Our global leadership has spoken and we are listening.
These are exciting times to be part of our fellowship. We have embarked on a comprehensive self-evaluation like none we have ever experienced before entitled “Forward by Faith” ICOC 3.0. From coast to coast and continent to continent leaders of all ages have engaged in significant discussions about where we are as a movement and more importantly, where we want to go. More than 2,400 elders, evangelists, women’s ministry leaders, interns, lay leaders and board members have met from every family of churches around the world. We are hearing from disciples from China to Chile, from India to Indiana and from Lagos to LA.
The results are pouring in and a clear picture is coming into focus. We have overwhelming agreement on a wide range of topics including:
- We are, and want to be, a global brotherhood
- We want to be organized globally
- We long to see more souls saved by the grace of God
- We are willing to share our financial resources to meet “brotherhood” needs
Other realities also came to light during our times of discussion and prayer.
- Very few people understand our current structure of Delegates, Service Teams, Proposals, etc.
- Communication has been a weakness of our organization in recent years as more than 70% believe we need “significant improvement” in our communication infrastructure.
- Conflict resolution and maintaining unity are issues that are on the mind of most of those who responded.
- Our Global Missions Societies are also not broadly understood. A majority feel they need developmental support.
- People feel respected, engaged, and excited to be asked to dream together about ICOC 3.0
Our commitment in this process is to be transparent, inclusive, and action-oriented as we humbly and prayerfully seek God’s will about our future. The scriptures promise that if we need wisdom all we need to do is ask God and not doubt. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” – James 1:5.
With that promise in mind we are forming 5 Task Forces to address the areas where there is strong consensus on obvious needs in our brotherhood. They will be led by extremely capable men with experience and competence in their respective tasks.
5 Task Forces formed to address specific areas of strong consensus
- Structure: Chairman – Dinesh George, Evangelist, Bangalore, India
- Finances: Chairman – Dan Liu, Elder, Hong Kong, China
- Communication: Chairman – Justin Renton, Evangelist, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Unity/Conflict Resolution: Chairman – Walter Evans, Elder, Philadelphia, USA
- Global Missions: Chairman – AT Arneson, Evangelist, Chicago, USA
How will the Task Forces work?
- Task Force Chairman will assemble a knowledgeable and trusted team of 7-9 members.
- The Task Forces will be comprised of a broad cross section of evangelists, elders, teachers and women’s ministry.
- Each Task Force will be geographically and culturally diverse.
- Anyone can contribute to the discussions of the Task Forces in writing via their respective delegate. (Click here for the list of Delegates.)
- Each Task Force will produce a series of recommendations/proposals by mid-August.
What will happen next?
- In about a month we will see the work of the task forces published on Disciples Today.
- Their solutions will be open to suggestions and modifications until September 20th.
- The final version of the various recommendations/proposals will be published in late September.
- Our annual Delegates meeting will be held in Chicago, October 3-6 where decisions will be made that will begin to shape our future together.
- The Delegates meeting will be streamed live on Disciples Today TV.
Many have asked “What can I do to help?” or “How can I get involved?”
- Join us in daily prayer for God to grant us wisdom and guide us towards his will and not ours.
- If you have suggestions or ideas that you think have not been covered by 2,400 contributors, feel free to submit them in writing to your church family chairman or delegate and they will forward it to the appropriate Task Force chairman for consideration.
Where can I find more info?
- ICOC 3.0 FAQs
- ICOC 3.0 Update #1
- ICOC 3.0 Discussion Questions
- ICOC 3.0 Regional Discussions Report
- List of Regional Chairmen and Delegates
- List of Service Team Chairmen and Members
It is thrilling to see so many leaders so engaged in this adventure. May God guide our steps!
On behalf of the Elders, Evangelists and Teachers Service Teams,
Walter Evans, Douglas Arthur, Ed Anton