop’s license must be grave, not a slanderer, sober, and faithful in all things
8. It is understood that female ministers are not eligible for ordination as bishop.
9. Candidates striving to advance from the rank of Ordained Minister to the rank of Ordained Bishop are required, where feasible, to complete the Certificate in Ministerial Studies or its approved equivalency.
10. Must be an active member of the church retirement/pension scheme
II. RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES
The ordained bishop shall have full right and authority to
1. Preach, publish, teach, and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Serve as pastor and/or district overseer, or in other official capacities or appointments.
3. Baptize converts.
4. Receive believers into fellowship of church membership.
5. Administer Holy Sacraments (ordinances).
6. Solemnize rites of matrimony.
7. Assist in ordination ceremonies of fellow ministers.
8. Establish and organize churches.
9. Use the following titles while holding these specific positions:
S3. ORDAINED MINISTER
I. QUALIFICATIONS OF ORDAINED MINISTERS
1. Must have the baptism in the Holy Ghost
2. The candidate for ordained minister shall be actively engaged in ministerial activity.
3. Must adhere to the Teachings and Doctrines of the Church of God as set forth by the International General Assembly.
4. Must successfully pass the examination given by a duly constituted board of examiners for ministerial candidates. It is understood that the examination will embrace areas of church government, doctrine, and general Biblical knowledge.
5. Must complete the International Pastor’s Manual Parts 1-2)
6. Must be an active member of the church retirement/pension scheme
II. RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES
The ordained minister shall have full right and authority to
1. Preach, publish, teach, and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Do the work of an evangelist.
3. Serve as pastor of a church.
4. Baptize converts.
5. Receive believers into fellowship of church membership.
6. Administer Holy Sacraments (ordinances).
7. Solemnize rites of matrimony.
8. Establish churches.
The ordained minister shall be privileged to sit in the International General Council without voting privileges.
An ordained minister may be ordained as bishop at the age of twenty-five (25) years, provided he has had at least eight (8) years in active ministry, or at the age of thirty (30) years provided he has had five (5) years of experience in active ministry, if he is otherwise qualified.
In the case of military chaplains, the International Executive Committee is empowered to waive age, time, and performance minimum for ordination as bishop
It is understood that female ministers are not eligible for ordination as bishop
The church shall have an order of the ministry known as exhorter, whose license is signed by the district overseer where his membership is and endorsed by the state overseer.
I. QUALIFICATIONS OF EXHORTERS
1. The church recognizes the exhorter as a regular rank of the ministry and all applicants for the ministry must serve as exhorter before being promoted in rank, except ordained ministers coming from other reputable organizations.
2. Must have the baptism in the Holy Ghost
3. The candidate for exhorter shall be actively engaged in ministerial activity before being recommended for advancement.
4. Must be thoroughly acquainted with, and adhere to, the Teachings and Doctrines of the Church of God as set forth by the International General Assembly.
5. Must successfully pass the examination given by a duly constituted board of examiners.
6. Must be an active member of the church retirement/pension scheme
II. RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES
The exhorter shall have full right and authority to
1. Preach and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Serve as an Evangelist.
3. Serve as pastor of a church.
4. In cases of emergency the exhorter may be authorized by the state overseer to baptize converts and receive believers into fellowship of church membership
5. When an exhorter is serving as pastor, and where state laws recognize the credential of an exhorter as those of a duly authorized minister of the gospel, the exhorter may solemnize the rites of matrimony
6. Exhorters who are serving as helpers and assistants may receive tithes when available
7. The exhorter must be active in the ministry, and shall be required to pay tithes [into the local church where his or her membership is located] and to make monthly reports to the state overseer and to the secretary general. The exhorter may be promoted to the rank of ordained minister when deemed qualified by the state overseer and others concerned
S5. FEMALE MINISTER
Female ministers are to use the same ministerial titles as male ministers, with all the requirements, duties, responsibilities, and ministry opportunities of male ministers who hold either the credentials of Preacher’s Card, Exhorter, or Ordained Minister. It is understood that female ministers are not eligible for ordination as bishop.
All ministers regardless of rank or position must complete a monthly report on-line by the fifth day of the following month for which the report is made. If a minister fails to report in said fashion for a period of three consecutive months, he shall be admonished by the overseer to bring his reports up to date. If he fails to report for a period of six consecutive months, his license or preacher’s card will be subject to revocation after due disciplinary process.
f. All ministers must also follow the instructions as stated in “General Instructions”, in the Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance.
S6. Preacher’s Card Holder
Applicants for Preacher’s Card shall meet To receive the National Preacher’s Identity Card, the applicant must meet the requirements as stated in Section b of this article and fill out an application form provided by the National Office, meeting all requirements listed thereon.
1. Must pass an examination on the Kenya Pastor’s Manual with a grade of 60% or above.
2. Must receive a passing grade of 60% or above in Church Financial Management Studies.
3. Must be an active member of the church retirement/pension scheme.
S7. INSTRUCTIONS FOR MINISTERS
I. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR MINISTERS
1. All ministers are expected to take care of their financial obligations promptly. Ministers who fail to maintain proper credit will be warned by the Administrative Bishop, and if satisfactory disposition is not made regarding financial obligations, the Administrative Bishop will refer the case to a discipline board for proper action.
2. All New Testament Church of God-Kenya ministers should remain within the bounds of the decisions of the International General Assembly, and they are not to teach anything contrary to the Teachings authorized by this body.
3. When a minister moves to another Region without assignment, he/she is to notify his/her former and present Regional Overseers at once. Further, he/she is to give his/her present Regional Overseer information about himself/herself and family, previous ministerial work, what he/she would like to do, and how long he/she plans to remain in that Region.
4. Inasmuch as our ministers are expected to pledge full allegiance to the New Testament Church of God-Kenya and its program, and inasmuch as we do not accept ministerial credentials from other organizations, licensing associations, or any other, we recommend that where our ministers hold such credentials they be required to surrender same; and where applicants to the ministry hold such credentials, they be required to surrender same before being approved for licensing.
5. Believing a centralized form of government to be the Biblical (Acts 15:13-29) standard for our churches, the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee, U.S.A.) early adopted such a form of government and has consistently practiced a centralized form of government.
6. Be it therefore resolved that the International General Assembly does not recognize or approve the practice of our ministers setting up independent congregations who do not subscribe to the doctrines, faith, practices, teachings, and government of the Church of God.
7. Be it further resolved that we do not approve our ministers pastoring or otherwise assisting such independent congregations, and declare that ministers who persist in doing so are out of harmony with our stated policy of centralized government; and appropriate action should be initiated by proper authorities against offending ministers.
8. No New Testament Church of God-Kenya minister shall be required to violate a confidence, when such has been entrusted to him/her in the performance of his/her professional duties or in the course of his/ her care of souls, except with the express permission of the person who has confided in him/her or in order to prevent a crime. This provision shall not preempt any applicable state or other required reporting laws, nor be used to conceal a felonious act toward another individual.
9. In order for any minister to be considered eligible for election or appointment by the International Executive Committee, General Council or General Assembly, the minister must be current on both personal ministerial reports and the local church reports with required finances from the church he/she pastors (if applicable). Any exceptions must be approved by the International Executive Committee. Further, this same measure applies to national/regional positions and boards. Any exception at the national/regional level must be approved by the national/regional overseer in writing.
