(Amended to April 2017)
ARTICLE I. PARLIAMENTARY ORDER
Section 1. Rules of Order
The work of this District Council shall be governed by parliamentary procedure as set forth in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, in keeping with the spirit of Christian love and fellowship.
Section 2. Order of Business
The regular order of business for the District Council shall be:
- Report of Superintendent
- Report of Secretary/Treasurer
- Report of Committees
- Unfinished Business
- Election of Officers
- New Business
Section 3. Courtesy of the Floor
Visiting ministers from other districts and others may be granted this consideration at the discretion of the Chair or by action of the body.
ARTICLE II. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 1. Voting Constituency
The voting constituency shall consist of all ordained, licensed and certified ministers of the District and one duly appointed lay delegate from each local assembly.
Section 2. Quorum
All ordained, licensed and certified ministers and delegates of the District Council who are present and registered by the Roster Committee at a duly called meeting shall constitute a quorum.
Section 3. Executive Officers
The Executive Officers shall be: the Superintendent, the Assistant Superintendent, and the Secretary-Treasurer.
The officers of the Nebraska District Council of the Assemblies of God shall be elected at one of its regular meetings, according to the manner of election as provided. They shall be ministers of mature experience and ability, whose lives and ministry are above question, who have held credentials and ministered as ordained ministers for at least three consecutive years in our Assemblies of God Fellowship, and shall have been members of the District for at least one year prior to their election and who fully cooperate with all its policies.
- Terms of Office
The term of office for the District Superintendent shall be for four years and all others two years. The District Superintendent shall be elected on uneven years and all others on the even years. All executive officers shall take office 60 days following election.
- Voting Procedure
- All candidates for executive office shall be nominated by secret ballot. Because of the responsibilities associated with these offices, the nomination process will be as follows:
- Ninety days before a regular or specially called District Council that will include the election of a District Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent or Secretary Treasurer, a letter and nomination form will be sent to all Nebraska credentialed ministers.
- Each credentialed minister will have the opportunity to nominate an ordained minister for each position by submitting the form to the district office on or before the date indicated in the letter. All nominations will be forwarded to a nomination committee consisting of at least three ordained ministers, appointed by the District Presbytery.
- Each nominee will be processed by the nomination committee. The nominees will be examined to make sure they are qualified to hold office (proper credential, no ongoing investigations, etc.). They will also be contacted so they can:
- Receive a description of the duties for the office.
- Have the opportunity to ask questions about the office for which they have been nominated.
- Express their willingness to serve
- Share some biographical information
- The list of qualified nominees who are willing to serve and have submitted the required information indicating their willingness to serve will be compiled and presented with prayer at District Council.
- Executives currently serving shall automatically be nominated unless they request, 90 days before the election, that their name be withheld.
Should unusual or unexpected circumstances prevent the process that is described above from working then the traditional method of receiving nominations from the floor at a properly called meeting of the District Council will be followed.
A two-thirds majority is required for election. If no such majority shall have been reached after the second electoral ballot, the two candidates having the highest number of votes shall be the only nominees to be further voted upon.
Section 4. Sectional Presbyters
- Nomination for Sectional Presbyters shall be made in odd numbered years by each section at a meeting prior to the annual District Council. The nominee shall be selected from the ordained ministers of the section. Nominations are to be made by ordained, licensed and certified ministers of the section and an official delegate from each assembly of that section. The presiding officer shall appoint a roster chairman who will present the number of voting constituents before the balloting period.
- The District Superintendent or one appointed by the Superintendent shall preside at the said business meeting. Voting shall be by secret ballot. A two-thirds majority is needed to nominate. If, after the fourth ballot, there is still no nomination, the fifth ballot will determine an election by a simple majority. In the case of a tie, the responsibility of choosing a nominee for the section shall be the business of the Presbytery.
- The names of the nominees shall be presented to the Executive Officers for approval, then placed before the District Council to be voted upon. A ballot containing the names of the nominees of the respective sections, shall be passed to the voting constituency. A two-thirds majority shall be necessary for ratification. Should any further voting be necessary it shall be done by secret ballot in the customary manner. Other nominations may be made by the Council by secret ballot.
- The newly-elected Presbyter shall sit in with the District Presbytery in all further business of the Council in session. His/her term of office shall begin immediately after Council and shall continue for two years.
- When a vacancy occurs, the District Superintendent, together with the District Presbytery, shall coordinate a sectional meeting to nominate a successor within 60 days of the beginning of said vacancy. Said nomination is to be presented to the District Presbytery which shall appoint a qualified minister to complete the term of office.
- No person elected as a Sectional Presbyter shall serve as an executive office of another department.
- The nominee shall have been a member of the District for at least one year prior to his/her nomination.
Section 5. Regional Presbyters
Three Regional Presbyters shall be nominated from the ordained ministers by the Executive Officers. Names of the nominees from the respective regions shall be placed on a ballot and presented to the District Council to be voted upon in even numbered years. A two-thirds majority shall be necessary for ratification. These individuals shall not serve in any other elected office in the Nebraska District. The Western Regional Presbyter shall be chosen and ratified from the area west of Highway 83, the Central Regional Presbyter being chosen and ratified from the area east of Highway 83 and west of Highway 81, and the Eastern Regional Presbyter being chosen and ratified from the area east of Highway 81. The term of office shall be for two years beginning immediately after District Council. Should a Regional Presbyter move from the region, the office shall automatically be declared vacant, and the District Presbytery shall fill the vacancy by ratifying another ordained minister nominated by the Executive Officers.
Section 6. Other Officers
All District Department Heads and Departmental Officers shall be appointed with the implementation of the following procedure:
- In the event of a vacancy created in an office due to the resignation, death or termination of the incumbent. The Presbytery shall consider possible candidates to fill the vacated position and shall make a prayerful choice of the one who is to lead.
- The appointment of Departmental Heads and Departmental Officers will be implemented at the end of the current term of office or upon resignation.
- There will be annual ministry reviews to focus on the improvement and development of the ministry and the director.
Section 7. General Presbyters
The Nebraska District Council shall be represented in the General Council General Presbytery, the official policy making body of the General Council when it is not in session, by three members; ministers of mature experience and ability whose lives and ministries are above reproach. They shall represent the Fellowship in all phases of its work and interest in their respective field. The District Superintendent, Assistant District Superintendent, and Secretary/Treasurer shall serve by virtue of their office, providing that one of them is a lead pastor. In the event that one of the three Executive Officers is not a lead pastor of a church, the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent shall serve as General Presbyters and an election process will be undertaken to choose the third General Presbyter from qualified lead pastors in the District.
Section 8. Nominee for General Council Executive Presbyter
At the District Council prior to General Council, two nominees from the Nebraska District shall be selected to be presented to the General Council along with nominees from other Districts in the North Central area, for election as non-resident Executive Presbyters. The Council shall nominate two ministers from the District, one of whom is not an elected full-time District Official. The nominees must be ordained ministers of mature experience and ability whose life and ministry are above question, but there is no minimum residence requirement. Election shall be by two-thirds vote.
Section 9. Vacancies
- District Officers
Should a vacancy occur in any office through resignation, removal from the District or Section, death, or disqualification, power is vested in the remaining members of the District Presbytery to fill the office until the next regular or special-called meeting of the District Council.
- Office of Non-Resident Executive Presbyter
Should the office of an incumbent non-resident Executive Presbyter from the Nebraska District become vacant through death or other cause, the General Council Executive Presbytery shall fill the office by appointment until the next meeting of the General Council.
ARTICLE III. DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. District Superintendent
- To preside at the meetings of the District Council.
- To be the head of the District Office and to supervise the work of that office during the interim between session of the District Council. To act as President of the Corporation in all legal matters.
- To preside at all meetings of the District Presbytery, and to receive all communications directed to that body.
- To preside at all meetings of the Credentials Committee and to sign all District Credentials.
- To be General Superintendent of all the work in the District and to administer discipline in all cases when requested to do so by the Credentials Committee.
- He/she shall be empowered to hire the necessary persons to effectively administer the work of the District.
- To perform any other functions usual and customary for the presiding officer, or such as may be directed by the District Presbytery or District Council. He/she shall be ex-officio member of all committees.
Section 2. Assistant Superintendent
- To be a member of the District Presbytery.
- To assist the District Superintendent in the supervision of work on the field, and to perform any other functions under the supervision of the District Superintendent, or such as he/she may be directed to perform by the District Council and Presbytery.
- To act as Vice President of the corporate body.
- To assume the duties of Superintendent in case of a vacancy until a special or regular election can be called to duly elect a Superintendent. The Assistant Superintendent shall be ex-officio member of all committees.
Section 3. Secretary/Treasurer
- The Secretary shall make and keep the records of the proceedings of the District Council, and shall publish the same as approved and directed by the District Presbytery.
- He/she shall be the custodian of the official seal of the District and shall keep a record of all District matters relating to the ministers and assemblies of the Fellowship.
- He/she shall take minutes at all Presbyters Meetings. A summary copy of these minutes will be made available to Nebraska’s credentialed ministers 30 days after the meeting occurred. Such minutes shall include a summary of all decisions. Matters of discipline and personal matters shall be excluded from such report.
- He/she shall be authorized to sign all official and legal documents and to perform such other functions as are customary, or as may be directed by the District Council or Presbytery. He/she shall be considered an ex-officio member of all committees.
