FCA Canada

Minister Membership Privileges

Handbook 6.2.10. Minister Membership Privileges

 

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      • Minister Membership Privileges

In addition to membership voting rights, minister membership provides the following benefits:

  • An expanded global network for fellowship, partnerships, shared resources, and ministry opportunities

  • Regular connection through regional meetings of local FCA ministers

  • Recognition as ministers by FCA members around the world thereby increasing one’s network

  • A powerful personal online membership portal specifically designed to provide resources and networking opportunities

  • The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other leaders through peer connections

  • An expanded network to find qualified ministers for your church

  • The opportunity to receive encouragement and input from the Fellowship Pastor

  • Assistance from fellow members and FCA leaders in the form of mediation and reconciliation ministry with internal church problems

  • Special opportunities in education and training for FCA ministers through Clearwater College, including multiple scholarships for upcoming ministry leaders

  • An option to participate in the FCA Plus Extended Health Benefits program​​ (contact the office for details)

  • An option to participate in the Group RRSP program​​ (contact the office for details)

  • Ministers and ministries are listed in the FCA directory accessed through the membership portal

  • Access to a growing number of resources on church administration, ministry, programs, etc.

  • Ministers may potentially participate on Committees

  • Greater access to subsidies to attend national and international conventions

 

Handbook Requirements for Minister Membership

Handbook Section 6.2 Obtaining Membership as a Minister

The Articles of the Corporation refer to this class of members as Class A: Ministers.

6.2.1 Basic Requirements for FCA Membership

6.2.2 Obtaining Membership

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      • Obtaining Membership

There are four pathways to obtain membership as a minister in the FCA. They include:

  • Licensing (section​​ 6.2.3)

  • Grandfathered ministerial recognition (section​​ 6.2.5)

  • A recognized transfer of ordination or licensing from another denomination or fellowship (section​​ 6.2.6)

  • A revival of a terminated FCA membership (in certain circumstances) (section​​ 6.2.7)

 

Although FCA ordination is an official recognition of ministry call and involvement, it does not in itself have official FCA membership implications since one is already licensed as a member.

 

Every pathway to membership requires that the appropriate registration documentation be completed and submitted to the FCA office along with the membership fee. Incomplete registrations will not be processed until all required information is received. All registration documents can be found on the website. The required forms include:

    • Minister Application Form – to be filled out by the candidate minister

    • Minister Affirmation Form – to be filled out by the endorsing church

    • A copy of the minister’s signed licence/ordination certificate

 

See below for more specific details for each pathway.

 

      • Licensing

Licensing is the primary method of joining the FCA as a member and is the process whereby the local church endorses one who demonstrates promise of effective ministry. Only qualified endorsing churches may endorse in the FCA (see section​​ 6.1).

 

The following subsections on licensing are minimum requirements established by the FCA for licensing in the FCA. These must be met in order to be officially licensed. Beyond these, additional qualifications and the process required are determined by each local church, details of which should be available from their policies or bylaws. Licensing is often used as an interim qualification that allows a minister to practice ministry under supervision and tutelage of the endorsing church and its leadership, confirming the call of God to ordination.

 

        • Criteria for Licensing

The candidate for licensing must:

  • Meet the basic membership requirements in​​ 6.2.1.

  • Be a baptized believer who confesses to the infilling of the Holy Spirit, membership within their local church, and a divine call to Christian ministry

  • Commit to lifestyle​​ and​​ ministry expectations as described in​​ 1​​ Timothy 3:17,​​ Titus 1:59,​​ and​​ 1​​ Peter 5:111

  • Demonstrate​​ a lifestyle of​​ faithfulness to biblical ethics, morality, values, and ongoing spiritual growth

  • Subscribe to the statement of beliefs of their home church, and be supportive of the church mission, vision, and values

  • Respect the leadership of their home church, and the same leadership must believe in the ministry potential of the candidate

  • Have completed a minimum of one year of formal Bible training​​ through a biblical training institution approved by the local church,​​ or a minimum of two years of biblical self-study​​ resulting in the candidate demonstrating a coherent theology and the capacity and desire for ongoing growing knowledge of spiritual truth

  • Demonstrate a willing servant spirit by his/her commitment to an active ministry of the church​​ (Note: this requirement is not as strict on an ongoing basis for those who have transitioned to retirement)

 

        • Conferring the License

The process for establishing FCA membership through licensing is as follows:

  • In view of the candidate’s qualifications, service, and faithfulness, the church leadership​​ from a qualified endorsing church (see section​​ 6.1)​​ may choose to confer a License to Minister upon​​ the candidate. Alternatively, a minister may seek out an endorsing church for licensing purposes.

