Church of God General Overseer Dr. Tim Hill recently revealed his heart for what will be the theme for the International General Assembly, set for July 21-24, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The address was delivered during a joint session of the Administrative Bishop’s Summit, where state and regional administrative bishops were in attendance, as well as members of the International Executive Council.
The following is excerpts from Hill’s presentation on the theme of, “Finish FOCUS 2020: The Church on Mission:”
Each day around the globe, 158,857 men, women and children die. This includes approximately 66,000 who have never had access to the Gospel. That’s 2,750 people per hour and 49 people per minute who go to their graves without ever hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ! These numbers don’t even count those who have heard the Gospel in their lifetimes, but died lost.
How would the world respond to the crashing of 264 airplanes and the killing of 66,000 people day after day after day? You can be sure that a massive and strategic coordination of the time, energy and resources of the world’s top aviation experts would be applied in a race to stop such a horrible and unacceptable loss of Life.
As I dwell on the thoughts of where we’ve been and considering what must be done, it prompts the question: “Will What GOT Us Here GET Us There?”
It’s simple math. The fact is, if we in the Church do not adjust our evangelization paradigms but rather simply continue with our present strategies, the world will only be 83.25% evangelized —in AD 2200! That may seem to some like great progress. But the world population will exceed 9.5 billion by 2050 and will reach nearly 11 billion by 2100. That means, in raw numbers and in consideration of the remaining 3,000 Unreached people groups, the unevangelized population will continue to increase over the next 100 years.
Add to that the threat of Islam now growing more rapidly than any other religion in the world. A report of the Pew Research Center states: “The Islamic religion will nearly equal Christianity by 2050 before eclipsing it around 2070 if current trends continue.”
A decade ago in 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion with an estimated 2.2 billion adherence, nearly a third of all 6.9 billion on Earth at that time, the Pew Report says. Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, representing 23% of the global population. Those numbers are predicted to shift in the coming decades as the world population rises to 9.5 billion in the middle of this century.
In that time, Pew Research projects Islam will grow by 73% while Christianity will grow by 35% resulting in 2.8 billion Muslims and 2.9 billion Christians worldwide.
Again it prompts the question: “Will What GOT Us Here GET Us There?”
Here’s the staggering truth: At its current rate of growth, the Global Church will win more than 3 billion people to Christ by 2100—and still over 2 billion will be unreached, never having heard the Gospel even one time. When we compare the projections for Church growth with population growth, it is clear that without a new and great commitment to some major harvest realignments, we will not fulfill the Great Commission even by AD 2500. Billions upon billions of people from near-future generations will die lost forever.
Once again I pose the question: “Will What GOT Us Here GET Us There?”
This question is no indictment against the name or the blood of Jesus, neither is this question an indictment against the word of God or the power of the Holy Spirit. However, a question of this nature must bring us to a place where we re-affirm our mission power. A question of this nature must bring us to a place where we re-align our manpower. A question of this nature must bring us to a place where we release our media power. A question of this nature must bring us to a place where we re-focus our money power. And a question of this nature must bring us to a place where we reclaim our ministry power.
Never let us forget how important it is that Jesus said in Acts 1:8: “You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the Earth.”
All the human resources one can gather, all the data, all the brilliance and energy, and all the combined efforts of the millions of believers count for nothing without factoring in the power and authority of God’s Holy Spirit.
At the 2018 General Assembly, through a series of Resolutions and appointed task forces, leaders and members of the Church of God committed ourselves to:
As we have moved through these processes, we have come to understand more clearly that God has indeed raised the Church of God to be the Church on Mission and not to allow any “weapons of mass distraction” to rob us of our Kingdom Assignment. In so doing, we must understand that we must think and act on these priorities:
Prayer is Vital
Souls are Eternal
Global Involvement is Essential
It is believed by missiologists that by 2030, 70% of the global missions force will be from continents outside of North America. At this very moment, missionaries from every world region are sharing the Gospel in every world region. Every day, this global missions force grows larger and stronger.
So, where does that bring us as the Church of God? It brings us to the place of embracing our calling, our role, our destiny. We are The Church on Mission.
What got us here won’t get us there unless and until we embrace the principle of Divine Multiplication. Only when Jesus employed Divine Multiplication, could the insurmountable challenge of feeding five thousand men be met with a little child’s lunch. When He did, a basket lunch became a banquet that fed the multitude.
The Church of God must give God our basket, for within it lies the seed of everything needed to reach the world. But it must be multiplied through the touch of the Father’s hand.
We must allow the Lord to multiply our sizable membership and participation in the global harvest today. Four percent of Christianity is in the U.S. and 96 percent is in the rest of the world. With this larger membership comes phenomenal leadership, committed to completing the Great Commission together. We must permit the Holy Spirit to maximize the supernatural momentum the church has around the world today and move at “the speed of favor” instead of “the speed of labor.” Approximately 160,000 people are coming to Christ and more than 1,400 new churches are being planted around the world every day! We must play a major role in those evangelistic accomplishments.
We must merge synergistic mindsets with others and be willing to cross denominational lines in missional partnerships in order to fulfill the Great Commission.
We must magnify strategic models and methods and release ourselves to embrace every one of them that God is using to reap an end-time harvest.
Accelerate Spiritual Renewal Through Prayer and Discipleship
Address Relevant Issues Through Transparent Communication
Advance Global Church Growth Through New Churches, Church Revitalization and Revival
Activate Budget Missionality for Harvest Impact
Achieve Debt Elimination and Release Harvest Resources
Acquire Endowments for Church Planting
Attain Optimum Ministerial Effectiveness Through Resources Training
Assist in Identifying and Empowering New Generations
Align for International, State and Regional impact
Arrange for Maximum Gospel Delivery