- To be custodian of the District Council funds.
- He/she shall give a report from time to time as may be requested by the District Presbytery.
- He/she shall furnish the District Council each year with a statement of assets, which is to be included in the annual financial report.
- A compiled report shall be made of the total annual individual contributions of all active ministers and evangelists holding accredited Fellowship Certificates with the Nebraska District Council.
- The District financial records shall be audited by an authorized auditing firm at the close of the fiscal year. A report of the auditor shall be included in the District minutes.
Section 4. Regional Presbyters
They shall meet with the Executive Officers at the call of the District Superintendent.
Section 5. Sectional Presbyters
- Sectional Responsibilities
- The Sectional Presbyters by virtue of the office is the chairperson of the Section that he/she represents.
- The Presbyter shall counsel with the pastors of all the assemblies in the section as he/she has opportunity to contact them, fostering the spirit of close relationship between the individual assemblies and the District Council.
- The Presbyter shall encourage the planting of new churches in his/her section.
- Additional Responsibilities:
- Foster a cooperative spirit to ministry colleagues, the district and district programs.
- Encourage accountability group participation from each minister.
- Provide regular fellowship opportunities for the ministers and churches.
- Welcome and give orientation to new ministers coming to the section.
- Attempt to have scheduled contact with ministers at times other than the Minister’s Fellowship.
- Include the minister’s family in pastoral care.
- Function as the active district liaison to the sectional churches and pastors. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Be available for counsel during times of conflict in the local church.
- Assist with pastoral transition when it occurs.
- Be available to conduct business meetings where a district official is required.
- Give a written or oral report of each church to an executive officer upon request.
- District Responsibilities
- The Sectional Presbyter is a member of the District Presbytery.
- They shall be authorized to act for the Fellowship in all matters that affect its interests when the Council is not in session, and shall make a report to the District Council as requested. It shall provide for its own meetings. These meetings can be traditional meetings where members gather in a common location or through the use of a conference telephone or other communications device.
- The Sectional Presbyters shall be the trustees of the District Corporation. They shall have the oversight of the business and activities of the District Council between the sessions of the Council. They shall work in keeping with the expressed intent of the Council, and shall report to that body.
- They shall be empowered, as the trustees of the District, to transact business for the District between sessions of the Council.
- They shall be authorized to move the time and place of the Council as it would seem advisable.
Section 6. General Presbyters (See General Council Bylaws)
ARTICLE IV. OPERATIONAL EXPENSES
Section 1. Salaries
All district salaries and expense accounts shall be fixed by the District Presbytery.
Section 2. Traveling Expenses
The expenses of officers and presbyters traveling to do District business shall be paid from General Operations.
Section 3. District Vehicles
The Nebraska District Council, under the direction of the District Executive Officers, shall be empowered to purchase necessary vehicles to be used by the District Superintendent, the District Director of Youth and Christian Education, or other District leaders to be used in the work of the District. The operating expenses, maintenance and replacement of these vehicles shall be under the direction and supervision of the Presbytery.
ARTICLE V. COMMITTEES
Section 1. Standing Committees
Standing Committees shall be established or appointed as necessity may indicate. They shall be appointed by the District Superintendent in cooperation with the District Presbytery, and the term of office shall continue from the date of appointment to the adjournment of the next regular meeting of the District Council.
Section 2. Special Committees
Special committees may be created at the District Council in session or by the District Presbytery between sessions as may be required.
Section 3. Credentials Committee
The District Presbytery in session shall constitute the Credentials Committee.
ARTICLE VI. LOCAL ASSEMBLIES
Section 1. Qualifications for Recognition
- Minimum Membership
An adult membership of not less than 20 persons. This requirement may be waived by the District, in compliance with the General Presbytery policy and provided that the church has demonstrated the capacity for self-governance.
- Statement of Fundamental Truths
An acceptance of the Assemblies of God tenets of faith.
- Acceptable Standards of Membership
A scriptural standard of membership determined by the local assembly in agreement with the District Council.
- Acceptable Standards for Church Officers
A scriptural standard for deacons and other officers in positions of leadership in the local assembly. Since the New Testament restricts divorced and remarried believers from the church offices of bishop, or elder, and deacon, we recommend that this standard be upheld by all our assemblies (Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:12), except when the divorce prior to conversion, or for the scriptural causes of a former spouse’s marital unfaithfulness, or the abandonment of the believer by the unbeliever. In these cases, a person’s ability to hold an office of leadership shall be considered on a case-by-case basis by the local Pastor in consultation with appropriate local leadership. They should prayerfully consider and shall use every available means, including seeking the counsel of the Sectional Presbyter or other District Officials, to determine the individual’s eligibility to old an office of leadership. This recommendation does not exclude the individual from any other consideration for opportunities for Christian service for which the individual may be qualified.
- Standards for Divorce and Remarriage
- Membership for those having marriage entanglements
There are now, among Christian people, those who became entangled in their marriage relations in their former lives of sin who do not see how these matters can be adjusted. We recommend that these people be received into the membership of local assemblies and that their marriage complications be left in the hands of the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:17, 20, 24).
- Common-law Marriages
We recommend that in no case shall persons be accepted into membership who are known to be living in a common-law state of matrimony.
Low standards on marriage and divorce are very hurtful to individuals, to the family, and to the cause of Christ. Therefore, we discourage divorce by all lawful means and teaching. We positively disapprove of Christians getting divorces for any cause except fornication and adultery (Matthew 19:9). Where these exceptional circumstances exist or when a Christian has been divorced by an unbeliever, we recommend that the question of remarriage be resolved by the believer as he/she walks in the light of God’s Word (1 Corinthians 7:15, 27, 28).
- Organization and Recognition
(1) Constitution and Bylaws
An affiliated assembly shall be set-in-order under the jurisdiction of and/or with the approval of the District and with a recommended or approved constitution and bylaws.
An affiliated assembly shall request assistance and guidance from the Nebraska District for forming a proper religious, non-profit corporation under the laws of the state. Particular attention shall be paid to the reversionary clause.
- Membership Certificate
Upon notification by the District of the action, the General Secretary’s office shall issue a certificate of affiliation to each church coming into the Fellowship, and which has been approved for General Council affiliation. The certificate shall be appropriate in size and appearance for framing.
- Reversion of General Council Affiliated Assembly to District Affiliated Status
When an annual questionnaire for a General Council affiliated church reflects that its active voting membership has dropped below 20, the church will be notified by the General Secretary of the General Council, that unless the membership is increased to the minimum number of required voting members within one year, the church shall revert to District affiliated status.
The church shall remain in a District affiliated status, operating under the District Affiliated Bylaws, until sufficient growth and maturity has been demonstrated to qualify for General Council affiliation. An application for same shall be filed with the District Secretary and approved by the District Executive Officers. This will not be reinforced if the membership requirement had been properly waived by the District in accordance with General Presbytery policy, having demonstrated the capacity for self-governance.
- Assemblies under District Supervision
Any church in need of administrative assistance for any reason may apply to the District for aid. The congregation shall come under District supervision until such time as they are able to return to their former status.
Section 2. Prerogatives and Privileges
The right of self-government, under Jesus Christ its living Head, which includes the power to choose or call its pastor, elect its official board, and transact all other business pertaining to its life as a local unit.
- Available Ministers
The right to request the assistance of the District Officiary in appointing interim pastors, filling a pastoral vacancy, and to benefit from other approved ministries. Each assembly is urged to exercise this right.
The right to administer discipline to its members according to the Scriptures and its Bylaws.
The right to acquire and hold title to property, either through trustees or in its corporate name as a self-governing unit.
(1) To District Officiary: The right of the pastor, the board, or the church body, by petition, to appeal to the District Officiary for help when in need of counsel or advice.
(2) To General Council Executive Presbytery: The right to appeal from a decision by the District Officiary to the Executive Presbytery of the General Council of the Assemblies of God when there is a question whether or not the assembly has received proper help from the District.
- To General Council General Presbytery: When exceptions are taken to the decisions of the Executive Presbytery, either by the local assembly or by the District Presbytery, appeal may be made to the General Presbytery.
The right of representation at the meetings of the General Council by one officially appointed and registered delegate, and at meetings of the Nebraska District Council according to provisions of such in Article II, Section 1.
- Other Business
The right to benefit from approved General Council institutions such as colleges, divisional and departmental ministries, publications, etc.
Section 3. Responsibilities
- Limited Sovereignty
While the fact that a local assembly is affiliated in the Association of a District Council or the General Council of the Assemblies of God, shall in no wise destroy its rights as above stated or interfere with its sovereignty, there are certain responsibilities to the Fellowship that should be recognized.
- Adherence to General Council Principles and Doctrines
It shall be the duty of local assemblies to support by every means possible the basic principles upon which the Fellowship is founded, including that of “voluntary cooperation” and strict adherence to the Statement of Fundamental Truths.
- Maintenance of Scriptural Order and Conduct
Local assemblies shall accept their full share of responsibility for the maintenance of scriptural order in the local body, and uphold a scriptural standard of conduct.
- World Missions and World Ministries Support
(1) World Missions
Local assemblies are expected to have an interest in the missionary enterprise, and to plan for regular contributions to its support.
(2) World Ministries Giving
In order to support and develop the work and ministries of the Assemblies of God at home and abroad, all its churches shall be encouraged to send offerings therefore at regular intervals.
