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Allen King: 5 reasons there are so few young COG ministers
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Post Darrell Garrett
Excellent points Travis. Our system of sending them out to another church is just warped. When I did my MIP I was assigned to a church 65 miles from where I lived and attended church. How much more effective could my training have been if I had been involved in my home church where I could be involved pretty much daily. As it was, I was only able to be involved on Sunday and one other day a week, and there were times when I could not go at all for a couple of weeks at a time due to conflicting schedules.

My MOM wanted to do the MIP and get his credentials. When they told him he would have to be in another church he decided he would drop it. He is getting credentialed through another organization now. Again, Church of God loses. How often is this repeated, I wonder?
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4/10/08 8:32 pm


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Post This hurts my heart Louis Morgan
Travis Johnson wrote:
When I've talked to the state office about credentialing and this issue, the response I got was a question about whether or not they were wanting to be senior pastors. When I told them that they were staff pastors or had that aspiration, they said the credentials weren't needed. I think that's pretty short sighted.


This really hurts my heart. Seriously... it is basically suggesting only senior pastors are worthy of ordination by the church (which has been my realization for several years now). But, I do not believe true, spiritual ordination is limited only to those seeking to be senior pastors.

When I first sought to be licensed, I had already acknowledged my call to ministry and had been a youth pastor for 2 years. My local pastor told me he believed I was just as called as he was called. But when I told him I did not feel led to be a senior pastor, he would not endorse me as an Exhorter. Instead, I had to take the Exhorter test and the Christian Education test. My credential was as a Licensed Minister of Christian Education. However, I quickly learned that meant absolutely nothing to the COG-- even though it is one of our ministry ranks outlined in the Minutes and with the names of those holding this license listed in the Minutes' directory as well. And, I had to take two tests-- not just the Exhorter exam. I had some very hurtful comments said to me by COG ministers informing me that my license was "nothing in the COG." After a few years of that, an AB graciously had it swtiched over to the Exhorter rank for me.

If we do not believe in ordaining individuals in ministry unless they are planning to be senior pastors, then we need to read through the NT again. There we will find examples of individuals who were set forth and commissioned who were not "senior pastors." Once in the COG we licensed Deacons, and this practice was discontinued only because the Bishops Council decided the deacons held too much control in the local church-- sometimes making it difficult for the pastor to implement changes. However, it had little (if anything) to do with suggesting the deacons had no biblical authority to be licensed.

This type of thinking is what has caused some of my frustration concerning licensure. We must see the big picture and expand our vision to understand the various forms of ministry-- particularly for ministry in the 21st century. Perhaps it would be helpful to me if I could see a list of what type of ministries/ministers are "recognized and affirmed" by the COG for licensure. (My emphasis here is not recognition for a person, but for a ministerial role).
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4/10/08 10:55 pm


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Post If there were only 5 reasons... Matt Boyd
I wish there were only 5 easy steps to fix the problem.

This issue breaks my heart because I believe that we have so much potential to take the US by storm but we choose to live in "La La land" and pretend that everything is ok and the problem will just go away.

The younger generation of ministers wants to see transparency, honesty, and humility in their leaders. Inspire us with the truth! I truly believe that our leaders believe they are protecting us from the burden of the problem by not giving us all of the facts. However, in many cases it is having the opposite effect.

The kind of leadership we need was clearly exemplified in the testimony/presentation that Brian Hunter gave at Engage 21. If you were not there you can download it from the COG website. Brian spoke with the anointing and from his heart about the good, the bad and the ugly. This raw honesty produced a bond between the generations that I had hoped would happen at that conference.

I brought this issue in relation to Dr Moore's prophecy up 1 on 1 with our general overseer at Engage 21 and let me just say he was not happy about what I had to say. And I did approach him in humility and genuine concern for the future of our denomination here in the US. I will not go into all that was said. Keep in mind that I told him that I was the one who posted Dr Moore’s Prophecy on youtube and that I believed it was a word for our church for today.

But in the end, in an attempt to console my concerns, Dr McGuire said there were lots of young ministers leaving when he was coming up too.

However, I still believe that Dr Moore's prophecy, http://www.youtube.com/COGmin is God's answer to the question: Why are there so few young COG ministers?
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4/11/08 2:24 am


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Post hoops and such muricewatsonsfriend
obviously, no process is perfect. i think that our system could be much improved by making the entry level credentials more paul-timothy model. more rabbincal and less centralized.

as far as hoops, moses spent 40 years waiting on credentials, paul 3 years...
- Darius
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4/11/08 7:03 am


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Post Re: hoops and such Darrell Garrett
muricewatsonsfriend wrote:
obviously, no process is perfect. i think that our system could be much improved by making the entry level credentials more paul-timothy model. more rabbincal and less centralized.

