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"We prayed for 100 for the grand opening and God brought (exactly) 100 . . . a man who did not know what salvation was [came] and I got to lead him personally to Christ . . . a Hindu family - husband, wife, three kids and grandmother - all decided to follow Jesus . . .  an 8-year-old girl got our flier in the mail and wanted to come for her birthday. Her entire family came!"

These are just a few of the praise reports that came into the Assemblies of God Church Multiplication Network (CMN) as CMN partnered with districts, churches and individuals to see 33 churches in 18 states launched in the month of September.

According to CMN, the 33-church launch is one of the strongest domestic church planting months for the AG in recent history. One of the highlights of the month occurred when Convoy of Hope partnered with CityReach to host events at 12 locations in coordination with the launch of 11 new AG churches in six states.

"This is a new model for urban church planting across America," said Brian Bolt, founder of CityReach, in a release. "Hosting a compassion outreach the day before the church launch has proven to be extremely impactful in reaching people and showing them the love of Christ."

Chris Railey

"It's exciting to see how God is working through new church plants across the country," says Chris Railey, senior director of Leadership and Church Development. "Lives are being transformed, communities are being impacted, and the gospel message of Jesus Christ is being placed into the lives of individuals and families - often for the very first time."

Of the 33 new churches, 20 benefitted from the AGTrust Matching Fund program, where new church launches can receive up to $30,000 in matching funds to assist with its initial launch and operation. Once the church is established, the funds are paid forward by the church and re-invested in other new church launches, making it a perpetual new-church funding program.

Church planter Stephen Feith, whose Revolution church launched in Madison, Wisconsin, and benefitted from the AGTrust Matching Fund program, says he's excited to see the type of people attending his church.

"Everyone who lives in Madison and came to the church, didn't come from another faith community in the city," he explains. "I'm excited to see people without a faith community get plugged into one!"

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AG National Leadership and Resource Center restructuring to better resource churches, reach new generation

Thu, 12 Apr 2012 - 3:41 PM CST

The Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center in Springfield, Missouri, today announced a staff right-sizing as part of a strategic restructuring of its organization, including an ongoing transition from print to digital resources to more efficiently and effectively serve its churches and ministry partners. This process resulted in position eliminations and lay-offs affecting 47 employees at the national office.

"Knowing this difficult, but prayerful decision is the best course to build a foundation in support of the future viability of our worldwide fellowship does not dampen the difficulty of informing these valued employees, who have served the ministry well for many years," said Dr. George O. Wood, Assemblies of God general superintendent.

"We have always valued, and will continue to cherish the contributions of all our staff," Wood added. "This was a necessary business decision affected by culture and technology of which we have been aware for months, and hoped would turn around. But we are overstaffed and equipped in some areas, and this is a necessary step to reallocate resources for the continued positive health and growth of our mission and ministry services."

"The new structure will better support the efficient operations of the overall organization while facilitating the most effective process of each layer within the ministry working cohesively together. This is part of the vision of the National Leadership and Resource Center to become the premier and predominant resource provider serving the Assemblies of God and the Pentecostal and Charismatic world; while also reaching into the Evangelical community," Wood added.

The Springfield-based Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center employs 830 individuals. The majority of eliminated positions are in the printing department, as the organization shifts from production to programming made necessary by recent industry and technological shifts from the Gutenberg to the Google eras.

"The Executive Leadership Team of the Assemblies of God is constantly looking for ways to be good stewards of the resources and opportunities God has given us," said Sol Arledge Jr., Assemblies of God COO. "This includes a shift in business priorities and services to expand the reach of our resources through electronic means as society is moving away from 'tree books' to e-books."

Recognized as a leader in the publishing field specifically for its Influence Resources and My Healthy Church, this reorganization will allow for continued growth and new positions as advancing technology shapes all aspects of society. With more than 39 percent of the Assemblies of God membership 25 years old and younger, leadership believes this will enable its churches to more effectively reach this growing demographic. This also includes greater emphasis on partnership with other Pentecostal denominations.

"The Assemblies of God is committed to ensuring all employees affected by this restructuring are treated fairly and equitably throughout their transition. This includes a severance package commensurate with years of service, two-month extended insurance coverage, pastoral care and outplacement support," Arledge emphasized.

The Assemblies of God is the world's largest Pentecostal denomination with more than 64 million members worldwide. The Church was organized in 1914 at a convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with 300 in attendance. Today, the Assemblies of God is the fastest growing major denomination in the United States with 12,595 churches and over 3 million members and adherents.

Authors: AG News

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