In The Apostolic Congress of Great Britain (ACGB)

Candidates to the Bishopric within the ACGB are expected to note the following and abide by them.

[1] The Relevance of The Bishopric

The ACGB bishoprics are established on these convictions:

[A] The appointment and enthronement of a Bishop is the single act in the life of the Church that has sufficient muscle to motivate the building-up of the total parts of the Christian Church at challenging situations in a given geographical area. It saves the situation where otherwise the morale of God's people in a given geographical area become weak or crushed. ACGB views the bishopric as institutional, facilitating, and strategic. We therefore call on our bishops to be strategic in vision and comprehensive in attention.

[B] The bishopric serves as the anchor of the Church with regard to the move of God's Spirit in a given community and (therefrom) the outpouring of the Spirit upon the collective-congregations that worship with the given community. ACGB sees the bishopric as a structural part of the nourishment and holistic growth of God's Church in a given community. We therefore call on our bishops to build personal courage in the use of the gifts of the Spirit and also stay prophetic at the cutting edge.

[C] The transformation of an area into a developed state is a gift of God. The transformation is usually subsequent to the enthronement of the bishop. The gift is drawn from the divine grace placed on the life and ministry of the area bishopric of the Church. ACGB regards its bishopric as a spiritual rock of a continuing blessing from God to an area. We call on our bishops to embrace community transformation as one focus of their responsibility under God.

[D] ACGB is convinced that the bishopric contains terms of a deeper, biblical, and personal covenant between the Lord of the Harvest and the area bishopric, in terms of the salvation of God's people. This deeper, biblical, and personal covenant evolves over a period of time, subsequent to the enthronement. ACGB regards this feature in the life of the Bishopric as the apostolic-pentecostal character, where the Holy Spirit is particularly recognised to transform and re-charge His chosen bishops. ACGB therefore expects its bishops and their respective officers to adhere faithfully to God's terms placed before them personally - and in so doing bring strength to the work and glory to the Lord.

[2] Phases in the Appointment and Consecration of A Bishop

Church law requires three main processes.

Firstly, he/she must be chosen through a laid-down process.

At the candidate's personal level, it involves a thorough heart-searching and a considerable period of openness to God and His complete will. In ACGB, this requires a selection process and an appointment.

Within the process, a panel examines the credentials, credibility, and custom of the candidate. They will approve or disapprove the proposal. If they approve the proposal, they will recommend her/him to the Executive Council of the Congress who may accept or refer the recommendation.

The second phase is that he/she must be placed.

If the Executive Council accepts the recommendation, they would call the candidate to receive a mission with regards to a specific area. This is done by committing the spiritual jurisdiction of the area to him/her. From here, the Executive Council shall commend the candidate to the public by appropriate notification, and also to the other bishops in the area by letter.

Objections will be invited within a specified number of days after the appearance of the notice. Any objection will be treated as deemed fit by the Executive Council.

The third phase is that he/she must be consecrated a Bishop, according to the Church tradition.

ACGB does this as a Consecration Service. It has four main elements:

A] lifting up the Lord who saved the Bishop-elect …… and called her/him to His royal service,
B] receiving confessions publicly from the Bishop-elect
C] laying hands on her/him with the anointing of oil, and
D] presenting his bishopric vestments, and pronouncing him a Bishop.

[3] Specific Guidelines in the Process

Generally any three member-organisations of ACGB may, by a written application (giving the reasons as well as the detailed prospect of a diocesan work in a given area) propose a Church minister who is a member of ACGB to be appointed as a Bishop of the Congress and a Bishop for a specified area of service.

The Congress' Executive shall decide on the merits or otherwise of the proposal.

If the Executive decides to encourage the proposal, the candidate for the bishopric will do the following:

[A] Make a formal application, and receive the initial encouragement.

[B] Visit between 10 and 20 of the Churches or different congregations in the proposed constituency/diocese - formally and informally. S/he will also complete the following exercise:

[i] Develop a Community Reading Programme - for gaining hold of the dreams and ideas that work the minds of the people in a given area.

[ii] Publish a Community Reader of not less than 100 pages from the above exercise

[iii] Write a 30-40 page thesis on a relevant topic, and defend it before a panel appointed by the Executive Forum (as part of the final assessment).

[iv] With the co-operation of the ACGB Officers, set up her/his Diocesan Board - and publish the first 3-year plans

[C] With the approval of Executive Council, set the date, time and venue for consecration.



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