Early in 2018, General Overseer Tim Hill committed that the Church of God would become an ecumenical partner with one of the largest global outreach efforts ever with the goal of churches around the world joining together to share their faith with the lost during the month of May 2020. His desire was for every Church of God member, in every church, from each of the 185 countries where the Church of God has a presence, to join this effort by sharing Christ during the month of May.
“This huge goal would require a tremendous amount of alignment,” stated Mark Swank, coordinator of the Church of God effort to participate. “The magnitude of such a global effort could have the potential to change the DNA of our denomination as our hearts turn toward the harvest with intentional focus. It would be our chance to live out the witnessing lifestyle of a disciple that is empowered by the Holy Spirit.”
Swank went on to explain the process and how to follow up with such a global effort that involved hundreds of thousands from dozens of denominations and organizations. Participation results were as follows:
• In the United States, all 50 states and churches in every region committed to participate by witnessing in one of the five ways recommended. This effort included the eight Hispanic regions;
• Globally, Church of God World Missions led the way with over 100 countries committed to participate in the witnessing effort.
“While no one knew the COVID-19 pandemic would hit this spring, God went before us and our social media strategy for witnessing skyrocketed as our members turned to the world wide web to share their faith,” Swank stated.
While the witnessing stories are still coming in, the following are a few spiritual results:
• South Sudan in Africa sent a praise report of a local congregation that shared the gospel to 784 people and 91 accepted Christ as their Savior. In addition, they reported that 33 people rededicated their life back to Christ. They baptized 14 immediately following the outreach;
• A church in the Latin American country of Columbia sent a praise report that 10 members of a Church spent a few hours witnessing with the result of five people accepting Christ;
• One of many praise reports from North America was from Pastor Doyle Roberts in South Carolina. His Church set a goal to participate in multiple ways. They had over 250 members share their faith with more than 50 people accepting Christ.
“We believe God blessed our efforts because His heart is always for His unreached sons and daughters,” Swank said. “The magnitude of what God has done through the combination Church of God congregations in over 100 countries joining in a witnessing effort with other major denominations and ministries around the world has resulted in literally hundreds of thousands of lives being reached. Which leads us to the next question…where do we go from here?”
According to Swank, it is the desire of General Overseer Hill for the GO FINISH effort to become an “online evangelism source” to inspire and provide training opportunities for Churches and individuals. The sentiment expressed is that every believer should be an active disciple that is ready to share Christ to the lost each day. For that reason, this new effort will be called “GO FINISH- The Call of Every Disciple.”
In the next few weeks the new initiative will be launching an interactive witnessing website and digital newsletter. It will include inspirational videos, witnessing and apologetics training and new creative ways to share faith on social media. GO FINISH will also sponsor events each year to motivate, train, and increase individuals and local church’s abilities to witness. The effort will join hands with Mission North America and Church of God World Missions.
“GO FINISH- The Call of Every Disciple will help us live out our faith and impact the World!” Swank concluded. For more information visit www.GOFINISH.org.