Home > Church Manual > Church Manual Changes - 2010 >
18th Edition ( 4 ) - Pastors (under construction
Changes are in bold dark red type

Chapter 4:     Pastors and other Church Employees
          pages 32 to 36
A  Divinely  Appointed  Ministry
"God has a church, and she has a divinely appointed ministry. 'And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evalgelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all comein the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . .'
"Men appointed of God have been chosen to watch with jealous care, with vigilant perseverance, that the church may not be overthrown by the evil devices of Satan, but that she shall stand in the world to promote the glory of God among men." - TM 52, 53
Conference President - - The conference president should be an ordained pastor of experience and good report. He stands at the head of the gospel ministry in the conference and is the chief elder, or overseer, of all the churches. He works for the spiritual welfare and counsels them regarding their activities and plans. He has access to all the churches and their services, business meetings, and boards, without vote unless granted by the church, or unless he is a member of the congregation. He may, by virtue of his office preside over any meeting of any church when necessary. He has access to all church records.
  The conference president does not have authority to set aside the duly elected officers of the church, but will work in cooperation with them. They in turn are bound, in recognition of the ties of conference fellowship, to counsel with him over all that pertains to the welfare of the church. They should not attempt to exclude him from a proper discharge of his duties.
Conference Departmental Directors - Conference departmental directors foster important lines of denominational work under the general direction of the conference committee in consultation with the conference president. In ( page 33 ) order to successfully carry on the work assigned to them, these employees must have access to the churches so they can present and develop their plans. These employees will have sympathic consideration for all church plans, even outside their respective departments.
  Departmental directors are not vested with administrative or executive authority, so their relation to the local churches is advisory. Their work does not bear the same relationship to the churches as that of the conference committee or president. In the promotion of their specific kinds of work, they labor throughout the entire conference. However, they are not expected to counsel churches regarding elections and other administrative duties or any other line of service, unless especially requested to do so by the conference president.
Ordained Pastors  -  Ordained pastors appointed by the conference committee to act as pastors or district leaders do not take the place of the president in their respective fields. They are not charges with administrative powers as in the president, but they cooperate with him in carrying out the plans and policies of the conference.
  On assignment to a local church, the ordained pastor is assisted by the local elders. By virtue of ordination, the pastor is qualifed to function in all rites and ceremonies. The pastor should be the congregation's spiritual leader and advisor. Pastors should instruct the officers in their duties and plan with them for all lines of church work and activity.
  The pastor is a member of the church board and serves as its chairperson. If the pastor desires to be relieved of the responsibility of acting as chairperson of the board, an elder serves a chairperson in cooperation with the pastor. (see page 72 )  The pastor, with the assistance of the elders, is expected to plan for and lead out in all spiritual services, such as Sabbath morning sorship and prayer meeting, and should officiate at the communion service and baptism. Pastors should not surround themselves with any special body of counselors of their own choosing, but always cooperate with the elected officers.
  When an evangelist is asked to conduct an evangelistic effort where there is a church, the conference should invite the pastor to assist the evangelist, thus giving the pastor an opportunity to become acquainted with prospective members.
  Pastors or assistant pastors are not nominated or elected to such positions by the church. Their connection with the church is by appointment of the conference committee, and such appointments may be changed at any time. (see page 73).
  A pastor may be removed from office by conference committee action  ( page 34 ) without the individual's church membership being affected. But when a pastor is removed from church membership and subsequently restored to membership as a layperson, the pastor's membership restoration does not mean restoration to the ministry.
Licensed Ministers  -  To give men an opportunity
Bible Instructors  -  The conference may employ Bible Instructors and assign them to work with evangelistic efforts or with local congregations.
Conference Directs Church Employees  -  The conference president in counsel with the conference committee directs all conference employees, such as pastors . . .
Under construction

Credentials  and  Licenses
  God's work is to be jealously safeguarded by responsible leaders from the local church to the General Conference. Official credentials and licenses are issued to all authorized full-time Church employees and are granted by controlling committees for limited periods.
  In the local conference, the committee confers authority upon individuals to represent the Church as pastors and gospel workers. This authority is represented by the granting of credentials and licenses, which are written commissions, properly dated and signed by the officers of the conference. The authority thus conveyed is not personal or inherent in the individual but is injerent in the granting body, which may recall the credentials for cause at any time. Credentials and licenses granted employees are not their personal property and must be returned when employment is terminated or at the request of the organization that issued them.
  In order that enemies of the Church may not gain access to our pulpits, no one should be allowed to speak to any congregation unless he/she presents a current denominational credential or licience. It is recognized, however, that there are times when congregations may be address by government officials or civic leaders; but all unauthorized persons should be excluded from the pulpit. (see page 113 - 116).
Expired Credentials and Licences  -  Credentials and licenses are granted for the duration of the tern as provided for by the conference constitution and bylaws or operating policy and are renewed by a vote of the conference ( page 36 ) in session or by the executive committee. Possession of an expired credential or license gives the person no authority whatsoever.

Retired Employees  -  Retired employees deserve honor and consideration for helping to build up God's church. They may continue to bless and help the congregations where they hold membership through election to any office. They also may exercise pastoral functions under the direction of the conference committee.
Former Pastors without Credentials - Individuals previously ordained as pastors but who no longer have valid credentials may be elected as elders and, if their ordinations have not been invalidated, need not be ordained as elders. Their services are limited to the function of a local elder.
Continue on to Chapter 5  -  Organizing, Uniting and Dissolving Churches
Return to  Changes to the church Manual  page