"...Fellowship With One Another"
The Board of Elders of the Assemblies of God International Fellowship (AGIF) has selected me to serve as president. It is an honor and yet at the same time it is a humbling experience as I think about the greatness of those who have served before me. I excited by the prospects and opportunities that lay ahead while at the same time I’m aware of just how much we are all dependent upon one another for success. I know that I do not have all of the answers to address all of the challenges before us and I not only welcome, but I need input and counsel from those with whom I serve.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the AGIF, I would like to take this opportunity to briefly explain what we do and define our purpose. First, we are “an association of independent full-gospel ministers and churches who have come together under a common banner to fulfill the Great Commission.” Another way of stating this is that we are comprised of pastors, evangelists, missionaries, chaplains and others who believe that the empowerment that was given to the church on the day of Pentecost, along with the corresponding Gifts of the Spirit are not only valid for today, they are essential. The AGIF is authorized, in cooperation with local churches, to issue ministerial credentials.
I wholeheartedly concur with Winston Mattsson-Boze who said that the “AGIF is a good fellowship, the AGIF has a solid foundation and the AGIF has a great future.” As a fellowship, we are different than other religious organizations. Membership and participation is voluntary and while we share a core set of beliefs that define us, we also recognize that there are differences in our approaches to ministry and in some areas we have arrived at different interpretations of Scripture. Ultimately it is the Lordship of Jesus Christ that binds us together and we recognize that His love for us is stronger than any differences we may have and that as we seek to grow closer to Him the differences seem less important.
The word fellowship comes from the Greek word KOINŌNIA which is also translated as communion or sharing together. Everything that we do must be centered on Jesus Christ. He is the reason that we can have fellowship. “We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3 (NLT). Jesus Christ was the basis for fellowship in the early church and He must always remain the foundation of fellowship for us in our lives and in our ministries.
I’m looking forward to working together with the members of the AGIF as we grow in our love for one another, as we seek to serve one another, as we strive to encourage one another, as we pray for one another, as we bear one another’s burdens, as we comfort one another, as we stir one another up to love and good works and as we have fellowship with one another.