Nearly 450 ministry leaders of The Foursquare Church convened in Long Beach, Calif. for an Executive Council Summit. The purpose of the summit was to discuss and advance the recently announced district consolidation for the U.S. church. Among the topics on the agenda during the summit were a newly developing multi-ethnic strategy and definition of the missional focus of our new district offices.
Those engaged in dialogue at the summit included pastors, current district supervisors and divisional superintendents, the executive team, board members, ministry specialists and central office staff. The resultant outcome was input of helpful counsel from the many participants, as well as improved clarity regarding the future of The Foursquare Church in five missional categories: ministering, mentoring, mobilizing, multiplying and managing, especially in relationship to the consolidation of districts.
Our national strategy for reaching multi-ethnic people groups includes resourcing the 14 new districts in The Foursquare Church by collaboration between the current supervisors of ethnic districts and the new districts, making their valuable expertise available to the entire nation rather than merely within one geographic region. The multi-ethnic strategy will involve missional integration of local, district, national and international partnerships.
Ted Vail, who currently serves Foursquare Missions International (FMI) as Northern American Regional Coordinator, has accepted an appointment to oversee this new alignment and connection with the field. This comprehensive strategy is still being framed to include a district multi-ethnic council that will have representative leadership from each ethnic group within the district.
View brief biographies for the multi-ethnic leaders who will serve our new districts in a national consulting role:
- Michael Edwards (African-American)
- Cairo Marques (Portuguese)
- John Mazariegos (Hispanic)
- Luis Milian (Hispanic)
- Jesus de Paz (Hispanic)
- Daniel Prieto (Hispanic)
- Eddie Ruano (Hispanic)
- Jeff Yellow Owl (First Nations)
- Gideon Yuk (Korean)
These multi-ethnic leaders will pursue a fruitful strategy to reach the unique demographics of their area and will also have representation on a national multi-ethnic council. Foursquare Missions International will partner in significant ways to assist, coach, counsel and resource this effort. A new role, in a cooperative partnership with Foursquare Missions and filled within each district, will assist Ted and our new district supervisors by providing coordination of the district multi-ethnic strategy. These leaders will be available to assist local churches, divisions and districts with global strategies as well. More information will be released about these developing details in the near future.
Speaking about the transition to this new multi-ethnic strategy, General Supervisor Glenn Burris Jr. said, “We have benefited strongly by the gifted leadership of Jim Tolle (Office of Hispanic Ministries) and Art Gray (Urban and Multicultural Department). Their continued input and assistance will help us as we frame training, strategies and resources towards this new alignment. The new wineskin will allow for a synchronized effort with a local, district, national and global focus. We celebrate our beginnings and rejoice with the maturation of this initiative. Jim and Art will continue to assist us at multiple levels and the recognition and influence that both of these leaders share will continue to greatly benefit us on this journey.”
Missional Focus of New Districts
Discussion during the Executive Council Summit also focused on the definition of 10 missional objectives that represent the global ministry emphasis of The Foursquare Church, and the ways in which these objectives will help shape our new district teams and offices.
In addition, each of the new supervisors will appoint leaders to three key roles within the new districts:
- A missional leader who will coordinate and align district ministries
- An administrative leader responsible for the business of the district and coaching pastors on management aspects of church life
- A NextGen leader to influence emerging generations and leadership formation
Current district supervisors who will conclude their service as supervisors in April 2009 will have the opportunity to serve as members of their District Advisory Council for a one year appointment within the new district. Additional opportunities for their continued influence and input exist within our new structure. These leaders have served with great sacrifice and our Foursquare family holds a huge debt to them concerning their faithful stewardship of this important office.