RESOURCES


PERIODIC UPDATING PROCESS

FOR ORDAINED MINISTERS

 

According to the Credentials manual of the Church of God, Anderson, IN, all ordained ministers are to complete the Periodic Updating Process every five years.  This is done by scheduling one meeting with two other ordained ministers of that minister's choosing.


REIMBURSEMENT

Review the Travel and Lodging Policies prior to submitting the TXM Expense Form

TRAVEL AND LODGING POLICIES

Balancing personal comfort and convenience with monetary expense can be difficult. The purpose of this policy is to ensure fair travel reimbursement while preserving resources for ministry. This policy applies to those who travel on behalf of TXM such as Board of Ministry members, recognized committees and teams appointed by the Board of Ministry. The policy expects each participant to use the cheaper form of travel unless approved otherwise. All questions on the policy should be directed to the state office (timothybwest@mac.com).

Purpose & Scope

The Texas Ministry of the Church of God (TXM) will provide reimbursement to individuals representing the Assembly for TXM-sanctioned travel expenses.

 

This policy applies to Board of Ministry members, recognized committees and teams appointed by the Board of Ministry.

 

Important: TXM will provide reimbursement for the lesser of the options noted, unless prior approval is given.

Personal Vehicle Use

When using a personal vehicle, the reimbursement is $.30 per mile and must be relegated to TXM business use only. Mileage will be reimbursed for travel directly to and from the meeting/event location from the traveler’s home.  Though not initially requested, please save records so that, upon request, you can submit either an odometer reading, with the beginning and ending mileage, or a printout from an internet-based map documenting the mileage.


NOTE:  The traveler will be reimbursed for whichever is less — an airline ticket or mileage. If you drive and it would have cost less to fly, you will only be reimbursed for the cost of the airline ticket.

Rental Car Use

When using a rental car, the rental expense and fuel will be covered. Rental cars are to be driven by individuals over age 25. Rental vehicles are to be driven only for a TXM sponsored business. Additional insurance is the personal expense of the driver.

 

NOTE: If the participant drives to the meeting/event, he/she will be reimbursement for whichever is most cost effective — a rental car or personal vehicle.

Public Transit

When traveling by public transit (air, train or bus), reimbursement will be given for coach fare and checked baggage as needed. Flights must be booked at least 21 days in advance of the meeting/event.  Every effort shall be made by the travelers to find economical airfare. All flights are to be booked in the coach section.  Any ticket over $300.00 must be cleared through the State Administrator or BOM Treasurer prior to purchase.  If tickets are booked less than 21 days in advance of the meeting/event, the traveler may be asked to pay the difference.


CHILD SAFETY POLICY

This CHILD SAFETY POLICY is designed to give you a helpful, thorough, and professional template to guide your Children's Ministry.  Here are some recommendations in how to use it.

 

1. Read it carefully and make it your own.  Change the name from "Your Church" to the actual name of your church.  If you need the Word document, let us know.  If you would prefer to pay someone to make the changes, we can have someone do this for you for a $25.00 fee.

 

2. Have your board officially adopt the statement.  While this is not required legally, many churches find that a policy of this nature has better results when backed by the board.

 

3. Implement it.  Read it and put it into place in your congregation.

 

4. Train your staff and teachers regarding the document.  Make sure they understand it.  If you would like help with this, contact Tim West.

 

5. Inform your parents.  It is important that they know and understand a policy that affects their children.

 

6. Notify your insurance provider.  Some companies offer a discount to churches that have a clear and enforceable protection policy.

 

 

For questions or assistance, please contact the TXM office.  We are here to serve you!


INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Through the generosity of the former First Church of God in Odessa, Texas the TXM is pleased to announce the commencement of an internship and scholarship program for Church of God students attending partnering Church of God institutions. This program will help Texas churches secure ministry interns.  The general guidelines are stated below.  For more information, contact Dr. Timothy West at timothybwest@mac.com.

GENERAL PROGRAM OUTLINE

Purpose: The internship program exists to provide qualified college level, Bachelor-program students with real-world ministry experience under the supervision of an experienced Christian leader/pastor.  This program will provide funding for the academic and ministerial preparation of called pastoral ministry students through internships within the TXM network of approved and partnering churches.

