AIMS Decade of Destiny
“Where do I begin my involvement in missions?”
“How can our church adopt an unreached people group?”
Answers for these critical questions were offered at the third annual conference of the Association of International Mission Services (AIMS), held Oct. 17-20 near Pittsburgh. Under the banner of “The1990s--A Decade of Destiny,” Chairman Howard Folz of Regent University—formerly CBN University—presided as attending pastors, mission committee members, mission agency leaders and interested church members grappled with how to mobilize local churches to reach every people in the decade remaining before 2000.
Howard Foltz, AIMS president, gave a challenging address specifically calling for 5,000 new Renewal Movement churches to become frontline workers in the final harvest. Dr. Foltz, together with Fuller professor of church growth Dr. Peter Wagner met with pastors and announced a 1990s series of AIMS regional pastors’ consultations. The first consultation is scheduled at Church in the City in Houston, January 22 and 23, 1990. The consultations will allow pastors to share new missions strategies for local church involvement in world evangelization.
Other initiatives of the conference include the further development of specific goals and objectives within the three recently organized committees of AIMS—the Church Services Committee, the Agency Services Committee and the Institution Services Committee. The goals of the Church Services Committee, chaired by pastor Dan Davis of Austin include:
- Mobilizing 5,000 new Renewal churches for mission in the coming decade.
- Targeting every unreached people group for adoption by at least one local church.
- Establishing a specific church budget amount to be directed toward the unreached.
- Establishing a percentage of church members readied to serve as career and short-term missionaries.
The Agency Services Committee will meet March 28-31 in Pasadena to set their course for mission in the 1990s.
The conference evening sessions included stirring testimonials featuring the message from recently released missionary hostage Bruce Olson. Approximately 500 participants including local church members heard Olson speak on the contextualization of the Gospel as he has experienced it during 28 years with the Motilone Indians of the Colombian jungles. Dr. Jonathan Chao of the Chinese Church Research Center spoke on the suffering church and the cost of spiritual harvest in China. Terry Law, missionary behind the Iron Curtain, concluded the conference mid-day Friday with a time of personal ministry for participants. That evening, conference participants gathered with the public at a local Pittsburgh church for a mission commissioning service led by Law.
Eighteen workshops provided conference participants with a selection of informative sessions describing successful mission models and discussing topical matters of interest. Workshops included Dr. C. Peter Wagner’s session on territorial spirits, Frank Underhill’s presentation on tentmaker models, Bob Granhom’s workshop on penetrating Islam and effective models at work in Muslim nations. Additional workshops focused on mission administration and management, women in mission and the challenges of unreached peoples.
An AIMS Overview
AIMS was formed in 1985 to coordinate the resources of the Charismatic Renewal movement. During the past 30 years this movement has resulted in the birth of between 80,000 and 100,000 new churches in North America, according to an official study. These non-denominational churches evidence a need for fellowship and a structure for cooperative mission mobilization efforts. AIMS provides such a network—a structure which also includes Christian schools and mission training institutions. It has united hundreds of churches with over 80 mission agencies representing 3,000 missionaries serving in 70 countries.
The purpose of AIMS
AIMS exists to provide Charismatic-oriented churches:
- information-sharing through conferences and seminars, the “Networker” database and a monthly publication;
- tools to mobilize local church missions--resources such as educational curricula, short-term ministry opportunities, conference planning guidance, books, films and tapes; •strategy development and goal setting guidelines for churches through Operation Unreached, the AIMS version of Adopt-A-People, a program committed to seeing the 12,000 unreached people groups adopted and evangelized by the year 2000.
For membership information, contact AIMS at P.O. Box 64534, Virginia Beach VA 23464 USA (804)523-7979.