When I think about why I am an ordained Assemblies of God pastor it goes beyond doctrine. I believe and agree with all 16 fundamental truths, otherwise I wouldn't be a part of this fellowship. To me it is about heritage and relationship. My great grandparents were members of an AG church. My grandfather was a pastor for more than 50 years. My uncle and my father are both pastors with long ministries. So there is a great heritage. But it is more than just family roots.
There are relationships. I have friends in China, South Africa, the Sudan, Nepal and other parts of the world. I also have friends in Shelbyville and Mattoon and Decatur. I know they will pray for me as I pray for them. Beyond that we are a fellowship that gave in excess of $200 million to world missions last year. I love that one of the purposes of forming the fellowship was to organize in order to help missionaries. The goal has been to bring the gospel to the world. But those pioneers didn't just send people they went into cities and into rural communities with the full gospel message. They preached and prayed and saw miracles. Lives were changed. My great grandmother who was an alcoholic was transformed by the gospel. She started bringing her grandchildren to church, one of which was my dad. He was saved and filled with the Spirit transforming his life. An evangelist named Sam Mayo came to Pana, Illinois and my grandparents were saved. Some thirty years later I was sitting at District Council and saw a gentleman sitting in front of me. On his name tag it said Sam Mayo. I introduced myself and relayed how thirty years earlier, before I was born, he had a part in changing my life. Those connections are a part of why I am an Assemblies of God pastor.
I also read the stories of the early pioneers in the fellowship. They believed that if the scripture said it was possible then it was. I know of mighty revivals that took place. But my generation hasn't seen a great move of the Spirit that changed the church and renewed it. As we pray about who will replace brother Trask I am reminded of the word of the prophet Habakkuk
LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
Lord, lead us. Help us to rely upon you. Put into place a leader who will be a prophetic voice calling us to repentance. A leader who will be full of the Spirit. A man of God who believe that if it says it is possible in the Bible than it is possible!