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Assemblies of God missionaries, Skyping in from around the world, will share their testimonies and urgent prayer needs during a focused time of seeking the Lord through the global online World Prayer Meeting coming in May. Recorded live by Cornerstone Church in Bowie, Maryland, with host pastor Mark Lehman, this annual hour-long event begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28 - Ascension Day.

"As we join together in prayer, we anticipate answers to prayer and breakthroughs among unreached peoples who have yet to hear the hope of the gospel," says AGWM Communications Director Randy Hurst. "In 2013, more than 30 percent of AGWM personnel were involved in ministry to unreached people groups. That number continues to grow."

The World Prayer Meeting's first webcast begins at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and available online immediately thereafter.

"Prayer for divine intervention and empowerment in our mission is not an option: It is an absolute necessity," says Greg Mundis, AGWM executive director. "We will only accomplish God's purposes and the specific individual tasks He has for us as a mission if we can marshal a spiritual army of intercessors to pray that God will open doors among the unreached and protect and sustain our missionaries." 

"Individuals are encouraged to participate in this inspiring event," Hurst says, "but if your church has the compatible technical capabilities, please consider projecting the broadcast in the sanctuary and use the prayer meeting in your regular Wednesday evening service."

Jeff Hartensveld, AGWM mobilization director who will be leading the prayer meeting says, "Imagine, if we pray with an urgency to match the times and days we are living in, what the Lord will do!"

To help direct prayers during and following the event, AGWM has created six prayer cards, one from each of the six AGWM geographic regions.

"Each card includes a brief message from the regional director concerning the prayer focus," Hurst explains. "However, if you plan to use these cards in conjunction with the World Prayer Meeting, they must be ordered by May 16." To acquire cards, call (800)-988-6568.

The site of the World Prayer Meeting broadcast is currently being developed, but once the site is ready, the link will be posted on the AGWM home page and in an upcoming AG News release.

 


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Church repents for attitudes toward former pastors

Wed, 20 Feb 2013 - 3:21 PM CST

Foot washing
Madison AG Pastor Peter Joudry washes the feet of Stephen Perry, who pastored the church from 1985-90 as well as 1995-2007.

When he applied for the job as lead pastor, Peter A. Joudry knew Madison (Indiana) Assembly of God (MAG) had a reputation for mistreating clergy during the past three decades. Nevertheless, Joudry soldiered on through a seven-month vetting process that included a dozen interviews before the congregation elected him in April 2011.

However, by the seventh month of his tenure, old, entrenched patterns began to resurface. By the ninth month, 40 percent of the 260-member congregation had left.

Soon afterward, Joudry invited the four men who had preceded him as pastor during the previous 30 years to a reconciliation weekend at the church.

Even though many of the members who had wounded the pastors no longer attend MAG, Joudry determined to apologize for the offenses committed against the leaders. As an act of contrition, Joudry and his wife, Ruth, washed the feet of pastors and their wives dating back to 1983: Don and Barb Fisher; Stephen and Patty Perry; Ron and Dorene Bontrager; and Chuck and Susie Lynch. Members of the congregation gathered around the guests amid tears and hugs.

Before the foot-washing ceremony, as the four former pastors and their spouses sat on the platform, Joudry led the congregation in prayers of confession and repentance.

"We needed this weekend because of the misdeeds and un-Christlike attitudes that were displayed by our congregation toward these men of God and their families," Joudry says. "They suffered greatly under a yoke of rebellion and control while being here. They left this body wounded and deeply distressed."

At the service, the sins the congregation repented of included gossip, assuming the worst about their pastors, sending the ministers anonymous letters containing un-Christlike comments, publicly maligning their pastors, and causing a strain on their health.

Even though he has been gone since becoming pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis 18 years ago, Bontrager says he still knows three-fourths of the attendees at MAG. He said during his time in Madison he felt like a young, insecure hireling who had to toe the line.

"But all who remain there want to support the pastor; the spirit of control has been broken," Bontrager says. "The service was authentic, encouraging and extremely meaningful."

Joudry credits M. Wayne Benson, founder of Paraclete Ministries, with laying the groundwork for the reconciliation. Benson, who also took part in the ceremonies, served as MAG interim pastor before Joudry's arrival. Benson commended Joudry for his courage and conviction in organizing the event and urged the congregation to pledge their loyalty to Joudry.

The ceremony included a responsive reading by the congregation to resolve future problems in a biblical and Christ-like manner.

"What we do with rumors and accusations will help change the culture of the church," Joudry says.

Author: John W. Kennedy, Pentecostal Evangel

Keywords: AG churches

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