The news that our current superintendent of the Assemblies of God Tom Trask is going to resign has made the upcoming general council potentially a watershed event in our fellowship. I wasn't going to go even though it is very close this year in Indianapolis but now I will at least drive over for the business sessions. It will be interesting to see how the voting is approached. I hope that there will be a significant turnout by young credential holders. This is an opportunity to shape the direction that the fellowship will go in the next 10 years and more. I feel like there are a lot of challenges ahead. I also will be praying for whoever is selected because the weight of the leadership burden will be very great and without the guidance of the Holy Spirit it may well be an impossible job.
I think some of the challenges include:
1. A continued need to plant churches. The decade of harvest was not an unqualified success. We need to find more planters and put some financial resources behind them. I know that a great emphasis has been made on this need but we need to continue to make a growing number of church plants a reality.
2. We need to have a greater presence on college and university campuses. It is not enough to just tell the parents in our fellowship to send there children to one of our schools. We must be in this mission field.
3. We need to continue to see a growth in our cultural diversity. This must include the freedom for different expressions of what it means to do church. We need to continue to see Hispanic growth as well as other minorities. It would be wonderful to see young minority pastors in growing numbers.
4. We need more pastors. We need to continue to pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers. But we must also connect with young people and sell them on their need for community and relationship. Our fellowship is based upon this and it is vital to future growth.
I'll post more thoughts as they come in the next three weeks. Mean while some guys have started a blog to further the conversation leading up to General Council.