2013: The Cabinet of general ministry presidents realized two things: the work required of the General Board was very broad including both visioning and administration and that Disciples needed to revisit our sense of calling and mission since it had been some time since the 20/20 vision was introduced. They took a proposal to the General Board asking for some thought to be given to a modified governance structure that would allow for corporate visioning and a way to reorganize ourselves to support that vision.
2014: The General Board appointed a Mission Council Task Force to imagine how that might work. A key recommendation was for a widely consultative process. In order to involve congregations in the visioning, the Mission Gathering concept was born.
2015: The General Board accepted the recommendations and authorized a two year pilot program. Called Mission First, the program calls for a Mission Council for the ministry of vision and focus and a governing board for the ministry of administration.
To experience the model and to fund the pilot, the board suspended their regular 2016 meeting. The Administrative Committee is functioning as the governing board during the pilot period. The pilot is to last until 2017.
At the summer 2015 General Assembly, the pilot was launched with the Administrative Committee meeting as a governing board in the fall. Meanwhile, the implementation team ramped up for Mission Gatherings, inviting regions and other ministries to host them across the U.S. and Canada.
2016: Mission Gatherings will occur across the U.S. and Canada in regional assemblies and other places Disciples gather.
Around the first week of December 2016 a Mission Council of over 40 people will meet to discern God’s call for Disciples.
2017: Disciples from all expressions of the Church will collaborate to implement God’s call to share in mission together.
The General Board will review the successes of the pilot and recommend any permanent changes to the General Assembly.