as far as hoops, moses spent 40 years waiting on credentials, paul 3 years...
- Darius


But Darius, you missed a major point in both these examples. They waited on God, not man. Moses was taught and prepared by God until the time came where God was ready to use him. At Paul's conversion, he was lead away from the church in Jerusalem for 3 years, and the Holy Spirit taught him. When he began preaching, he preached for years before he ever went to the established church, and even then he did not go to be taught, but rather to teach. Kinda changes the whole thing, doesn't it?
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4/11/08 8:09 am


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Post r.e. missing the point muricewatsonsfriend
good point, however, since no one in the bible actually had credentials, we can only come up with a best-possible scenario.
i am a proponent of small government, but paul still says that people should be proved first. if we de-centralize the process and allow local pastors and congregations to mentor and place men/women in ministry, i think that we would accomplish both.
what do you think?

Darius
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4/11/08 10:03 am


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Post Darrell Garrett
I don't agree with swinging the pendulum completely to the other end of the spectrum. I think there should be a process. I believe them MIP could be a tremendous asset in preparing ministers. Truthfully, I consider most of what is being done now a waste of time and money. Give them something practical, that they are going to use. Let's be honest, most of what we cram into our brains to be able to pass the tests for each rank of ministry is quickly forgotten. I showed the study guide and a copy of the test to a college professor from another Christian college and he just shook his head and he told me that it is designed for people to use short term memory to pass a test and did very little to actually test one's ability to minister. I agree with him completely. I think the whole thing needs to be revamped.

My deepest concern is that I have actually heard men in our leadership use the language that the process is designed to weed out those who are not serious about ministry. I see the COG putting such an emphasis on education that we are leaving out the call of God on a man or woman's life. I have been working with a man who I believe is an absolutely excellent pastor. His church is very small, and most likely will not have tremendous growth because of where he pastors, but he is a tremendous preacher and teacher, his people love him and have spiritually grown by volumns under his leadership. The thing is, he struggles terribly with the tests. He is one of those people who simply cannot take that kind of test. Sit down and talk with him and he knows the material very well. He just freezes up in this type test. He has tried several times and has now given up on advancing. I think this is a shame, because a very good man is being held back because he has difficulty taking tests.
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4/11/08 10:20 am


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Post Old Time Country Preacher
The Dawg wrote:
I showed the study guide and a copy of the test to a college professor from another Christian college and he just shook his head and he told me that it is designed for people to use short term memory to pass a test and did very little to actually test one's ability to minister.

I see the COG putting such an emphasis on education that we are leaving out the call of God on a man or woman's life. I have been working with a man who I believe is an absolutely excellent pastor. His church is very small, and most likely will not have tremendous growth because of where he pastors, but he is a tremendous preacher and teacher, his people love him and have spiritually grown by volumns under his leadership. The thing is, he struggles terribly with the tests. He is one of those people who simply cannot take that kind of test. Sit down and talk with him and he knows the material very well. He just freezes up in this type test. He has tried several times and has now given up on advancing. I think this is a shame, because a very good man is being held back because he has difficulty taking tests.


1. MIP exams aint never sposed to be given out cept to the students, then taken back up an shredded. Not even the students is sposed to have em. If you had a copy.......ummmmmmm, somebody violated their integrity.

2. The ole timer hears that one a lot, that the CoG is emphasizin educatin more than the call. Sorta makes me wanna horse laugh its so silly. You talk to the folk in education, ask em bout it, 90% of em will tell ya the "call" is fundamental. Without the call a feller aint a minister. Educatin an all builds on the call--nothin more.

3. Any MIP or credentialin committee worth its salt is gonna take into consideration different learnin styles. Ever single one of em the ole timer ever knowed, when they seen a person what didnt do well on written exams, 100% a the time, worked with em verbally an helped em pass. Sounds like the dear feller you speakin bout got a committee what dropped the ball. BUT................BUT to suggest that the case you speak of is the norm is incorrecto............
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4/11/08 11:51 am


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Post Re: Allen King: 5 reasons there are so few young COG minist Allen King
You know, I am quite surprised that most of the responses to this thread have been about MIP and CAMS, even though my original post said nothing about these. While these are valid points of discussion, I have been surprised that little has been said about the other reasons mentioned for the decline of young ministers in the Church of God.
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4/12/08 12:19 pm


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Post Jim Morrison
I agree with a lot of your post, you’re right it did get sidetracked into MIP/CAMS.
It costs us too much money - agreed.
The process is bogged down and messed up - agreed. These background checks that are required are not even closely monitored to see if they are a reputable company, ask West Virginia.
Young Ministers are grilled about theology but not about passion and calling. We want them to be a Dr. when they are applying for their Exhorter.

There are so many other great, biblical, biblically structured movements our requirements are seemingly impossible to justify.

