In September 2009 at their annual meeting in Denver, the Delegates of the International Churches of Christ approved the proposal to change the “Church Builders Service Team” and the “Missions Service Team” to form one “Evangelists Service Team” with the charge of providing inspiration and strategic planning for our fellowship of churches.
This group was elected by the Delegates in proportion to our regional membership worldwide and was comprised of 18 evangelists. The evangelists represent churches from every continent and were selected by the Delegates from each continental grouping. They were elected to serve a term of 3 years, and commissioned to meet in person at the International Leadership Conference (ILC) and one other time each year. It was highly recommended that their wives also meet to discuss women’s ministry.
After some conference calls, the new Evangelists Service Team (EST) met in Miami during the first week of February to tackle the commission given by the Delegates at the 2009 ILC. It was an incredible time of prayer, studying of God’s Word, sharing, planning, and dreaming together. We developed Strategic Planning and Development Committees to address the various needs under our charge.
1. The ILC Planning Committee worked with John Porter, 2010 ILC Director, to begin a draft of the 2010 ILC Program that would then be reviewed by the Evangelists and Elders Service Teams. This subcommittee will also work with Mike Taliaferro for the 2012 World Conference to be held in San Antonio, Texas.
2. The Healthy Region Committee was formed to promote and develop “best practices” as well as highlight exemplary families of churches; it was also charged to define what a healthy group looks like as well as articulate “warning signs for troubled families”.
3. The Global Mission Strategy Committee was formed to assess the needs and opportunities for spreading the good news of Jesus Christ on a global scale in developing and 1st world countries. They were asked to highlight best practices of mission societies, promote awareness and match needs with potential support.
4. The Delegate Development Committee will work to strengthen our existing organizational structure. They will make proposals to refine the duties and responsibilities of the Delegate role. They will also help shape the agenda and schedule for the annual Delegates meeting .
5. The Leadership Development Committee will take the lead in shaping our efforts to train new evangelists. They will devise ways to match capable evangelists with kingdom needs. Establishing “brotherhood” relationships for the next generation of evangelists is another topic that this group will address.
6. The 2020 Vision Committee was formed as a result of our inspirational study, prayer, and discussion about the future. Providentially, our meeting together was held at the dawn of a new decade. God brought all of us through one of the most challenging decades for our family of churches. Overall, our churches are stronger and healthier than they have been in a long time.
We believe it is time for us to look ahead to this new decade with faith and confidence that God has many more souls to save, many more churches to plant, many more towns, cities and countries to reach with the good news of Jesus Christ. But we need faithful vision.
We are asking each geographic family of churches around the world to prayerfully create their own “2020 Vision” for their specific area of the globe. The committee will provide whatever assistance each geographic family may need to develop and cast their vision. We expect this committee to soon distribute more information including a template and inspirational ideas. In the coming years, they will also be providing updates on the progress of each region’s 2020 Vision.
At the end of our meeting we made brief presentations to the Elders Service Team that was also meeting in Miami. They provided valuable feedback, counsel, recommendations and encouragement. The Evangelists Service Team appreciates the prayers, support, encouragement, and counsel of so many from around the world. We believe we are at the dawn of a new age for our family of churches. Please continue to pray for God’s Spirit to move as we all seek to make disciples of all nations and bring them to full maturity in Christ.
Bruce Williams, Chairman EST — US / Canada
Africa — Kris Ogbonnaya, Steve Mukenya
Asia / Pacific — Dinesh George, John Louis, Steve Chin
Canada / US — Doug Arthur, John Causey, John Porter, Mike Fontenot, Mike Taliaferro, Scott Green
Europe / Middle East / Eurasia — Alexey Donskoy, Andy Fleming, Shawn Wooten
Mexico & Central America — Javier Amaya, Pedro Garcia
South America — John Reus