AFM, The Missional Church

Every organization that endeavors to be successful must first of all spell out its vision with clarity and simplicity enough for the most illiterate layman to read and translate it. More so, every vision must be accompanied by a mission, objectives and values. This necessitates for 100% buy-in from subordinate leaders, members and stakeholders and will determine direction and reasonable resource allocation, so that they don’t major on minors and minor on majors. When the Azusa Street revival broke out, it is because of a group of people that just got sick and tired of playing church but denying the power of God that touches the external world.

May I submit myself to us that if the power had been confiscated in Azusa Street only, then AFM, Assemblies of God and other denominations/ministries sharing the same roots would not be in existence today. Some of us would still be Catholics, Baptists, Brahnamites, Methodists etc. I call it “killing the missional movement”. It is not good enough to be satisfied with local programs, quarterly and national conferences without an intentional initiative of missions. Missions should not be an accidental happening of Zimbabweans going into Diaspora who bump into each other to form Zimbabwean churches that are purely indigenous to provide comfort for homesickness and work pressures but rather an intentional initiative to win the local Britons, Australians, Canadians, South Africans and many more nationalities where we are.

The biggest resource allocation for a mature and mission minded church should be missions, for that is where God’s heart lies. After all “Go ye therefore” which is our main mission is not invitation into church gatherings like Tower of Babel but like Day of Pentecost, fires people to reach out to the lost world. However, since missions is a task for mature believers, the it takes discipleship to grow believers for such a task. N.B. ‘Come follow Me and I will Make you” is an invitation for spiritual growth into ministry and missions as we make others. So discipleship precedes missions and creates a missional church for only the mature are sent.

With evangelism, the church grows in quantity, but with discipleship, the church grows in quality. Whilst evangelism takes the people out of the world, discipleship takes the world out of the people. So no matter what type of constitution a people have, if it is given to undiscipled people, then they do not have the discipline to follow it. Discipleship produces mature and servant leaders whilst the bible college produces theologians. Jesus came to transform lives by making disciples and not with exciting preachings that promise this current earth’s blessing only. Without discipleship, the future church shall erase the message of the cross, more divorces shall take place, more erroneous doctrine shall rise, more impostors shall rise and religion shall dominate. Simply, the church shall be irrelevant.

He came to ignite a movement of missions to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe whatsoever is taught. Without discipleship, more cultic leaders will be birthed by the church as they leave to become fathers of others. Without discipleship, missions die due to stagnancy and fights break out because there is not enough space for all. God has not called us for nice infrastructure but for life transformation and missions. It is possible to be successful in doing the wrong thing we were never tasked to do but “endai kwamaiitira mabasa enyu” is meant for such. I call it “successful failure”, if ever there is a word like that. Paul says “We labour to present every man perfect in Christ and My children in whom I travail, until Christ is formed in you”.

If we are intentionally doing missions the we are doing church. We shall answer to God for all the activity without productivity.

Pastor Caesar Magwentshu

AFM Innercity Assembly, Harare East Province.

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