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ABOUT the ETR

The Elders Teaching Resource is a help to the Elder Body of the Apostolic Christian Church of America

Background

 

After presenting the Elder Committee (EC) at the August 2018 conference with an idea to consider structured teaching for our ministers, they asked for a summary to be shared with the full Elder body. There was support for working with brother Fred Witzig and others to develop a framework for ‘equipping our ministers’ to be shared at the March 2019 Elder Conference in Smithville, OH. In addition and subsequently, the Elder Planning Committee (EPC) decided to include this topic at the Elder/Ordained Deacon forums to be held in Chicago in January 2019. The Forums assessed the interest level, concerns and considerations for adopting structured teaching for our ministers (ministers inclusive of Elders and Ordained Deacons).

Vision

​A humble, Spirit-led ministry well-equipped to serve our church in its pursuit of accurate, informed, and fruitful understanding of the Bible, ACCA Doctrine, and history.

  • We understand ministry to include our Elders, deacons, ministers, and teachers of all types. Our vital tool for development centers on a holistic, rigorous, doctrinal curriculum composed of Elder Body vision supported by ETR implementation.

Purpose

​To equip our ministry in biblical learning, to research our doctrines and practices, and to remember our church history.

  • All our effort is on behalf of our Elder Body and under their direction for the benefit of church unity across our brotherhood.​

Modern followers of Jesus encounter a bewildering cacophony of voices and worldviews, few perspectives solidly Christian. As disciples seek to be faithful in all areas of life, this confusion can work against our ACCA vision to be a “body bound together” and impede our desire to “glorify God by loving as Jesus loves”. The need for clarity and scriptural integrity is urgent.

Mission

We promote clarity and scriptural integrity in the preaching, teaching, and pastoring of ACCA sound doctrine in five ways:

  1. Assist the Elder Body in researching and teaching by grounding our ministry in deep understanding of our beliefs. (ACCA pillar 3)

  2. Foster respect and biblical unity in our denomination by equipping our ministry to communicate that which is consistent with our core doctrines. (ACCA pillar 3)

  3. Inform a compelling gospel message of salvation to the lost and a faithful exhortation toward sanctification of the believer by enriching our ministry with strong biblical principles of evangelism and discipleship. (ACCA pillars 1, 2, 4)

  4. Equip our ministry in their love for and faithful study of the Bible by encouraging awareness of and appreciation for thoughtful, trustworthy biblical interpretation methods. (ACCA pillar 3)

  5. Encourage our ministry to faithfully evaluate and respond to our common received heritage by gathering, preserving, and presenting the history of the ACCA. (ACCA pillar 3)

Guiding Principles

We promote clarity and scriptural integrity in the preaching, teaching, and pastoring of ACCA sound doctrine in five ways:

A  The Word of God will be our source of truth and defense of sound doctrine. We recognize the value of consulting the wisdom of the global, historic Church in helping us discover and remedy unexamined, culturally conditioned assumptions in our understanding of the Word.

B  We will acknowledge and explain different views or interpretations on core doctrine as appropriate but will not reinforce our ACCA position by criticizing other views.

C  While pastoral application is most often the end goal of our work, we recognize that good pastoring depends on good biblical interpretation and theology. Consequently, we will work to ground our suggestions for pastoral application in responsible and sufficient biblical interpretation and theology.

D  We will respect and include in our work the voices, counsel, and expertise of a wide swath of ACCA membership. Accordingly, we will work to train members in our work so that we can expand our pool of contributors.

E   We do our work in humble appreciation for the different ways that the Holy Spirit has gifted leadership.

F   We will consider the health and wellbeing of lay ministry and their families as we engage in our mission, creating accessible and affordable resources.

G   We connect our work to the ACCA Vision, Purpose, Mission, and Guiding Principles, and we work alongside other ACCA agencies in a spirit of cooperation.

H  We will foster a culture of continuous learning and personal development among our contributors, encouraging each to actively speak from their area of expertise.

Leadership

A Doctrinal / Teaching Stewardship committee directs and approves content including topics and order of study. In addition the committee approves teaching methods and approve materials. The committee currently includes:

  1. Nick Gutwein, Interim Executive Director (West Lafayette)

  2. Tim Funk (Peoria)

  3. Ron Messner (Washington)

  4. Ben Wiegand (Philadelphia)

This is a work in process, and without prayer and counsel and the Holy Spirit’s guidance it cannot be a blessing. Emphasis will be placed on these three things as we seek to strengthen our church by God’s grace and provision.

At the Elder/Minister meeting at the Bluffton Conference, a brief overview of the ETR was given to the ministry of the ACCA. This session also included a panel discussion which focused on several commonly asked questions regarding the ETR. You can watch this session by clicking on the video below.

Overview Video

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