It was in 1999 in Kampala, Uganda—while running a leadership and resource development workshop for denominational leaders, mission executives of Christian nonprofit organizations, seminary provosts and leaders of government agencies from different nations in East Africa—that the Holy Spirit gave me a good understanding of Acts 6:1-7.
Prior to 1999, the church in Uganda (including The Foursquare Church) had been applying these concepts from Acts 6, leading to its transformation from slow death to deep change.
Uganda became the first nation in the world to experience a positive reversal of fortune with a drop in percentage of the population with HIV and, thereby, ceased to be the nation with the highest HIV infection per population. (Read the UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic.)
Other nations have other stories in other areas of life where the church is experiencing transformation from incremental to deep change. For example, in Cambodia, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Kenya, Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Vietnam, the U.K. and the U.S., I have seen some churches and mission agencies move from incremental change and its slow-death consequences to more ministry impact and growth.
Whenever I read Acts 6 and Robert Quinn’s classic book, Deep Change, I desire that every one of us in our Foursquare family will experience biblical freedom from the trap of incremental change, especially its limitation and slow death. With this freedom, I pray that we are transformed through redemptive deep change so the Word of God will spread, the number of Jesus’ disciples will increase rapidly, and leaders will become obedient to the faith (see Acts 6:7).
From Acts 6, the skills needed to move from incremental change to deep change include:
- Ministry Skills—spending time in prayer and teaching the Word (both/and, not either/or). Many of us spend good time in teaching, but little or inadequate time in prayer. It is time for deep change.
- Relationship Skills—being connected with people. Relationship enhances ministry.
- Management Skills—for good biblical stewardship. Engage in holistic ministry. Remember Jesus Christ is described as full of grace and truth, not truth alone (see John 1:14).
- Leadership Skills—casting vision, creating systems, crafting policies and giving direction. Develop leaders and not only followers. Developing followers leads to growth by addition, while developing leaders leads to growth by multiplication.
My fervent prayer for us is that we will continue to move from incremental to deep change, in Jesus’ name.
By: Remi Lawanson, Greater Los Angeles District missions representative
Share your journey through Acts » Comment below to share what God is showing you personally as the Foursquare family reads through Acts together this year! You can also subscribe to the weekly Foursquare Leader Prayer e-mail to receive insights on Acts from Foursquare leaders around the world.