November 1, 2016
We just completed our 2016 Alabama AG Sectional Council Tour. It is always great to share vision for our future and celebrate what God is doing among us during this tour. It is also wonderful to join together in fellowship at these gatherings. Let me express my deep appreciation for those of you that attended. I shared during the tour what I feel the Lord has impressed upon me about what may be “Mission Drift” among some of us. This is indicated through the decrease in both Holy Spirit and water baptisms as well as decreased Sunday morning attendance in many of our churches. The other indicator of this is the fact that one in three of our churches did NOT record a single salvation last year. I hope that this was a recording error. Nevertheless, the only thing that we have to go on is the information we have been given. We proudly proclaim that we are a Pentecostal fellowship meaning we have experienced the empowerment of the Holy Spirit through baptism in him. We look to the book of Acts, chapter two, for the foundation for this experience. Jesus said, “You shall have power….” He promised us the ability to change the world through his power flowing through us. If we claim that we have this world-changing power—what happened? Are we changing the culture to which we are assigned? This is world transforming power according to the New Testament.
For our culture to be impacted for God’s kingdom, we must align ourselves with our God-given mission which comes out of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We have been “empowered” by the Holy Spirit to transform the culture we are placed within. Mission drift occurs when we “drift” off course from God’s plan for our churches, ministries and communities. The only way to remain on the mission is to continually define the mission and evaluate to see if you are still on the mission. This process which become redundant. You must KNOW what your mission to be on it. The best way to know that is to create a mission statement which explains our reason for existence. It explains: WHAT a church does; WHO it does it for; and HOW it does what it does. The single greatest reason for “Mission Drift” is the lack of a clear mission and vision. Again, the key to keeping on the mission is knowing your mission. Once you know what your mission is you must evaluate it often and make adjustments to keep it on track. Anything of value must be evaluated often. The challenges of “Mission Drift” set in immediately for all ministries and the only way to protect your ministry is choosing to keep your mission pure through protecting the integrity of it continually.
Leading any organization is hard work. Staying aligned to our core calling to evangelize and make disciples (Matthew 28) takes continued focus. This can be exhausting at times. Remember, in the end, Jesus will build his church. We are invited to partner with Jesus in building his church. You need to immediately begin a conversation with those who God has given you to lead your church or ministry. The sooner—the better!
Together we can reset our mission to match God’s mission for us if we have drifted off course. Remember, “Mission Drift” happens to EVERY organization.
As I close this article I want to use this season of Thanksgiving to thank everyone that assists us in this ministry to our Alabama AG fellowship. Cyndi and I are so thankful for you and your part with us in this ministry. We also want express our heartfelt wishes for you and your family to have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Be blessed is our prayer for you and yours.