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Pentecostals eye Berlin for outreach

Tue, 26 Nov 2002 - 12:58 PM CST

Every three years, Pentecostal leaders in Europe gather in a designated city to learn how to become better pastors. In the past, the triennial conference has been geared to encourage Pentecostal church personnel on the continent.

But Pentecostal Europe Fellowship leader Ingolf Ellssel, who is also president of the German Pentecostal Movement, believes it is time to look outward.

Ellssel notes that past European differences of customs, border crossings and even currency have been resolved. Likewise, he said, theological walls of discord, disassociation and denominational passport controls are in decline. Thus, the Europe Arise Conference, scheduled for June 5-9, 2003, in Berlin will be the first evangelistic conference of its kind designed to impact a city.

"Although the U.S. Assemblies of God has not been involved in the conference in the past, Ingolf Ellssel made an intentional gesture to include us," said U.S. Assemblies of God Europe Regional Director Greg Mundis. "We have accepted the invitation wholeheartedly." Ellssel addressed the U.S. A/G missionaries in Europe last year at a retreat in Spain. The missionaries have contributed $15,000 to help defray the costs of the conference.

Morning sessions will focus on equipping workers for evangelism. Neighborhood evangelistic outreaches will take place in the afternoon. The evening sessions will feature evangelistic services followed by youth concerts. German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, whose international ministry Christ for All Nations is based in Frankfurt, will be guest speaker in the evening services.

"Our goal is that a great number of people will hear the gospel, receive Christ as their Savior and be integrated into local churches to be discipled," said Steve Walent, Central Europe area director for the U.S. Assemblies of God.

Berlin, a city of 4 million, has only half a dozen German Pentecostal churches. The U.S. Assemblies of God, which works in cooperation with the German Pentecostal Movement, has targeted three sections of the city for outreaches to be led by three new missionaries who are already learning the language and culture. John Butrin is planning to start an English-speaking international church; Chuck Kackley will start a German-speaking church in East Berlin; and Kirk Priest will begin a German-speaking Students for Christ outreach in East Berlin.

"We are already planning and scheduling many different MAPS, AIM and other student teams to come and minister, not just during the conference but throughout the summer to make sure these new ministries have a good foundation in this planting phase," Walent said.

"You can't plant a church in a weekend," Mundis said. In the past two years, the U.S. Fellowship has appointed 16 missionaries to Germany, including church planters, youth workers and children's outreach personnel. There are four dozen A/G missionaries in the nation of 83 million. "We believe God has something special in store for this spiritually neglected and needy part of the world," Walent said.

"Europe Arise is a wonderful opportunity to deepen cooperation among Pentecostals in Europe as well as make a difference in a city," said Mundis.


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Every three years, Pentecostal leaders in Europe gather in a designated city to learn how to become better pastors. In the past, the triennial conference has been geared to encourage Pentecostal church personnel on the continent.

But Pentecostal Europe Fellowship leader Ingolf Ellssel, who is also president of the German Pentecostal Movement, believes it is time to look outward.

Ellssel notes that past European differences of customs, border crossings and even currency have been resolved. Likewise, he said, theological walls of discord, disassociation and denominational passport controls are in decline. Thus, the Europe Arise Conference, scheduled for June 5-9, 2003, in Berlin will be the first evangelistic conference of its kind designed to impact a city.

"Although the U.S. Assemblies of God has not been involved in the conference in the past, Ingolf Ellssel made an intentional gesture to include us," said U.S. Assemblies of God Europe Regional Director Greg Mundis. "We have accepted the invitation wholeheartedly." Ellssel addressed the U.S. A/G missionaries in Europe last year at a retreat in Spain. The missionaries have contributed $15,000 to help defray the costs of the conference.

Morning sessions will focus on equipping workers for evangelism. Neighborhood evangelistic outreaches will take place in the afternoon. The evening sessions will feature evangelistic services followed by youth concerts. German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, whose international ministry Christ for All Nations is based in Frankfurt, will be guest speaker in the evening services.

"Our goal is that a great number of people will hear the gospel, receive Christ as their Savior and be integrated into local churches to be discipled," said Steve Walent, Central Europe area director for the U.S. Assemblies of God.

Berlin, a city of 4 million, has only half a dozen German Pentecostal churches. The U.S. Assemblies of God, which works in cooperation with the German Pentecostal Movement, has targeted three sections of the city for outreaches to be led by three new missionaries who are already learning the language and culture. John Butrin is planning to start an English-speaking international church; Chuck Kackley will start a German-speaking church in East Berlin; and Kirk Priest will begin a German-speaking Students for Christ outreach in East Berlin.

"We are already planning and scheduling many different MAPS, AIM and other student teams to come and minister, not just during the conference but throughout the summer to make sure these new ministries have a good foundation in this planting phase," Walent said.

"You can't plant a church in a weekend," Mundis said. In the past two years, the U.S. Fellowship has appointed 16 missionaries to Germany, including church planters, youth workers and children's outreach personnel. There are four dozen A/G missionaries in the nation of 83 million. "We believe God has something special in store for this spiritually neglected and needy part of the world," Walent said.

"Europe Arise is a wonderful opportunity to deepen cooperation among Pentecostals in Europe as well as make a difference in a city," said Mundis.


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Survey Reveals What Americans Pray For

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 - 9:07 PM CST

Americans tend to be self-focused in their prayer life, asking God for personal desires more often than people in crisis or the unsaved, according to a recent survey from Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Research.

"Most people pray when they need the red phone for help," says Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. "But their prayer life isn't a habit rooted in a relationship with God."

John Maempa, director of the AG Office of Prayer and Spiritual Care, says, "While for many people praying tends to be a pragmatic means to an end, according to Scripture we are invited to ask for things we need and perhaps even want (Psalm 37:4; Matthew 6:33; 7:7; etc.). However, the key to effective prayer is relationship — drawing close to God so He can draw close to us."

In the online survey, Americans spend the most time focusing on friends and family (82 percent of all respondents) as well as their own problems (74 percent). Just over half (54 percent) pray for good things to happen in their life, while more than one third (36 percent) ask God to bless them with future prosperity.

"James Nicodem, in his book 'Prayer Coach,' states that Jesus readily responds to our prayers when we 'start to value our relationship more than our requests; until we want more of Him than we want from Him.'" Maempa observes. "When we're in proper alignment with God's relationally, we are more inclined to pray His will than focus on things we want."

But not all prayers are self-centered. Americans say they also spend time petitioning God about their own sin (42 percent), those in natural disasters (38 percent), people of other religions or no faith (20 percent), and government leaders (12 percent).

And as Jesus' taught, 41 percent say they have prayed for those who mistreat them while 37 percent acknowledge praying for enemies.

On the other hand, 21 percent admit to asking God to win a lottery, 13 percent have sought the Almighty's help for their favorite team to win a game, and 7 percent have wanted God's favor in finding a good parking space.

About half of Americans (48 percent) say they pray at least every day, while a third (31 percent) say they pray repeatedly during the day.

Authors: Pentecostal Evangel and AG News


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