AMADEO Church and SFBC become AMADEO- Building Solid Foundations in Christ Sept 2nd
We are certainly better together. Check out Frequently Asked Questions regarding the merge coming September 2nd.
FAQ – AMADEO – Building Solid Foundations
1. How did this all come about?
The Holy Spirit and the command of God in His Holy Word to be ambassadors of God’s reconciliation. We are Kingdom people seeking His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven: all tribes, tongues, and nations worshipping as one people. God has placed It on the heart of AMADEO to be a multi-ethnic Church from her inception. AMADEO has worked on being inclusive and empowering diverse leadership in ages, genders, economic situations, ethnicities and spiritual gifts from the beginning. Unity in Diversity has been a core goal from the beginning. For nearly 12 years we had prayed for a “diverse” Church that modeled the unity in the Kingdom of heaven.
AMADEO Church has attended and participated in numerous multi-ethnic conferences and was the 14th contributor to the 95-thesis put together for the Mosaix network.
Pastor Ben said at that time, “14. If the words of Jesus are true – that every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand – then it is unthinkable for the local church to gather according to their cultural idols and preferences, dividing ourselves by our ethnicities or spiritual gifts. With the power of the Holy Spirit and the Good News we can and must be better than our cultural distinctions. We must be united in the thoughts, words, and deeds of Christ throughout all tribes, tongues, and ethnicities.
Benjamin Cloud • Pastor of AMADEO Church • Queen Creek, AZ
This merge of these two specific Churches started, however, when Ben and Mandy, Marcellus and Shunta sat on the front porch of their home and reflected honestly that “doing a Church plant is tough work,” and how we both dreamed of being in a Church with two full time pastors so we could share the load. As well we addressed the reasons why many churches do not join together to have a greater impact in the earth for kingdom purposes because of preferences and cultural differences. Realizing it takes humility as esteeming another above one’s self we both felt convicted to consider doing a merge and let it sit for a week or two in prayer and see what God would say later to us. After a few weeks, we both felt stirred to explore and “Date” each other and have critical discussions about what it would look like.
Actually, about two years prior Marcellus, Shunta, Ben and Mandy had gathered up at the Cloud grandparents cabin in a sign of solidarity and unity after there had been a stir and division in SFBC regarding race issues.
After the first porch meeting, we decided to do a bunch of events together: a foster care and group-home kids movie night, an elder and key leader’s food and fellowship, an exchange of pulpit multiple times, and several more porch meetings. Then each of the lead pastors went before the other’s elders and have “real talk,” about theology, ecclesiology, and a few other key issues. Both sides did research and spoke to several people who had both succeeded and failed at doing a merge. The key factors that were discussed was empowerment, everybody getting to play, faith and risk, chain of authority, and the importance of courage, humility and kindness in every endeavor we moved forward in.
The two Churches had already done all church prayer on a number of occasions together through past years. So the relationship went back to a chance meeting in Starbucks 6-7 years past where Marcellus and Ben rubbed elbows and talked about the Glory and goodness of God.
2. What does a “merger” mean?
We will become one congregation known as AMADEO with the slogan of “Building Solid Foundations,” remaining a Vineyard church and a Converge Church. The church will be counseled and advised by a new Elders board comprised of the current elders of AMADEO and Solid Foundation Bible Church and led by the lead Pastors. The church will utilize the current constitutions, statement of faith, missions’ policies as its governing documents. All current members of SFBC will be given the opportunity to automatically become members of AMADEO.
3. Who will be our senior pastors?
Pastor Ben Cloud and Pastor Marcellus Dukes will be the senior pastors. Ben will be the lead senior envisioning, directing pastor and Marcellus will be the lead discipleship pastor, each caring for a number of responsibilities in the Church that will change and develop based on their calling, gifting, and experience. Both will teach on Sundays and we will continue empowering others to preach and teach where appropriate. We have a saying “Who is our senior pastor?” And the congregation says, “Jesus is!!!”
4. Will our worship service change?
The gospel message and expressed love will never change but media and music will transform into what will best connect with a multicultural community. We will become missionaries to the community, willing to give up our own preferences as consumers of what the church offers so that we might be producers of blessings within the lives of others. Service times and days will continue as AMADEO has set in place.
5. Who will preach each Sunday?
We are committed to empowering. While upcoming church plant Pastors and key elders may preach based on their areas of expertise some Sundays along with other Pastors of the church, primarily Pastor Ben and Pastor Dukes will preach. The message content will be the same at each service.
6. What will happen to SFBC staff and volunteers?
All staff and volunteers will move over to AMADEO staff and volunteer team maintaining their same area of passion and giftedness if desired. Elders will be men, but all people will be expected to be ministers doing the same job as elders: praying for the Church, disciple-ing others, helping to resolve conflicts, caring for others, visiting the sick, and doing the work of ministry. We have a question we ask regularly: “Who are the ministers of this Church?” The response is “We are!!!!!”
7. What will happen to the funds of each pre-existing church?
Giving, budgets and current account balances of both churches will be combined and managed by AMADEO financial board. SFBC will retain an account to manage pre-existing obligations that will not affect the financial budget of AMADEO CHURCH.
8. Is there a Chain of Command?
AMADEO’s chain of command is outlined in the Bylaws and Articles of incorporation but we are led by the Lead Pastor’s direction as advised by the other senior pastor and the elders. All pastors are considered elders – all parishioners are considered “ministers” while some have been ordained as “Ministers and Evangelist”. The lead pastor, in 12 years, has not made a single decision contrary to the board of elders. The board of elders serve two-year terms and remain elders in good standing for life if there is no reason for removing them from that position. Elders in good standing are all called together for advisement and counseling in key times like purchasing land or building a building.
9. Will church apps, Facebook and websites be combined by the merge date of September 2nd?
Yes. And the key people on both sides who updated the Facebook and websites social presence will continue helping in the new merge unless it is not needed to do so.
10. What will be the benefits of this merge?
On Page 56 of the book “Better Together” it states It is an opportunity for expanded, more effective evangelism…It is an opportunity for more effective evangelism …. We are not two church under one roof. We are one church, now with multiple service options. It does not change our DNA. Rather, it eliminates a barrier we unintentionally established through the years, namely, one that made it difficult for..( multicultural community to happen). It is not an exclusive or intentional segregation of people by ethnic heritage or language, etc. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend and of (AMADEO) worship services or program options!
11. What does AMADEO mean?
AMADEO means the love of God. Or beloved of God. We are to be the love of God because we have been loved by God. It is both a receptive thing, our identity and it is a missional thing – who we are to others.
12. Are the church cultures compatible?
Both church doctrines are the same and sense of mission discipleship and organizational structure are similar.