When the spies returned from the Promised Land, 10 felt small and identified with grasshoppers, while 2 others emphasized the grapes. In this article, Bishop Ming identifies 25 "grapes" or blessings that the PCG has witnessed over the last few years. Are you grateful for the grapes?
Wayman Ming Jr.
February 7, 2022
Mission & Vision
Recently, I was reading the Fall edition of the AVAIL journal, and one of the writers, who was a Church of God in Christ (COGIC) pastor expressed:
“The challenge of contemporary denominationalism is its default to managing the organization rather than inspiring its members to seize the mission. This misguided notion has stalled growth, diminished intrigue, stifled innovation, derailed interest, siloed involvement and depleted investment from its core constituency” (AVAIL journal, Issue 7, Fall 2021).
Oftentimes, as leaders, the greatest weapon at our disposal is seizing the mission of the Church and inspiring others to pursue it without distraction. That’s why OneMission—One Movement is not really a mantra but a biblical mandate. As long as the Pentecostal Church of God remains committed to missional movement, we will thrive, but if we revert back to organizational management, we will ONLY survive.
In June, during our first General Assembly of a 2nd-Century PCG, the prophetic word of the Lord came forth to pray that the Pentecostal Church of God would see…
Now, some might hear such a word and feel the temptation of the 10 Israelite spies, who said, “We are not able to go up … There we saw the giants; and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight” (Num. 13:31, 33). Candidly, the PCG doesn’t need any more negative spies. Not only do they strive to out-number and speak louder than the positive spies, but they end up dead in the desert anyway. We need a few more faith-filled voices that will side with the two positive spies: “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Num. 13:30).
The decade of the 2020s has begun with deep spiritual implications for the Pentecostal Church of God. If we choose to speak with faith, we will see a decade of harvest. We will extend our reach into a multitude of new nations. We will see another generation of next-gen leaders arise. Ministers and churches will multiply, and new followers of Christ will be birthed into the Kingdom.
The prescription, however, is that God gives the increase. If He chooses to only extend the PCG into 85 nations, provide 500 new Next-Gen Leaders, increase our ministers and churches to 8,000, and our community of faith to 800,000, then we can still be thankful because He is the One who has provided the increase. The question for us is instinctively: Will we look at the grapes or the giants? Will we identify with the Joshua/Caleb generation or the generation of unremembered names associated with the ten negative spies? Will we possess our promises or pass on our promises?
I believe that one of the greatest ways to ensure that we answer these questions with faith involves simply being thankful for what He has already done, reminding ourselves to be “grateful for the grapes.” Although there are many more in the cluster, may we genuinely be grateful for the following 25 grapes:
We have a global directive for the PCG that is inspiring missional movement across the globe. The Pentecostal Church of God entered a “Decade of Harvest” that has now extended to 72 nations and will not be defined by the coming of COVID-19 but by the spread of the Gospel. (The green countries below represent those nations we are targeting through the 2020s.)
Our overseeing leaders discerned the value of filtering everything PCG through the belief that we must live as a “global church with a global mission.” Consequently, the name of the International Headquarters was changed to International MissionCenter (IMC).
EverySeptember our global church engages in One Mission—One Movement for One month.People are sharing their faith, churches are doing outreach, and nations are touching inner cities with unprecedented results.
In 2018, three continental conferences were held in Asia, Africa, and CentralAmerica. In 2022, we are planning to launch our first PCG Global Conference inManaus, Brazil, and these will occur every four years.
The PCG is continuing its effort to provide training opportunities around the globe, which now includes a 12-week missionary development path for prospective missionaries, a four-year Bible school curriculum (Veritas), and partnership with Global University to provide Christian Life and Christian Service courses in three different languages.
All missions ministries are now functioning as one unified department. Not only have major ministry arms been added, such as Global Education, Global Disaster Relief, and Inter-Cultural Missions, but American Indian Missions has now become Native American Ministries.
Justas we have one missions department, we now have one Chaplaincy department with approximately 70 military chaplains and 20 civilian chaplains. 72% of the military chaplains are multi-cultural, and 36% are women.