- Annual Reports
Each church of the Assemblies of God shall be requested to keep an up-to-date record of its membership and a report of the same shall be sent annually, on forms provided, to the office of the District Secretary and the General Council Secretary.
- Safeguarding the Assemblies from Unapproved Ministries
(See General Council Bylaws).
- Transfer of Local Church Membership
(1) It is recommended that the member shall request a letter of introduction from the church of which he is a member to be sent by mail to the church with which he/she wishes to affiliate.
- It is recommended that the receiving church shall give an acknowledgment of transfer to the former church.
It is recognized that for any organization to survive and serve effectively, it must have the moral and financial support of its constituency.
The entire district program should be supported by the local assembly, and financial support should be according to the policies of the Nebraska District.
(2) General Council
Logically, support of the General Council follows support of the District Council. If practicable, let each assembly take one offering each year for the upkeep of the National Leadership and Resource Center and the travel expense of the executive officers.
Section 4. Intervention of District in a Local Assembly
- Circumstances Requiring Intervention
While the right of a local assembly to self-government is a basic General Council principle, it is also recognized that the assembly has a responsibility to the District Council and General Council, and both have a responsibility to the assembly. Some of the circumstances which require intervention by the District Officiary are as follows:
(1) Division resulting in disruption.
(2) Assumption of dictatorial authority by the pastor or board.
(3) Prolonged absence of pastoral leadership.
(4) Deviation or departure from Assemblies of God principles and practices.
(5) Attempt to disaffiliate from Assemblies of God Fellowship.
- Intervention Initiation
The intervention process may be initiated in any one of the following ways:
(1) By action of the District Executives.
(2) By request of the pastor.
(3) By the action of the board.
(4) By petition of the congregation according to any local bylaw provision for such.
Section 5. Discipline of Assemblies
Since the approval of an assembly is the prerogative of the District and General Councils, and is indicated by the issuance of appropriate certificates of affiliation, the Nebraska District has the right to request a meeting with the assembly if for some valid reason its status is in question. The General Council of the Assemblies of God has the right to withdraw its certificate of membership if deemed necessary.
Section 6. New Assemblies Resulting from a Division
- Criteria for Recognition
When efforts to maintain unity and harmony in an assembly have failed, and a division results in a congregation being formed, the District should exercise strong and wise leadership in ascertaining the facts, and seek to preserve Assemblies of God adherents for the Fellowship. Within the bounds of ethical principles, sound doctrine, and district policy, the District should seek to retain any meritorious group within the Assemblies of God.
- Criteria for Discipline of Pastor Who is Involved
Circumstances of the occasion determine whether the minister should be disciplined, denied ministry in either the original church or the dissident group, or even residency in the area where the division occurred. If a minister is guilty of wrong conduct and wrong attitudes resulting in a split, the District Presbytery shall deal appropriately with him as provided in Article IX, Section 2, of the General Council Bylaws.
Section 7. Private Ownership of Church Properties Disapproved
The General Council disapproves of the ownership of any church properties by other than the entire church body through its duly elected trustees.
Section 8. District Affiliated Assemblies
- A District Council affiliated assembly is defined as one having less than 20 active adult members or is designated as such by the District Presbytery. An exception may be granted by the District in accordance with General Presbytery policy and provided that the church has demonstrated the capacity for self-governance.
- The membership requirements shall be the same as for an organized church as it appears in the suggested constitution and bylaws for local assemblies. At such time as the church shall become an affiliated church, the active membership roll shall become the charter members.
- That the Pastor, Sectional Presbyter, and another Minister (preferably an Ordained Minister residing in or near the section where the District Affiliated Assembly is located), shall serve as the official board of the District church. The Sectional Presbyter in consultation with the Pastor shall choose this third board member. Should the Sectional Presbyter also serve as the Pastor of the District Affiliated Church, then the Executive Committee will appoint the other two members of the Board.
- When and where it is deemed advisable by the official board, an advisory board shall be established. Recommendation for appointment to the advisory board may be made to the pastor by the congregation. Appointment will be by action of the official board.
- In case of a vacancy in the pastorate, the Superintendent and Presbyter shall select a qualified person for consideration as Pastor.
- The title to the property of a District affiliated assembly shall be held by the Local Assembly unless, in the judgment of the District Officers, the church is not qualified to hold title to its own property.
- The church shall adhere to the Nebraska District Council Bylaws and their discipline.
- The affiliated church shall pay their tithe to the support of the Pastor and also cooperate in backing sectional and state meetings.
- Since District affiliated churches should have the privilege of representation at District Council, each affiliated church may be represented by one, duly elected or appointed delegate; the appointment to be made by the Pastor, and registered with the Roster Committee.
- Parent Affiliated Churches (PAC) – a subcategory of District Affiliated Churches.
- A Parent Affiliated Church is an outreach of an existing General Council Affiliated Church or a duly authorized District Council Affiliated Church resulting in a worshipping community with a congregational life distinct from a Parent Church (PC). Its purpose is specifically directed toward individuals who are restricted by language, social group, geography or other reasons from meaningful participation in the existing congregation.
- It is not an overflow service intended to create more seating room in the same location as the main worship service of an existing church.
- It is not a different worship style to create worship options for members of the existing congregation.
(2) A PAC is subject to the ecclesial supervision and authority of a PC, in such a manner, and upon such terms and conditions, as are determined by the PC.
(3) The PC is legally and otherwise responsible for the PAC.
- The governance of the PAC shall consist of the PC governing board or a subcommittee delegated with this responsibility plus the pastor of the PAC.
- For a PAC to be officially “chartered” a completed Parent Affiliated Church Charter form must be submitted by a PC to the District, signed by the District Secretary and sent to the National Office.
- Transition of a PAC to a District Council or General Council Affiliated Church.
- Upon mutual agreement of the PC, the PAC, and the District Council, in accordance with District Council and General Council Constitutional and Bylaw provisions, the PAC may be transitioned to a District Council or General Council affiliated assembly.
- Once transitioned, the governance of the PAC shall be transferred from the PC to the newly recognized General Council Affiliated church.
ARTICLE VII. MINISTRY
Section 1. Ministry Described
Christ’s gifts to the Church include apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:11), exhorters, administrators, leaders, and helpers (Romans 12:7,8). We understand God’s call to these ministry gifts is totally within His sovereign discretion without regard to gender, race, disability, or national origin. Three classifications of ministry are recognized and transferable among all Assemblies of God districts: the ordained minister, the licensed minister, and the certified minister.
All ordained, licensed, and certified ministers holding current ministerial credentials, as well as those holding a local church credential as provided below, are authorized to perform the ordinances and ceremonies (sacerdotal functions) of the church.
A fourth classification of ministry, a local church credential, may be provided by a local General Council affiliated church under basic guidelines adopted by the General Presbytery and such additional guidelines adopted by the Nebraska District Council. The local church credential shall be non-transferable (limited to the issuing local church) and shall be limited to 2 years (renewable by the local church for an additional 2-year term). A person holding a local church credential can perform the ordinances and ceremonies (sacerdotal functions) of the church if authorized in writing by the senior pastor of the local church issuing the credential.
No other classification of ministry shall be recognized other than those described in this section.
Section 2. Basic Qualifications
The following qualifications pertain to all Ordained, Licensed and Certified applicants for ministerial recognition:
Testimony to having experienced the new birth (John 3:5).
- Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Testimony to having received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in other tongues according to Acts 2:4. The Spirit-filled life will enable a minister to fulfill the fourfold mission of the church (Article V, paragraph 10, of the Constitution).
- Evidence of call
Clear evidence of a divine call to the ministry, evidenced by a personal conviction, confirmed by the work of the Spirit and the testimony of fellow ministers.
- Christian character
A blameless Christian life and a good reputation with those outside the church (Titus 1:7; 1 Timothy 3:7).
- Doctrinal position
A thorough understanding of an agreement with our doctrinal position as contained in the Statement of Fundamental Truths.
- Assemblies of God polity
A satisfactory working knowledge of the principles, practices, and purposes of the Fellowship through a study of the General Council and Nebraska District Council Constitution and Bylaws.
- Commitment to the Fellowship
An active loyalty to our constitutional agreements, a cooperative spirit, and a readiness to seek and receive the counsel of older mature Christians and those in positions of authority.
- Basic education requirements
Any level of formal academic achievement (diploma or degree) shall not be a requirement for credentials; however, credential applicants shall meet the following criteria:
- All applicants are required to be interviewed by the District Credentials Committee and, in preparation for the interview, pass a standard exam approved by the General Presbytery whereby they demonstrate knowledge of the Bible, Assemblies of God doctrines, and ministerial practices; and either
(2) Successfully complete equivalent training to that indicated in paragraph (3) below, preferably, in an endorsed Assemblies of God post-secondary school; or in a seminary, college, Bible college, or school approved by the District Credentials Committee consistent with criteria established by the General Council Credentials Committee; or
(3) Successfully complete courses, prescribed by the General Presbytery, offered in correspondence through Global University of the Assemblies of God, or pass the final examinations in the prescribed courses; or
(4) Be recommended by the District Credentials Committee as qualifying for credentials through self-study and ministerial experience. Such candidates shall have a proven and fruitful ministry of substantial duration. Requests from the Nebraska District for such a candidate shall be presented to the General Council Credentials Committee and may be granted on a case by case basis.
