Between 1906 and 1908, the message of Pentecost had spread among the churches and conferences of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA). At first, it was welcomed by CMA management, but the doctrine of early evidence divided the organization. The CMA`s former Pentecostal churches in the Midwest and Northeast remained unattended and began connecting with the Apostolic Faith Movement and Pentecostal missions in Chicago.  Each local church works according to its own statutes and appoints its own pastor. The ministry of a pastor is the same as that of elder or overseer and has the task of preaching and teaching the Word of God, in addition to performing the daily operations of the Church.   The laity are elected as a council of deacons to support the pastor. A church affiliated with the General Council may withdraw from God`s meetings with a two-thirds majority of the church`s members.  In 2008, there were a total of 34,178 pastors of the Assemblies of God (excluding references to the local church). Of these, 11,544 were senior pastors and 6,730 were women.  All district-affiliated church pastors and members of the local advisory committee are required to read and comply with the document in all applicable matters.
These rules of procedure should be made available to members of the local Church upon request. These rules of procedure may be revised from time to time by the action of the district presbytery. The statutes linked below are recommended by the district rectory. The rectory regularly reviews these documents to ensure that they conform to all applicable laws, embody best practices, and conform to the theology, guidelines, and principles of the Assemblies of God. If your church has not updated your policy in ten years or more, we recommend that the church adopt it by “substitution” rather than a line-by-line change process. Please contact the District Secretary-Treasurer for advice on how your church can easily update your bylaws. Assemblies of God use several classifications of churches based on their degree of local autonomy and their relationship with the General Council. Mature and fully functional congregations are classified as “churches affiliated with the General Council.” These churches are “sovereign” and autonomous, but in doctrinal matters, the local assemblies are subordinate to the districts and the General Council.  A church is eligible for General Council status if: Architecturally, small churches have bright lighting, large windows, a simple platform with a pulpit in the middle, and an altar (“a pew above the front of the church under the platform”). Large churches have direct access from the balcony to the main shrine near the platform, so responders to altar calls can easily get in touch, a large open space in front of the platform to host altar call meetings, and the platform itself is usually large to accommodate a large choir and musical instruments.
Because the Assemblies of God practice baptism by immersion, many churches will include a baptistery at the back of the platform.  Existing Pentecostal churches considering becoming members of the General Council may apply for temporary “Cooperating Assembly” status for a four-year term before formally adhering to the denomination.  One of the main reasons the General Council was founded in 1914 was the creation of cooperation in Pentecostal missionary work. The missions have remained a central focus of the denomination since that time. In 2009, there were congregations of Assemblies of God in 213 countries and territories around the world. Missionary work outside the United States is overseen by the Assemblies of God World Missions. As of December 2009, AG World Missions had 2,719 employees worldwide.  The agency also offers medical evangelism through HealthCare Ministries, which was founded in 1983 as the Medical Missions Program. This service provides free optical, dental and medical care, as well as evangelism.  It has been active in 86 countries since its inception. The charismatic movement forced a reassessment of what it meant to be Pentecostal. The Assemblies of God understood spiritual baptism in the context of evangelical Baptist theology and emphasized certain doctrines and practices as a prerequisite for spiritual baptism in the 1950s.
Charismatics have challenged these views by claiming to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit outside this context (such as staying in liturgical churches, not rejecting sacramental theologies, and not adopting Pentecostal taboos about dancing, drinking, smoking, etc.).  At the local level, the churches of the Assemblies of God have been influenced by the charismatic movement. Some charismatics left their original churches and joined less formal congregations of the Assemblies of God. In addition, the contemporary decrease in the emphasis on traditional Pentecostal taboos in the GA is partly due to the charismatic movement that has accelerated an already existing trend.  At the head of this organizational framework is the biennial General Council, the supreme governing body of the assemblies of God. All ordained and authorized ministers and one delegate per Church of the Assembly of God are eligible to participate and participate in the General Council. The size of the General Council is not static, but fluctuates and changes from year to year, as there is no obligation for pastors to participate or for churches to send delegates. Typically, however, there are more than 3,000 voting members.  The General Council legislates, certifies ministers, oversees national and global missionary programs, and directs Church quorums and seminaries.  The General Council also elects the Superintendent General – the Director General of the national organization – and other public servants, such as the Deputy Superintendent General, the Secretary General, the Treasurer General, and the Directors of U.S. and Global Missions.
They manage the day-to-day operations of the AG and work together as a management team. For much of their history, the Assemblies of God officially rejected Christian participation in the war, and were listed by the Pacifist Handbook in 1940 as the third largest peace church in the United States. The official position of the Church until 1967 encouraged Christian nonviolence: “We. are, however, forced to declare that we cannot conscientiously participate in the war and armed resistance that result in the actual destruction of human life, as this contradicts our view of the clear teachings of God`s inspired Word.  Most of the founders and members of the first generation of the denomination adhered to this view, and it was presented as an official doctrine during the First and Second World Wars. The official pacifist position remained unchanged until 1967, when the denomination “affirmed the right of each member to decide whether to declare his position as a combatant, non-combatant or conscientious objector.”  This was the culmination of a process that began during World War I, when it was unpopular to have anti-war views in which AG supporters questioned the pacifist stance of their denomination.  Prayer plays an important role in divine services. Services may include times when a special prayer is offered, often with lay people leading the prayer and the rest of the congregation participating audibly. During these common prayers, some may pray in tongues. Although it is not in all services, the pastor will pray for the sick.
This prayer may involve the pastor anointing the sick with olive oil and, with the help of church elders, with pastoral workers who reach out to the one seeking healing.   b.