10. Responsible Use of Social Media: Christians are exhorted by Scripture to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), to provide things honest in the sight of all persons (Romans 12:17), and to do all things for the edification of others (Romans 15:2). The use of social media by believers should conform to these and other Biblical standards.
II. MARRIAGE AND SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS
1. The New Testament Church of God-Kenya rejects the cultural, political, and theological pressures to change the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. We affirm this definition based on God’s Word and the truth that Christian marriage between a man and a woman reflects the theological truth of Christ’s love for His Church.
2. New Testament Church of God-Kenya ministers, whether an ordained minister or ordained bishop, shall only perform or participate in marriage ceremonies or marriage blessings between one man and one woman, as marriage is defined in the Bible. This policy also is applicable to New Testament Church of God-Kenya ministers who serve in capacities outside the scope of normal pastoring, such as military, hospital, and corporate chaplains.
3. Local New Testament Church of God-Kenya churches and the local New Testament Church of God-Kenya ministers who serve them shall only hold, provide facilities for, conduct or preside over weddings, wedding receptions, and anniversaries (and other gatherings related to weddings, receptions, and anniversaries) that celebrate a marriage or blessing between one man and one woman, as marriage is defined in the Bible.
4. New Testament Church of God-Kenya ministers shall maintain a Christ-like attitude of love, mercy, and grace, when counseling or otherwise dealing with individuals in same-gender relationships. A Christ-like spirit will maintain the truth of God’s Word, the policies of the church, and avoid inappropriate remarks or attitudes that do not reflect the Holy Spirit.
5. New Testament Church of God-Kenya ministers shall seek to find godly counselors to whom they can refer individuals in same-gender relationships for additional ministry and guidance.
6. Failure of New Testament Church of God-Kenya ministers to adhere to these Biblically based guidelines will result in forfeiture of ministerial credentials.
S8. DISORDERLY MINISTERS
INTRODUCTION: SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES
In Scripture the church is likened to a body of believers (1 Corinthians 12). It is to function in unity, diversity, and respect. It is to be sensitive to the needs of other members. When one suffers, all suffer; when one is honored, all are to rejoice (1 Corinthians 12:25, 26). The apostle Paul further instructs believers to rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). In this manner, members of the body of Christ affirm each other and minister to each other.
The discipline of a member of the body of Christ is a painful, but necessary experience. Since we are members of the same body, disciplinary action against any member, in reality, brings the whole body under judgment (1 Corinthians 12:12). Therefore all such action is to be undertaken in love and with a view toward restoration and reconciliation.
A minister who is found guilty of any of the violations of ministerial covenant and trust prescribed in these Minutes shall be disciplined for the purpose of restoration and maintaining accountability and integrity within the church and the ministerial body. The discipline and restoration process shall be based on Scriptural principles. It is in Biblical order, and it is consistent with the theology of grace and restoration, that a disciplined minister has an opportunity to be restored as a minister in the Church of God.
In Biblical usage, the concept of restoration carries the connotation of putting back together that which is broken, mending torn fishing nets, setting a broken limb, and restoring gently one who has fallen (Galatians 6:1). From the beginnings of humankind (Genesis 3:15), and throughout Biblical history (Revelation 3:19-22), the theme of the Bible is God’s love for all people, even when they have disappointed themselves and turned from their relationship with Him.
I. FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION
Forgiveness and restoration are distinct from each other in definition and purpose.
Forgiveness is the remission of sin by Christ in the extension of His grace and mercy. The role of the church is to be a community of the forgiven and the forgiving. Each member of the body, having been forgiven, is to be a forgiving member of the body. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
The purpose of forgiveness is the renewal and continuation of fellowship in the body of Christ (Matthew 18:15-20). Forgiveness is not based on merit and is to be extended without counting (Matthew 18:21, 22).
Restoration is the “mending of the net” (Galatians 6:1), so that which is torn can be placed in service again. This spiritual mentality calls for all the members of the body of Christ to bear one another’s burdens in the fulfillment of the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2-4).
Restoration is a conditional and rehabilitating process in which the offender demonstrates to the church and society that he/she is worthy of renewed trust and stewardship.
Renewal involves evidence of godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9, 10), and a demonstration that the offender has cleared himself/ herself in the matters of offense (2 Corinthians 7:11).
The purpose of ministerial restoration is to place an offending minister back in a position of usefulness and activity appropriate to his/her demonstration of renewed spiritual capabilities.
The restoration process involves a team that is made up of the following: Ministerial Advocate, Administrative Bishop, a representative from the Center for Ministerial Care—in their respective country, mentoring pastor, and counselor.
C. Role of the Church
In both forgiveness and restoration the church is to confirm its love for the disciplined brother or sister and comfort him/her lest Satan gain an advantage (2 Corinthians 7:6-11).
II. DEFINITION OF TERMS
As used in this section, the term suspension means the cessation of all ministerial activity, including ministerial voting privileges. During suspension, the minister may, under certain circumstances, maintain his/her membership in a group insurance program and/ or the Minister’s Retirement Plan as provided by the policies of the Benefits Board. The cost of any personal insurance for which he/ she may be eligible during the period of suspension shall be the responsibility of the minister.
As used in this section, the term revocation means the termination of ministerial credentials with the Church of God, including all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto.
III. DISORDERLY CONDUCT
A. Explicit Heterosexual Misconduct
1. Any minister found guilty of adultery, fornication, or other sexually explicit heterosexual misconduct shall have his/ her ministerial credentials suspended/revoked for a minimum period of two years. Should said minister desire reinstatement of credentials, he/she shall submit to the prescribed program of restoration through the office of the Center for Ministerial Care.
2. At the discretion of the state/territorial overseer and state/ territorial council, the minister may be allowed to engage in limited, supervised ministerial activity during the second year of the disciplinary period.
3. At the conclusion of the two-year period, upon successful completion of the restoration program, and with the recommendation of the state/territorial overseer, the International Executive Council shall make a decision concerning the reinstatement of credentials and at what level.
4. Any minister found guilty of sexual abuse of a child or a second offense involving adultery, fornication, or any other sexual misconduct, or any combination of these offenses, shall have his/her credentials permanently revoked. He/she must be dis-fellowshipped from the church. However, the opportunity for reconciliation and restoration to church membership shall be given future consideration in appropriate cases.
B. Other Heterosexual Misconduct
1. Any minister found guilty of any other heterosexual misconduct shall have his/her ministerial credentials suspended for a minimum period of one year. Should said minister desire reinstatement of credentials, he/she shall submit to the prescribed program of restoration.
2. At the discretion of the state/territorial overseer and state/ territorial council, the minister may be allowed to engage in limited, supervised ministerial activity after the first six months of the disciplinary period.
At the conclusion of the one-year period, upon successful completion of the restoration program, and with the recommendation of the state/territorial overseer and the approval of the International Executive Council, the minister shall be reinstated to his/her former rank of ministry.
C. Unbecoming Conduct
1. Any minister found guilty of unbecoming ministerial conduct shall be disciplined under a plan determined by the state/ territorial overseer, in consultation with the trial board. Disciplinary options shall include official reprimand, restitution, censure, remedial action, reexamination, restrictions, and, where necessary, suspension of credentials.
2. Unbecoming ministerial conduct shall be defined as violations of personal integrity, of doctrinal fidelity as accepted by the Church of God, and of leadership accountability.
3. For any violation of doctrinal fidelity, re-examination at the appropriate level shall be required.
4. For any suspension of credentials under this section, the offending minister shall submit to the prescribed program of restoration for a minimum period of one year.
