General Conference 2019 Triennial Sessions Overview

General Conference 2019 has come and gone. It was a great week. Tod Bolsinger helped us understand the unique moment which we find ourselves and challenged us to stay faithful to the mission of Jesus in these uncharted times. There were powerful times of worship and praise: celebrating Jesus and lifting His name high. There were times of fellowship where old friendships were rekindled and new connections were made across our body. It was a wonderful time that left my body tired but my heart full.

One of the major pieces of business dealt with the strategic plan for the General Conference and the approval of the new mission, vision and values. We also unveiled the new logo of the Churches of God, General Conference. I thought I’d share a little about both these important items this week. You can rest assured that there will be much more shared in the weeks and months to come as we work to make words on paper come alive as we make them a living reality through the actions of our lives.

The mission of the Churches of God, General Conference is to maximize our collective potential for Kingdom impact! The purpose of a mission statement should answer the question “what are we ultimately supposed to be doing?” Over the years, one of the questions that has arisen time and time again has been the question of “why have a General Conference?” Why does the denomination exist? The mission makes the overall direction of the CGGC unquestionable and points everyone in that direction. The mission is also like a golden thread that weaves through every activity of the CGGC.

We exist to maximize our collective potential for Kingdom impact! There is an enormous God-given potential that rests within each individual person, congregation and ministry across the Churches of God, General Conference. We exist to maximize that collective potential for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom! When we come together and work together, we are able to accomplish far more than any one of us working alone.

Does this mean that every church in the denomination should adopt this mission statement as their own mission? No. We believe each church has an unique mission and purpose in a unique context and that their mission should reflect those realities. Our expectation isn’t that you’ll adopt, word for word, the CGGC mission, vision and values as your church’s strategy, but instead that you’ll see how your church is connected to a broader movement of God and grow in your understanding how your church uniquely plays a role in that movement.

In addition to the adoption of the mission, vision and values, we unveiled the new logo of the Churches of God, General Conference. I know that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Some will see this new mark and immediately appreciate and identify with it. For others, it may take some time. For others, it may never be as good as the old one. That being said, I believe the new mark gives us something that represents us well.

Many have asked “what does it mean” and so I’d like to offer the explanation behind the design:

“This mark is comprised of individual elements, the shape of each showing outward movement to connote impact. The design represents individuals connecting together at the table where we partner and plan to empower each leader to maximize the church’s reach and impact. Using different colors and shading, the cross is shown in the center of the mark to communicate that everything we do is centered in the message of Jesus.”

We’ve always been a Jesus movement and we will continue to be a Jesus movement with Jesus and His cross at the center of all we do. I think the new logo gives a wonderful representation of how many individual parts come together, connect together, and work together to demonstrate and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world that desperately needs it.

Again, there have been lots of questions in the last couple of days. Does this mean our church has to adopt this logo? No. First of all, we know that many of our congregations have their own unique branding that is culturally relevant and contextual. We don’t expect your congregation to adopt this mark as your own logo or brand. Nor do we expect congregations to change signage at this time and incur unnecessary expense. We would ask that as your church updates such items in the future, that you use the new mark, but we aren’t forcing anyone to take such measures.

There’s much more to share over the weeks to come. Most importantly, there is much more to bring into action. Words on paper are wonderful, they can bring great clarity as to what we’re supposed to do and how we’re supposed to do it, but it’s only through carrying out great ideas and words that we will see change and fruitfulness. In the days and weeks to come, expect to hear more about this.

Christ’s Peace,

CGGC eNews—Vol. 13, No. 29

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