Our congregation is associated with the Christian group formally known as the Church of God Reformation Movement. We balk at calling ourselves a denomination, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s what we are. And for the past several years, this denomination has been guided along its course by our current General Director, a man named Dr. Ron Duncan.
Dr. Duncan is an excellent leader with a pastor’s heart and a servant’s attitude. I have had a few conversations with him over the past few years, and I have always walked away grateful that he is providing such good leadership for this movement. Yet his retirement is just around the corner, and the necessary questions are being asked now: what kind of person do we want as our next General Director?
This is extremely significant for us as a movement, because the General Director gives voice to our collective vision. He or she works with other leaders in our movement to strengthen congregations and to help us move forward in our mission, which is to spread the message of Jesus Christ throughout the world in a way that resonates with our theological emphases on personal holiness and the unity of all believers. The next General Director will shape the course of this movement for years to come.
I was privileged to participate in a focus group yesterday regarding this very issue. Several friends and colleagues of mine – we were called “young theologians” by the organizers of this group – had a 90-minute conference call with the team that will eventually search for a new General Director. We were asked to give our thoughts on the current state of the Church of God, the challenges facing the next General Director, and the opportunities facing the next General Director.
This was an incredibly encouraging phone conversation for me! I appreciated being reminded that there are many leaders in the Church of God who are concerned that this movement actually move somewhere, that we clearly express our vision for ministry in the present-day world. Many individuals commented on the importance of understanding and articulating our identity in a way that drives us to service and ministry in our local communities in the name of social holiness. Several mentioned the need for Christians to partner with other believers across denominational lines to do the work of the kingdom of God in our local communities in the name of Christian unity.
The Church of God won’t have a new General Director for another eighteen months or so. The search process is very involved! But rest assured that the Church of God currently has many young leaders who are committed to seeing this movement fulfill God’s purposes in the present generation.