What Global Impact Is
By Jack Cunningham
Dreams. Visions. These are the rightful inheritance of the church. They belong to those who are not content to accept the present as the permanent, but choose rather to believe that the road before us is littered with limitless possibilities. Dreams. Visions. They are the cherished possession of God’s people who cling with a fierce tenacity to the expectation that the potential of our tomorrows eclipses the performance of our yesterdays.
They reside in the heart. They are not found in the domain of the mind. Rational and reasoning are not the seedbed of dreams. Emotions are not the fertile soil from which visions arise. No, they come from another realm entirely. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
Jesus Christ is the fountain from which dreams emerge, and He is the river by which visions flow. Any glimpse into our tomorrows can only come from One who lives outside the boundaries of today. Only He, who can declare the end from the beginning, can reach beyond the “now” and gather the hope of “then” and place it deeply in the hearts of His children. Dreams are today’s shadow of tomorrow’s substance, the present echo of a coming victorious shout. I want a dream!
And the church has a dream. We, the United Pentecostal Church, are the product of generations of dreamers! We trace our roots back to the very Word of God, for the anticipation of our dreams is grounded in the unshakable truth of our heritage. We are the direct spiritual offspring of 120 believers who gathered in an upper room and there waited for the promise of the Father. Our spiritual cars have heard the same rushing mighty wind. We too have seen the effect of Holy Ghost fire settling on each believer. Our tongues know the wonder of speaking the unknown. And our pulpits yet pro-claim the same message. For just last Sunday, September 23, 2007 from more than 4,000 platforms across North America and from countless others around the world came the essence of these words. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”.
That 120 went out with a dream. Their vision was the evangelization of the world, and in their day that vision became a reality. Though for many years it appeared that the dream had died, Hell had another thing coming. It surfaced in Topeka, Kansas in 1901 when Agnes Ozman tasted the dream. The dream flourished in Los Angeles, California at Azuza. The dream was refined at Arroyo Seco, California in 1913 when R. E. McAllister proclaimed the beautiful truth of Jesus Name baptism. And the dream was defined in 1945 when the PCI and the PA of JC merged in St. Louis, Missouri to form the great oneness movement, the United Pentecostal Church.
When we look back, our pathway is marked by dreamers. Dreamers from church history. Peter, James, John, Paul, Sabellius, Servetus, Swedenborg, and Miller. Names that have since become heroic. Parham. Seymore. McAllister. Cook. Ewart. Haywood. Dreamers like Witherspoon, Goss, Branding, Fauss, Morgan, Hite, Vouga, Chambers, and Urshan. We are the product of dreamers.
But dreamers are yet among us. Don’t for one second believe that the dream of reaching the world with the gospel is simply a matter for history books. No, no! The dream is alive! The dream has prospered. The dream has grown.
At the merger, we had a work in 9 foreign countries. Today you can witness the dream all around our world as the United Pentecostal Church now has a presence in over 170 countries. It is carried in the hearts of true heroes and heroines of the faith, our foreign missionaries, who weekly minister to an overseas constituency of approximately 1.7 million people.
The dream is alive in some 412 Home Missions churches all across North America. It lives and breathes as these church planters spread the same message of Acts 2 and John 3 into communities yet untouched with the saving message!
The dream is alive in massive Holy Ghost Crusades where 1,000’s receive the gift of God, and the dream is alive in prison chapels where the broken meet the healer one at a time.
The dream lives in sprawling metropolitan areas with the teeming masses of unsaved men and women, and the dream lives in rural communities in the heartland and remote 3rd world villages where each individual is just as lost and just as desperate.
The dream lives on college campuses where the world comes to our doorstep, and the dream lives over kitchen tables where home Bible studies are taught each week. The dream lives in the smiles of children introduced to the love of Jesus Christ for the first time, and the dream lives in eyes of the aged who grasp at hope during hopeless seasons.
The dream lives in faces of every color and of every cultural background. Our Multi-Cultural Ministries currently has structured outreaches into 18 different ethnicities, but the dream is available to those described in Revelation 5:9 of “every kindred and tongue and people and nation!”
The dream is alive in families. The dream is alive in teens. The dream is alive in couples. The dream is alive in single adults. The dream is alive in men. The dream is alive in women. The dream is alive in churches of every size, in every state and province. The dream is alive in the United Pentecostal Church.
The dream from our past has become the dream of our present. The question of this moment is where will the dream take us next?
We present to you the heart of a dreamer. God has put a dream in the heart of our General Superintendent, Brother Haney. This dream is called Global Impact! It is a 10 year effort approved by the General Board to double every measurable aspect at every level of the United Pentecostal Church. Double the number of churches. Double the number of missionaries. Double the number of preachers. Double the number of constituents. Double the amount of our giving. It is a necessity. It is a mandate. It is the minimum we must do as we race against the coming of the Lord! It is our dream!
The dream is every church doubling its attendance in 10 years. The dream is each Sunday School teacher getting a vision to double his or her class. The dream is every local outreach director doubling the numbers of Home Bible Studies being taught. The dream is every youth pastor seeing his youth group double. The dream is every section doubling its foot-print. The dream is every district doubling its number of churches. The dream is the United Pentecostal Church being twice the force in 10 years as it is right now!
How do we start? The effort begins on January 1, 2008, and it begins as it should begin – with prayer and fasting.
* Brother Haney is calling the whole of the UPCI to 30 days of prayer and fasting to start the new year and to start Global Impact. It’s our dream.
* Next he is asking every Dad and/or Mom to teach a Home Bible Study to his or her own family starting in January. It’s our dream
* Thirdly he is challenging an army of World Changers to arise to teach Home Bible Studies. The goal is for 10,000 to be taught in North America each week. That would be 520,000 in one year! It’s our dream!
* To carry out this dream will require a net growth of 7% per year over this 10 year effort. It’s our dream!
* Each district has appointed a Global Impact Coordinator, and you will be hearing much more about this effort.
But for tonight, the call of the Spirit is to embrace the dream. Together we must go forward. Together we must advance. Together we must exert a Global Impact. Together we must dream!
This article “What Global Impact Is” written by Jack Cunningham is excerpted from Apostolic Accent January 2008 edition.