We are an old church as is evidenced by the very scheduling and handling of our meetings. Come here on a Tuesday night. Come to a retreat in the middle of the week for you and your spouse. Great, well what about ministers with kids - please don't say get a babysitter, easier said than done. And what if you want to bring your kids to church with you, sure if you can make them sit through 4 hours of church, have at it. Even if they have a CC, isn't that length a little excessive, answer - yes!

So probably mostly silence because it is agreed or people don't care.
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4/12/08 7:46 pm


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Post Old Time Country Preacher
Jim Morrison wrote:
We want them to be a Dr. when they are applying for their Exhorter.


Honery or Earned?
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4/12/08 8:11 pm


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Post We tried to make the exhorters credential local but it got archie
voted down IMHO because local pastors do not want the responsibilty nor the time required to mentor Timothys.
I have had 5 MIP students and they all served in our local church. I now have two in CAMS and three in the wings for the next flight and when they do MIP it will be with me. I don't know of anyone lately who ships them off to someone else. As Darius said, we need more Paul's and Tims.
I love the CAMS and MIP system and I am grateful for background checks. Are they perfect? No, but they discourage people who know they have issues or history they don't want exposed. If God helps me and provides the opportunity in my state I intend to do all I can to continue to improve our credntialing process and ministerial development.
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4/13/08 8:59 pm


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Post Thanks for the great report Archie Postmodern Preacher
it is not all bad in the Church of God!

Room for improvement? Sure, lots of things can and are being done.

But complain and find fault without solutions?

Path of least resistance! Easy to do!
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4/13/08 10:58 pm


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Post my experience wannabebishop
Where are the Paul's in the C.O.G? I am one of the few that was blessed to have a Paul in my life that put me through M.I.P the right way back in the mid 90's. I can assure you that had it not been for him holding me accountable, teaching me character values and giving me the experience from pulpit time to scrubbing the toilets I don't know if I would still be with this movement today. It's becuase of men like this that gives me hope that change is possible. The reality is that there are not enough of these guys out there willing to train, build and send out. It seems we have a spirit in our movement that is so territorial that we fear the threat of someone moving in right next door to start a church next to our church. We have bypassed the Great Commission and have exchanged it for the next dog and pony show on Sunday morning. And it's not just on the local level but it stems from the top down.

In my own opinion we have created cams and we have all of these unanswered questions about the process and applications because of the revolving door left open after someone completes M.I.P.

We have minister's, I mean Lee University Graduates seeking advise from other organizations like ARC www.relatedchurches.com for church planting becuase of the unresolved answers in the C.O.G concerning church planting. I recently spoke with a leader from Arc and according to him already one third are seeking assistence and leadership.

The C.O.G is really good about projecting one thing and then in reality is totally something different. If you think I'm full of it just read your evangel's and brochures that you get from head quarters. Try to make a phone call and see if you can get a timely response. Send in an application for credentials, church planting, or etc...and see if it get's lost.

Somone once told me that you have to do what God has called you to do and act like Cleveland doesn't exsist. And they are mostly true. But the fact of the matter is Cleveland does exsist. And we do report. And we do elect leaders. NOW its TIME for our LEADERS to be accountable to the church. If politican's running for the highest office of our country "the presidency" have to be open about their financials to the public for accountablity reasons then how much more should our Leadership become open and transparent about how monies and tithe dollars have been spent within the church?

Simply hearing Cleveland is broke from our leadership is not acceptable. This Assembly we need change. "no excuses just results."
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4/13/08 11:26 pm


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Post Re: r.e. missing the point onetruegod
muricewatsonsfriend wrote:
good point, however, since no one in the bible actually had credentials, we can only come up with a best-possible scenario.
i am a proponent of small government, but paul still says that people should be proved first. if we de-centralize the process and allow local pastors and congregations to mentor and place men/women in ministry, i think that we would accomplish both.
what do you think?

