Our Local Structure and Form of Government
Christ the Head
In the Assemblies of God Christ is recognized as the head of the Church. He is supreme; and His life is the pattern for all ministry and conduct of the church (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18).
The pastor is elected by the local congregation. He leads through exhortation of the Word and example. The pastor is responsible for much of the public ministry and day-to-day operation of the local church. A board of deacons is elected to assist the pastor and help conduct the business operation of the church (Ephesians 4:11, 12; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).
Sovereignty of Local Assemblies
Within the fellowship of the Assemblies of God there are two classifications of churches - General Council affiliated churches and district affiliated churches. General Council affiliated churches enjoy full autonomy, having developed to the point of where they are self-governing and self-supporting. These fundamental principles have been catalysts for growth in the Fellowship. District affiliated churches are those which have not yet developed to the point where they qualify for full autonomy. All assemblies are required to adhere to the Statement of Fundamental Truths and a biblical pattern of conduct.
Our System of Leadership and Accountability
District and General Council Functions
Each assembly operates its ministries under both a district and national structure. The 61 districts basically follow state boundaries or are set according to ethnic focus. Districts oversee the ministries in their areas, such as camps and outreaches, as well as provide ministry opportunities and avenues of fellowship for ministers and constituents. Districts also recommend ministers for national credentialing. They are authorized to lead, solving matters of leadership and direction for local assemblies. They operate as a type of regional leadership between the local church and the national Fellowship.
The national church is called "The General Council of the Assemblies of God." In keeping with the original intention of the founding body, the Assemblies of God is considered a cooperative fellowship instead of a denomination. As a result the national headquarters operation exists primarily as a service organization - providing educational curriculum, organizing the missions programs, credentialing ministers, overseeing the church's colleges and seminary, producing communication channels for the churched and non-churched publics, and providing leadership for many national programs and ministries of the Assemblies of God (Acts 16:4, 5; Hebrews 13:17).