5. At the discretion of the state/territorial overseer and state/ territorial council, the minister may be allowed to engage in limited supervised ministerial activity during the last six months of his/ her suspension. At the conclusion of the disciplinary period, upon successful completion of the restoration program, and with the recommendation of the state/territorial overseer and state/territorial council and the approval of the International Executive Council, the minister shall be reinstated to his/her former rank of ministry.
6. Any minister found guilty of more than one violation of unbecoming ministerial conduct shall have his/her entire disciplinary record submitted to the International Executive Council for a determination as to continued ministry or permanent revocation of credentials.
D. Homosexual Offense
The credentials of a minister must be revoked when found guilty of a homosexual offense, and he/she must be dis-fellowshipped from the church. He/she is never to be reinstated to the ministry.
IV. PROGRAM OF RESTORATION
Any minister whose credentials have been suspended/revoked shall be offered a program of restoration. The restoration process shall be facilitated by the Center for Ministerial Care office and involve ministry from the entire church body.
In the Church of God, the prescribed program of restoration is supervised by the International Executive Council and implemented by a ministry team including, but not limited to the following: the ministerial advocate, the state/territorial overseer, the local church, a pastoral mentor, a Christian counselor, and the Center for Ministerial Care.
The Center for Ministerial Care shall coordinate the ministry team and serve in a facilitative and consultative role. (Any exceptions to this procedural approach, such as in areas outside the United States of America, shall be approved by the office of the ministerial advocate.)
1. The disciplinary process officially begins when the minister enters the restoration program by notifying the Center for Ministerial Care in writing on the forms provided.
2. If requested, the person being disciplined shall be allowed up to three months to make necessary emotional, vocational, and family adjustments prior to entering the restoration program, provided the limits on ministerial activities are observed.
3. Should a minister whose license has been suspended, fail to voluntarily enter the restoration program within three months from the date of being advised by the state/territorial overseer of the disciplinary action and the requirement to enter the restoration program, said minister’s credentials shall be revoked.
D. Healing and Renewal
The disciplined party must show evidence of healing and renewal of strength against the temptations that provoked his/her failure. This is to be demonstrated by:
Confession of the shame and ramifications of his/her offense.
Acceptance of personal blame and responsibility for the offense.
Submission to the authority of the church in its disciplinary and restorative processes.
E. Whereas the Church of God believes in the restoration of the individual; and whereas the Church of God makes such provision for the restoration of credentialed ministers who successfully complete care counseling; and whereas there is a wealth of potential ministers among the Church of God laity; be it resolved that any lay member with past disqualifying behaviors, who successfully completes a restorative care program (Church of God), and is otherwise qualified for credentialed ministry, be considered for possible licensing.
V. ADDITIONAL RULINGS—DISORDERLY MINISTERS
1. The disciplinary record of all ministers shall be cumulative and the entire record shall be considered in all disciplinary actions.
2. In the event the individual being disciplined is not credentialed by the Church of God, but is engaged in ministerial activities, the policies relating to suspension and revocation of ministry as defined in this section shall apply.
3. All ministers having their ministry revoked for the cause of failure to pay tithes shall be required to show a record of at least six (6) months of loyalty in tithing before being reinstated to the ministry.
4. Ministers who resign their ministry to evade charges instituted, or being instituted against them as a result of alleged offending conduct, shall be considered guilty
5. Where ministers have had their ministry revoked for any cause and engage in ministerial activities in opposition to the Church of God, our ministers and members shall be considered disloyal in promoting their ministerial activities
6. Where a minister’s work has been generally known, either before or after he/she surrendered his/her license, his/her application for reinstatement to the ministry shall be approved by a two- thirds vote of the International Executive Council, and the general overseer shall determine whether or not his/her case should come before the International Executive Council.
7. A minister whose license is revoked and who goes into open sin shall be required to be baptized in water before his/her ministry is restored, and we further recommend that this apply to any and all ministers who shall apply for membership in the Church of God.
8. The past record of ministers who present themselves to the Church of God shall be investigated; and where there have been accusations of immoral conduct, said ministers shall not be eligible to be an ordained minister or an ordained bishop until endorsed by three-fourths of the International Executive Council
9. When a minister has been tried by a state board and his/ her license ordered revoked, and the local church where his/her membership is instructed to withdraw fellowship, the local church shall be required to carry out the decision of the state board. Further, where the offending minister has been found guilty of the sexual abuse of a child, an offense that requires withdrawal of church membership and permanent revocation of ministerial credentials, the guilty party shall be prohibited from attending, participating in, or having any involvement with, any activities of the local church or churches where the victims in said offense presently attend or have attended.
10. Ministers who do not report or who are not actively engaged in preaching and other ministerial work for as much as six (6) months, provided such inactivity is not caused by illness or age, shall have their ministry revoked.
11. The minister who allegedly walks disorderly while in another state, should be tried by a state board in the state where the alleged offense was committed, and if found guilty his/her ministry should be revoked by the overseer of the state where his/ her membership is.
S9. OFFENDING MINISTERS
1. MINISTERIAL DISCIPLINE
Trial Procedures and Appeals for New Testament Church of God-Kenya Ministers
In as much as New Testament Church of God-Kenya hearings and/or trials of its ministers or members are ecclesiastical rather than civil in nature, and concern matters within the Christian brotherhood, to be judged by the guidelines of Holy Scripture rather than civil law, the ministers and members of the New Testament Church of God-Kenya do hereby agree that legal counsel may not attend or participate in those proceedings.
However, the accused, as well as the person bringing the charge shall be given the option of inviting a duly credentialed New Testament Church of God-Kenya minister to appear with him/her throughout the hearings, trials, or appeals for the purpose of personal support only. Further, in matters of alleged sexual, physical, or psychological abuse by the accused, where there may be alleged victims or witnesses to the same, each of those alleged victims or witnesses shall be given the option of inviting a duly credentialed New Testament Church of God-Kenya minister to appear with him/her throughout hearings, trials, or appeals for the purpose of personal support only.
A. Guidelines for Administarative Bishop
1. Warn ministers who are delinquent in reporting.
2. Revoke the license of ministers who have not reported for as much as six (6) months.
3. Arrange for trial of accused ministers, notifying the accused of charges, time, and place of trial.
4. Terminate the license of a convicted minister by signing a revocation which is sent to the general overseer.
5. Revoke the ministry of one who is a member of his nation when his/her trial, conviction, and offense were in another nation.
6. In rare instances involving church and pastor estrangement, a board of three (3) ministers appointed by the Administrative Bishop might be of some help to the Bishop. Such a board could listen to problems and render an advisory opinion. This type of procedure, in acute cases, furnishes a broader base of strength for the overseer.
7. In instances of increasing rumor and/or question, the administrative Bishop could appoint a board of investigation to separate fact from rumor, provide a clearer conception of the problem at hand, and possibly indicate a proper course of action.
B. Trial Procedures
1. Filing of Charges
Any charge brought against a minister must be in writing and signed by the individual bringing the said charge. Prior to any formal trial or hearing, the state overseer shall, where possible, arrange a face-to-face meeting between the accused and the accuser, in keeping with the commands of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17. Said meeting to be moderated by the state overseer, or one whom he shall appoint.
a. The burden of proof rests upon the individual making the charge.
b. Refuting said charge rests upon the one charged.
c. Any charge should be presented to the Administrative Bishop of the nation in which the alleged offense is committed.
d. After a charge is brought in writing, the burden of handling said charge rests with the state overseer, who is considered the pastor of any minister serving under his charge.
