“This proposal pleased the whole group.” – Acts 6:5
The Jerusalem church had a major challenge by Acts 6! The leaders gathered the church and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” In this spirit, in 2015 our Service Team Chairmen initiated a self-review of our present day ministries to prayerfully see how we can better organize to meet the needs of our members while freeing our evangelists to focus on prayer and ministry of the word. The transparent history is available here: ICOC 3.0 FAQs.
Service Team History
The Youth and Family Service Team has existed since 2006. The first group planned the Youth and Family Conference in Boston in 2007. After that the 2009 incarnation took place in Chicago under a different name: ICYFM (International Conference of Youth and Family Ministry). From this service team came a resource website and worked with leaders from other service teams to facilitate healthy communication.
The Elders Service Team organized itself into subcommittees (see list below) at the beginning of 2017 to provide clearer focus on its work. Since then various committee members have:
The Evangelist Service Team (EST) has been hard at work during 2017 on many projects. We met together twice (Dallas and Chicago) as well as many phone calls, emails, etc., organized several projects and are excited about what God may bring in the next few months.
The Administration Service Team was created in late 2016 with the approval of the ICOC Delegates at the July 2016 REACH Summit. The team was commissioned to focus on identifying guidelines and methods for the effective administration of churches in multiple areas, with committees set up for future focus. Recognizing that legal and other issues faced by churches in the United States are not the same outside the US, the team is determined to clarify the spiritual and conceptual issues underlying policies and procedures so that appropriate versions can be adapted in other countries, cultures, and regulatory/legal environments. At the same time, some products can be adapted fairly directly.
Our October meeting in Chicago proved once again to be a time of inspiration, forward thinking and a realization of the huge task at hand to fulfill our mission. 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.
Currently in our fellowship there are approximately 7000-8000 campus students worldwide. Typically this is the fastest growing sector of our family of churches. Therefore we have invested a significant portion of our resources and attention to campus initiatives. It has been much easier to keep the US campus ministries connected to one another than it is for the US campus ministries to stay connected to those ministries abroad, for obvious reasons. Yet, there is a lot of work going on outside the US to build campus ministry as well.
The Structure Task Force would like to thank all the brothers and sisters who have shown their support by praying and joining the discussions regarding ICOC 3.0. Several of you have accepted the challenge and are sharing your passion and insight by becoming a part of one of the three Subgroups tasked with further developing the three models voted on in October. The deadline for general input on these models is December 1, 2017.
Over 300 representatives —delegates, service teams and guests including women's ministry leaders, elders, evangelists, teachers, administrators, campus and singles leaders, and teen ministers — gathered in Chicago from October 3-6, 2017 to discuss how to best move "Forward by Faith."
"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel." -- Philippians 1:27 (NIV)