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We are all well acquainted with the Lord’s precious words in Matthew 28:18-20, commonly referred to as the Great Commission: “… All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Beyond a command, it also seems to invite us into something deeper. One thought makes me want to use a new spelling for COMMISSION: “Co-mission.” When we look at the prefix “co” that we are so used to using, we discover it comes from the Latin prefix “com-” which means “with,” “together” or “jointly” (i.e. copilot, cooperate, etc.).

In Western cultures we tend to pursue mission and calling as an individual exercise before the Lord, i.e. “my” calling or “my” mission … There are many other cultures, though, that find our Western individuality exaggerated and even humorous at times. “Why do Americans like to do things by themselves? Why do they live alone? How can they stand being so ‘lonely’ all the time?” are questions I’ve heard in conversations in other parts of the world. Of course, we find other cultures just as amusing: “Why do they always do things together? So many people live together? And why do they always use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’?” These questions are fascinating to me. This week at the awesome Papua New Guinea Foursquare convention, pastors were describing how the extended family—lots of relatives!—are involved in the family “spouse selection” process for young people, it is not the choice of the individual! Wouldn’t that go over well in the USA!!??

As Pastor Jack shared with us last week, we are all woven into “a massive blanket of love and power Jesus is spreading across the earth.” Last week I was also privileged to be at the amazing National Women’s Gathering. I was also encouraged as I heard from women from around the world in a two day global consultation meeting, knowing that many of these women lead Foursquare churches while facing enormous challenges and often persecution. Tears came to my eyes as I observed the joy among them, from such diverse backgrounds yet excitedly sharing, learning and praying together. All around the globe we are hearing the voices of our church family desiring to find more effective ways to partner together to “co-labor” in this, our great “co-mission!”

I propose that I will not find the Lord’s complete mission or calling for my life apart from you … apart from my spouse, children and church family. Our “co-mission” together is so much greater than “my mission.” Three words come to my mind as I think about this:

  • “Co-mmunity” – It is in the depth and wealth of relationships that we grow, learn and discover His purposes in and for us, and my ability to minister is broadened as I learn from you.
  • “Co-llaboration” – In partnering together we will be able to engage and serve this amazing harvest and church family of more than 57,000 churches around the world. We can do so much more together!
  • “Co-operation” with the Holy Spirit! In walking together in Spirit-filled life, He allows gifts, fruit and power to flow through us, and makes this a joy-FUL process of walking together in Him.

In May of this year we will come together for our international “co-nnection” in Anaheim, Calif., as we celebrate, worship and learn together! What a great invitation from the heart of our president to “co-nnect” there. I hope you come. I pray that this week you and I might use our freedoms not for self, but in order to “serve one another in love” (Gal. 5:13). I feel challenged and excited to join you in our “co-mission,” Because as Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28, and is so true in our Foursquare family, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

is an ordained Foursquare minister and FMI missionary to Great Britain.