One River, Two Shorelines. Across Africa, fields are beginning to engage in the L&L process to develop the strategic plan for their context. As this process evolves, I continue to realize the importance of clarifying who we are: our purpose and our mission. These are the banks of the river which guide how we engage the countries God has called us to serve in and inform our strategic plan.
We are intimately familiar with the first riverbank; our purpose: "Pursuing God together in the power of the Holy Spirit for an increasingly redeemed and transformed Africa."
The second bank is framed by who we are historically and currently. We have always focused on national churches. In essence, our mission can be summarized by the following statement: "We are sent to plant, nurture, and partner with national churches." While the concept is not new, I thought it would be beneficial to examine what we mean by this mission statement.
"We are sent to plant, nurture and partner with national churches."
We are a team, not a random collection of individuals with divergent agendas. We have a focus; we are in sync.
We are sent from and represent a national church, the Assemblies of God, USA. We are not fusionists, our missional identity is found in our own national church.
Christ’s commission mandates that we plant the church where it has not yet been established.
As the churches we plant begin to move from infancy, to maturity, and ultimately into full indigeniety, our strategic engagement adjusts accordingly.
Our fraternal relationship thus matures with the church. While we do not advocate a terminal exit strategy, once a national church achieves maturity, this new relationship will often require that we reassess our roles on the field. We then become partners with them in mission and co-laborers with Christ in reaching the nations with the gospel.
WITH NATIONAL CHURCHES
We believe that the most effective way to reach a nation (and beyond that, the nations of the world) is through healthy indigenous national churches comprised of healthy local churches. In everything we do we strive to develop the church.