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“A Church in Growth”                                 

“A Church in Growth”                                                                                                                                      By Pastor Joe     

 

 

Most of you are aware the pastoral staff here at Hawthorne Assembly attended the 2024 Wisconsin Northern Michigan Ministries Network Summit which was held in Appleton Wisconsin. A number of statistics, facts and figures were shared throughout the two-day event including how many new churches need to start in our network, with us currently having about 230 churches in our network already. Another interesting statistic is how many ministers are part of our fellowship. Over 500 men and women are credentialed, which consists of three levels. 

The three levels within the Assemblies of God will require a brief moment of explanation. The three tiers available to those who feel a calling to ministry start with a “certificate of ministry”. Anyone can be certified which is available to all who complete the basic classes and learn the history of the Assemblies of God, the basic tenets of faith and the 16 Statements of Fundamental Truths of our great fellowship.

The next level is “licensed to preach”, this step involves a number of additional classes,  time in ministry, and/or a college degree in an approved  ministerial studies option. Our very own Pastor Scott received his license, make sure you congratulate him on this benchmark in his spiritual journey. Various specific ministry degrees such as; pastoral, youth, children’s, Sacred Arts and a number of other Bible degrees qualify for receiving a license to preach.

One newer option is to attend the District School of Ministry (DSOM) and complete all of the courses and requirements. Another option is to take online Bible training through Global University. The exciting news is there are a number of different ways a person can receive their credentials. So don’t let anything stop you if you believe God is calling you to do so! 

The final step in the credentialing process is “Ordination” and on Sunday night a number of pastors and leaders received their ordination certificate. The ordination requirements are also very detailed and one of the primary requirements is fulfilling two years of ministry on staff or as the leader of a local fellowship. There are various ways and capacities this can be accomplished; it does not have to be just a lead pastor position. There are also provisions for those who are in para-church ministry’s and/or other unique non-church positions. (Serving as an evangelist, such as, Renea Pilsing who has been to our local fellowship was ordained on Monday night..) Often those who receive ordination are bi-vocational because they are serving in smaller communities or choose not to work inside the traditional church setting. Obviously all of those who are in missionary work within the Assemblies of God have some level of credentialing. 

There are three individuals within our congregation who are at different phases of their credentialing process. This is exciting because our church should be growing and our church will continue to grow because we are a mission’s sending church. Our BGMC giving was excellent, thanks Chris W.  for all your efforts. We were one of the top 5 churches in the fellowship for our congregation size. Our church attendance  will continue to grow because we are a life-giving and sacrificial-giving church. All of the staff who attended can confirm it is the desire of the network to add many more churches, 100 to be exact, if Jesus tarries,  in all parts of Wisconsin and Northern Michigan. One of the reasons we are involved with adding churches is  because we believe this is how we will fulfill the mandate to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Together is Better!

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