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.
We are excited to see what God will bring through our 10th ICOC Delegates Meeting. Our focus this year is prayerful consideration of where God will take us for the next 10 years to honor him and to accomplish his purpose.
There is a powerful wind of inspiration that is blowing through our fellowship at the moment. This is truly an unprecedented time in our storied history. Leaders the world over are discussing, dreaming and praying about our future together as a fellowship. From Africa to Australia to Anchorage to the Andean mountains, families of churches are weighing in about their vision for where God is calling us. In our brotherhood we have 33 families of churches spanning every continent. The leadership of all 33 have plans to meet in the next few weeks, explicitly to consider these crucial concepts.
2017 brought several new sisters into the women’s service team as others transitioned out. This team consists of the Elders Service Team wives and the wives of those on the Evangelist Service Team. The women on the Teachers Service Team have also been a part of the group. Together, we try to keep issues pertinent to the sisters around the world in focus as we seek to fulfill our team’s purpose.
We are seeking a member of the International Churches of Christ to serve in this crucial role as the Conference Director of the 2020 ICOC World Discipleship Summit in Orlando. With these events growing from the 17,000 who attended the 2012 WDS in San Antonio and the 18,000 attending the 2016 Reach event in St. Louis, it has become obvious we need someone to lead this great 2020 effort so that we don’t put the entire burden on the local church. Please see the job description below and notify us if you are interested.
2016 was another great year for our campus ministries. While we are still largely focused on our U.S. initiatives, more dialogue and planning has been prepared so that more international activity can be pioneered, reported and built. With the vast numbers of college disciples concentrated in the U.S. it is easiest to both document that activity and create more of it. However, our initial survey results are showing campus ministries all over the world gaining greater investment in resources, growing more in numbers and becoming central to the efforts to raise up next generation leaders.
The Youth and Family Service Team has served to advance healthy teen and family-based ministries in our churches since 2006. At its inception, the committee planned the first Youth and Family Conference in Boston in 2007. The members then coordinated the 2009 ICYFM (International Conference of Youth and Family Ministry) in Chicago, began a resource website and worked with leaders from other service teams to facilitate healthy communication.
Chair: Robert Carrillo – USA
- Gregg Marutzky – USA
- Koko Enrile – Philippines
- Sebastian Serra – Argentina
- Johnny Rivera – USA
- Herve Fleurant – USA/Africa
- Charles Ham – Indonesia
- Wade Cook – USA
The Benevolence committee has recently been reformed and restarted working closely with the HOPEww leadership and HOPEww disaster relief team.
We are still planning to add a few more individuals both U.S.-based and non-U.S.-based.
Connected to Glorify God
Charged with facilitating communication and coordination for our worldwide cooperating churches and their leaderships.
In 2016, God continued to refine and renew us as he faithfully leads each one of us on the Elders Service Team. Two of our couples in particular faced health challenges. Gloria Baird underwent another round of chemotherapy and Al Baird underwent back surgery near the end of the year. Wyndham Shaw continued to face undiagnosed difficulties with his health. We ask for prayers and God’s grace for our group as we seek to serve him and channel his power and grace in all our endeavors and interactions. In spite of such challenges faced, both the Shaws and the Bairds attended the St. Louis discipleship conference, Reach2016, where they shared and taught powerfully.