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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. ...

State of the Mission

By Greg Mundis
May 6, 2012

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Assemblies of God, this is not just a time to reflect on what has been done in the past. Even more, it is time to take action in the ways God wants to use us in the coming years.

We face three critical challenges:

1) We must relate to the wider body of Christ in how we approach our mandate to fulfill the Great Commission. Within the Church there is unity of heart. However, working, partnering and associating with other missions in our Great Commission mandate is often a challenge because of variances in theological positions and governance issues.

2) We must respond to the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted for the sake of the gospel. We are receiving reports more frequently of believers who are being persecuted and even killed in many countries of the world. A recent Newsweek featured an excellent article, titled “Christophobia,” which reports studies regarding the increase in persecutions among Christians in countries where they are in the minority. This makes me keenly aware of our responsibility to pray for our brothers and ?sisters and advocate on their behalf.

3) We must prioritize reaching out to those with limited access to the gospel. Members of the AG World Missions Executive Committee all concur that we must be on the cutting edge of reaching unreached people groups. Pioneer missionaries are needed to work in teams and in conjunction with partners from around the world. We also still need personnel in countries that are now sending their own missionaries. We can play key roles by working with national churches to train missionaries and pastors in Bible schools so people from those national movements can serve effectively in other countries.

We currently have 2,740 missionaries laboring around the world. Our missionary-sending national church partners are sending out about twice that number. We cannot fulfill the Great Commission in exclusion of one another. Together, we must leverage our giftings, strengths and resources to mobilize teams from the United States and from other countries to go and reach the unreached.

According to the latest statistics, every 13.6 seconds a person comes to Christ through Assemblies of God ministries worldwide. A church is planted every 45 minutes. This unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit is truly amazing. But even greater is the realization that this empowerment is available to all Pentecostal/charismatic Christians.

On the Day of Pentecost, Peter quoted Joel’s prophecy, saying, “In the last days … I will pour out my Spirit on all people” (Acts 2:17, NIV). As we ride the crest of this wave of Holy Spirit outpouring, we recognize that we are in the last days. As Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).

The sacrifices and efforts of our missionary family around the world have impressed me tremendously. They are committed to preach the gospel in every type of context, language and culture. These missionaries and missionary associates comprise a team that exemplifies our passion and priorities in the Assemblies of God. They are motivated by divine callings and a compelling passion to see the gospel taken to the ends of the earth. Without them it would be impossible to fulfill the mission God has given us and the responsibility with which our Fellowship has charged us. Our challenge is that we not grow weary in well-doing.

I believe that the greatest days of evangelism, discipleship, church planting and compassion ministries lie before us. God has positioned us — as a Movement, as a team of missionaries, and as leaders — to do more than we have ever done. To accomplish this requires partnership with our churches across America, churches that have a passion not only to reach their communities, but also to reach the world.

The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16:9: “A great door for effective work has been opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” We are at that door. Opportunities for effective ministry are before us, but there are challenges in finances, personnel, politics and religion that would hinder or even stop us. Yet as we walk in obedience to the Lord and His Great Commission, these challenges and hindrances can and will be overcome for the glory of God.

The 98-year history of the Assemblies of God and more than 100 years of Pentecostal and charismatic outpourings have brought us to the crest of a wave, as the Holy Spirit commissions and empowers His Church to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person on earth.

GREG MUNDIS is executive director for Assemblies of God World Missions.

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