Assemblies of God World Missions has announced “Every Tribe, Every Nation” as its annual ministry theme for 2018. The Fellowship’s missions arm develops annual themes as a unifying and motivating tool for churches and members supporting its work in more than 190 nations.
Missions has remained a central element of the AG’s corporate identity throughout its history. From 32 missionaries endorsed by the Fellowship in 1914, ministry personnel have grown to nearly 2,800 missionaries and missionary associates worldwide.
“Revelation 7:9 offers a biblical framework for the 2018 theme,” says Andy Raatz, AGWM Communications director. “The heartbeat of the Great Commission is to take the message of Jesus’ grace to ‘every nation, tribe, people and language.’ The focus of AG World Missions is to see churches planted among every one of those groups—communities of faith that will continue to spread the message of good news.”
Beginning Nov. 22, a series of free online devotionals will be available to promote 40 days of prayer for the launch of the 2018 theme. These will center around Revelation 7:9, but include supporting Scriptures, missions quotes, and missions history.
The 40 days of prayer encourage personal involvement in missions, as will each component of the “Every Tribe, Every Nation” focus throughout the year. WorldView, the AGWM monthly magazine, will publish a progressive series of insights into the theme, and AGWM social media outlets will connect users regularly with each other, with the ministries of missionaries they support, and with unreached communities around the world.
“Many sources tell us that more than 7,000 people groups have no indigenous community of believing Christians to evangelize them” says AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis. “As we contemplate these staggering statistics, we realize that not just millions, but billions, have limited or no access to the gospel message.”
While the concept of a tribe traditionally connects with anthropological definitions of people groups, the tribes of today can come into being through shared interests and common life experiences among people of different ethnicities and personal backgrounds. AGWM regional ministries have been addressing this phenomenon.
In Africa, the world’s most rapidly urbanizing continent, a growing class of business entrepreneurs, political leaders, and social influencers in the media are no longer defined by their historic tribal identity, but are forming new mosaic groups that are shaping Africa’s cities and the continent.
“We created the Urban Tribes church planting project to reach Africa’s culture changers,” says Greg Beggs, AGWM Africa regional director. “We want to plant churches where they are. When the culture changers become transformed by the gospel, there is a trickle-down effect.”
Paul Trementozzi, AGWM Europe regional director, notes a different alignment of people groups across his continent, the estimated 500 million Europeans with a largely secularist view of life, out of touch with Christianity or any other religious frame of reference. “The deep spiritual need among the native European majority is primarily secular and agnostic in its beliefs,” he says. “Our Secularist Initiative wants to see secularists encounter Jesus Christ within their context.”
“Every Tribe, Every Nation” is an invitation to AG World Missions partners to self-discovery, to a deeper sense of belonging, to a passion for rescuing lost souls. Throughout 2018, the theme will call for a renewed recognition of a world in need and a growing commitment to become part of the solution.
To sign-up for the 40 days of prayer, click here.
—Scott Harrup, AGWM Communications