- Marriage status
We disapprove of any married persons holding ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God or district councils granting credentials to such, if either marriage partner has a former spouse living, unless the divorce occurred prior to his or her conversion or for the scriptural causes of a former spouse’s marital faithfulness, or the abandonment of the believer by the unbeliever, except as hereinafter provided.
- Annulments, marriage dissolutions, and divorces
The Executive Presbytery shall have the authority to determine whether an applicant’s annulment of a former marriage is consistent with the scriptural position of the Fellowship relating to the granting or holding of ministerial credentials; or, in the case of a divorce or a dissolution whether the circumstances would more appropriately be classified as calling for an annulment; or if the divorce occurred prior to conversion or for the scriptural causes of a former spouse’s marital unfaithfulness, or the abandonment of the believer by the unbeliever. In those cases involving pre-conversion divorce, they shall be decided on an individual basis just as those that deal with annulments are decided. The application annulment must be accompanied by clear and satisfactory evidence of an illegal marriage through deception or fraud. Appeals from the decisions of the Executive Presbytery may be made to the General Presbytery.
- Eligibility of women
The Scriptures plainly teach that divinely called and qualified women may also serve the church in the ministry of the Word (Joel 2:29; Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 11:5). Women who meet the qualifications for ministerial credentials are eligible for whatever grade of credentials their qualifications warrant and have the right to administer the ordinances of the church and are eligible to serve in all levels of church ministry, and/or district and General Council leadership.
- Ministers from other organizations
If a minister from another reputable body desires to affiliate with the Assemblies of God, the credentials committees of both the General Council and the Nebraska District Council are under no obligation to accept the applicant’s previous ministerial status, but will judge each candidate on his or her own merits as to the level of credentials to be granted. Such applicants shall be required to:
(1) Conform to Assemblies of God criteria for recognition.
(2) Complete an application for ministerial recognition.
(3) Submit a letter of recommendation from a neighboring Assemblies of God minister or the sectional presbyter for the applicant’s area.
(4) Submit a recommendation from the body with which the minister was formerly affiliated. If such is not available, letters of recommendation should be sought from three reputable ordained ministers who are familiar with the applicant’s ministry, two of whom should be with the applicant’s former credentialing body.
(5) Take the credential examination.
(6) Complete such courses as may be prescribed by the General Presbytery for ministers transferring from other credentialing bodies.
(7) Meet with the District Credentials Committee for an oral interview.
(8) Be recommended by the District Credentials Committee for action by the General Council Credentials Committee.
All previously ordained ministers so approved shall receive recognition as ordained Assemblies of God ministers with the laying on of hands by the District Presbytery. All other applicants so approved shall receive the appropriate level of credential recognition.
Ministers who receive Assemblies of God recognition shall relinquish their ministerial credentials with any other organization, unless an exception is granted by the General Council Credentials Committee upon recommendation of the Nebraska District Council Credentials Committee for a minister serving as a missionary in this country who holds a credential with a member body of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship.
Section 3. Specific Qualifications
- Residency requirements of applicants
Applicants for all credentials must be residents of or hold credentials in the Nebraska District and appear before its Credentials Committee.
- Local church credential
A local church credential shall be administered by the local church pursuant to basic guidelines adopted by the General Presbytery and such additional guidelines adopted by the Nebraska District Council. It shall be non-transferable (limited to the issuing local church).
- Certified minister
(1) General requirements
They shall show promise of usefulness in the gospel work. They shall devote a part of their time to Christian ministry and, at the discretion of the District Credentials Committee, may remain under the supervision of a pastor or a ministry coach or mentor. They shall show evidence of a divine call and be actively engaged in some aspect of ministry and the proclamation of the gospel, except in case of ill health or advanced age.
(2) Pastoral requirements
In the event a certified minister is serving in a position as the pastor, he or she shall be expected to advance to license to preach within 2 years of acceptance of the pastorate. This shall not apply to any minister who has reached the age of 65 or older, or whose certificate has been issued on a provisional basis. Any exceptions shall be at the discretion of the District Credentials Committee.
(3) Exception for provisional issuance
A Certificate of Ministry may be issued on a provisional basis to a person who has not met all the credentialing requirements but who is deemed by the District Credentials Committee to be essential to the continuity of a church or a ministry. The reason for such a provisional issuance must be ministry driven, and the justification for its use is terminated when the minister ceases to be involved in the ministry for which it was initially granted unless the minister accepts another qualifying assignment. Other limitations are:
(a) The ministry certificate on a provisional basis will be issued for 1 year and shall not be renewed more than two times.
(b) A person who has been granted the Certificate of Ministry on a provisional basis must meet the qualifications for a ministry certificate within a 3-year period.
- Licensed minister
Qualifications for license shall include clear evidence of a divine call, character and preparation suitable for that calling, practical ministry experience, and an evident purpose to devote one’s life in service to the proclamation of the gospel.
- Ordained minister
Qualifications for ordination are outlined in the New Testament (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:7-9). In addition:
(1) Applicants must be 23 years of age or older.
(2) They must have met all the requirements in making application and in completing the prescribed application form.
(3) No person may be ordained to the ministry until he or she has shown evidence of a divine call and has held a ministry license and has been actively engaged in ministry and proclamation of the gospel for at least 2 full consecutive years immediately prior thereto.
(4) Residency requirements of applicants
Applicants must be residents of or hold credentials in the Nebraska District and appear before its Credentials Committee. The Nebraska District Council is required to refrain from approving any applicant for ordination who may have been licensed in another district, until such licensed minister shall have been a member of the Nebraska District at least 1 year. Applicants who have not been a member of the Nebraska District for 2 full consecutive years must meet the requirements and secure the endorsement of the officers of the district in which they were previously licensed, as well as the Nebraska District.
(5) Exceptions to requirements
The General Council Credentials Committee, upon request by the Nebraska District Credentials Committee and where exceptional circumstances exist, may waive the requirements for an applicant holding a license to preach for 2 full consecutive years or being a member of the Nebraska District for at least 1 year.
(6) In order to maintain active status, ordained ministers shall be engaged in viable ministry and proclamation of the gospel except for cases of disability, retirement, or other valid circumstances as determined by the general secretary.
Section 4. Action of Credentials Committee
The General Council Credentials Committee delegates to the Nebraska District Council the authority to examine, approve, and recommend candidates who qualify as certified ministers, licensed ministers, and ordained ministers. Final approval and issuance of the ministerial credential shall be made by the General Council Credentials Committee. All ordination services, with the laying on of hands, shall take place under the auspices of the Nebraska District Council.
Section 5. Certificates
The General Council Credentials Committee is authorized to issue ordination certificates, licenses to preach, specialized ministries licenses, and certificates of ministry, together with the accompanying annual fellowship card, to all properly qualified and approved candidates.
Section 6. Official List
- Active ministers
The official list of all credential holders shall be compiled by the General Council Credentials Committee and published for the convenience of the Fellowship, with the understanding it is not to be used for purposes of solicitation. This official list shall be revised annually and shall contain the names of those who are engaged in active ministry and whose credentials have been renewed by the issuance of a fellowship card for the current year.
- Inactive ministers
All credentialed ministers who shall withdraw from active ministry or shall cease to engage in pastoral, evangelistic, or other full-time ministry, shall be expected to notify the Nebraska District Office, which shall inform the General Secretary who shall then be authorized to transfer the names of such persons to the inactive list, unless the Nebraska District requests otherwise by letter.
All ministers who have not been actively engaged in viable ministry and proclamation of the gospel over a period of 1 year shall have their names placed upon the inactive list for the following year
(2) Removal of inactive ministers from ministerial list
When a minister is inactive for 2 or more consecutive years, his or her name shall be eliminated from the ministerial list, unless the credentials committee of the Nebraska District requests otherwise by letter.
This shall not apply to those whose inactivity has been caused by infirmity; or those engaged in other aspects of full-time ministry such as the National Leadership Resource Center or district workers, educators, ministers of music, ministers of youth, and ministers of Christian education; or those who have reached the age of 60 years; or those ministers who have had 25 years of approved service as credentialed ministers, or those whose spouse is disabled or has retired giving them little opportunity for public ministry.
(4) Disabled ministers
A permanently disabled or permanently ill minister whose illness prevents him or her from engaging in active ministry shall be indicated as disabled. The credential status of the disabled minister shall remain unchanged. The annual renewal of his or her credentials shall take place in the regular manner. Disabled ministers thus approved by the Nebraska District shall not have further obligation of financial support to the General Council.
- Restoration to active status
Should the minister at any time return to active ministry, his or her name may be restored to the active list upon application bearing endorsement by the Nebraska District officiary.
Section 7. Senior Ministers
In respect and honor to those ministers who have given years of service to the Fellowship, senior status shall automatically be given to all credential holders who have reached the age of 65, whether or not they continue in full-time ministry.
(1) The term senior-active shall be used for credential holders who continue to serve more than half-time in the ministry.
(2) The term senior-semi-retired shall be used for credential holders who continue to be active, but for half-time or less.
(3) The term senior-retired shall be used for those who have ceased to engage in any regular appointed ministry.
- Application for retired category
Senior-semi-retired and senior-retired status shall be granted only to those ministers who filed a request for such status with the Nebraska District office. The District Secretary shall forward annually to the General Secretary a list of those ministers who have made these requests.
