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Have any of you transferred from COG to AG?
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Post Have any of you transferred from COG to AG? bigd1974
Thursday, I did what I have prayed and contemplated doing for years. I interviewed for credentialing in the Assemblies of God. I was approved by the district, now it will go to the General Council offices for ratification and issuance. I will say that the AG was very welcoming to me and my wife coming from the COG, and they essentially made a lateral transfer as far as level of credentialing (Ordained Minister in COG to Licensed Minister in AG). My question is, are there any of you here that have done the same or are any of you lifelong AG? What were your experiences initially once you received your AG papers? Acts-celerater
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9/6/15 12:19 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
I transferred my credentials from the A/G to the CoG nearly 18 years ago and never have regretted my decision.

I still have friends and family in the A/G, and am invited to preach in their churches from time to time, though being a pastor, I don't get a lot of chances to get away to preach elsewhere. The CoG that I pastor also supports an A/G missionary couple monthly, in addition to the CoG missionaries we support regularly.
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9/6/15 1:48 pm


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Post I have been AG since 1986 brotherjames
I think the 16 tenets of faith are something I agree totally with and are the major reason i.am AG. The system of govt works really well IN most cases. The pastor is the president of the corporation and chairman of the official Board. You cannot be voted out by that board only by a majority of the members. The District will help you when asked and leave you alone if there are no problems. I have served in leadership on the district level and for the most part have few problems. My issue with the AG deals more with lack of adherence to our pentecostal distinctive as we as a movement have left that behind in search of bigger churches. No pentecost/holy spirit no power. Also we are less open to the prophetic as we equate that with the latter rain split back in the 40's. The resources available to you from springfield are beyond compare. Media, advertising, research, loan funding, curriculum, network, one of the greatest missionary movements in the world, you name it. Ask me anything or message me privately if you want. Oh and we also ordain women. If your wife is helping you at all she should also seek credentials, it will help protect her standing in the church should anything happen to you. Acts-celerater
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9/6/15 3:21 pm


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Post Brojames Change Agent
I am currently going to an AG congregation where the prophetic is a common occurance along with speaking in tongues, however there are other AG congregations in my area that are just the opposite. Acts Enthusiast
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9/6/15 5:21 pm


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Post bigd1974
I live in Springfield...i'll be in the Southern Missouri District. You are correct in that it seems AG has tons of resources that they have to be utilized. However, you are also right in that it seems as a movement, the AG is trying to slowly move moderate as it regards lots of things. I do feel I identify strongly with the 16 fundamental truths of the AG. But, I honestly see little if any significant difference with the 16 FT vs. the Declaration of Faith in the COG. I do feel that the polity of the AG seems to be easier to deal with, in that one person (Administrative Bishop) doesn't make or brake you in the AG. Oh there's politics to be sure. Missouri COG just has no presence in SW Missouri. They have closed more churches in the last 5 years than they've opened. The main COG in Springfield is now a storefront. There is nothing here in COG unless you're willing to plant a COG in this area. I've made lots of COG friends and love them and the COG. I have no ax to grind with COG. It's just a matter of geography and opportunity for me. Acts-celerater
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9/6/15 5:39 pm


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Post Changeagent bigd1974
I've found the same in the Springfield area regarding AG churches. Some are rather charismatic, where others are almost like going to a non-pentecostal church. I think a lot has to do with the pastor and the local congregation/leadership. I do know through my process, the District leadership is VERY concerned that you know and will agree to preach the 16 fundamental truths and will uphold them. As long as that is agreed to, you are fairly free to run the pulpit as you desire. Acts-celerater
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9/6/15 5:47 pm


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Post John Jett
We currently attend an AG, I've been COG my entire life until now. The only way I know this is AG is that they are big supporters of SAGU, our local University. From a lay standpoint, I don't find much difference between this and a large COG congregation. One difference I do notice (and this may be because it is a large church), is that there is a HUGE emphasis on church planting and "sister" church support. In the year that we've attended, we've probably given to 10 different church plants. Golf Cart Mafia Capo Famiglia
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9/6/15 7:17 pm


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Post Re: I have been AG since 1986 SouthGeorgiaBoy
brotherjames wrote:
The system of govt works really well IN most cases. The pastor is the president of the corporation and chairman of the official Board. You cannot be voted out by that board only by a majority of the members. The District will help you when asked and leave you alone if there are no problems. .


