1 THE BODY OF CHRIST PART 7
When looking at the body of Christ or Christ’s body, we are looking at the church which is the body of Christ. In this report I will be comparing the relationship of the church in the following ways: the church’s mission and its purpose, the church’s relationship to Jesus Christ, church leadership and the authority in the body, the church’s relationship to the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and the relationship between the church’s members.
1.1 THE CHURCH’S RELATIONSHIP TO THE CHRISTIAN AND MISSIONARY ALLIANCE
The church and the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) have an intimate relationship that grows from the Church level into a district level, then a national level and finally into a worldwide level of governance.
1.1.1 The Church and the General Council
The national level is still under the General Council which is the highest governing body of the C&MA. The General Council includes members of the accredited churches; thus, the local churches are a part of the highest governing authority in the C&MA. The General Council meets annually; the local churches can send two lay delegates to represent their church. “If the voting membership (as reported in the most recent annual report of the church) is 150 or more, another lay delegate may be sent for each additional 100 voting members or fraction thereof. At the district level the churches are involved in a district conference.” (C&MA Manual Section A-2 Article VI Section 6.2 (A) (3)). As a part of the General Council, the Church has an active role in the functions of the C&MA and advancing the following:
• The mission and vision of the C&MA
• Evaluating the progress of the ministries of the C&MA
• Electing officers, transacting business, and enacting denominational polices
• Providing opportunities for worship, fellowship, spiritual renewal, inspiration to greater service, and the developing of ministry skills.
The mission of the General Council is the same on all levels of the C&MA governance; it is, “The mission of The Christian and Missionary Alliance is to know Jesus Christ; exalt Him as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King; and complete His Great Commission.”
1.1.2 The Church and District
The church and the district are united in the C&MA mission which is “to know Jesus Christ; exalt Him as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King; and complete His Great Commission”.
The church’s relationship at the district level is to be in no way in conflict with the General Council or the C&MA Constitution and Bylaws. The District is there to help the local churches in their district, to complete the commandment to make disciples of all nations, to fulfill its function in fellowship, evangelism, church health and multiplication, and world missions.
The District appoints its pastors in their district churches and approves Christian workers through the Licensing, Ordination, and Consecration Council (LO&CC). The accredited church is governed by a governance authority as is each higher stage of the C&MA. In general, the Church has a Pastor (who is the acting chairman and president), secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer, and such other officers as may be designated in the church bylaws or in the state law. These officers of the church must be approved by the District Superintendent and meet the membership qualification as listed in Article III under Section A4 of the C&MA manual.
The District and the District Superintendent have an intimate relationship with their district churches, and the churches are to be a voice at the district conferences. Just like the General Council’s annual meetings, the districts have annual meetings in which the accredited and corresponding delegates may attend each year.
1.1.3 The Church and the C&MA
At each level the church and the C&MA have two primary purposes; they are to be Christ-like and spread the gospel throughout the world. This is done through leadership, mission, pastoral care, and governance. The leadership of the C&MA promote the spread of the gospel worldwide and the unity of faith in the full stature of Jesus Christ as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. The mission of each level is the Great Commission and is the same mission at each level of the C&MA- local, district, national, and worldwide evangelism. This also includes discipleship making, church health and multiplication, and missions mobilization. Pastoral care is very important at the district level; new pastors receive coaching to improve their ministry skills. The District Superintendent or D.S. is a “pastor’s pastor” and should make available pastoral care like: fellowships, retreats, training opportunities, conferences for his pastors and their wives, so they can continue to develop and participate as the living body of Christ. Pastoral care ensures the health of the pastor which flows down to his congregation through the church’s governance authority. This leads to the last primary function, governance. At the district level, the LO&CC approves all licensed, ordained, and consecrated workers to the D.S. who gives the final approval. At the national level, official workers will be determined by the Board of Directors as stated in Section B-1 of the C&MA Manual.
The Church and the C&MA’s relationship should be in unity with the C&MA Manual, the vision, mission and faith statements to become more like Christ and to complete the Great Commission with the hope of seeing our blessed hope and appearing of our great God and Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King Jesus Christ.