Senior-active and senior-semi-retired ministers shall continue to file their annual reports and pay the General Council portion of their tithes in the regular manner. Senior-retired ministers shall file an abbreviated report to maintain a correct address file for mail and insurance purposes.
(2) Sources of income
These designations and guidelines shall apply regardless of whether the senior minister’s income is from ministry, from retirement plans or Social Security payments, or from investments or other employment.
(3) Designation in publications
No distinguishing mark shall accompany the listing of senior-active in the official publications of the Assemblies of God, but may be so indicated in the working lists used for insurance and retirement purposes. Senior-semi-retired and senior-retired ministers shall have this status indicated in the Official List of Assemblies of God Ministers.
(4) Support of General Council Headquarters
Senior-active and senior-semi-retired ministers shall continue to designate the required amount of support to the General Council Headquarters as set forth in the General Council Bylaws Article VII, Section 7, paragraph c, (1). Senior-retired ministers shall be free to distribute as they desire the portion of their tithes previously paid to the General Council.
(5) Other financial responsibility not circumvented
No part of Section 7 is intended to modify the responsibility of ministers to the Nebraska District nor to terminate the biblical responsibility for tithing.
Section 8. Ministerial Relations
All certified, licensed, and ordained ministers shall be amenable to both the Nebraska District Council and The General Council of the Assemblies of God in matters of doctrine and discipline. (See Bylaws Article VIII.)
All local church credential holders shall be amenable to their local church under guidelines established by the General Presbytery and District Council in matters of doctrine and discipline.
Inasmuch as unity is a vital principle for growth and spiritual development of the Assemblies of God Fellowship, it is essential that we recognize our relationship to each other, and that we practice Christian cooperation in all our pastoral, evangelistic, missionary and local church work, and compliance with General Council principles and practices.
- Affiliation with district of residence
All credential holders within the boundaries of the Nebraska District shall be expected to affiliate and work in cooperation with the Nebraska District Council.
Ministers who pastor a church located in the Nebraska District but reside in another district shall be required to be a member of the Nebraska District.
(2) Nationally appointed U.S. missionaries
Nationally appointed U.S. missionaries shall become members of the district in which they serve and shall be listed on the ministerial roster of that district by the office of the General Secretary. They may also retain honorary membership in their home district, be listed as a missionary under national appointment in the home district’s yearbook, and be extended voice and vote in their home district while on official furlough.
(3) Church-planting ministries
Ministers who serve in a trans-district ministry related to church-planting efforts may do so provided:
(a) They have a scope of ministry which reaches beyond district boundaries; and
- Both districts agree to the assignment; and
- If the assignment involves a language/ethnic group, they follow the guidelines provided by the Executive Presbytery of the General Council and adhere to these Bylaws governing inter-district relations. (See General Council Bylaws, Article V, Section 6.)
Church planters holding credentials may obtain affiliation with the district they intend to serve and retain honorary membership in their home district, be listed in the home district’s yearbook, and be extended voice and vote in their home district for such time as they serve in another district. The financial responsibilities shall be the same as those of a nationally appointed U.S. missionary. [See General Council Bylaws, Article VII, Section 8, paragraph c, subparagraph (3).]
- Cooperation with other districts
Ministers shall be expected to cooperate with other district councils in which they may labor temporarily. It is recommended as a standard of proper practice that all ministers conform to the financial policy of the district with which they are affiliated with the following exceptions:
(1) Financial responsibility of world missionaries
World missionaries credentialed with the Nebraska District will be obligated to pay $25 per month to the Nebraska District when resident in the U.S. and $10 per month when resident on their fields.
(2) Financial responsibility of chaplains
All chaplains credentialed with the Nebraska District, military and institutional, will be obligated to the Nebraska District in the amount of 10 percent of their tithes from income earned from the chaplaincy. All chaplains are also encouraged to make voluntary contributions to the district in which they fulfill their assignments.
(3) Financial responsibility of nationally appointed or approved U.S. missionaries
Nationally appointed or approved U.S. missionaries credentialed with the Nebraska District shall contribute 25 percent of their tithe to their member district where they serve and 25 percent of their tithe to the Nebraska District if they are listed as honorary members. Missionaries credentialed with the Nebraska District who minister in the Nebraska District shall contribute a minimum of 50 percent of their tithe to the Nebraska District.
- Local Church Affiliation
- Credentialed ministers who wish to become members of a local church that they attend but do not serve as Pastor are free to make application at that local church. It is recommended that they be granted membership upon the unanimous vote of the church board, including the Pastor. In order to provide for the development of lay people to the fullest extent possible, the District Council encourages the churches to choose their governing boards from among the non-credentialed members who otherwise qualify.
- We recommend that all retired Assemblies of God ministers and spouses be offered a full membership in the Assembly which they make their church home.
(3) It is understood that a pastor of a church is a member of that church by virtue of his/her office. The pastor’s spouse may become a member upon application and approval by the local church board in keeping with the local constitution and bylaws.
Section 9. Transfer of Credentials
- Certificate of transfer
When a minister credentialed with the Nebraska District takes up residence in another district, a certificate of transfer shall be issued within 60 days by the Nebraska District, unless there are charges pending against the minister. The certificate of transfer shall be accepted by the district into which the minister moves. Exceptions may be made for the following:
(1) Ministers moving to serve at the Assemblies of God National Leadership Resource Center.
(2) Those who have attained the age of 60 and are no longer engaged in active ministry and those who have attained the age of 65 and are not pastoring a church.
(3) Those who are in the Armed Forces currently on active duty.
(4) Those who are serving on the staffs of schools affiliated with the General Council and district council or non-affiliated schools acceptable to the General Council and the district council in which the school is located.
(5) Those who are appointed U.S. missionaries or world missionaries who are on furlough or on temporary assignment in the United States and reside in a district other than the Nebraska District.
(6) Ministers having membership in the Nebraska District and a mailing address only in another district.
(7) Students in schools outside the Nebraska District.
(8) Those who are serving in a non-Assemblies of God institution providing:
(a) They have a regular scope of ministry which reaches beyond district boundaries.
(b) Both districts agree to the exception.
(c) The institution is acceptable to both districts.
(9) Church planters involved in trans-district ministry.
- Transfers from Assemblies of God World Fellowship
A minister holding ordination (or equivalent) with a member group of the Assemblies of God World Fellowship, may transfer his or her ordination to The General Council of the Assemblies of God if the following criteria are met:
(1) A letter of recommendation from the executive committee of the national church or equivalent letter of recommendation.
(2) Acceptable equivalency between our governing bodies.
(3) A course on history and polity of U.S. church.
(4) Application completed in the same form as U.S. applicants in the language of the applicant, if possible, at the discretion of the general secretary.
In order to assist a minister credentialed with the Nebraska District who is transferring into another district, a transcript giving helpful information concerning the minister and his or her spouse should accompany the certificate of transfer.
Section 10. Credential Renewals and Reinstatements
The term renewed shall apply to all ministers who have met the annual deadline for renewal including those who are delinquent but who renew by January 15.
The term reinstated shall apply to the persons whose names have been deleted from the official ministerial list, who upon application, are approved for restoration of credentials.
- Expiration date
All fellowship certificates are valid only until December 31 of each year and must be renewed annually. The renewing of credentials is the responsibility of the individual minister. Ministers who do not receive an annual renewal form by December 1 should notify the Nebraska District Office or download the form directly from the Internet at www.gensec.ag.org.
- Grace period until January 15
All who have not renewed their fellowship certificates by mail postmarked on or before December 31 shall be considered delinquent. They shall be required to pay a late fee of $50 up until January 15, to be divided equally between the Nebraska District and General Council.
- Reinstatement of lapsed minister
Ministers whose renewal applications are not postmarked by January 15 shall be recorded as lapsed as of December 31. They must make application for reinstatement and pay a non-refundable fee of $100, to be divided equally between the Nebraska District and the General Council. These ministers shall not be subject to the minimal time-lapse required of those whose credentials have been terminated for other causes.
- Reinstatement of other than dismissed minister
When a minister who is credentialed with the Nebraska District is removed from General Council rolls for any cause, except failure to renew and dismissal, and shall apply for reinstatement, he or she shall not be eligible for reinstatement until at least 6 months have elapsed after his or her name has been stricken from the General Council list of ministers. The application must be made with the Nebraska District and be accompanied with a non-refundable fee of $100 to be divided between the Nebraska District and the General Council.
The Nebraska District shall seek a letter of clearance from the district that processed the termination and, upon receipt of the clearance, may add its endorsement and forward the application, together with the letter of clearance, to the General Council Credentials Committee for its action.
Section 11. Nondisciplinary Credential Terminations
- On the initiative of minister
Ministers who do not renew their credentials shall be listed as lapsed, provided there is no cause for disciplinary action. Their names shall be published as lapsed in the Assemblies of God Minister, hereinafter referred to as the ministers letter.
Ministers credentialed with the Nebraska District who elect to remove themselves from the Fellowship shall submit a letter of resignation to the Nebraska District. If there is no cause for disciplinary action, their resignation shall become effective after having been approved by both the Nebraska District Council and General Council Credentials Committees. Their termination shall be listed in the ministers letter as resigned.
- On the initiative of the district. (See General Council Bylaws, Article X, Section 4.)