All areas of resource development—Communications, Messenger Publishing House,Online Credentialing, Stewardship Services, Messenger College, etc.—are now integrating and aligning to produce resources, such as Impacting Eternity Month, 21 Days of Prayer/Fasting, the 1M1M Podcast, etc.
In2017, a Communications department was reestablished to build our digital footprint for missional movement and personal engagement. Over the past four years, our online presence has not just received a face-lift but an overhaul, touching the U.S. and the globe.
PCG StewardshipServices was founded and launched under the direction of Pastor Ted Miller to provide insurance and retirement support to all our ministers and churches.
Under the leadership of Pastor Jimmy Patillo, a renewed King’s Men ministry launched under the directive of M3—Mentoring Men for the Mission—and has changed the missional landscape of men’s ministry.
The call of God was released in the PCG as women were encouraged to serve in all roles and levels of leadership, and Empowered Women’s ministries is now multiplying a myriad of women’s leadership resources, not just in English but also in Spanish.
ImpactYouth Ministries continues to launch strong leadership development initiatives, such as the FIRST campaign, which mentors students to put God first during the first twenty-one days of the year, and KUEST, a 2022 student leadership initiative that teaches kids how to serve and lead in ministry.
Messenger College is now located on the campus of the IMC and is an integral part of thePentecostal Church of God. In 2021, a full-time president of Messenger College was once again installed for a new thrust in ministry development.
MessengerPublishing House was relocated from Joplin, Missouri to the campus of the IMC, where new complimentary and for-purchase resources are now made available to our ministers and churches.
In 2022, PCG’s coaching team (made up of 20+ ministry leaders) will support approximately 20% percent of the churches in 10 districts. The goal is to provide church coaching for 20% of our churches in all 36 districts over the next 3-5 years.
An emphasis concerning church planting has been launched through the Church PlantInitiative (CPI) to partner with father districts and mother churches in planting new churches within the PCG.
An online platform was created as an onramp for those ages 17-30 to discover calling. Approximately 130 next-gen leaders have engaged the Forerunner Experience since 2018, with 20% of those having gone on to receive ministerial credentials.
Our General Assemblies transitioned from a convention-based model (convening for business) to a conference-based model (prophetic services and breakouts) for the purpose of pursuing God as a multi-cultural, multi-national, and multi-generational assembly of people. Engaging speakers with diversity have been intentionally invited to raise our awareness of the importance of cultural diversity.
Our district and general business sessions have modeled a picture of missional unity rather than familial dysfunction as they have “endeavored to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).
A brand-new online resource platform was launched to allow ministers and churches to order and access curriculum, books, and other resources. Leaders are now also able to continue their education by engaging online coursework through such opportunities as the Forerunner Experience, PCG Coaching Experience, and online minister studies.
Over the last four years, the IMC has witnessed significant renovations, especially at the entry level on the first floor and the executive wing on the fifth floor. A beautiful PCG sign is now displayed on the front of the IMC building, identifying the home of the Pentecostal Church of God.
Through 2017, the lease agreements at the IMC provided a relatively low profit margin while continuing to pay for utilities and janitorial services. New agreements were put in place for a greater profit margin and the entire 2nd-floor was leased out, which provided additional income of nearly $500,000 over a three-year span.
At the beginning of 2021, the IMC took a big step and started tithing out of its general budget. Also, we refinanced our largest loan of over $1,000,000 (as an interest-only loan) to a fixed, principle-bearing loan to pay-off our debt over a 20-year period. Although we have some significant challenges facing our financial system in the PCG, tithing is the biblical solution, and a balanced budget is non-negotiable.
1M1M Giving was established as an easy way for the grassroots of the PCG, comprised of every Christian, minister, and church, to give toward advancing new ministries such as church coaching, church planting, the Forerunner Experience, and the online credential process. Over a three-year period, nearly $400,000has been given toward the advancement One Mission—One Movement.
As we look at the 2020s, God is using chaotic circumstances, whether human-made or naturally induced, as opportunities for every person and every movement of believers to draw closer to Him. A 2nd-CenturyPentecostal Church of God is well on its way to possessing this decade of harvest if we will pursue Him with missional intentionality and remain “grateful for the grapes.”
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