TXM SCHOLARSHIP FUND GENERAL GUIDELINES

  • Interns are to serve Texas churches only.
  • Only junior or senior level Christian Ministry degree seeking students from Church of God institutions are eligible.
  • Internship duration is a minimum of 10 weeks, generally conducted during summer months.
  • Prospective participants will first be screened, approved and recommended by the local academic institution through whatever means the institution determines effective for said recommendation.  Coordination between the partnering academic institution and the TXM State Administrator’s office will be made to help ensure the recommended intern is matched to a suitable TXM congregation.
  • The scholarship distribution will be applied only to tuition up to the amount of $5,000, as designated by the academic institution. The academic institution from which the intern originates will also perform processing of all scholarship funds.
  • The internship job description will vary based on the discretion of the local church hosting the intern.  This job description will be generated in concert with the State Administrator’s office.

  • The local congregation will be responsible for room and board. Additional stipends are encouraged and arranged at the approval of the State Administrator’s office.  The recommended stipend is $150.00-200.00 per week, but generosity for ministry students should always be sought when possible.

  • The local congregation will develop a concurrent educational plan for helping interns thrive during this process. This plan should be developed in concert with the State Administrator’s office.

  • Interns selected are responsible for transportation to and from the internship site.

STEP BY STEP PROCESS

1. Submit request form to the state office along with supporting documents (not all requests for interns may be granted).

2. Complete job description.

3. Complete educational plan.

4. The State Administrator’s office will coordinate with the educational institution to provide the most viable match for the intern and congregation.

5. An interview between potential intern and congregation will occur.

6. When a “yes” for all parties exists, then the intern will formally sign the internship covenant.

7. Upon completion of the internship program, an evaluation will be provided.


UNDERSTANDING SABBATICALS

How You Can Support Your Pastor

Even Moses needed a hand.  Exodus 17:12 says, "When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up - one on one side, one on the other - so that his hands remained steady till sunset." If Moses needed support, surely our pastors do, too.


Consider these statistics on pastors today:

  • According to Focus on the Family, 80% of today's pastors and 84% of their spouses are discouraged or dealing with depression.
  • 75% of pastors consider quitting the ministry.
  • 70% of pastors report they do not have someone they consider a close friend.
  • 80% of pastors believe the ministry has negatively affected their family.
  • 49% of pastors report that their family has suffered significantly as a result of their role.
  • 6,000 Southern Baptist pastors leave the ministry each year.


And still, studies show the most effective ministry occurs under the leadership of long term pastors. To be effective in our ministries, we must help our pastors be leaders that last!

  • What makes a pastor's position so tough? They are on call 24/7. They deal with issues of life, death, and eternity. They are constantly invited into some life's hardest situations: crises, divorces, imprisonments, suicides, etc. These circumstances are high stress. On top of all this, pastors are essentially CEOs of small corporations, expected to teach and speak weekly!
  • How can we hold up our pastor's arms? We can pray regularly for our pastor and their family. We can have their back, discouraging others from speaking negatively about them. We can protect their days off, pay them well, and be generous with our appreciation. Plus, we can offer a Sabbatical.
  • What is a Sabbatical? A Sabbatical has biblical foundations in Genesis and Leviticus, which speaks of "Sabbath time" in terms of days, years, and land usage. A Sabbatical is a gift of rest for both renewal and hope. Scripture infers that regular, periodic rejuvenation is vital in all areas of life.
  • What's the purpose of a Sabbatical? A Sabbatical feeds the body, mind, and soul, resulting in renewed, refreshed, and revitalized energy to function as a shepherd and servant leader. Sabbaticals create opportunities for the minister to recapture a sense of vision, be nurtured in faith and skills, become introspective, rekindle spiritual passion, refocus priorities, review the ministerial journey, and reflect on the call of God for their life and ministry.
  • What else should I know about Sabbaticals? A Sabbatical is an opportunity to allow the minister to be away from the congregation for an extended period. It is not a vacation, but time for intentional exploration and reflection, drinking anew from God's life-giving waters through personal study and renewal. It allows our pastors to regain enthusiasm and creativity for the ministry.

  • What guidelines should be put in place for a Sabbatical? A minister should design a sabbatical that is unique to them. Sabbaticals should be planned with the church's leadership, with an agreed-upon purpose and goals for the time away. Sabbaticals are planned to give balanced time for personal relaxation and other components, like education and travel.

  • What should a Sabbatical Proposal include? A Sabbatical Proposal should include what the minister desires to accomplish during the time away, a timeline of plans and activities, detailed congregational leadership assignments, specific declaration of expected budget expenses, and the preparation of an evaluation form to assess church life during the Sabbatical.

  • What are the anticipated results of a Sabbatical? Following a Sabbatical, a minister often resumes congregational leadership with a fresh spirit and renewed passion. A healthier leader results in a healthier church!

  • How can I support my church during a Sabbatical? Pray for your pastor and their family during their time away. Remain faithful in your attendance, giving, and serving. Be ready to support new vision and passion for ministry upon your pastor's return!