2. Selection of Trial Board
The Administrative Bishop shall appoint all trial boards.
a. He should avoid using the National Council as a trial board. However, individual members of any elected board can be selected by the administrative bishop, if he chooses.
b. All members of a trial board should be individuals of experience, such as a pastor or evangelist.
c. The trial board should consist of not less than three (3) ordained bishops.
d. Conflicts of interest, such as relatives, those taking sides, or those connected in any way which would hinder a fair trial or cast a shadow upon the system of the church to deal ethically or fairly with all men should be avoided.
e. Any minister appointed to a trial board who feels he cannot render an impartial decision should so state and be replaced.
f. Any officer in the trial procedure who feels there is a conflict of interest should have the right to call said conflict to the attention of the state overseer or the general overseer and expect it to be corrected before proceeding with consummation of the trial.
g. Any ministerial liaison or advocate who is subjectively involved, or whose family is involved, should have the right not to participate in any decisions related to the case, absent himself voluntarily, and request to be replaced for any given trial.
h. The accused minister, as well as the person making the accusation, shall be given the option of inviting another duly credentialed New Testament Church of God-Kenya minister to appear with him/ her during hearings, trials, and appeals, for the purpose of personal support. (Since this is an ecclesiastical matter in the brotherhood of the church, no legal counsel may be present).
3. Notification of Defendant
The Administrative Bishop shall set the date of trial and notify defendant of charges, time and place of trial, at least seven (7) days prior to trial. Notification shall be given by certified mail with a return receipt, where possible. If defendant waives the time limit in favor of an earlier trial, he/she should sign a statement to that effect which will become a part of the trial record. The defendant may, with the consent of the Administrative Bishop, waive trial by the national board to a board appointed by the general overseer and his assistants, in which case there shall be no appeal.
4. Consideration for Person Making Charge
a. The right of fair and courteous treatment
b. The right to be instructed concerning all procedures
c. The right to produce witnesses with corroborating testimony and evidence
d. The right of notification of trial, procedures, and the right of appeal
e. The right to appeal any conflict of interest which might occur
f. The right to be heard, to face the one being charged, and to face those hearing said charge
5. Consideration for Person Charged
a. The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, in accordance with our trial system
b. The right to know what he/she is charged with and the person(s) bringing the charge (in writing)
c. The right of fair and courteous treatment
d. The right to be instructed concerning all procedures
e. The right to plead “guilty” or “not guilty”
f. The right to refute said charges and to produce witnesses, testimony, and other evidence
g. The right to be heard, to face the accuser and those hearing said charges, and to be present in the hearing room while evidence is being heard
h. The right of appeal concerning any conflict of interest which might occur
i. No defendant can avoid a trial by board by confessing to a lesser charge. Trial by board can be avoided only by confessing to the greater charge. For example: any confession of “unbecoming conduct with the opposite sex” must be tried by board to determine that indeed the individual is not guilty of the greater charge of “adultery.”
6. Trial Procedures
a. Secretary of Record—the Administrative Bishop shall appoint a secretary to keep a record of trial proceedings.
b. Register of Witnesses—both the defense and prosecution shall furnish a list of witnesses prior to the trial. Testimony should then be limited to these witnesses, unless one comes forward during the trial with new evidence.
c. The Trial—the Administrative Bishop shall moderate the trial unless the defendant is related to him, in which case he shall disqualify himself and the moderator shall be appointed by the general overseer. The trial should be opened with prayer, followed by appropriate remarks by the chairman. The charges should be read to the defendant in the presence of the person(s) who signed the charges. The charges shall then become a part of the trial record.
d. When a group of individuals has preferred charges, they may testify individually or they may select a spokesman from their number to represent them, provided the defendant is so notified and offers no objection. However, in morals cases each witness must testify individually. In all cases, individual testimony must be given if the defendant so desires.
e. After all prosecution witnesses have testified, the defendant shall be given an opportunity to face each witness individually and to defend himself/herself. After the defendant has had opportunity to face his/her accusers, defense witnesses will then be called and heard individually. Character witnesses may be heard individually or collectively at the discretion of the board.
f. The board shall retain the prerogative to recall any witness on either side at any time during the trial. The board may go into executive session at any time in order to clarify testimony, discuss possible changes in procedure, or deter- mine what action present circumstances may dictate.
7. Notification of Decision
a. When all testimony has concluded, the defendant shall be excused and told that he/she will be notified of the board’s decision. In most instances, the defendant can be notified in person or by telephone, and the decision confirmed by certified mail, where possible. After deliberation, the board shall present its decision in writing, signed by each member, to the state overseer, who in turn will notify the defendant and the complainant and take appropriate action.
b. The trial board’s decision will become part of the defendant’s permanent record at the national office and will also be filed at International Offices.
c. In the event the trial board renders a decision of guilt, said decision must be in agreement with the ruling of the International General Assembly listed under caption DISORDERLY MINISTERS.
d. Both the one charging and the one being charged should be notified of the decision of the trial board, and (a) recommendations for conforming to said decision and/or (b) a record of this follow-up should be kept in the individual’s file.
A. Any appeal from a decision of a national trial board must be presented to the general overseer in writing and signed within ten (10) days after the defendant has received written notification of the decision from the state overseer.
B. An appeal may be granted when requested in writing within the prescribed time limit for one or more of the following reasons:
1. The trial was conducted improperly.
2. New evidence which was not available at the time of the trial becomes available.
3. There is a conflict of interest in those conducting the trial.
4. The International Executive Committee deems such advisable for other reasons.
Note: Every minister has a right to expect courteous treatment and fair dealing from his/her superiors in all matters relating to his/her position or field of labor in keeping with the dignity of a minister of the gospel. In the event these rights are apparently denied, and by this denial his/her ministry shall be greatly curtailed and damaged, he/she shall have the right to appeal to the general overseer, in writing, who, with the International Executive Committee, shall take whatever steps are necessary to effect a possible solution, if in their opinion the appeal warrants such action. The purpose of the right of appeal is to open channels whereby differences between the concerned parties may be resolved.
a. The Church is a part of the International General Assembly of the Church of God. Thus it accepts and conforms to the government stipulated by the International General Assembly, as stated in the Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance as its system of government. It is also subject to the policies and provisions stated in the Church of God WORLD MISSIONS POLICY MANUAL.
b. Officers and National Council: The officers and National Council shall be as follows:
1). National Council
2.) National Secretary
3). Finance Committee
I. SELECTION OF NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE BISHOP
a. Administratieve Bishop The Church shall have an Administratieve Bishop. Three nominees shall be (nominated by the National Council, approved by the National Ministers in session at AGM of the National Convention, approved) by the Area Superintendent (and the African Field Director) and appointed by the Church of God World Missions Board, subject to approval of the Church of God Executive Committee. He is responsible for the executive, administrative and spiritual oversight of the church. He is to appoint all pastors of local congregations, approve and sign all ministerial licenses, call and preside over National Council meetings and general meetings and all other task required of him for the operation of the Church. He shall by virtue of this position serve as the Vice Chairman of the National Council.
b. That the opportunity to participate in the National Administrative Bishop Preference/Evaluation voting process be restricted to those internationally credentialed ministers who are current with their personal ministerial reports to both their State/Regional Office and the International Offices. In addition, those ministers who have been appointed as a pastor of a local church must also be current, or in covenant agreement, with their state/region and international monthly church reports, including appropriate monies, beginning at the time of their appointment, in order to participate in the process.
c. The National Administrative Bishop shall be chosen from among the current or past Regional Bishops.
d. If the incumbent serves for two terms i.e. 8 years, then during the seventh year, a preference ballot will be taken to determine the possibility of serving the third and final term, whereby he has to get two third of the votes from the qualified ministers as stated in b above.
e. In case he is unable to meet the threshold of two third votes as stated in d above, the process of selecting a new national administrative bishop will begin as stipulated in a above.
f. The induction period plus the official handing over should not be less than twelve months, during this period. The national council will select the team that will oversee the transition process.
g. The official hand over exercises will be during the first week of September after the general assembly and it will entail the following;
i) An audited and approved report by the ministers in the AGM., witnessed by the neck, in the presences of the board of trustees, under the leadership of area superintendent/field director or any appointed person from their office.
