On a recent trip to China, I was greatly impressed with the fruitfulness of God’s work in that nation. Yet, in the midst of explosive growth, leaders spoke of the need to discover how the church in China will position itself to continue to receive a constant flow of the “new wine” (Matt. 9:17).
As we draw near to Foursquare Connection 2013, May 28–30, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., great anticipation has been expressed by the members of the Foursquare cabinet and board of directors. Coming out of our discussions at the cabinet meetings in March was a willingness to initiate renewal and reform. Just as the church in China has realized its need for the continued pursuit of God to remain relevant and freshly anointed by the Holy Spirit, we sense that same passion to move forward into a future of fruitfulness that realizes a key and vital value: Mission is local—it belongs in the local church!
In a recent letter, I spoke in more detail about this concept and the steps toward reform that will assure we hold to this local church value. Town Hall Meetings are being scheduled in all 14 of our districts (detailed agenda forthcoming) later this year for more in-depth opportunities for family conversation. Listed below are 10 assumptions about renewal communicated in the letter:
- We must return to a local, church-centric movement for training leaders, planting churches and sending missionaries.
- We must create and allow a culture of entrepreneurial and creative leadership.
- We must remove obstacles that hinder the full participation or partnership of those in our movement.
- We must “right-size” responsibility, resource and authority across the movement.
- We must empower and strengthen district offices to facilitate networking, communication and relationship within our movement.
- We must continue to streamline the central office and narrow its focus to serve the mission of the Foursquare movement.
- We must accelerate our global mission and focus, taking advantage of a worldwide open door for evangelism.
- We must prioritize the evangelization of immigrant people groups within the United States.
- We must bring clarity of mission, vision, identity and purpose to The U.S. Foursquare Church.
- We must foster an environment that is conducive to spiritual renewal, honoring the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to lead us.
On Wednesday, May 29, during the morning session at convention, we are planning a family conversation that will give context to this process. We’ll also have convention business sessions on Wednesday and Thursday; we are inviting you to come prepared for them in advance of our arrival in Florida.
All business in The Foursquare Church is relevant to our journey, and therefore we want to make all business information easily accessible to you as a credentialed minister before the reports and proposed bylaw amendments are brought before the convention body. Please visit the business website, and take time to read those documents and to pray for God’s will in all of our proceedings.
Frankly, your prayers are the key element during these next few weeks. The Lord has promised us wisdom when we ask. (See James 1:5.) Also, James 3:17 speaks clearly to us about this: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (NKJV).
I believe in our Foursquare family and its future. I believe that our love for the Lord and for one another is evident and is seen in our willingness to honor one another with grace and mercy. With a family like that, our future is full of hope!
See you at Connection 2013!