As recorded in Acts 15, a historic meeting took place in the early church to consider some very difficult questions that has arisen in the brotherhood of believers. As it states in vs.6 “the apostles and elders met to consider the question” where “much discussion” took place and to be sure persuasive messages and impassioned pleas were offered regarding the topics at hand. We can most likely know that many ideas were exchanged and strong statements were made along the way. In the end we see a unified front, and a clear way for the church of the first century to move forward.

ICOC yearly delegates meeting


There has been an effort like never before to be collaborative and transparent in this gathering of information. After our elders, evangelist, and teachers service team meeting in Dallas last April, the leadership group decided it would be best to take the same questions that were discussed in Dallas and send them to the 34 Regional Family of churches and gather their results. For the first time in many years, extensive efforts have been made to not only hear from our brothers and sisters in the US, but from all corners of our international fellowship so that everyone would be on equal footing.

Delegates Meeting Program


And yet, unlike the Acts 15 example given above, we have not had the apostolic advantage – mistakes have been made. This attempt to “start a conversation” in our brotherhood has been received by many with positive support, and for that we are grateful. At the same time, we now realize that the process was moving too fast for such a complex topic that needed global inclusion. Thank you to the many who spoke up, and in particular the Elders Service Committee who stressed that we needed to slow down. As a result we’ve amended the schedule to add all of 2018 for the task forces to listen, gather information, petition experts in the field, collaborate, and complete the process while at the same time making sure that we stay within the proper protocols that we’ve established among our family of churches.

The Great Commission

Our process, certainly, has been less than perfect. Collaboration on a global scale is challenging. The good news is that God specialized in taking the imperfect and doing amazing things! As we approach Chicago, let us all be glad that the conversations have started regarding topics that are important not only to here and now, but to future generations and the salvation of souls all around the world. Let us all continue to seek God’s guidance and move “Forward by Faith” together as we strive to keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.



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