CHAPTER III. THE POSITIONS IN THE CHURCH
THE HOLDING OF POSITIONS
- No person will hold a position in the Church who is not a Catechumen and who does not believe in the main teachings of the Wesleyan Religion. Every positionholder will obey the meetings of the Church that affects his position, and those meetings can judge him and to appoint and demote if he is not suitable for his position
- And it will be up to the Conference from time to time to define in detail the definition of the word Position.
- The Class Leader is any person affirmed by the Meeting to Declare matters about People on the recommendation of the Head Minister of that Section. His duty is to be responsible for the Catechumen Class who have been allocated to him and for him to join the Meeting to Declare matters about People of the Chapel that he belongs to. He can join the Quarterly Meeting of the Region that he belongs to.
- An Assistant Class Leader can be appointed to assist the Class Guardian if the Minister and the Meeting to Declare matters about People agree.
- No Class Leader or Assistant Class Leader cannot be dismissed without good reason unless approved by the Preparatory Meeting (Fakataha Fakakolo).
THE CLASS LEADERS [TAUHI ‘AHO]
The duties of the Class Leader in Tonga are:
i. To meet the members of the Class once a week
ii. To question their spiritual wellbeing.
iii. To teach, reprimand or offer spiritual help in accordance with their testimony.
iv. To collect their offering to the work of Lord.
v. To attend the Preparatory Meetings organized by either the Minister or the Steward.
vi. To inform the Minister or Steward of anyone who is sick, or has misbehaved or does niot heed disciplinary actions.
vii. To collect and give to either the Minister or Steward, the offerings of the class and also note in their class attendance book the amount of their offering.
3. CONFIRMED CATECHISTS (AKONAKI)
i. The Female Catechist is a Catechist appointed by the Church to hold such positions in the chapels.
ii. The District Minister can recommend any person to the Quarterly Meeting of each District. She is to first become a Catechumen for a year, and of course be of good character, before the Minister makes any recommendation, and if approved by the majority of the Meeting in a show of hands, she can then be called a Female Adviser of the Church.
iii. The Preparatory Meeting in the September Quarter will question the conduct of their lives and their suitability for the position, and the Quarterly Meeting of the District can make decisions about them.
iv. Every Woman Member can join the Meeting to Declare matters about People of their Church as well as the Quarterly Meetings of their Regional.
v. Alcohol. No woman who drinks alcohol is allowed to hold the position of
Adviser, unless a doctor approved the drinking of alcohol.
4. THE LAY PREACHERS
i. A Lay Preacher is one of the Catechumen appointed by the Church to preach in the chapels. Women can be Lay Preachers too.
ii. The Minister can recommend to the Quarterly Meeting of the Lay Preachers any person to preach. That person will first have to be a Catechumen for a year. Once that is completed, that person will be assessed as directed by the Conference, and
iii. to be of good character, before the Chairing Minister recommends to the Meeting, and be approved by the majority of the Meeting by a show of hands, then he can be called an Ordained Preacher.
iv. The Preparatory Meeting will question about their lives and suitability for the positions, and the Quarterly Meeting of the Lay Preachers can make decisions for them.
v. Every Lay Preacher shall join the Meeting to Declare matters about People of every
Church as well as the Quarterly Meetings of the Region that they belong to.
vi. Alcohol. Alcohol is not allowed, and nobody who consumes alcohol can be appointed as a Lay Preacher, except where a doctor has approved the consuming of alcohol.
vii. If any of the Lay Preachers is imprisoned or indebted, or sentenced to some probationary programme, the Meeting of the Lay Preachers can make decisions regarding that person’s position.
viii. If a Lay Preacher had earlier relinquished his position, but wants to be reinstated, that person must complete the requirements for a Catechumen in four (4) Quarters, before that person could be appointed a Probationary Preacher. If that person gave up the position while already an Ordained Preacher, that person will be a Probationary Preacher for two Quarters before he could be recommended as an Ordained Preacher, if approved by the majority of the any the Meetings.
ix. If any Ordained Lay Preacher has moved from a another Church, and he wants to be a Lay Preacher in the Church, that person has to be in the parish for a Quarter before the Minister can appoint him to be Probationary Preacher, if approved by the majority of the Meetings. After being a Probationary Preacher for two Quarters, that person can then be appointed as an Ordained Preacher, but if that person is a Probationary Preacher, he will have to continue being a Probationary Preacher for four Quarters before he can be assessed to become an Ordained Preacher.
x. Women Lay Preachers to wear a white coloured dress with long sleeves, closed collar, and a lokeha (woven mat worn around their waists) or any other presentable woven mat.
xi. Prisoners can become Probationary Lay Preachers. They can also give sermons in any Parish if that Parish agrees.
5. THE STEWARDS OF THE QUARTERLY MEETINGS
1. The Chairing Minister of the Quarterly Meetings can recommend two Stewards for such Meetings which are held in the December Quarter every year. They shall be voted and approved by the majority, and younger than 70 years of age.
2. The following are the duties of the two Stewards:
(a) To receive from the District Ministers the Quarterly Meetings incoming funds, Donations, and Offerings from each District.
To distribute the Ministers’ wages from the Donations fund, and from the Offerings as written in clauses 1 and 2 of the Laws Relating To Giving Gifts To The Ministers, and also, when the Chairing Minister or Head Minister is satisfied. The remainder of those funds is to be returned to the Chairing Minister or the Head Regional Minister to be deposited every Quarter.
To keep a record of the income and of the Donations fund as well as its remainders; then account for it in the Quarterly Meeting.
To keep accurate records of the Minutes of the Meetings and the decisions made in the Quarterly Meeting's Book.
To pay every Minister working in the Christian Education and Evangelism Departments from the Donations fund so that the two Departments are sufficiently resourced, by their own income.
6. THE CONFERENCE STEWARDS
The Conference Steward is any Ordained Preacher upon whom the Conference has conferred the task of performing the duties of a Steward in any Parish that does not have a Minister, but to take place when approved by the Local Trustees. It is for the President and the Conference to oblige a request from a Parish for a Steward, and to keep allocating Stewards there.
The gifts for the Conference Stewards. If there are more than 110 Stewards, the responsibility rests on the Trustees, or if less, it will be a shared responsibility between the Conference and the Trustees.
The Conference Stewards to be entitled to a six months’ holiday at the completion of a fifteen years of service.
For the names of the Conference Stewards and the Church Teachers who have died, to be recorded in the Minutes of every Conference.