When a minister becomes inactive for 2 consecutive years, according to the stipulations set forth in the General Council Bylaws Article VII, Section 6, paragraph b, his or her name shall be published as inactive in the ministers letter.
(2) Not renewed
If in the opinion of the credentials committees a ministers credentials should not be renewed short of disciplinary action, the ministers name shall be published as not renewed in the ministers letter.
- As a result of affiliation with another church organization
In the event a minister shall identify with another organization granting ministerial credentials, and shall have received such credentials, his or her credentials with The General Council of the Assemblies of God shall be terminated. An investigation shall be made to determine the proper category of termination.
- Surrender of credentials
In all cases the minister shall be requested to surrender his or her credential (Certificate of Ordination, License to Preach, Specialized Ministries License, Certificate of Ministry) and current fellowship card to the Nebraska District Office. The District shall forward these to the Office of the General Secretary of The General Council of the Assemblies of God. Refusal to surrender his or her credential and current fellowship card shall be considered insubordination and may result in placing a charge against the minister.
Section 12. Ministerial Status Changes
All changes in a minister’s status are to be reported immediately to the Nebraska District Office, which in turn will report this information to the Office of the General Secretary of the General Council, on the Ministerial Status Report form provided by that office.
Section 13. Privileged Communications
Assemblies of God ministers are encouraged to respect as sacred and confidential information confided to them while they are functioning in their ministerial capacities as spiritual counselors and are encouraged not to disclose such confidential information except with the permission of the confidant, to prevent the commission of a crime, or if required by law.
Section 14. Prerogatives and Privileges
- Opportunities for ministry throughout the Fellowship, and the availability of approved ministries.
- Representation at District and General Councils.
- The extension of local ministry through the world-wide Fellowship of the Assemblies of God in fulfilling the Great Commission.
- Accessibility to approved Full Gospel publications and other printed materials.
- Accessibility to approved Full Gospel institutions such as colleges, etc.
- Utilization of Departmental Ministries such as camps, ministries to men, women, youth, Sunday Schools, etc.
- Availability of Insurance and Retirement Programs, such as Group Term Insurance, Group Hospitalization, and Ministers’ Benefit Association Retirement Plan.
- Fellowship with those of like mind and purpose.
Section 15. Responsibilities and Requirements
- Adherence to Sound Doctrine
A person who has a declared open change in doctrinal views inconsistent with our Statement of Fundamental Truths can no longer be eligible for endorsement as an Assemblies of God minister.
- Representation of Our Distinctive Pentecostal Testimony
It is expected the Assemblies of God ministers shall correctly and properly represent our Distinctive Pentecostal Testimony in teaching, practice, and personal conduct.
- Financial Responsibility
(1) To the General Council Headquarters
Since the work of The General Council of the Assemblies of God in its program of developing the spirit of cooperation and fellowship in home and foreign fields incurs considerable expense, including the financial support of executive officers and offices, credentialed ministers are required to contribute the following amounts to the General Council, to be taken from the tithes normally due to the District, as outlined in paragraph (2), subparagraph (a), below:
(a) Ordained Ministers – $25 per month
(b) Licensed Ministers – $20 per month
(c) Certified Ministers – $10 per month
All who can, are strongly urged to give more than the suggested amount, either personally or through the assemblies they pastor.
(2) To the District Council Office
- All Ordained, Licensed and Certified Ministers are required to support the District Office with either the tithe from their ministerial earnings or a minimum of $20 dues per month (whichever is greater) and with voluntary contributions. In the case of a married couple that is serving in ministry together and only one has earned income, the spouse who had no earned ministerial income will not be required to make this minimum dues payment if the contributing spouse’s tithe contribution is more than $40 per month. If the minister is a nationally appointed AG world missionary, nationally appointed AG U.S. missionary or nationally appointed AG chaplain, their giving responsibilities are explained in ARTICLE VII, Section 8.c.(1)(2)(3). Senior-retired ministers are exempt from this financial responsibility.
- We recommend one-half of the tithe of evangelists from other districts working within our district, and we require one-half of the tithe of our evangelists working in other districts, be sent to the Nebraska District.
- When a minister is not actively engaged in ministry and is engaged in secular work, and attending a local church, we recommend that the tithe from the secular work go to the church. Even in these cases, however, the requirements of paragraph (a) above still apply.
- If the minimum payment described above would be a hardship and inhibit the ministry of the minister and his or her family, application for exemption may be made to the Executive Presbytery.
(a) Each minister who has not complied with the financial policy of the General Council and Nebraska District Council shall send a statement of explanation with his or her annual questionnaire.
(b) The Nebraska District Presbytery shall carefully analyze the annual report of each minister and, in their knowledge of local situations, determine if he has been voluntarily cooperating with the General Council and District Council financial programs.
(a) Each assembly should accept their responsibility to provide a retirement income for their pastor and family and ministerial staff by contributing an amount equal to 7% of the pastor’s salary (over and above salary) to the minister’s AG Financial Solutions MBA account.
(b) Each minister should accept the responsibility to provide a retirement income for him/her self and his or her family by contributing an amount equal to 5% of the pastor’s salary to the minister’s AG Financial Solutions MBA account.
(c) The Nebraska District shall accept its responsibility to provide a retirement income for its ministers and his or her family by contributing an amount equal to 2% of each minister’s tithe paid to the district during each fiscal year to the minister’s MBA account. Because of MBA confidentiality, each member must furnish the District office with their MBA Account number.
ARTICLE VIII. DISCIPLINE
The Nebraska District Council accepts Article X (Discipline) in the General Council Bylaw as its manual of jurisprudence.
ARTICLE IX. FINANCE
Section 1. Services
- The tithes and offerings of the ministers, as outlined in Article VII, Section 15, paragraph c, sub-paragraph 2a, Financial Responsibility to the Nebraska District Council Office.
- Specially designated offerings from local churches, sectional Fellowship meetings.
- Offerings and bequests from individuals.
- General Disbursements are under the District Presbytery as outlined in Article IV., Section 1, Salaries.
- All Home Missions Funds disbursed in the section shall be disbursed by the presbytery.
Section 2. Loans
- The District Presbytery may establish a separate account or accounts for the purpose of creating a source of loan funds to churches or departments of the District or to the District itself.
The District Presbytery shall make such rules, regulations or guidelines and administration of the fund or funds, including but not limited to loan policies, applications, collections, administration and management.
- The District Presbytery may receive gifts, bequests, grants, loans or any other funds, with or without interest as it deems advisable for the proper administration of any fund established under this section.
- The District Presbytery may appoint a loan committee for the purpose of taking, processing, approving or denying any loan application and/or to manage and administer the fund. Such loan committee shall report to the District Presbytery not less than annually.
Section 3. Departmental Budgets
An annual budget for all departments shall be approved by the Presbytery and then be presented to the District Council in session and the budget shall be published and made available for our entire constituency, thus providing incentive for church participation in the financial program of the District.
ARTICLE X. MISSIONS
Section 1. Home Missions
- The District Home Missions Team
- The Team shall consist of not more than ten members that shall be appointed annually by the District Presbytery for the promotion and implementation of the home missions ministry. The District Superintendent shall appoint, and the Presbytery shall confirm the team leader.
(2) The Team shall consist of members drawn from a cross-section of large and small churches from both rural and urban contexts across the state of Nebraska. It will also have representation from active district home missions ministries including Chi Alpha, Ethnic ministries, etc.
(3) The Team shall promote home missions by means of a perpetual education program on the local, sectional, and district levels.
(4) The District Home Missions Team shall focus on building and reproducing healthy, vibrant, sustainable churches and ministries to ethnic groups, college campuses and other special groups across Nebraska.
(5) The Team shall assist the District Presbytery in forming and implementing a meaningful ministry vision that will merit the attention, moral concern and financial support of the pastors and churches of the district.
- Home Missions Operations
- Beginning a new church in a town or city where there is an existing assembly must have the written approval of the District Executive committee and the District Home Missions Team.
- The District Home Missions Team shall develop and maintain a Home Missions Policy Manual and shall submit proposed and recommended changes for approval to the District Presbytery prior to implementing those policies. The District Presbytery may establish policy as needed.
- Classification of Home Missions Procedures
(1) Parent Church Plan
The Parent Church plan is recommended to establish churches to begin and support branch churches as noted in Bylaws Article VI, Section 8b and c. An established church or churches may assist in purchasing, renting or leasing property and in securing and helping support the church for two years or as long as the mother church and daughter church deem necessary.
(2) Individual Effort by a Minister
A minister may enter a community, with proper approval, endeavoring to open a work for the Lord. In order to receive funding from the District, the prospective church planter must have been assessed and approved for church planting unless exception is made by the District Executive committee or District Presbytery. Where no funding is sought, only district approval is necessary.
(1) Sources of Income
(a) It is recommended that each church set a goal equivalent to 20 percent of their missionary offering or make a faith promise for Nebraska Home Missions. These offerings are to be sent to the District Secretary/Treasurer each month. These offerings may be designated for a specific Home Missions project within the District. A certificate shall be given to each church so designating a regular amount each month to Home Missions.
- The Presbytery shall seek to appoint competent workers to District approved projects. These workers shall be permitted to itinerate the churches of the District for one year to raise their support. Missionary credit shall be given.
(c) It is recommended that Home Missions be presented each year during Missions Conventions or Missions Emphasis events, and that offerings be received for the ongoing work of home missions.
