Entire denominations are launching new programs for reaching the Unreached Peoples.
I confess, when I last heard about 'Loose Change giving,! didn't want it," wrote Dr. Paul Risser, pastor of the Florence Avenue Foursquare Church in Santa Fe Springs, California, in the September/October 1985 issue of Foursquare World Advance magazine.
"I was afraid that if our church asked its people to give their loose change, they'd stop giving checks and greenbacks."
"God had a lesson for me to earn about missions giving."
"Last year, in response to specific missions projects our loose change totalled $18,000, Most gratifying of all, that $18,000 was in addition to our regular missionary giving."
Risser's confession is only one among many by pastors and leaders in the Foursquare denomination that indicate the influence the U.S. Center for World Mission has had upon that body.
In 1979 Dr. Leland B. Edwards, director of Missions International, the Foursquare denominational mission agency, and two of his associates attended a meeting at which USCWM founder Ralph Winter and others spoke.
The Foursquare men were challenged to pray about the pan their agency should play in reaching unreached peoples. They went to their rooms and asked the Lord how many peoples we would want their mission to penetrate during the next 10 years.
When they came together again, all three had concluded the same thing: God wanted Missions International to launch work in "at least 100" new peoples.
So far, the agency has entered 145 new groups, and is targeting dozens more. Recent advertisements are suggesting "76 countries and 200 unreached people groups by 1990!"
To meet this goal, the denomination is laying hold of several tools developed at theU.S. Center for World Mission. The Cm tar's Frontier Fellowship "Loose Change" program is just one one of them, The Global Prayer Digest is another.
Edwards said the denomination is printing a customized version of the Digest in the hope that it will guide church members "to a broadened prayer dimension" not only on behalf of Foursquare Missions, but of "the Church of Jesus Christ globally.
Phil Stan, Missions International communications coordinator, summed up his view of the Center's role in the Foursquare Church by saying, "The U.S. Center's testimony concerning unreached peoples was a prophetic word of awakening to us. is that statement of vision that helped bring Missions International to its feet in 1979, It is what awakened us to the fact that we needed to get back to our original purpose. It is what brought to our church a whole new world of possibilities concerning the fulfillment of the Great Commission."
What Others Are Saying
The US. Center for World Mission and the ministry of Dr. Ralph Winter have been pivotal in providing me with a broadened perspective of the task of world evangelization. Perhaps as no other single agency, the Center has pole vaulted the Church into a new era.
Jack W. Hayford The Church on The Way
Van Nuys, California
The Center showed us not only the need for completing the Great Commission, but the possibility of completing it in this generation We are so convinced that this is the will of God, we wrote a musical, "Come Together Again," which lays down the challenge and the joy of giving and going, and finally completing the chief work God has given the Church to do.
Jimmy and Carol Owens