The Editorial of Ralph D. Winter
Founder of the U.S. Center for World Mission
I had a small part in the founding of the Association of Church Missions Committees (ACMC). It is therefore a special pleasure to present to our readers a status report on this remarkable organization (and movement). And I am delighted by the really exciting write-up generated by my associate editor, John Hoizmann.
Perhaps I should explain that the reason we have highlighted an ACMC Regional Representative, Larry Walker, rather than Colin McDougall (who is the new Executive Director of ACMC), is not that we don't like Colin. He was sitting in my office here just last Fridayprior to the huge South West Regional ACMC meeting last Saturday (800 had registered, 1000 showed up!)and we think he is just great.
No, we picked a field man because ACMC exists not so much in a highly efficient office in Wheaton as in an aggregate of highly committed congregations across the country which are themselves helping each other, e.g. Churches Helping Churches in Missions is the key slogan.
Really, all these thousands of churches that are being served by a modest but powerful office in Wheaton are not really customers but participants in a single movement. It is truly amazing how close churches of many different backgrounds become, when they get really serious about the cause of missions, and as THE DAY approaches.
As Baptist churches reach out to Lutheran churches and vice versa, as lay people of a kaleidoscope of backgrounds peer intently at the same overhead projections in a regional conference, as the increasing number of "missions pastors" gather to discuss common problems in their own huddles, again from many different kinds of churches, you know that some kind of a miracle is occurring.
What really is happening? We are seeing, before our eyes, the beginning stages of a vast new renewal in missions. That same renewal is sweeping Latin America, and is highlighted in the huge meeting in Brazil which Roberta and I will be attending in less than a week. (Just WAIT to hear what happens, in next issue!)
Why, tell me, short of a miracle of God, would a Dallas church contribute the services of Larry Walker, an experienced missionary, to the well-being of the mission efforts of 200 or so congregations in Dallas-across all denominational lines?
Simple: the impact of their financial investment in the cost of a "generic mission mobilizer" may well do more for the general cause of missions than would the quadrupling of their own mission budget. It may be the most effective and influential money that congregation will ever spend! Read! Pray! Dream! Act!