(2) Governing Regulations
(a) Churches receiving Home Missions assistance shall make a monthly report of finances and activities as requested by the District Office.
(b) Any church receiving Home Missions assistance of any kind, including REACH Nebraska funding, shall clear all purchases over $1000 with the advisory board and the official board, if they are separate.
(c) The District Presbytery shall exercise supervision of all Home Missions works and ministers. It shall have full authority to place and replace personnel. Home Missions appointments shall be assigned on a bi-annual basis. The first term of a minister shall be considered a two-year term.
(d) Home Missions financial assistance to any one project shall continue no longer than two years. Extension beyond this time shall be allowed only with the approval of the District Executive Officers and ratified by the District Presbytery during a regular or special meeting.
(3) Local Home Mission Organization
A Church desiring to be set in order as a District affiliated church shall:
- Have approval by the District Presbytery.
- Have a minimum of 20 active adult members in regular attendance. An exception may be granted by the District in accordance with General Presbytery policy and provided that the church has demonstrated the capacity for self-governance.
(c) Have eligible persons willing to serve as an advisory board.
(d) Show financial responsibility toward self-support.
- A Church desiring to be set in order as a General Council Affiliated church shall meet the requirements as set forth in the General Council Constitution and Bylaws and be recognized by the General Council of the Assemblies of God as a General Council affiliated church.
Section 2. Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM)
- Since the work of the Assemblies of God World Missions is so efficiently handled by the Missions Department of the General Council, we hereby adopt all bylaws and recommendations that they have made in regard to the World Missions Work and shall endeavor to do our utmost to cooperate with the World Missions Department in these matters.
- It is recommended that each church solicit “Faith Promises” from individual members and that an annual “Faith Promise missions emphasis service or services be a part of the church calendar.
- We recommend the entire offering be given to the missionary when he/she makes his/her itinerary to the local church.
- A District Missions Director will be appointed by the Executive Officers.
- We recommend that all District assemblies adopt the “Light-For-The-Lost” day in relation to the national observance. Offerings will be received and sent to the World Missions Department in Springfield, Missouri, designated “Light-For-The-Lost.” Offerings received from churches that make specific commitments at annual “Light-For-The-Lost” banquets will be applied to their commitments.
Section 3. Assemblies of God Home Missions (AGHM)
- Since the work of the Assemblies of God U.S. Missions is so efficiently handled by the U.S. Missions Department of the General Council, we hereby adopt all bylaws and recommendations made in regard to nationally appointed home missionaries and nationally recognized mission ministries unless said recommendations conflict with specific District objectives, policies or procedures.
- It is recommended that each church solicit “Faith Promises” from individual members during annual missions conventions or missions emphasis services to support the work of nationally appointed home missionaries and ministries.
ARTICLE XI. DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH AND CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
Section 1. Authorization and Name
There shall be a Department of Youth and Christian Education of the Nebraska District Council of the Assemblies of God.
Section 2. Purpose
- To win, build and send Nebraska Youth in the power of the Holy Spirit in harmony with both the National Youth Department and local Assemblies of God churches.
- To promote Christian Education, to train teachers and leaders, to network resources and to cooperate with local pastors in fostering the development of various methods of Christian Education in local Assemblies of God churches.
Section 3. Relationships
This department shall have two divisions: the Youth Division and the Christian Education Division.
Section 4. Personnel
- The department shall operate under direction of the District Director of Youth and Christian Education. The director shall be appointed to a four year term and shall devote his/her full time to the office promoting the work of Youth and Christian Education through camps, conventions, rallies, seminars, retreats, outreaches and other activities under the general oversight of the District Superintendent.
- There shall also be no less than two and no more than four credentialed ministers who will serve on the Executive Youth Leadership Team with the District Youth Director (DYD). One of the members shall be appointed to act as a secretary during his/her term. The team members shall be appointed to a one year term.
- There shall also be no less than two and no more than four Credentialed Ministers who will serve on the Executive Christian Education Leadership Team with Christian Education (CE) Director. One of the members shall be appointed to act as a secretary during his/her term. The team members shall be appointed to a one year term.
Section 5. Qualifications
- District Youth Director
The District Youth Director (DYD) shall be an Ordained Minister of experience and ability who has resided in the District at least one year. The Executive Youth/CE Committee Members shall be Credentialed Ministers of experience and ability.
- Youth Ministry Representatives
The Youth Committee shall consist of the Executive Youth Leadership team and representatives that show a particular interest in Nebraska Youth Ministries. These representatives shall be made up of credentialed ministers or qualified laypersons.
- Christian Education Representatives
The Christian Education Committee shall consist of the Executive Christian Education Leadership team and representatives that show a particular interest in Nebraska Christian Education Ministries. These representatives shall be made up of credentialed ministers or qualified laypersons.
Section 6. Appointments
- Executive Youth and Christian Education Leadership Teams
The Nebraska Youth and Christian Education Director will appoint the Executive Youth/CE Committee Members that make up the Leadership Teams upon appointment to his/her office. These appointments shall meet with the approval of the Presbytery.
Section 7. Vacancies
- District Director
He/she shall give 30 days’ notice upon resignation from office. He/she shall have 60 days to vacate his/her office. A vacancy in the office of District Director shall be filled by appointment of the Presbytery (See Article II, Section 6).
- Executive Youth/CE Committee Members
These offices shall be filled by recommendation of the District Youth/CE Director with the approval of the Presbytery.
- Ministry Representative
The Director of Youth and Christian Education shall appoint a Ministry Representative to serve when a vacancy arises at that position prior to the completion of the regular term. New appointments shall be announced at the annual District Council meeting.
Section 8. Finances
- The finances of the Youth/CE Department shall be maintained by the District Office Bookkeeping Department with the necessary breakdown for the two divisions.
- The churches of the District are strongly urged to cooperate in financing this department in the following manner:
(1) That each church be encouraged to write a monthly amount into the church budget.
(2) Each church receive an offering for the Director’s expense when he visits in an official capacity.
(3) Each Sunday School support the department with the tithe of its Sunday School offerings.
(4) One-half of the returned “Speed-the-Light” funds shall be used for administration purposes and one half of the returned “Speed-the-Light” funds shall be used for the development of Youth Evangelism and Discipleship.
(5) At the annual “Speed-the-Light” goal setting tour, the Division of Youth is authorized to raise funds for the support of the District Youth and Christian Education Department.
- The District Director’s salary shall be determined by the District Presbytery.
Section 9. Duties of Officers
(1) He/she shall have the general oversight of the Youth, Sunday School and other Christian Education work in the District. He/she shall assist in the establishing of new Youth groups and Sunday Schools.
(2) He/she shall be responsible for planning and conducting conventions, rallies, seminars, retreats, outreaches, tours, etc.
(3) He/she shall represent the Department of Youth and Christian Education in the District and National Councils, seminars, and conferences.
(4) He/she shall supervise the Youth, Teen and Kids Camping programs.
(5) He/she shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
(6) He/she shall organize and give oversight to the ministries of Ambassadors in Missions, Speed-the-Light, Fine Arts, Bible Quiz, Youth Alive, Discipleship, etc.
(7) He/she shall audit all Presbytery meetings and serve on Presbytery sub-committees as assigned by the Presbytery, Executive Presbytery or District Superintendent.
(8) He/she shall chair the District College Ministry Committee.
(9) He/she shall develop and produce any materials needed for fulfilling his/her duties as Director of Youth and Christian Education.
- Assistant Director
(1) They shall stand as assistants to the Director in the aforementioned duties.
(2) They shall assist the Director in the supervision of work on the field and perform any other functions under the supervision of the Director as may be directed to perform by the Council, Presbytery, or Executive Committee of the Department of Youth and Christian Education.
(3) A designated member from the Executive Committee shall preside at any business session in the Director’s absence.
- Youth/Christian Education Ministry Representatives
(1) The Youth/CE Ministry Representatives shall have general oversight of all the activities associated with his/her office.
- He/she shall network and resource other Youth/CE Ministries. The Youth Ministry Rep shall also act as a mentor for youth sponsors in churches that are without a Youth Pastor.
ARTICLE XII. NEBRASKA CHI ALPHACAMPUS MINISTRIES
Section 1. Philosophy
- Nebraska Chi Alpha Campus Ministries accepts as a model the National Chi Alpha Campus Ministries Department statements and philosophy as endorsed by the Assemblies of God.
It shall be the aim of Nebraska Chi Alpha Campus Ministries to encourage the placement of Chi Alpha campus ministries associated with the Assemblies of God churches wherever the opportunity arises.
Section 2. District Leadership/Oversight
- Nebraska District Chi Alpha Committee (DCAC)
- A Nebraska District Chi Alpha Committee shall be appointed annually by the Nebraska District Presbytery.
- This committee shall consist of at least one each of the following (if possible): The Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative (Chairman), the Nebraska District Superintendent, the Nebraska District Youth Director and the District Home Missions Director shall serve on this committee by virtue of their office. All local Chi Alpha Campus Ministers or Missionaries (full and part-time). Others deemed necessary by the Nebraska District Presbytery.
- Function of the Nebraska District Chi Alpha Committee
- Assist the Nebraska District and Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative in oversight and coordination of Chi Alpha campus ministries in the Nebraska District.
- Assist in giving general oversight to local Chi Alpha campus ministry leadership.