  • The candidate shall be interviewed by the leadership team​​ of the church to gather and convey information related to licensing qualifications. Questions shall include topics of​​ biblical doctrine, local church values, and FCA policy.​​ The church is responsible to ensure the candidate meets the criteria in​​ 6.2.3.1.

  • The license shall be conferred upon the candidate with the​​ successful support​​ of the church leadership,​​ as determined​​ by church policy or bylaws.

  • The church must request an FCA​​ License​​ to Minister​​ from the FCA office. The license will be issued within two weeks of all the necessary information being provided.​​ 

  • The license shall be presented​​ by the endorsing church leadership​​ to the candidate in a public service.

  • The appropriate registration documentation shall be completed and submitted to the FCA office along with the membership fee in order to be registered as an FCA member. Incomplete registrations will not be processed until all required information is received. All registration documents can be found on the website. The required forms include:

    • Minister Application Form – to be filled out by the candidate minister

    • Minister Affirmation Form – to be filled out by the endorsing church

    • A copy of the minister’s signed licence certificate

  • The practice of ministry shall continue under the mentorship of the pastor or appointed leader of the​​ local endorsing​​ church​​ or their designate.

 

The License to Minister may or may not carry with it the privilege of performing marriages, as per policy of the​​ endorsing​​ church.​​ See section​​ 6.2.9​​ regarding marriage privileges.

 

      • Ordination

Ordination occurs after one has already been licensed (the only exception is a transfer of ordination). Ordination is the process whereby the local church affirms one who demonstrates an anointing and call of God to serve as a minister of the Gospel of Christ, who possesses the requisite gifts and abilities to carry out Christian ministry, and who is willing to be set apart to do so for an indefinite period of time.

 

Although membership and ordination are often linked, the ordination process is not the same as the FCA membership process (i.e. being officially licensed with the FCA). If one is a member of the FCA already, ordination does not change that membership status.

 

        • Criteria for​​ Ordination

The candidate for ordination must:

  • Meet the criteria for licensing in​​ 6.2.3.1​​ including the basic membership requirements

  • Have functioned satisfactorily as a licensed minister for a minimum of two years

  • Have completed a minimum of three years of​​ formal Bible training​​ through a biblical training institution approved by the local church, or​​ a minimum of five years of biblical self-study​​ resulting in the candidate demonstrating a solid and coherent theology and the capacity and desire for ongoing growing knowledge of spiritual truth

  • Embrace a call of God to serve in Christian ministry for an indefinite period of time​​ (Note: this requirement is not as strict on an ongoing basis for those who have transitioned to retirement)

 

        • Conferring the Ordination

The process for conferring ordination is as follows:

  • The candidate shall submit a treatise on their philosophy of ministry to the leadership team of the church​​ through which they are licensed.

  • The candidate shall be interviewed by the leadership team​​ of the church to gather and convey information related to ordination qualifications. Questions shall include topics of​​ biblical doctrine, local church values, and FCA policy.​​ The church is responsible to ensure the candidate meets the criteria in​​ 6.2.4.1.

  • The candidate shall require the​​ successful​​ support for ordination from the leadership team​​ as determined by church policy or bylaws. The leadership​​ shall view the candidate as a Godly and effective minister of the Gospel.

  • The intention to ordain the candidate shall be introduced to the church congregation at least one month prior to the event.

  • The church must request an FCA ordination certificate from the FCA office. ​​ The ordination certificate will be issued within two weeks of all the necessary information being provided.​​ 

  • The public ordination service shall be prepared with thought and prayer.

  • The following components​​ are recommended for​​ the ordination service:

  • A​​ pastoral address on biblical ordination

  • The reading of the ordination charge to the candidate

  • The response of the candidate (by way of answered questions or a short message)

  • The laying on of hands and commissioning prayer by the church leaders

  • The celebration of the ordination by the congregation (either by a congregational time of prayer or worship, a reception line, a coffee fellowship time, or other)

  • A copy of the minister’s signed ordination certificate must be sent to the FCA office in order for the minister to be registered as ordained.

