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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Connections: Sol Arledge

Building Ministry Partnerships

Sol Arledge is chief operating officer for the Assemblies of God national offices in Springfield, Mo., with oversight of Gospel Publishing House. He spoke recently with Scott Harrup, managing editor, about the Assemblies of God’s commitment to developing church growth resources for the Pentecostal community.

evangel: The Assemblies of God is moving ahead with a resource partnership with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.). How did that come about?
At a meeting in Dallas with Church of God representatives, we were sharing what we as a Fellowship were doing in the way of developing resources. They became very interested in becoming a part of developing Pentecostal tools. As a Spirit-led Fellowship, we have something to say that resonates beyond our own churches. The Church, worldwide, is growing the most among Pentecostals. We need to ask ourselves how the Assemblies of God can bring all that we have to offer and share those resources with other Pentecostal groups and even in the larger evangelical community.

evangel: What is an initial step in that direction?
ARLEDGE: Our new Healthy Church catalog is designed to meet ministry needs in any Pentecostal church. We want to bring together our resources with the best materials from our sister organizations and give them the widest possible exposure. It will be shipping to our churches as well as Church of God churches and other interested groups.

evangel: Some people are put off by terms like “marketing” or “product” and feel we need a stronger focus on the Great Commission. How do you respond?
You can talk about marketing or selling products, but the reality is, these resources are spiritual bread that allows our Fellowship and other groups to feed the people in the pews. I come from a Christian business background. Our family’s company was powerfully shaped by our faith. We prayed over all our products going out; we prayed over all our marketing. We knew we had to have the blessing of God and that our business was always meant to be Spirit-led. When you allow God to lead, He keeps in balance the human business efforts used to distribute spiritual resources.

evangel: What is the philosophy behind the Healthy Church catalog?
We are placing as many resources as possible based on the Acts 2 Process to address where a church is in its growth. A pastor can determine whether his or her church needs to more strongly address community outreach, for example, or discipleship. Or, perhaps, reaching kids in the church and community with a ministry like Royal Rangers. We’re not dictating what a church should use. We believe that when products are developed here by Spirit-led department personnel, distributed by Spirit-led means, and used by Spirit-led local church leadership, the best possible outcomes will result.

evangel: What is your personal connection with Pentecost?
My family background connected me with a deep passion to experience Christ. I remember hearing Nicky Cruz speak and other occasions when I would go to the altar and seek more of God. But it wasn’t until I was at Oral Roberts University that Pentecost really took hold in my life. When you have 6,000 students praying and weeping before God, that’s a powerful impetus to open your life to all that the Holy Spirit wants to do in you. My wife, Wini, is from a very traditional Pentecostal family, so she has been a big part of nurturing my commitment to live a Spirit-led life.

evangel: Any other thoughts?
As we partner with sister organizations in developing and distributing these resources, I believe we are going to see God bring an even greater degree of unity among us through the Spirit.


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