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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. ...

... So All Can Hear

An interview with Assemblies of God World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis by Communications Director Randy Hurst.

Greg: What has increasingly developed in my spirit over the past several months is the global need of hearing the gospel. Recently the news media reported that the 7 billionth person in the world was born. An overwhelming number of people have not heard the gospel. I rejoice in the incredible growth of the Assemblies of God in the last 98 years — from zero to 64 million. However, as Brother Loren Triplett has said, “You don’t measure yourself by your success, but against the unfinished task.” I feel a responsibility of stewardship to empower Assemblies of God World Missions to look at the “regions beyond.”

I see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a multifaceted dimension that is biblically anchored to Acts 2:17: “In the last days … I will pour out my Spirit on all people” (NIV). The consequence of that outpouring is a last-days revival — an eleventh-hour push to reach everyone who does not have access to the gospel.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to do more than we ever have to reach people with the gospel of Christ by partnering strategically with mature and developing churches around the world. In doing so, we can really make an eternal difference in the world.

Here is just one example: European Pentecostals have worked over the past several years to provide training and encouragement for the 1,700 missionaries sent out from the Pentecostal European Mission, the missions arm of the European Pentecostal Fellowship. They have also set a goal to send out 3,000 missionaries, and they are also focusing on reaching 200 unreached people groups by 2020. If we can leverage that with what AG missions is doing in other areas of the world, we find that the work we can do singularly is expanded exponentially, allowing us to do much more because we’re doing it together. As the old African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Randy: Do seasons exist in missions?

GM:  All of us on the AGWM Executive Committee are standing on the shoulders of our predecessors — Noel Perkin, J. Philip Hogan, Loren Triplett and John Bueno. Each of them sensed where the wind of the Spirit was blowing.

When the apostle Paul was prevented by the Spirit from going into Asia, the door opened instead to go to Macedonia. The Holy Spirit opened the door, which began the season for Paul and his team to minister there. Paul saw the vision, but his team said, “Yes! This is right. This is God.”

We stand not only in the wake of our tradition, history, values and mission, but also on the shoulders of the apostle Paul. He said he didn’t want to build on another man’s foundation. Instead, he wanted to take the gospel where it hadn’t been heard. He wanted to go to the regions beyond. He wanted to reached the unreached.

RH: How do you see the younger generation?

GM: Several words apply to this generation — passion, commitment, abandonment, team, mission and focus. I believe the Lord is raising up a powerful generation that will stand on the shoulders of its predecessors and reach into geographical places and people groups where we have not had the opportunity to bring the gospel. We need to recognize their potential and become the mentors, examples, coaches and cheerleaders they need to get the job done.

RH: Technology has given us many tools that previous generations didn’t have. Do you see a danger in putting so much emphasis on those tools that people diminish the necessity of personal empowerment of the Spirit?

GM: Media and technology are fantastic tools, and AGWM has been greatly blessed by many media ministries. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third-largest country in the world with more than 400 million in population. Among the 7 billion people in the world, 2 billion use cellphones. But, that still leaves more than 5 billion people in the rest of the world who are not “connected.”

The founders of the AG were right to mention “every available means” in their original missions statement. Media is an important strategic tool we need to employ in a greater dimension. It includes people who are willing to go and give their lives to incarnate what the gospel is all about in a society. Nothing can substitute for people incarnating what the gospel means and what it means to be in a body of believers. That is why the local church and church planting are so important — the dynamic of forming a community centered on Christ, growing up in that community, and maturing to become what God wants you to be as a believer.

RH: There is so much need and so few people who are willing to go. How would you challenge young people to go where so many won’t?

GM: People often challenge us, saying, “You send out 2,700 missionaries and missionary associates. Why don’t you strategically place them?” First of all, we have a deep, ingrained respect for the Spirit’s leading and the call of God on people’s lives. Second, we believe the Spirit leads us just as He led Paul. Beyond that, our responsibility is to make known where the need is.

Because of technology, we have more information available now than we’ve ever had, but technology does not replace a human being who is living among the sights, sounds, smells, culture and language of a particular country. There are needs in so many areas. When we talk about unreached people groups, we’re not talking just about people living in jungles. Fifty-four percent of the world’s population will live in urban settings within the next couple of years. What does that say to us? There are urban people groups who have not had an opportunity to hear the gospel. As we follow the leading of the Spirit, the example of Paul, and make the need known, we trust the Spirit to send people where He wants them to go. Our job is to make sure they are equipped, empowered and enabled to share the gospel.

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