Learning from one another other and shaping the future together: this was the focus of the international Pentecost session of the District Apostle Meeting International in Cape Town, South Africa. The topics on the agenda this time were not of a theological but an organisational nature.
The District Apostle Areas are making the collective endeavour to develop and shape the principles of good governance, decision-making, and communication. Good governance and the principles that are to apply in the Regional Churches were discussed and adopted. These include aspects such as organisational unity and continuity, shared and informed decision-making, accountability, duty of care, and transparency.
A comprehensive questionnaire has been developed from the ten principles and the guidelines derived from them. The leading Regional Churches are called upon to answer these questions, not only for themselves, but also for other Regional Churches in their organisational care. If this self-assessment reveals a need for action, a corresponding action plan will be drafted and forwarded to the New Apostolic Church International (NACI).
Learning to do a better job of teaching
The District Apostle Areas are also keen to learn from each other with respect to the initial and ongoing training of their volunteer ministers. The reason for this is that, among other things, some countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas require certification procedures for state-approved churches. According to an initial survey, most District Apostle Areas have structured training programmes, but not necessarily in each of their Regional Churches.
There are big differences in the training procedures. Some take the form of face-to-face meetings or online courses, which can last a whole day or a few hours, before or after an ordination. Apostles, senior ministers, and specialised teachers act as trainers. As different as the forms may be, the simple fact that training is available at all is important for the volunteers. The District Apostle Meeting was unanimous in this: saying yes to a spiritual ministry also means saying yes to the New Apostolic doctrine and the Catechism.
The Chief Apostle welcomed District Apostle Helpers Stefan Pöschel and Peter Lambert to their first District Apostles’ Meeting. They currently assist District Apostles Rainer Storck (Western Germany) and John L. Kriel (Southern Africa), and are designated to succeed them in the near future.
The Delegates’ Meeting, which convened in advance, also experienced a first: for the first time, the representatives met together with the Board of Directors, which had emerged from the former Finance Committee last year. While the previous committee only had an advisory function for the Chief Apostle, the responsibility now lies with the Board of Directors as a collective body—and it has been granted discharge for the past financial year.
Detailed information on good governance in the New Apostolic Church can be found on nac.today under the title “A compass for those at the helm”.