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Transition God s Way

Transition -- God's Way

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Proverbs 21:1 states, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes" (NKJV). I have seen this verse being vividly lived out over these past few weeks as I have witnessed the mutually amicable and supportive transition of executive leadership between General Superintendent George Wood and General Superintendent-elect Doug Clay. It has been a remarkable example of two godly leaders, responsive to God’s hand, acting with integrity and in the best interests of the Assemblies of God.

This is only the 12th time that the Assemblies of God has experienced a transition in top leadership. Dr. Wood has shown immense graciousness and humility in the way he has been handing off responsibility, and Doug Clay has exemplified a wise and generous spirit in the way he has been preparing to become the 13th general superintendent on Oct. 9, 2017.

From my position seated on the General Council stage when Doug Clay was elected as general superintendent, it was immediately evident that God was orchestrating the transitional events that would unfold. Dr. Wood laid the groundwork by removing his name from consideration in a way that did not divide the Fellowship or make it about himself. In turn, Doug Clay deflected the applause for his own election by stating his desire for the applause that day to be for Dr. Wood and his accomplishments.

Both men have continued to demonstrate great integrity in honoring one another and creating a smooth transitional experience. Behind the scenes I have watched them be nothing but gracious and deferring to each another. I have especially been touched to see them keep ego out of the process. They have had a sincere determination to do things in a way that honors God and preserves His church.

Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you (NIV).” Over the last two months, it has also been encouraging to see how God has prepared and continues to direct both men into the next seasons of their lives and ministries.

The Executive Presbytery commended Clay and Wood during its Sept. 12, 2017, session, stating, in part: “Appreciation was expressed to George O. Wood and Doug Clay for the godly and good way in which they are smoothly transitioning leadership. It is noted their transitioning process is a great example to our entire Fellowship.”

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