Conversation: Thomas E. Trask
A blessing for everyone
Impact! — the 52nd General Council of the Assemblies of God — will be held Aug. 8-11 in Indianapolis. Editor Ken Horn recently spoke with AG General Superintendent Thomas E. Trask about the biennial event.
tpe: Who should attend General Council?
TRASK: Some people think General Council is just for pastors, evangelists and missionaries. But it is also for laypeople. All the people of the AG have a wonderful opportunity to gather together in Indianapolis.
tpe: Some readers might say, "I've never attended one. Why should I go?"
TRASK: Because you will be encouraged and strengthened in your Christian walk and ministry — including lay ministries like teaching Sunday School or small groups.
Years ago when I was pastoring, a preacher asked me to consider this question: "What holds the Assemblies of God together?"
"Let me tell you," he said to me, "it's the fellowship."
We are not a denomination. We are a Fellowship. That was an element vital to the New Testament church. The Book of Acts tells us early Christians in Jerusalem continued steadfast in the apostles' doctrine, breaking of bread, and in fellowship and prayers. You need the fellowship of those of like precious faith.
tpe: What happens when you attend a General Council?
TRASK: There will be people who come to General Council from all kinds of AG churches. There will be pastors who lead churches of 25, 75, 150, hundreds or even thousands. But no one wears a tag announcing the size of their church. We all come together in that setting and we have an appreciation for one another.
We are also offering a leadership conference prior to the opening of General Council (Aug. 7, 8). You're going to want to attend. I've conducted forums across the Fellowship, and one of the things people say over and over is, "Brother Trask, provide some learning seminars and learning sessions and some opportunities for questions and answers."
A variety of leadership forums will be offered on a host of subjects. You're going to be helped, you're going to be blessed, and you're going to learn from men and women across the Fellowship. They're going to open their hearts to you. They are going to give you some helps and encourage you. You'll return home blessed.
Of course, in the General Council setting we conduct business and elect officers for the church. General Council churches can each send a delegate to participate in the business. I encourage you to do that. Provide a delegate from your local assembly to be a part of what takes place in the business sessions.
But though each church is limited to one official delegate, there is no limit to the number of laypeople who can attend and enjoy the numerous activities.
It is exciting to join thousands of people in powerful evening services and dynamic sessions during the day. The Word of God is preached powerfully; the altars are open; people are touched; and people are healed and delivered and baptized and rebaptized in the Holy Spirit.
As a layperson, you will be blessed; as a pastor, you will be blessed. I encourage you to make plans now.
I promise you, God is going to meet with us. A lot of prayer is going into this. Please be agreeing with us in prayer for the General Council that God will meet with us powerfully and it will be another Pentecost. Then we can leave there to go out and transform our world with the message of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
For more information on the 2007 General Council, visit www.ag.org.
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