As I write this, I’m still sorting through the avalanche of opinions concerning the election process and its results in the United States. I’ve never seen the pendulum swing so violently to both ends.
I’ve been in an African-American congregation that was greatly disappointed in the 2016 U.S. election results. I’ve been with multi-ethnic leaders who expressed fear on behalf of many of their constituents, and even some that had witnessed attendance drop in their congregations out of concerns. I’ve been with others who have felt like the election went the way they hoped.
And all of these were strong followers of Christ and want the best for our nation. It does show the underlying polarization that has happened in our nation during these past several decades.
In the middle of all the wrangling of concerns and celebrations, there is a church that has been given an assignment to represent another citizenry, in a kingdom that cannot be shaken, is mostly invisible, and is on a mission for God. That’s where my focus has taken me.
In one of the most traumatic times of Israel’s history—the exile of many of its best leaders to Babylon—prophets declared to these weary people what they presumed about the future. Jeremiah was called by some as a weeping prophet, due to his unvarnished view of their current realities. Yet, he had this picture of a future filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 is my life-verse. I love the optimism that shouts from its words. Yet the context in which it was given was that the promise would be fulfilled decades later.
Another prophet, Hananiah, prophesied that God would quickly deliver Israel back to Jerusalem, and to its temple remains, within two years. He even claimed God told him so. He proved to be a false prophet, and his influence vanished almost immediately.
Jeremiah, on the other hand, in trying to paint the best picture of a delayed fulfillment, told the people: “Don’t sit around. Build your houses, plant your fields, have your children. Carry on and do everything you can to prepare for the future that God is actually going to give to your children and to their children” (Jer. 29:5-6, paraphrased). Sure enough, 70 years later, God fulfilled this amazing prophecy.
When I think about the context of our current realities in the U.S., by many considered to be a postmodern, post-Christian culture, I’m not discouraged at all. Things are tough; secularism is on the rise. U.S. church attendance across the board has stagnated and, in some instances, declined. Yet with all of that, there is a silver lining.
In the middle of all the wrangling of concerns and celebrations, there is a church that has been given an assignment to represent another citizenry, in a kingdom that cannot be shaken, is mostly invisible, and is on a mission for God.
The seeds that we have planted in these past 100 years are yielding fruit, some 100-fold return, in nations and people groups that are changing the landscape in many nations and continents. And the glorious reality is that many of them are sending seed back to the U.S., in hopes of reviving this great nation. Some of our greatest current breakthrough here now and in the future will be among our immigrant groups.
It’s also thrilling to see the barriers of previous doctrinal divides, especially concerning the Holy Spirit, beginning to be cast aside, as well as a new commitment among believers to lock arms for these days to see a great harvest, pushing us beyond our past differences. I just finished an amazing meeting with 25 denominational and network leaders who want to finish the Great Commission together.
This all leads to what I believe will be an exciting gathering in Washington, D.C., for Foursquare Connection 2017. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that just months after the U.S. president’s inauguration, we will be worshiping, prayer walking, fellowshiping and dreaming together in our nation’s capital.
We want to leave a spiritual imprint on the city. In this political center of power, we want to merge a spiritual center of power, the church! Many believe that it will be a prophetic time for the global Foursquare family—one that will culminate in hearing from the Lord in a powerful way.
We will be focusing these last four years of my term around the primary message of our movement: Jesus: Savior, Baptizer, Healer, King. This first year, in Washington, D.C., we’ll be focusing on the liberating, redemptive, restorative work of Jesus and the fact that He has commissioned us to be His agents of declaring hope to the poor, healing to the sick, liberation to the bound, and deliverance to the oppressed (see. Isa. 61:1).
What a word for today. You will not want to miss this critically important time together for our movement. You can register now at foursquareconnection.org, and plan to join us in Washington, D.C., May 29 – June 1, 2017.
We’ll begin Connection 2017 on Monday night with a powerful time of worship and the Word. We will conclude with a worship and prayer time to set the stage for our time together. You be given directions and an opportunity to prayer walk the city around important locations and significant sites, and be challenged to usher in the authority of heaven over this city, this nation and the world.
The seeds that we have planted in these past 100 years are yielding fruit, some 100-fold return, in nations and people groups that are changing the landscape in many nations and continents.
For the first time at convention, everyone will be invited to the international reception. Come and meet your spiritual counterparts, national leaders and our own Foursquare Missions International (FMI) family as we contend for a great harvest in these last days.
Powerful teaching, workshops, stories, interviews, videos, panels and more are being framed around our theme. The schedule is being aligned for important times of fellowship and sight-seeing. Of course, we’ll conduct some family business that promises to help us lead with integrity and greater clarity.
Until we are all together in D.C., take time to celebrate how God is working worldwide despite the enemy’s attempts at opposition and division. Review our February 2017 issue of Foursquare Leader magazine, and let it inspire you, challenge you and inform you. May we be spurred to work together until we all come into the fullness of the knowledge of Christ and see laborers thrust into the harvest fields.