Isn't this according to the bylaws of each local church? I know personally of an AG pastor whose board fired him and gave him thirty days to be out of the parsonage. There was never a vote by his congregation. His family were members of my church. I have heard of similar instances with other AG pastors. Some have said that is the thing that they love about the COG is that a local council cannot fire them and, even if a church votes for a change, that the AB must find them another church before they leave.
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9/6/15 10:51 pm


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Post Re: Have any of you transferred from COG to AG? Link
bigd1974 wrote:
Thursday, I did what I have prayed and contemplated doing for years. I interviewed for credentialing in the Assemblies of God. I was approved by the district, now it will go to the General Council offices for ratification and issuance. I will say that the AG was very welcoming to me and my wife coming from the COG, and they essentially made a lateral transfer as far as level of credentialing (Ordained Minister in COG to Licensed Minister in AG). My question is, are there any of you here that have done the same or are any of you lifelong AG? What were your experiences initially once you received your AG papers?


Just wondering. Did they ask if you were willing to give up complete and total sanctification and trade it in for progressive sanctification. Laughing
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9/6/15 11:18 pm


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Post Link
I'm thinking of a Dr. Seuss book that was read to me when I was a little kid about these little creature that discriminated against each other based on whether they had an X or an O on them. And there was a machine that would change the letters.

We should love members of the body of Christ whether they put the letters COG or A/G on them or no letters at all.

I can't speak from personal experience with the ordination, though I've actually got ordination/license through a local church that is A/G but nto through the A/G denomination.

The A/G is set up kind of like Southern Baptists with each congregation having a lot of autonomy. I believe the denomination ordains, then church boards can vote on pastors and make financial decisions, with each church being set up to a certain extent the way it wants to be. The one I went to when I was younger had a board of 'deacons' like a Baptist church. Another one I went to seemed to do whatever Jimmy Swaggart wanted, but they aren't in the denomination anymore. Smile

I get the impression that a lot of COG's are more 'country', but maybe that's because my experience is in the southeast and folks are country. I visited to an A/G in the south where the pastor sounded like he was from up north and every one in the town was southern. I get the impression that A/Gs might be more likely to use 'the sinner's prayer' approach. Depending on the church, they may be a bit less into certain brands of southern Pentecostal enthusiasm and just a little more reserved. But that varies, too. And some A/Gs are more Charismatic in terms of style.

None of that seems to be true of the COG in Indonesia. The A/G is a much smaller denomination than the COG there, and some COG services go by the name 'Karismatic.' But an English A/G service in Jakarta has 'Charismatic' in the title there in Indonesia, too.

And I've seen COG preachers in Indonesia rush people through a sinner's prayer as if that saves them without explaining the gospel first. I know there are Pentecostals who do that here, but I haven't seen it as much in the Pentecostal denominations that were historically a part of the Holiness movement as I have in the denominations that are big in the western part of the US.
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9/6/15 11:28 pm


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Post Nature Boy Florida
AG. The large churches have more power. Like if you want to plant a church within a hundred miles of Jacksonville...a large church exercises veto power. If you plant it anyway...your license is taken. So for those of you that feel the large churches have a minimal voice in the COG...the AG might be the right fit.
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9/7/15 6:51 am


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Post if a pastor was voted out by brotherjames
His official board, he was a weak pastor. I'm not aware of any bylaws anywhere that give the board of deacons/official Board that authority. The board recommends candidates to the congregation for their approval. And it takes a majority of the congregation to vote out a oastor. Now, if a board is exercising undue Influence over a pastor then he's a weak leader. And, he needs to promote some more helpful people to be elected to the board. If a pastor was "voted" out by a board he was probably In trouble with the congregation too. But, if not then the pastor can call his district supt. to come in and mediate with his board if he wants.

As to large churches having veto power over an area near them, the AG bylaws specifically say that no church can be built within a 5 mile radius of an existing church without their approval. And as to Jacksonville FL I know of many large and not so large AG churches there so not sure what you're speaking about NBF.
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9/7/15 9:32 am


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Post Re: if a pastor was voted out by Nature Boy Florida
brotherjames wrote:


As to large churches having veto power over an area near them, the AG bylaws specifically say that no church can be built within a 5 mile radius of an existing church without their approval. And as to Jacksonville FL I know of many large and not so large AG churches there so not sure what you're speaking about NBF.


Very well acquainted with this church planting problem in Jacksonville. It is real.
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9/7/15 11:02 am


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Post Josh Trammell
I am currently facing this decision as a new church planter. The AG has an awesome church planting arm called Church Multiplication Network. Which offers training, matching funds of up to $30,000, and coaching. They would love to me to plant with them. But I would have to be a district affiliated AG church.

The COG wants me to plant with them also. I grew up COG, gave my life to Christ in the COG, found my calling in the COG, and worked in full time ministry for over 10 years in COG churches. But the lack of emphasis on church planting makes it tough for guys like me. With organizations like CMN, ARC, and ACTS 29 offering matching funds and coaching, it is hard for our young church planters not to leave the COG for these fellowships. I have another meeting with the COG this week so be praying for me! I view this a big decisions and want to make the right one for myself and for Take Heart Church.