Darius


I completely agree. One reason we didn't pursue credentials within the COG was simply because there were too many hoops and having to prove one's self "worthy" so to speak. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand that way too often people's character can't keep them where the will of God takes them. But our experience with the COG has been one in which, even though we knew we were called by God, It just wasn't worth it in this denomination. We found liberty and freedom like we had never experienced or dared to fathom once making a decision to leave the denomination. We were no longer bound by man made traditions and doctrines. Some may say us and people like us simply can't submit to authority. But that is by far the wrong assessment. The truth of the matter is that most of the people we encountered were holier than, wiser than, more knowledgeable than, better than mentality minded people who would stare us dead in the face and call anything outside their realm of understanding as coming against the bible or authority. The people we have come in contact with, as one poster said, flat out mean, hostile, and unhappy. And if the rest of us aren't the same, then it's something wrong with us, and not them. If you have a past then you can almost completely hang up the dream of becoming credentialed. We made a decision to break these generational and denomination curses off our lives. We realized God called us and NO man had to put thier stamp of approval or worthiness upon us. People said that Jesus wasn't the son of man, it didn't make it any less true. And people stared us in the face and said people won't respect you if you don't get credentialed, but that is the furtherest from the truth. That's a COG mentality. This is why we disconnected with the COG. We still have family and friends within the denomination and wish them well and pray for their churches and the furthering of the Kingdom of God. We won't stand in a place of judgement. This is just our journey and assesment. I anticipate and look forward to our weekly corporate gatherings now. I look foward to our corporate times of worship now. We no longer dread it. If many of the COG members were anonymously polled, they would probably truthfully tell you they are dreading the weekly meetings or simply going through the motions. This is based on people we know and our experiences. Something is seriously wrong with this picture. I don't know what the answer is or how to fix it. Only God can fix it. But man has to take his hands off of it first. Just my thoughts - don't shoot me.
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4/14/08 8:52 am


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Post Re: r.e. missing the point Old Time Country Preacher
onetruegod wrote:
We found liberty and freedom like we had never experienced or dared to fathom once making a decision to leave the denomination...We made a decision to break these generational and denomination curses off our lives.


If you dont mind the ole timer askin, where did ya go to break them denominational/generational curses an find such liberty? What group are ya with? If any? Who are ya credentialed with?
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4/14/08 1:21 pm


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Post onetruegod
We are credentialed with God. God put His mark and His seal upon us. In the bible I don't see cases where man had to underwrite God's calling on his prophets, or deciples, etc... We finally came to the understanding of truth, because once you know and understand the truth, it truly liberates you, that we didn't need Man's stamp of approval. You ever wonder why in the bible it talks about God's people needing deliverance or God's people needing rescued. Think about that - they are God's people. They need rescued from themselves, from bondage, from strong holds, etc... Once we received knowledge and understanding of that simple truth, it transformed our lives. We are not rebellious - we are not vagabonds doing our own thing who can't submit to authority. But I believe that spiritual athority has been abused greatly by many as a means of control. That's another topic entirely though. It doesn't matter what church gathering we found such liberty and freedom in, because frankly it's in Christ that we have this new found freedom. It is Christ that has led and directed us to the place we are now. The excitement and anticipation of the wonders of God have returned to our life. It's refreshing. It's like standing on a rock with your hands spread open wide and the wind blowing against your face. The rock you are standing on is Christ, the wind is the Holy Spirit, and the very air you breathe is God himself. It's invigorating. I don't know how to explain it. Words fail me. I don't mean to sound (in my previous post) as if I were coming against the COG as a denomination. Please forgive me if I came accross in such a manner. This is my families personal journey. this is my families experience. To each his own, you know? Each person has to walk out their own plan of salvation with Christ. God gives to each of us understanding and knowledge and wisdom and discreation, and discernment as we ask for it. And the way you may see and understand things may not necessarily be the same way that I do. It doesn't make either of us wrong. It makes us unique. We were all created unique and different and that's a good thing. This is just a small glimpse into why we left the COG and continued our search. The bible teaches us to seek the face of God. This is where our search has taken us. My parents, my husbands parents, other family members, and friends still remain in the COG. That is wonderful. We pray for them and their churches often because we are all on the same side, fighting for the same cause - The furthering of the Kingdom of God and for our lifesongs to sing praise to Him! Friendly Face
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4/15/08 8:31 am


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Post Old Time Country Preacher
onetruegod wrote:
We are credentialed with God!



OK, sorta like yall an God has got ya own little denomination, huh?
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4/15/08 10:31 am


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Post mytimewillcome
Old Time Country Preacher wrote:
onetruegod wrote:
We are credentialed with God!



OK, sorta like yall an God has got ya own little denomination, huh?


Vickie Winans sings at their campmeeting....."Long as I got King Jesus, don't need nobody else"
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4/15/08 10:35 am


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Post onetruegod
Old Time Country Preacher wrote:
onetruegod wrote:
We are credentialed with God!



OK, sorta like yall an God has got ya own little denomination, huh?


So, OTP, why are you so interested on if we are or aren't credentialed? Why is that important? God set His stamp of approval on us and we don't need anyone else to try and justify that calling. And certainly we don't need you to stand in judgement of us, which is what you are doing, and the reason so many young pastors would just rather go on somewhere else where they can get on with furthering the kingdom of God than to go through all the red tape that certain denominations have in place.

Having said that, let me say this. I am quite aware that "non-denominational" churches have become sort of a "denomination" of their own. But i never said we went non-denominational now did I? But if you want to label me and God as a denomination of our own - then go ahead, cause I'd rather be in God's denomination any day than mans!

I count that as a compliment!
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4/16/08 7:20 am


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