The office of National Administrative Bishop is an honored and vital position in the New Testament Church of God – Kenya (Acts 20:28). It is therefore fitting that the person who serves in this capacity be a person of strong spiritual authority and able to demonstrate capable leadership qualities, such as
1. The ability to oversee persons as well as programs (Acts 20:28).
2. An attitude of submission to those over him in the Lord (Hebrews 13:7).
3. Leadership qualities to motivate and delegate responsibilities for efficient operation (1 Corinthians 16:1; 1 Timothy 1:18, 19; 5:1, 2).
4. Sensitivity to those whom he serves by exemplifying compassion, trustworthiness, concern, and integrity (Hebrews 6:10; 1 Timothy 1:18, 19; 4:12, 13; 6:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Corinthians 4:1-3; 6:3-12a).
5. Adaptability to the cultural differences and changing role of church ministry (Acts 6:1-7; 2 Timothy 4:1, 2).
6. Must meet the minimum qualifications set by the Government of Kenya.
7. Must have a first degree in Bible and Theology from an accredited Bible College or its equivalent.
8. He must be an experience minister.
1. He shall be accountable to those who appoint him and dedicated to those whom he serves (2 Timothy 2:4, 5; Luke 16:2).
2. He shall be a model by demonstrating Christ-like attributes in his lifestyle and administration (2 Corinthians 6:3, 4a).
3. He shall be diligent in his relationship with his family, his community, his colleagues, and those over him in the Lord, so as not to bring a reproach to his witness and position (1 Timothy 3:2, 4, 5; 1 Corinthians 12:18, 20, 25, 28-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; Romans 14:16; James 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:12, 14; 2 Timothy 2:24, 25).
4. He shall stay abreast of the times in terms of administration, finances, office procedures and techniques, and communications.
III. TERM OF OFFICE
The National Administrative Bishop’s term of office shall be for four years (beginning with the 2016 International General Assembly term). Any additional terms must meet the following criteria:
1. He must receive a minimum of a two-thirds majority of the vote of the ministers [in his nation].
2. The success of his administration must merit said consideration for an additional term.
IV. DUTIES AND AUTHORITIES
The National Administrative Bishop shall:
1. Arrange for and assist in conducting a general evangelistic campaign throughout his territory.
2. Nominate Regional Bishops to the National Council for their approval, with the consultation of Regional Bishops, appoint district overseers, pastors, and make changes or fill vacancies in pastorates, when necessary.
3. Approve the setting in order of churches before organization is effective.
4. Approve the selection, purchase, and construction of all church, parsonage, or Sunday school properties, together with the respective Regional Bishop and District Overseers.
5. As the CEO of the church, will determine the need of personnel at the national office and hire qualified individuals who are able to handle the said position at hand.
6. Officiate at all ordination services in his territory, sign credentials of all ministers in his territory who have been approved by the general overseer, or return such credentials to the general overseer, giving reasons for not signing.
7. Sign revocation when terminating the ministry of any individual.
8. Discontinue inactive churches; sign a report of same on forms prepared for this use and send to the general overseer.
9. Transfer members of churches which have ceased to exist, to the church most convenient for the member.
10. Appoint any officer in a local church, Family Training Hour and/or YPE, Sunday school, or Women’s [Discipleship] Ministries, when necessary.
11. Pass on all questionnaires of applicants to the ministry in his territory who are considered worthy, and sign such applications, showing his endorsement of the applicant before submitting applications to the general overseer.
12. With the National Council decide the bounds of each region and district in his territory.
13. Report the organization of new churches to the secretary general on forms prepared for same.
14. Conduct a convention on each region once each year, or group two or more regions for one convention, and at least one national convention, giving general instructions in doctrine and general interests of the church.
15. Call regional or national ministers’ meetings or prayer conferences to arrange for the national program.
16. Before launching large financial state projects, have the approval of the World Missions Director.
17. Where the National Administrative Bishop is serving as pastor, or has relatives who are members of the church, or other conditions that would render him incapable of giving a fair trial to an offending member who has been excluded from the church, he has a right to appeal to the area Superintendent, who shall select two ordained bishops to sit with him to decide whether or not the offending party should have another trial.
18. The National Administrative Bishop, with the Regional Bishop and district overseer, may authorize exhorters to pastor churches, baptize, and receive members into the church, when such authority is necessary or in case of an emergency.
19. The state overseer shall make monthly reports to the general overseer on forms prepared for such reports.
20. Leave all records pertaining to the state work, such as minister’s reports, church treasurer’s reports, ledgers, financial records, national council decisions, or any other record of importance, in the files in the national office for his successor’s information.
21. Live in the nation over which he is made overseer.
22. To model, encourage and provide formal training and prayerful guidance to pastors in the following areas: Preparing and managing an annual local church budget; dealing with local church conflict resolution; and impacting the local community.
S10. NATIONAL COUNCIL
The ministers, in conference, shall elect a board of councilors to the National Administrative Bishop (the National Administrative Bishop serving as ex-officio chairman).
1) National Council: The National Council shall be made up of the Regional Bishops who shall serve for a four-year term. They may be elected for an additional four-year term at the discretion of the National Council. They shall not serve more than eight consecutive years) and an equal number of members elected by the Ministerial Body in session at the biennial National Convention. They are eligible for re-election for one further term but may not serve more than two consecutive terms. After serving for two consecutive terms, they must be off the Council for one full term before again being eligible for re-election. These members shall be elected without designation of office. After election, the National Administrative Bishop shall nominate each one to an office according to his respective abilities subject to the approval of the National Council.
2) One person in good standing and support of the church in Kenya will be appointed by National Administrative Bishop-Kenya to serve on the council for four year term to represent missionary team as Ex-official and may be considered for another four years by the recommendation of Administrative Bishop and approval of the council.
3) Same will apply to the Higher education school in Kenyan Church (Discipleship College), Where one person will be appointed by the Administrative Bishop to serve as representative of the college in Kenya. He/she shall serve for four years, and may be considered for another four years based on service and recommendation by the Administrative Bishop and approval by the National Executive Council to serve as Ex-official to the National Executive Council.
II. DUTIES AND AUTHORITIES
The National Council shall:
1. With the National Administrative Bishop, have supervision of missions money, surplus tithes, parsonage, campground, and all other funds received and disbursed by the national treasury.
2. The proceeds from the sale of property of disbanded churches, less expenses incurred by the national/regional offices for that particular church, shall be disbursed exclusively for church assistance and church planting.