The COG has to have more of an emphasis on young ministers and church planting. It will pay off in the end if they will take the time to invest resources and coaching.
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9/7/15 2:11 pm


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Post Dean Steenburgh
I left the CoG in 1985 & went into the A/G. Came back to the CoG 15 years ago simply because the Lord opened a door of ministry for me & Dr. Lynn Stone (AB at the time) offered to help me switch my credentials. I truly enjoyed my years as an A/G pastor & I have enjoyed the last 15 as well.

There is no basis of fact regarding a large A/G having veto power to hinder a church plant in any state or in any town. I have good friends at the executive offices in Springfield & they told me the old practice of veto power from large churches ended over 30 years ago. Also no church in good standing w/Springfield has the authority to legally fire the pastor at the local board level. Even if they threaten to fire him/her the pastor has the right to demand an immediate popular vote with all the membership.

I enjoyed the focus on missions and church planting.
I love their educational system & multiple colleges/universities.
I worked with 3 wonderful congregations here in California where we enjoyed a healthy emphasis on pentecost & the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
60% of the A/G in Calif. are district affiliated (they answer to the District Superintendent)
My kids grew up on Royal Rangers & Missionettes.
The practice they employ regarding ministers personal tithe is refreshing to me because they tie accountability/adhereance to giving to the minister's personal credentials & it simply ...works.

I love the CoG most of the time.
I love our PB.
I wish we were more focused on church planting with a huge swing back to empowering/financing missions projects worldwide.
I grew up in the CoG & so did my dad & his dad & his dad. My kids are 5th generation CoG, I have roots here.
More of our churches need to be autonomous and/or self incorporated.
I would love to see us dismantle/retool our antiquated ToT methods.
I love the men & women of God who serve here in the west, it's a mission field out here & it hurts that most CoG ministers don't want to get involed in missions out west.

I would say enjoy your growth wherever God plants you & don't let a denomination be the deciding factor as to whether or not you're involed in ministry.
God didn't call us to a denomination, He called us to do His will!

Feel free to PM me as well.

.
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9/10/15 8:21 pm


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Post thanks Dean brotherjames
That has been my experience as well. Imperfect men created a system to worship God. The AG is flawed but it works well for the most part. We have a 3 yr Masters Commission that prepares young people for life and if they complete the full 3 yrs the AG grants our students license to preach credentials with the AG. We are a lower cost alternative to a 4 yr Bible College/University and i appreciate the AG's willingness to accept other paths to ministry. Also, their emphasis on missions and church planting as you said is nothing short of exceptional. (And they ordain women Bonnie Wink ) The biggest problem for me is that in our desire for big-ness we tend to push out the Holy Spirit and His manifestations. Not all do but I would say a majority of our larger churches have. Acts-celerater
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9/11/15 9:22 am


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Post Nature Boy Florida
Dean Steenburgh wrote:

There is no basis of fact regarding a large A/G having veto power to hinder a church plant in any state or in any town.
.


Simply not true.
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9/11/15 9:29 am


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Post Dean Steenburgh
Nature Boy Florida wrote:
Dean Steenburgh wrote:

There is no basis of fact regarding a large A/G having veto power to hinder a church plant in any state or in any town.
.


Simply not true.


If there is in any merit to your claims NB it would be a good idea to call Gen Sup. George Woods office in Springfield & inform them of these actions.
Call 417-862-2781 or at GeneralSuperintendent@ag.org
There is a public relations office email at opr@ag.org

Like i said, they claim that the practice of trying to stop church planting via veto power is non-existent.



.
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9/12/15 1:56 pm


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Post Nature Boy Florida
Dean,
There is no need to call George Wood. He knows full well what they did already.

But it might be wise for them to call one of my best friends in Jacksonville - and apologize for taking his license 2 1/2 years ago (they know who he is) - simply for planting a church 15 miles (in a different city no less) from a church that did not want him to plant one.

They were wrong. However it is their right to run their church any way they want. But whoever says they don't do it anymore is lying.
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9/12/15 3:24 pm


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Post Dean Steenburgh
Nature Boy Florida wrote:
Dean,
There is no need to call George Wood. He knows full well what they did already.

But it might be wise for them to call one of my best friends in Jacksonville - and apologize for taking his license 2 1/2 years ago (they know who he is) - simply for planting a church 15 miles (in a different city no less) from a church that did not want him to plant one.

They were wrong. However it is their right to run their church any way they want. But whoever says they don't do it anymore is lying.


Well famous wrestler I don't know the facts to your friends case but I've never heard of the A/G just yanking a license for a guy "simply" or wrecklessly planting a church, so it sounds like there is a lot more to the story & maybe you don't even have the full story.

The A/G is a wonderful denomination that uses it's full strength to plant churches & support missions works.


.
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9/13/15 11:11 am


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