STRUCTURAL CHANGES AT HQ REFLECT EFFORTS TO RESOURCE MINISTERS, CHURCHES
The Executive Presbytery, in session in September, approved a restructure of the Ministerial Leadership Division at Headquarters. With the goal of more effectively resourcing AG ministers and churches, and to bring synergy to the area of Ministerial Leadership, the EPs elected to move this entire area under the General Secretary’s office. “The General Secretary is the repository for all matters dealing with ministerial credentials, so it made sense to place the area dealing with the development and resourcing of the minister in that area also,” states General Superintendent George O. Wood.
The Ministerial Leadership area has been under the direction of Ron McManus. The Presbytery has asked Ron to focus solely on Church Transformation. This will include helping small churches who are either stagnant or in danger of being closed to refocus their efforts and ministries to reach their community. Ron will be working with districts and churches to affect this new role.
To assist the General Secretary in carrying out the responsibilities of the Ministerial Leadership area, two offices have been created.
The office of Pastor Care will be under the direction of Dr. Gary Allen. That office will continue as liaison with Emerge Ministries, will have oversight of the counseling data base referrals to assist churches and ministers with counseling needs and will work with districts who have appointed Pastor Care leaders to help resource those leaders. In addition, Gary will give oversight to the National Prayer Center which has been under the Division of Communications but now has been moved under the Pastor Care area. Sometime ago the ELT had requested the Prayer Center (under the direction of John Maempa) to focus on developing prayer resources for local churches and the staff has done that with a number of new, very effective resources. Gary also will serve as an in-house chaplain to headquarters employees who may need someone to advise and pray with those who face difficulties.
The office of Ministerial Resourcing will give oversight to MinistryDirect.com and the Enrichment Journal. It also will serve as editor for the quarterly ministers’ letter, Called to Serve. This office will seek to develop resources for ministers and churches to assist with their individual ministries. General Secretary James Bradford has chosen George Paul Wood to lead this office. Dr. Bradford states, “When we looked for the right person who has ministerial experience, is a good writer/editor, and who has the academic credentials to lead this office, I felt George Paul was the person for the job.” George Paul has served on a church staff with Dr. Bradford and more recently has been the pastor of a turn-around church in Santa Barbara, California. He has a B.A. from Wheaton College and a M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. Early on, he served as editorial assistant of the Pneuma magazine, the official publication for the Society for Pentecostal Studies. George Paul is a published writer and among others, has written articles for both the Pentecostal Evangel and Enrichment. The son of General Superintendent and Mrs. George O. Wood, George Paul and his wife Tiffany have a one-year-old son, George Reese.
“We solicit your prayers and support as we move ahead with this new structure,” states Dr. Bradford. “I believe the greatest days are ahead for our Fellowship as we continue to seek God, obey His will, and live our lives in light of His soon return.” The changes take effect in December.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Over the past three years, Tiffany and I have been privileged to serve as your senior pastor. We have appreciated your prayers for us and generosity to us through actions both large and small. Mostly, we have appreciated your faithfulness to God and his church.
This past August, I found myself at a crossroad.
When I accepted your invitation to become the senior pastor of Living Faith Center, I did so with the intention of serving here for a long time. But 2007 was a very tough year emotionally for Tiffany and me. We were pleased with the progress the church was making, but we felt isolated and lonely and that Santa Barbara was not yet home.
It is never a good idea to make decisions based solely upon feelings, so we gave ourselves a two-year deadline, committed ourselves to working hard for the church, and began asking God daily to help us feel at home here.
And that brings me to the crossroad. In August, Tiffany and I attended the 53rd General Council of the Assemblies of God in Orlando, Florida. During the altar call of the first evening’s service, I went forward and found myself crying uncontrollably. Two-and-a-half years of conflict between what you might call my professional satisfaction and personal dissatisfaction were taking their toll on me emotionally. Tiffany felt the same way.
At the same General Council, a family friend whom I trust said he had a word from the Lord for me. I am a skeptical person by nature, but I really wanted to hear from God. The friend said: “You will have clarity about what you should do.” A few days after returning from General Council, I walked into the house at the end of a very long day, looked at Tiffany, and had absolute clarity that it was time to leave Santa Barbara.
So, today, I am offering my resignation as senior pastor of Living Faith Center. My last day will be Friday, November 13, 2009.
Throughout my ministry, God has led me by opening and closing doors of opportunity. When I felt that God was closing the door on my ministry in Santa Barbara, I had no idea what door he would open. That happened a few weeks later when Dr. Jim Bradford, who is the General Secretary of the AG, told me about an open position working for him in Springfield, Missouri. I applied for this position, and this past Tuesday, Dr. Bradford offered me the job. In this new position, I will be the Director of Ministerial Resourcing for the AG. In that office, I will be editor of Enrichment, a quarterly ministers’ magazine; Called to Serve, a quarterly newsletter; and team leader for the AG’s social networking website, MinistryDirect.com.
I know that my resignation catches many of you by surprise. I hope you understand that I have not made this decision lightly, precipitously, or without seeking God’s guidance. I hope you also understand that I consider it a privilege to have worked alongside you for these past three years.
We would appreciate your prayers as we take this next step on our spiritual journey.
May God bless you richly!
George P. Wood
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