3. After national office expenses have been paid, be authorized to use the surplus tithe of tithes from the state treasury to supplement the income of underpaid pastors and evangelists.
4. Meet as often as the ministers and the National Administrative Bishop deem necessary.
5. Consider and pass on appeals and applications for help on new projects, evangelism, needy ministers, or such emergencies as may arise from time to time.
6. Counsel and act with the National Administrative Bishop in the study and preparation of recommendations for the National Ministers’ Conference.
7. With the National Administrative Bishop, employ the national secretary and treasurer and set salary, and so forth. However, where the National Administrative Bishop receives the limit in salary and expense, no member of his immediate family shall be employed as state secretary and treasurer.
a) Secretary: He shall keep the minutes for each meeting of the National Council and Ministerial Body. He shall keep an up-to-date file of all business conducted by the National Council and Ministerial Body.
b) Vice Secretary: He shall assist the Secretary as required and stand in for him at any meeting where he is absent.
c) Treasurer: Due to the unique requirements and responsibilities of this position, the Treasurer shall be nominated by the Administrative Bishop and approved by the National Council. The Treasurer is responsible to keep accurate accounts of all income and disbursements. He or she shall, with the Administratieve Bishop and approval of the National Council, establish and maintain a checking account(s) in the name of the Church for the handling of national funds.
d) Vice Treasurer: He shall assist the Treasurer as required.
e) Members at Large: These members shall be responsible to perform such reasonable tasks as directed by the Administrative Bishop. Each of these members must be a minister in good standing with the Church. The Administrative Bishop with approval from the remaining members of the National Council may remove a council member from office for reasons proven to be contrary to the best interests of the Council.
If a member of the National Council ceases to be a minister in good standing with the Church, he shall also cease to be a member of the National Council.
If a council member wishes to resign, he must give his letter of resignation stating his reasons to the Administrative Bishop with copies to the remaining Council members.
Filling of a vacant position: If for any reason a council member does not fulfill his term of office, his remaining term of office shall be filled by the person who received the highest number of votes, but was not elected to the National Council, in the last election.
e) Advisory Committee: This Committee shall consist of the Regional Bishops. This Committee will meet between National Council meetings to assist and advise the Administrative Bishop as called and needed by said Bishop.
S11. REGIONAL ADMINISTRATION:
To facilitate the efficient management of the Church the Administrative Bishop with the National Council shall divide the administrative responsibilities of the church by establishing a number of regions districts and their boundaries.
Each region shall be led by a:
1. Regional Bishop
1). A nominating ballot shall be presented to all ministers in the region for reccomendation to the Administrative Bishop.
2). Following the nominating ballot, the Regional Bishop shall be nominated by the National Administrative Bishop and appointed by the National Council.
1). Must hold the ministerial rank of Ordained Bishop
2). Must hold a Diploma in Bible and Theology or its equvalent.
3). Must be a minister in good standing having a consistant record of tithing and reporting.
4). Only District Overseers and former District Overseers may qualify.
The Regional Bishop may serve a four year term and may be appointed for one additional four year term.
2. Assistant Regional Bishop
The Assistant Regional Bishop shall be nominated by the Regional Bishop and appointed by the National Council.
1). Must hold the ministerial rank of Ordained Bishop
2). Must hold a Diploma in Bible and Theology or its equvalent.
3). Must be a minister in good standing having a consistant record of tithing and reporting.
4). And other qualifications as stated in the Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance
1). Regional Council members may serve for a four term and may be appointed for one additional four term.
3. Regional Council
Each Region shall have a Regional Council made up of a minimum of three ministers from that region.
1). Council members shall be nominated by the Regional Bishop and appointed by the Adminstrative Bishop.
1). Regional Council members shall be ministers in good standing with a consistant record of tithing and reporting.
2). Must reside in the region they are to serve.
3). Must hold the rank of Ordained Minister or above.
4). ) Where there are not enough qualified ministers with credentials, then the NECK has to approve the list of names submitted by the regional overseers. through the approval of national bishop.
Council members may serve four years and be eligible for one additional four year term.
a. Each region shall have a Regional Secretary who may also serve as Treasurer. The Secretary/Treasurer shall be nominated by the Regional Bishop and appointed by the Regional Council.
5. Finance Committee:
a. Each region shall have a Finance Committee of a minimum of three members who shall be responsible to receive and disburse all Regional funds.
b. A Regional Bank account shall be established and all funds shall be disbursed by check.
c. The Regional Bishop nor any member of his family may serve on the Finance Committee.
S12. DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION
1. District Boundaries
a. District boundaries shall be established by the Regional Bishop and the Regional Council.
b. The Administrative Bishop shall be notified of all changes to District Boundaries.
2. District Overseer:
1). Each District shall have a District Overseer Nominated by the Regional Bishop and appointed by the Regional Council.
1) Must hold the rank of Ordained Minister or Ordained Bishop.
2) Must have a Diploma in Bible and Theology or the equivalent.
3) Must be a member in good standing having a consistant record of tithing and reporting.
District Overseer may serve four years and be eligible for one additional four year term.
3. Assistant District Overseer:
i. The assistant District Overseer shall be nominated by the District Overseer and appointed by the Regional Council.
a) Must be a member in good standing having a consistant record of tithing and reporting.
b) Must be an Ordained Minister or Ordained Bishop.
c) When necessary Exhorters may serve under the direct supervision of the Regional Bishop with the understanding that at the first opportunity they will advance to Ordained Minister status.
I. APPOINTMENT OF PASTORS
1. The authority for the appointment of pastors is vested in the National Administrative Bishop.
2. Local churches are to refrain from taking action on the selection of pastors until authorized to do so by the National Administrative Bishop.
3. The National Administrative Bishop shall appoint the pastor subsequent to consultation with the Regional Bishop and the district overseer, after having given members of the local church an opportunity to express themselves regarding their desire for pastor of their choice.
4. The state overseer may call for an expression from the membership (at least 16 years of age) when there is an apparent decline in the spiritual health and well-being of the local church.
5. The signature [of the individual expressing a pastoral preference] is required on the local church uniform pastoral preference ballot.
6. Must have a Certificate in Bible and Theology or its equivalent.
II. PROCEDURE FOR EFFECTING A PASTORAL CHANGE
When a pastor desires a pastoral change, he/she shall submit a letter of request to the National Administrative Bishop, who shall keep this request in strictest confidence, except with those involved in the placement process .
III. PROCEDURE FOR LAITY CONTACTING STATE OVERSEER
The National Administrative Bishop serves both the ministry and laity; therefore, when loyal, tithing members of a local church have a legitimate concern as it relates to the welfare of their church, they have the right and privilege to contact their National Administrative Bishop, after they have contacted their pastor and district overseer and Regional Bishop. All concerns expressed to the National Administrative Bishop should be communicated to the pastor, district overseer and Regional Bishop with the names of the individuals expressing such concerns. These concerns should be preferably in writing, not as part of a petition.
IV. ASSISTANT PASTOR
Where assistant pastors are needed, they are to be nominated by the local church and pastor, subject to the approval and appointment of the National Administrative Bishop.
S14.CHURCH AND PASTOR’S COUNCIL
1. When a local church deems it practical to have a Church and Pastor’s Council, said council shall be elected by the governing body of the church consisting of the loyal members. Members of the Church and Pastor’s Council shall be loyal members of the church.
