This mini-thesis employs the innovative methodology of Integrative Theology to analyse and propose improvements to the constitutional document which regulates the election of bishops in the Pentecostal Assemblies of God in Zambia, hereafter called PAOGZ. The purpose of the project is to attempt to improve thePAOGZ constitutional document titled, “The List of qualifications for electing bishops,” and make it Bible-based, Christocentric and missional.The objective of the research is to determine what the PAOGZ needs to do to ensure that its praxis in relation to the election process is faithful to God and relevant to its context.
Critical examination of the outlined qualifications for electing bishops revealed that they are not explicitly dependent on Scriptures. Using insights from exegetical, biblical and historical theological analysis, a theory of action was formulated to improve the document. In that theory of action, the suggestion made was that the PAOGZ may include the qualifications outlined in 1Timothy 3:1-7 in the governance document. More qualifications were also proposed from other passages of the Bible as outlined in appendix two. This theory of action wasrecommended in the belief that all theological reflection and Christian doctrine should be based on Scripture as the primary source. The formulation of the theory ofaction was followed by designinga communication and implementation action plan using Habermas’s theory of communicative action (Smith 2013:89-91). This communicative plan recommends use of dialogue and negotiation.
The findings through the Integrated Theological approach showed that the qualifications in 1Timothy 3:1-7are a standard and universal norm. Recommendations are made in a draft proposed replacement document which improves the existing one by being more biblical, Christocentric and missional. The key contribution of the minithesis is that it demonstrates a structured application of the versatile integrated theological methodology for addressing a practical contemporary challenge in the Church.3