Renewal Journal 16: Vision
Almolonga, the Miracle City, Mell Winger
Cali Transformation, George Otis Jr.
Revival in Bogotá, Guido Kuwas
Vision for Church Growth, Daryl & Cecily Brenton
Vision for Ministry, Geoff Waugh
Book Review: Jesus on Leadership by Gene Wilkes.
Vision for the 21st Century
A new millennium, like each new year, encourages vision. New hope. New possibilities. New vision.
Christian vision remains grounded in God’s revelation of himself in Scripture, inspired and illuminated by his Spirit. So the vision is both old and new.
The vision is old because Jesus Christ is the same, “yesterday, today and forever”. God’s word hasn’t changed with changing times. We have the same that God Abraham, Moses, David, Esther, Mary, Peter and Paul served.
They all served God in their time, their era. Now it’s our turn, in our time, our era.
Ours is a very different world from their day. We communicate rapidly, globally. We fly globally for mission and holidays. We spend billions of dollars in Kingdom business.
So is there a vision for the 21st century?
There must be. Where there is no vision, the people perish. Where there is no prophetic word the people cast off restraint. See Proverbs 29:18.
This issue of the Renewal Journal looks at some visions, directions and implications for serving God in the 21st century.
The essentials remain the same. God is. Jesus saves. The Holy Spirit moves in all the earth. The church grows – with endless cultural and social expressions. Yet still the Lord only recognizes one church – his.
All over the world powerful expressions of the church have emerged at the beginning of the 21st century. This is not triumphalism. But it is war. Jesus is still building his church and smashing through the gates of hell.
Mell Winger, missionary to Latin America, tells the astounding story of Almolonga, Guetemala, the “Miracle City”. There the Christians have united in prayer and seen the powers of darkness dramatically overcome. The four jails, once packed, are now empty – closed. The curse on the land has been broken and they grow the biggest and best food in the world. Families, once at war, are united in loving service.
George Otis Jr., producer of the vivid, prophetic video Transformations, tells how Cali, Columbia, has been transformed through united repentance and prayer. Once the centre of billions of dollars in drug trafficking with a turnover of over 400 million US dollars a month, it is now transformed. What global law enforcement agents could not do, God has done.
Guido Kuwas describes revival in Bogotá, Columbia – another transformations story. A church is impacting the whole city and region by applying Jesus’ principles of discipleship. Christian disciple just 12 people. Very effectively. They gather in huge areas to celebrate together.
Daryl and Cecily Brenton, now missionary translators in Papua New Guinea, comment on the world’s largest data base of church growth factors to draw conclusions about effective mission and evangelism.
I have condensed my research on the emerging church into an article surveying the dramatic and powerful global shifts going on in church life and ministry amid accelerating change today.
Gene Wilkes’ book Jesus on Leadership challenges our usual ideas of leadership in the church by examining how Jesus led.
We hope you find this issue of the Renewal Journal inspiring and informative, and that you can recommend it to your friends and your church!
© Renewal Journal #16: Vision (2000:2)