2. This council is to be elected biennially and by ballot.
3. A system of rotation may be used whereby council members will serve a designated length of time.
4. In the event the office of one of the council members is vacated between elections because the incumbent dies, becomes disabled, or is in any other way disqualified, the pastor is to submit to the governing body of the local church the names of the two individuals who received the next highest number of votes in the last election, so that one may be selected to fill the vacancy. Alternates may be elected during the regular election to fill any vacancies.
II. SIZE AND CHAIRMANSHIP
The number on the Church and Pastor’s Council shall be:
Membership up to 100, not less than three (3) councilors.
Membership 101-225, not less than five (5) councilors.
Membership 226-350, not less than seven (7) councilors.
Membership 351-500, not less than nine (9) councilors.
Membership 501 and over, not less than twelve (12) councilors.
The pastor shall serve as chairman of the Church and Pastor’s Council, shall call all regular monthly or quarterly meetings, and may call special meetings as needed. No meeting shall be called without the permission of the pastor, district overseer, or Regional Bishop.
III. QUALIFICATIONS FOR CHURCH AND PASTOR’S COUNCIL
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (Acts 6:3).
A member who serves on the Church and Pastor’s Council must be:
1. A loyal member of the church, adhering to its teachings.
2. Baptized in the Holy Ghost.
3. Faithful in tithing.
4. A regular church attendant.
5. One who works in harmony with the local, state, and general church’s program and reflects a cooperative attitude toward the progress of the church.
IV. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. The Church and Pastor’s Council, under the direction of the pastor, shall promote the general and state outreach programs of the church.
2. The Church and Pastor’s Council shall work in harmony with the pastor and assist him/her, when called upon, in the institution and direction of the local church program in the following areas:
The Church and Pastor’s Council, under the direction of the pastor, shall encourage spiritual growth of the local congregation with emphasis on personal Bible reading, prayer, family devotions, tithing and giving, Christian service, and personal witnessing.
The Church and Pastor’s Council, under the direction of the pastor, shall approve the disbursement of church funds. (This does not include Women’s Ministries monies.) All major disbursements must be approved by the church in conference. Each congregation shall determine what amount constitutes a major disbursement.
The Church and Pastor’s Council, under the direction of the pastor, shall provide and maintain proper building facilities for the congregation and a proper residence for the pastor. The council shall see that all church properties are properly insured and tax-exempt, when the secular government provides such exemption.
S15. CHURCH TREASURER
1. A church treasurer shall be appointed by the pastor and confirmed by the council and/or the church body.
2. The church treasurer or a member of the council may serve as recording secretary of the Church and Pastor’s Council.
3. Each local church is to provide the treasurer with a copy of the current Minutes of the International General Assembly. An adequate bookkeeping system is to be used in all churches.
II. QUALIFICATIONS OF CHURCH TREASURER
To serve as church treasurer one must be:
1. A loyal member of the church, adhering to its teachings.
2. Baptized in the Holy Ghost.
3. Faithful in tithing.
4. A regular church attendant.
5. One who performs duties under the supervision of the pastor and with his approval.
6. One who works in harmony with the church’s program and reflects a cooperative attitude with reference to the progress of the local church.
7. Any exceptions to the above qualifications must be approved by the state overseer.
III. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHURCH TREASURER
The church treasurer shall:
1. Determine and maintain an accurate record of the date of the organization of the church and all other vital information pertaining to the local church organization.
2. Keep an accurate record of the names and addresses of all local church members.
3. Report monthly to the National Office the names and addresses of all members moving from their local church to another area.
4. Record and maintain accurate minutes of all church conferences and business transactions (loans, property transactions, and so forth).
5. Maintain an accurate record of all the local church conferences and disbursements, at the church, where possible.
6. Prepare monthly reports and send to the National Office by the fifth of each month.
(DOES A COPY GO TO THE D.O. OR R.O.?)
7. Prepare a financial report for each quarterly conference.
8. Furnish an itemized list of all receipts and disbursements to the pastor each week.
9. Disburse money from the church treasury under the direction of the pastor. (The pastor and treasurer are to sign all authorized checks.)
S16. FINANCIAL SYSTEM
I. FINANCE COMMITTEE
Because of an ever-increasing responsibility upon those handling money in the local churches, each church is to have a Finance Committee.
The Finance Committee shall consist of the treasurer and two other members. The second and third members shall be appointed by the pastor and confirmed by the Church and Pastor’s Council and/or the members of the church.
B. Qualifications of Finance Committee Members
A member of the Finance Committee must be:
1. A loyal member of the church, adhering to its teachings.
2. Baptized in the Holy Ghost.
3. Faithful in tithing.
4. A regular church attendant.
5. One who works in harmony with the church’s programs and reflects a cooperative attitude with reference to the progress of the local church.
6. Any exceptions to the above qualifications must be approved by the District Overseer.
C. Duties and Responsibilities of the Finance Committee
The Finance Committee shall:
1. Receive and count all monies.
2. Prepare funds for deposit.
3. Establish a bank account and disburse all funds by check.
All members and ministers of the Church of God shall pay tithes into the church where they are members.
S17.LOCAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Each local church or congregation that owns any property (either real or personal), shall appoint a Local Board of Trustees, to consist of not less than three members, said board to be selected by the local congregation in a business meeting.
II. DUTIES AND AUTHORITIES
1. Members of the Local Board of Trustees shall hold office until their successors are appointed. The Local Board of Trustees shall hold title to, manage and control, pursuant to the direction of the local congregation, not inconsistent with the International General Assembly Minutes, all real estate and personal property owned by the local congregation by which they are selected, provided that all such property shall be used, managed, and controlled for the sole and exclusive use and benefit of the New Testament Church of God – Kenya
2. The said Local Board of Trustees shall have full right, power, and authority to buy property for the use or benefit of the local congregation; to sell, hypothecate, exchange, transfer, and convey any of the local property held by it, or to borrow money and pledge the said property for the repayment of the same; and to execute all necessary deeds, conveyances, and so forth, provided that each of the following conditions is met: (1) the proposition shall first be presented to a regular or called conference of the local church; (2) presided over by the District Overseer, or one whom he may appoint; (3) approved by a two–thirds majority vote; and (4) provided further that the board have a certification, in writing, from the District Overseer, or one whom he may appoint, that the proposition is not adverse to the interest of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya.
3. If any local church shall cease to function or exist, or remain in good standing with the New Testament Church of God –Kenya, then the Local Board of Trustees shall hold the local property, both real and personal, in trust for the New Testament Church of God –Kenya and said local board shall convey the local property as directed by the District Overseer to the National Board of Trustees, to be used and disposed of by it for the use and benefit of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya
1. If the Local Board of Trustees has ceased to exist or perform its duties, then the District Overseer shall have the authority to declare all offices thereon vacant and to appoint a special board of successor trustees, which may be the National Board of Trustees, who shall thereupon automatically hold title to all property.
2. Furthermore, in the event of dissension within a local church of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya, the Administrative Bishop of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya shall have authority to declare the offices of the Local Board of Trustees vacant and to appoint a special Board of Trustees, which may be the National Board of Trustees, as successors to the Local Board of Trustees, and such special board so appointed shall automatically then hold title to the local property both real and personal.
3. If a sufficient number of qualified members are not available in any local church to constitute the Board of Trustees, another or others may be selected from another church.
