Reimagine! A bridge between the heritage of our past and the vision for the future!
All of us have a perspective that has been shaped by our past experiences and our present circumstances that factor into our view of the future. However, God takes all the pieces of our lives (no matter the circumstances, good or bad, joyful or painful) and fashions them into a life that honors Him. Where we once had imagined a certain course of action or journey, the Lord helps us to reimagine with fresh perspective. He gives us renewed hope and a path to get us to the desired destination.
One of the best-known biblical stories of promise, detour, restoration and fulfillment (reimagining!) is the account of Joseph. Joseph was falsely accused, despised, rejected and, apparently, forgotten. But the Lord patiently and tirelessly worked His plan and purpose in and through Joseph, turning Joseph’s history into a nation’s heritage.
Gen. 50:18-21 states:
"Then the brothers went in person to him, threw themselves on the ground before him and said, ‘We’ll be your slaves.’ Joseph replied, ‘Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.’ He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart” (The Message).
This particular text emphasizes for me the fruitfulness that is born out of renewal; born out of the courage to reimagine. I’d like to briefly unpack four points from this text that I believe speak directly to The Foursquare Church today:
- God has a divine plan that is, at times, unclear to us; our journey may include detours.
- Along the way, His plan repairs and restores what we have broken and tarnished.
- God’s plan keeps the past, present and future generations in view.
- God does not work around the complexities of our relationships. He works through them.
The Lord is moving dynamically and profoundly in our Foursquare movement. This year we have had multiple opportunities to connect as a result of our Town Hall meetings.
This season of reimagining has brought a renewed understanding of our beginning as a local church in revival, and it has been an opportunity to dream about what we could be with God’s help. Your heart for the harvest, for the advancement of God’s kingdom and for our Foursquare family has been evident.
We have had honest and forthright conversations. We have discovered the biblical and current importance of blending the prophetic and the practical. We can’t accomplish the mission without Him, and He has chosen not to finish it without us!
Our 2013 theme, “Engage: Learn. Live. Lead.” has become a living reality. Many have expressed gratitude for these many weeks of engagement. A total of 21 Town Hall meetings across our country brought us together to listen, to dream, to reimagine our future.
We look forward to sharing some significant traction being gained as we engage in more discussion at Connection 2014 in Dallas. In the meantime, gifted and dedicated pastors and leaders have formed six task groups—Reclaim our Spiritual Vitality, Refocus our Identity, Reignite our Mission, Redesign our Responsibilities, Realign our Polity, and Reallocate our Resources—and are working diligently to seek the Lord’s plan and frame recommendations for cabinet and the convention body in 2014.
Our theme for 2014 is “Multiply”! This stirs us to actively carry forward our ultimate call, “Mobilizing the Whole Church to take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World.” Begin now to plan on joining us in Dallas (May 26–29). Go to the Foursquare Connection website, where you will be able to register at discounted rates.
The Five Targets introduced in 2011—(1) Leaders; (2) Churches; (3) Nations; (4) People Groups; and (5) Resources—are being fully integrated into our reimagine discussions and future ministry structure.
In fact, the prayer focus for 2014 will encompass the Five Targets. We will study together the biblical insights specifically pertaining to each of the five. As we study the Word and pray in unity, I believe that multiplication will occur within each target— Multiplied Leaders, Multiplied Churches, Multiplied Nations, Multiplied People Groups and Multiplied Resources. Go here for more details and updates regarding these targets.
Our Foursquare global family is continuing to advance in unity and purpose, creating a ministry-minded partnership across the world. The Global Council, which comprises the leaders of 15 regions, is working proactively and purposefully. Working committees have been formed—the Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Assessment Committee and Intervention Committee—to advance the Foursquare Gospel and carry out the values of the Six Distinctives of the Global Council.
Read about the Six Distinctives here. Before the end of 2013, global leaders will have engaged in assessments to help identify, encourage and assure national church health globally. I invite your prayer covering for this remarkable work of the Holy Spirit across our world. The missions directors of the 21 Foursquare nations that are presently sending missionaries will be gathering to integrate a global strategy to take the message of the kingdom to every nation of the world.
Another vital and important focus is the FMI Christmas Offering for Orphans. Jim Scott, director of Foursquare Missions International (FMI), the FMI team, and the Foursquare board of directors are passionately dedicated to providing the means by which thousands of children can be touched by the love of Jesus through the care of the body of Christ. Your prayerful giving will help to make this dream a reality.
In closing, I reflect on an insight I recently gained while reading a newly released book, David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell. Although not written specifically with a Christian audience in mind, the book offers spiritually applicable principles. The author states that we must not fight the enemy on the enemy’s terms. Rather, battles can be won as a result of unconventional and unexpected actions that refuse to give place to the demands of an intimidating foe or to the fears of our own perceptions.
As we move forward into 2014, I believe we are to reimagine our future and war against the enemy in the power of the Holy Spirit with, perhaps, surprising methods and new perspective. We are called to a fresh, vitalized faith that will enable our going forward unhindered by obstacles. Let’s embrace our opportunities, emboldened by the higher calling of our King!
By: Glenn Burris Jr., president of The Foursquare Church