- Oversee the administration of the Nebraska District Chi Alpha account, under the oversight of the Nebraska District Presbytery, the Nebraska District Home Missions Director and the Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative.
- Approve or disapprove appointment of Chi Alpha campus ministers or missionaries in the Nebraska District, with input from the local Chi Alpha ministry committees, and the Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative.
- Serve as interviewing and screening committee when a Chi Alpha campus ministry position is open in the Nebraska District.
- The Nebraska District Chi Alpha Committee shall have a policy on filling position openings, the interview process, and procedure for Chi Alpha campus missionary transfers
Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative (DCAR)
Section 1. Appointment
- There shall be a Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative appointed annually, as deemed necessary by the Nebraska District Executive Presbytery from nominations made by the Nebraska District Chi Alpha Committee.
- The Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative shall be amenable to the Nebraska District Presbytery and the Nebraska District Chi Alpha Committee, the Area Chi Alpha Representative, the Regional Chi Alpha Representative and the National Chi Alpha Office.
Section 2. Duties of the Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative
As outlined in the Nebraska Chi Alpha Campus Ministries policy manual and approved by the Nebraska District Presbytery.
Section 3. Local Chi Alpha Campus Ministers/Missionaries
- These individuals may be appointed or approved, as deemed necessary by the Nebraska District Chi Alpha Committee, and shall be ratified by the Nebraska District Executive Presbytery.
- Local full or part-time Chi Alpha campus ministers / missionaries shall be actively and directly involved in college campus ministry.
- They must have or be pursuing Assemblies of God ministerial credentials.
- Determined the call of God on their lives to minister to collegians.
- They typically function in ministerial oversight of the local student group (counseling, teaching and administration) building strongly upon student leaders.
- The local District or Nationally appointed Chi Alpha campus minister / missionary shall be amenable to the Nebraska District, Nebraska District Chi Alpha Committee and the Nebraska District Chi Alpha Representative.
- Local Chi Alpha Advisory Committees
- District Chi Alpha Committee recommendation
It is recommended that each Nebraska District Chi Alpha Campus Ministry have a local advisory committee. The nature of the committee shall be determined on the basis of the need and level of development of the ministry.
To give general oversight and support for the local Chi Alpha Ministry and Campus missionary(s).
Section 4. Chi Alpha Campus Ministries Finances
- Nebraska Chi Alpha Campus Ministries as outlined above shall be considered a District Home Missions Project.
- Only those campus ministries who have received National Home Missions appointment or District Home Missions appointment shall be allowed to itinerate in the District.
- Receipts for the District Chi Alpha account shall be obtained from offerings and donations of individuals and churches designated for Nebraska District Chi Alpha
- Support for local Chi Alpha campus ministers / missionaries shall be obtained from the local church (or churches), individuals, and where necessary, supplemental support may be obtained from the Nebraska District Chi Alpha account if funds permit.
ARTICLE XIII. INSTITUTIONS
Section 1. Schools
The Nebraska District Council shall help to establish schools for training of candidates for the ministry, and shall cooperate with the General Council in such matters.
Section 2. Miscellaneous
The Nebraska District Council in cooperation with the General Council shall encourage the establishing and maintaining of homes for children, the aged, retired ministers and missionaries, Christian day schools and extension schools, and all humanitarian and educational work that shall be for the betterment of mankind.
Section 3. North Central University
- The Nebraska District Council, together with other participating districts, shall share in the administration of the college through its representatives.
- The District Superintendent, shall, by virtue of office, be a member of the Board of Regents.
- A minister and a layperson shall be appointed annually by the District Presbytery as other members of the Board of Regents. They shall be members in good standing in the Assemblies of God and shall have an interest in Christian Education.
ARTICLE XIV. CAMPS
Section 1. Rules and Regulations
Rules and regulations must be enforced at all camps.
Section 2. Finance
It is recommended that the local churches include in their budget, an amount for the campgrounds, paid monthly, if possible.
Section 3. Camp Board
- The Camp Director, under the supervision of the District Superintendent and the Presbytery, will be responsible for maintaining the budget, expanding the use of the facilities, and developing and implementing the vision of the campgrounds.
- The Camp Director, in consultation and approval of the Executive Officers, will appoint a standing committee of five individuals, who will be appointed for a one-year term, to assist the Camp Director in the aforementioned duties. In addition to these five, the District Superintendent, the Director of Youth and Christian Education, and the Kids Camp Director will also be members of this committee by virtue of their office.
Section 4. Kids Camp
- The Kids Camp program shall be under the direct supervision of the Kids Camp Director with all plans being subject to the approval of the District Director of the Department of Youth and Christian Education.
- The Kids Camp Committee shall be made up of the Sectional Christian Education Representatives, the Executive Officers of the Youth and Christian Education Department, and up to three additional members at large to be appointed by the Director as deemed necessary to serve as an Advisory Committee to the Kids Camp Director.
ARTICLE XV. DISTRICT PROPERTIES
Section 1. Trustees
The District Presbyters shall be the legal custodians and trustees of all property, real or personal, now owned or hereafter acquired in its name or in the name of its Executive Committee, which property may be or become a part of the assets of said District Council.
Section 2. Held in Corporate Name
All such property, real, chattel, or personal, owned or hereafter acquired by the District Council shall be taken, held, possessed, sold, transferred, assigned, mortgaged or conveyed in the corporate name of the Nebraska District Council of the Assemblies of God.
Section 3. Purchases and Leases of General District Properties
- Real property which is for the use or benefit of the entire District, such as the District Office, Campgrounds, or district parsonages, shall not be purchased or sold unless first authorized by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at any regular or special session of the District Council.
- Such property may be leased, mortgaged or rented as the need arises, when authorized by a two-thirds vote of the District Presbytery.
- In cases of government initiated eminent domain, any interest in real property which is for the use or benefit of the entire District that is required for public use, may be conveyed for reasonable compensation when authorized by a two-thirds vote of the District Presbytery.
Section 4. Purchase, Lease and Title of Other District Properties
- Other property acquired for the purpose of promoting the work of the Nebraska District Council and for the establishment of Home Missions churches, may be sold, transferred, leased, rented, conveyed or mortgaged in the corporate name of the Nebraska District Council when authorized by a two-thirds vote of the District Presbytery. The District Superintendent and or the District Secretary shall be authorized to sign all legal documents in these matters. The proceeds from the sale of such properties shall be disbursed at the discretion of the District Executive Committee.
- The properties of all churches which have not been set in order shall be held in the name of the Nebraska District Council, which shall have full power and authority to take and hold such property, whether gift or purchase.
- Upon being set in order as a General Council Affiliated Church, the title to all property, real and personal, whether gift or purchase, together with all indebtedness thereupon, shall be automatically and immediately transferred to and vested in the church’s trustees and their duly elected successors in office, without the necessity of any legal instrument in writing from the corporate office of the Nebraska District.
Section 5. Heretofore Held Property
Any property, real, chattel, or personal, heretofore held in the corporate name of said District Council which may have been heretofore sold, transferred, mortgaged or conveyed, and where said instrument of conveyance has been in substantial compliance with the foregoing, is hereby ratified, confirmed and in all respects, approved.
ARTICLE XVI. INSURANCE PROGRAMS
Section 1. Ministers’ Benefit Association
The Nebraska District Council recommends that all ordained and licensed ministers become members of the Ministers’ Benefit Association, offered through AG Financial Solutions. It is further recommended that each minister and church should follow the recommendation outlined in Article VII MINISTRY, Section 15 Responsibilities and Requirements, paragraph c. Financial Responsibility, sub-paragraph (4) Retirement, paragraphs (a) and (b).
Section 2. Group Insurance for Assemblies
The General Council of the Assemblies of God maintains a minister’s group life insurance program. It is recommended that all ministers consider the coverage.
ARTICLE XVII. STANDING RECOMMENDATIONS
Section 1. Social Security
We recommend that all ministers participate in the National Social Security Program.
Section 2. Insurance and Extended Coverage
Adequate Fire and Liability Insurance should be carried by all churches, and is required by all District Affiliated Churches.
Section 3. Suggested Constitution and Bylaws
We recommend that all churches in the District adopt the standard form of Constitution and Bylaws or Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation which are recommended by the District.
Section 4. Historian
There is a need to preserve the history of the Nebraska District Council of the Assemblies of God and its affiliated churches for future generations. We recommend that a Historian be appointed by the District Presbytery to keep the historical records of the Nebraska District. The historical record should include District meetings, speakers, pastors and churches, dedication of churches, and any other events of historical significance.
Section 5. Surplus Funds
We recommend that all money not needed for current expense and projects be invested in short term notes.
Section 6. Committees
We recommend that committees such as Camp Committee and World Missions Committee, be appointed at least 90 days prior to the District Council to give adequate time to meet, study, and prepare their reports prior to Council time.
Section 7. Approval of District Minutes
The minutes of the District Council session shall be edited by the District Executive Officers and the printing of the same shall be authorized by them.
ARTICLE XVIII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Amendments to the Bylaws
Amendments to the bylaws may be made at any regular or special meeting of the District Council by a majority of the members voting.
Section 2. Conformity with General Council Bylaws
The Executive Committee is empowered to make necessary editorial changes to our bylaws so as to keep them consistent with the General Council Bylaws, with regard to financial responsibility, changed terminology such as departmental names, and references to General Council bylaws that change due to revision.