4. Any person appointed to said Local Board of Trustees shall be a member in good standing of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya. If at any time, any member of the said local board shall cease to be a member in good standing, or if by any reason, whether of death, removal, incapacity, or unwillingness to perform any duty of his office, or further, at the discretion of the District Overseer, his place on the board may be declared vacant by the District Overseer. The same authority that declares said office vacant is authorized to appoint another person to serve until the time for regular appointments, and the one so appointed shall have the same authority, responsibilities and duties as held by the one removed.
S18. APPROVAL OF CONSTRUCTION, PURCHASE, OR REMODELING PLANS FOR LOCAL CHURCH
The Administrative Bishop shall require any local church, before acquiring property, beginning or contracting for construction or purchase of a new church or educational building or a parsonage, or remodeling of such a building, if the cost will exceed 10 percent of its value, to submit for consideration and approval a statement of the need for the proposed facilities, preliminary architectural plans, and estimate of the cost, and a financial plan for defraying such costs. Before finally approving the building project, the Administrative Bishop or his designee shall ascertain whether the preliminary architectural design and financial programs have been reviewed, evaluated, and approved by proper authorities.
S19.ALL PROPERTY HELD FOR NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH OF GOD-KENYA
All property, real or personal, held by or for a particular local church, state office, department or agency, whether legal title is lodged in a corporation, a trustee or trustees, or an unincorporated association, is held in trust nevertheless for the use and benefit of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya. The centralized governmental structure of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya does not provide for local church ownership of properties outside the trust relationship for the sole and exclusive use and benefit of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya. All deed conveyances, or other actions purporting to effect ownership or control of real or personal property, which are inconsistent with the requirements as set forth in these International General Assembly Minutes are deemed invalid and ineffective to alter the essential trust relationship for the benefit of the New Testament Church of God –Kenya.
Pastors and churches are required to keep all property under their care adequately insured where practical.
S20. General Meetings
a. Annual meeting of the Ministerial Body
1) There shall be a meeting annually of the Ministerial Body at a time and place announced by the Administrative Bishop. The purpose of the meeting shall be for spiritual fellowship, teaching, to discuss the spiritual welfare and to conduct any business at hand of the Church.
2) Only Ministers holding one of the aforementioned credentials (namely Ordained Bishop, Ordained Minister, Exhorter, or National Preacher’s Identity Card) who are in good standing with the Church and physically present at the meeting are eligible to speak or vote.
3) The agenda for the meeting shall be determined by the Administratieve Bishop and National Council.
8. The Administratieve Bishop shall preside over the meeting.
9. If any urgent matter arises that cannot be left until the next annual meeting, the Administratieve Bishop may call a special meeting of said body.
6) A minimum of 50% of the Ministerial Body must be present for the body to conduct business.
b. Biennial National Convention
1) There shall be a biennial National Convention for all members at a time and place announced by the Administratieve Bishop. The purpose of the convention shall be for worship, fellowship, the discussion of the spiritual welfare and to conduct any business at hand of the Church.
2) The Ministerial Body shall also meet during the convention to elect the National Council members and to conduct any other business at hand.
3) The agenda for the National Convention shall be set by the Administratieve Bishop with the National Council.
4) The Administratieve Bishop shall preside over the National Convention.
There shall be a Board of Trustees consisting of not less than three members. They shall be nominated by the Administratieve Bishop and approved by the National Council for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further four year term.
a. They shall be registered under the Trustees (Perpetual Succession) Act (cap. 164).
b. The Board of Trustees shall hold title to, manage and control or cause to be managed and controlled pursuant to and in accordance with the direction of the Administratieve Bishop and National Council all real estate which the Church holds or in which the Church has a right or interest. This board shall use the said properties for the sole and exclusive benefit of the Church of God.
c. As directed by the Administratieve Bishop and the National Council with written approval from the Area Superintendent, the Board of Trustees shall have the right to sell, lease, transfer, and convey, or to borrow money and pledge the property to secure the repayment of the same. None of these transactions may be done without the proper knowledge and authorization of the Administratieve Bishop or Area Superintendent with the National Council.
d. Any person appointed to said Board of Trustees shall be a member in good standing with the Church. If at any time any member of the Board of Trustees shall cease to be a member in good standing, or if by reason of death, removal, incapacity or unwillingness to perform all duties of his office, his place on the Board may be declared vacant by the Administratieve Bishop. The Administratieve Bishop following the normal procedure stated in this article, shall appoint a successor to fill the unfulfilled term.
e. The common seal: The Administratieve Bishop shall be the custodian of the common seal. It shall be kept locked in a safe place in his office. It shall be used only on legal documents approved by the National Council and must be affixed in the presence of the Administratieve Bishop and at least one member of the Board of Trustees.
a. The Church shall be supported by voluntary tithes and contributions of its members, friends, and well- wishers. Each local congregation shall be allowed to receive weekly collections of tithes and offerings as is normal for a church. The local congregation shall have a treasurer and a finance committee of at least three persons, including the treasurer. They shall be responsible to count the collections and account for the money. The treasurer under the direction of the local pastor shall keep proper accounts for all funds received and disbursed. A bank account shall be established for the banking of funds, if the amount of funds received monthly exceeds the sum of KShs 1,000/= or the amount of money accumulated exceeds KShs 2,000/=.
(b. THIS MATTER IS REFERRED TO THE NATIONAL FINANCE COMMITTEE.)
c. The National Treasurer shall receive and account for all funds sent to the National Office. With the Administrative Bishop and National Council, a checking account shall be established in the name of the Church. Each cheque must be signed by two signatories. The signatories for the account shall be the National Overseer, treasurer, and at least two others as determined by the National Council.
b. A cash fund of an amount determined by the Administratieve Bishop shall be kept in the National Office for certain day to day expenses.
c. All disbursements must be approved by Administratieve Bishop.
d. No National Council member, minister, or member shall personally be held responsible for the contracted obligations made by the Church in general.
e. No National Council member, minister, or member shall demand a fixed salary for his services rendered to the Church.
f. All national funds shall be used for the support of the ministry, for the purchase and maintaining of real estate and other properties and for the general advancement of the Church.
g. The accounts of the national funds shall be available for inspection by any minister or member in good standing with the Church who has a valid reason to do so.
h. The Area Superintendent shall audit or order the accounts to be audited at his discretion according to the policies of the church of God World Missions Department.
a. The Church shall be dissolved if in the opinion of the Administratieve Bishop and the Area Superintendent there are not enough members to support the organization and to continue its proclaimed objectives and activities.
b. In such case, the Area Superintendent, Administratieve Bishop and National Council shall dispose of the existing properties in the following manner:
1) At the discretion of the above mentioned, all properties, real or movable, shall be either
donated to other charitable organizations or churches or sold and the proceeds used to clear any outstanding balances or loans as there may be and the remainder donated to other charitable organizations or churches.
2) Any remaining cash balances shall be used to clear any outstanding balances or loans and any remaining shall be donated to other charitable organizations or churches.
These statues and/or name can be amended or changed at the Annual Meeting of the Ministerial Body in full session with a two-thirds majority vote, all within the framework of the International General Assembly as stipulated in the Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance.
KENYAN ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Only those who are credentialed (Exhorter, Ordained and Ordained Bishop) will be eligible to vote at Minister’s Meetings.
a. Any minister who has completed the process for advancement but is waiting for the issuance of his certificate is deemed to have achieved the said rank.
NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH OF GOD-KENYA SHALL MAINTAIN A CHURCH RETIREMENT/PENSION SCHEME
a. All ministers shall be required to be active members of said scheme.