Once a year CLA calls its members (and interested adherents) to an Annual General Meeting. Sunday at noon is that AGM. Let me answer a few questions about this.
How is CLA run?
Christian Life Assembly is a society and a charity working in partnership with a group of churches called The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. As a society, we are governed by the BC government societies act which demands an annual meeting, membership and board. As a charity, we are governed by Ottawa’s charity act and come under special rules and regulations for the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). This allows us to issue tax receipts for financial contributions made to CLA for its Christian work here and around the world. CLA has a constitution and by-laws that help us run with order and efficiency. Only the Lead Pastor is elected by the membership and then is expected to hire his team to serve the church and is the chair of the board. The board is also elected by the membership and they serve to protect the mission, vision and values of the church. They oversee the finances of the church. We have 9 board members and they serve 2-year terms (and can only serve 6 years before a mandatory break). In biblical / New Testament terms, the pastors serve as the elders of the church and the board serve as deacons of the church (the word deacon is the Greek work for servant).
CLA has 18 pastors who serve 3 campuses and in Langley 8 congregations (Kids & Family Ministries, Youth Ministries, Young Adult Ministries, Women’s Ministries, Recovery Church, Seniors Ministries, Bus Ministry and Adult Discipleship). Some pastors are full time and some are part time. In addition, the pastors oversee our Gatherings, Leadership Development (volunteers), City Serve Outreach, Global Missions, CLA Care, Benevolence, Special Events, English as a Second Language, Online Presence, and Men’s Ministry). Staff are hired to assist in key areas like ministry administration, finances, building maintenance and care, Sunbeam and management. The staff work with about 1500-2000 volunteers to carry out the ministry and mission of the church. The board works with a half dozen committees behind the scenes that allow ministry and mission to continue to move forward.
What is the difference between members and adherents (non-members)?
CLA is a diverse family of 3,000 covering 5 generations (Elders, Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z). CLA’s diversity is one of its great strengths. We have roughly 2,000 adults (slightly more women than men) and about 1,000 children, youth and young adults. Some of our adults, almost half, choose to become members of the society and some do not. Frankly, as pastor, I care and love them all and rarely know who is and who is not a member. Both members and adherents are committed to the church in prayer, in giving time and in faithful financial support. Both support the unity of the church and make spiritual pursuit a top priority for their lives. The key difference is that those who are members have gone through an orientation class called Discovery AND make a commitment to be involved in the business of the church through the AGM and voting. There are some positions in the church that are reserved for members only (like the board) and members will be called upon to vote in a Lead Pastor when needed. Members are also called upon to elect the board, oversee the finances including borrowing on behalf of the society. We start a 4-week Discovery class on Sundays in October (live in person at noon) and you are more than welcome to come join us to learn more and or prepare to be a member.
What is our affiliation with the PAOC?
CLA is self-governed and self-directed. We raise our own support and clarify our own calling before Christ. However, we also are part of a network of churches called The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. This is the largest Charismatic and Evangelical church in Canada. The network works together on important things like Bible colleges, international missions, pastoral credentials and common Canadian purposes. There are about 1200 churches from coast to coast, over 3,000 credential holders (pastors, evangelists, teachers, missionaries, leaders) and about 235,000 people. It is a very important voice in Canada and is often turned to by others for help in navigating the post Christian Canadian waters. I’ve been elected by my peers to serve on both the national executive of the PAOC as well as the district executive (BC & Yukon). CLA has much to offer the network and the Canadian Church.
Pastor Derrick Hamre