 

There are no additional membership requirements, fees, or forms to submit to the FCA office when a minister moves from licensing to ordination.

 

      • Grandfathered Ministerial Recognition

There may be scenarios where a church has already recognized ministers within their body but have not registered them as members with the FCA. Such ministers may be grandfathered in at a later date by a qualified endorsing church (see section​​ 6.1), as long as when they were recognized, the requirements and process fulfilled the spirit of what is outlined in this handbook. If the endorsement is implemented by a church other than the one that initially recognized them, then section​​ 6.2.6​​ below applies.

 

      • Transfer of Ordination or Licensing from Another Denomination or Fellowship

Ministers who have been ordained by another denomination or fellowship may have their ordination or licensing recognized by a qualified FCA endorsing church (see section​​ 6.1) and have that church assume responsibility as their endorsing church. In order for this to occur, the following items shall be in place:

  • Transferred ministers still must meet the requirements outlined for licensing in​​ 6.2.3.1​​ or ordination in​​ 6.2.4.1. If they are ordained, they are not required to first be licensed in the FCA if they have already been officially recognized as ministers for at least two years.

  • The process for conferring the recognition of licensing ordination shall include at least steps b. and c. in​​ 6.2.3.2​​ (licensing) or​​ 6.2.4.2​​ (ordination), as well as a public presentation during a service.

  • The appropriate registration documentation shall be completed and submitted to the FCA office along with the membership fee in order to be registered as an FCA member. Incomplete registrations will not be processed until all required information is received. All registration documents can be found on the website. The required forms include:

    • Minister Application Form – to be filled out by the candidate minister

    • Minister Affirmation Form – to be filled out by the endorsing church

    • A copy of the minister’s original ordination certificate

 

      • Reviving a Terminated FCA Membership

Ministers who were once licensed or ordained within the FCA but had their membership terminated may have their membership with the FCA revived without needing to go through the full process. This is subject to the following:

  • This option is only applicable for membership terminations that were​​ not​​ due to moral, ethical, relational or theological concerns. Where there were these issues, there must be an appropriate process of repentance, restitution, and/or reconciliation take place prior to restoring FCA membership.

  • Ministers still must meet the requirements outlined for ordination in​​ 6.2.3.1​​ (licensing) or​​ 6.2.4.1​​ (ordination). If they are ordained, they are not required to first be licensed if they have already gone through the licensing process and have been licensed for at least two years.

  • The process for conferring the recognition of licensing or ordination shall include at least steps b. and c. in​​ 6.2.3.2​​ (licensing) or​​ 6.2.4.2​​ (ordination). If the endorsement is implemented by a church other than the one that previously endorsed them, then the process follows section​​ 6.7.3​​ below (where “previous endorsing church” refers to the church that last endorsed them in the FCA).

  • The appropriate registration documentation shall be completed and submitted to the FCA office along with the membership fee in order to be registered as an FCA member. Incomplete​​ registrations will not be processed until all required information is received. All registration documents can be found on the website. The required forms include:

    • Minister Application Form – to be filled out by the candidate minister

    • Minister Affirmation Form – to be filled out by the endorsing church

    • A copy of the minister’s original signed licensing or ordination certificate (whichever is applicable), or ensure that the FCA office has it on file already

      • Special​​ Designations

All ministers with FCA membership must be either licensed or ordained. However, within that process, it may be important to recognize particular call to ministry. Although not required, churches​​ may request to license or ordain ministers with a special designation included on their license or ordination certificate. Special designations may include:

  • Deacon

  • Elder

  • Evangelist

  • Missionary

  • Pastor

  • Teacher

  • Other Biblical designation

 

Special designations must be approved and requested by the endorsing church in order to appear on the certificate. These will appear on the minister’s certificate beneath the regular designation of either​​ Licensed Minister​​ or​​ Ordained Minister.

 

Should a minister desire to have a designation changed (e.g. from Elder to Pastor), the endorsing church will need to request a new certificate from the FCA office. To have the changed officially registered with the FCA, the office will need to receive a signed copy of the new certificate.

 

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