A New Beginning
by George P. Wood
“There is a time for everything,” the Teacher writes in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
Enrichment has added incredible value to our workaday lives as Assemblies of God credentialed ministers over the past 20 years and 79 issues. Now, however, the time has come to cease publication of Enrichment. The spring 2015 issue you hold in your hand will be the last.
With every ending, however, comes a new beginning — a new season. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the Assemblies of God is launching a new leadership magazine later this year. (We’re finalizing the name as this Enrichment reaches you.) This is not merely a new magazine; it is a new brand, and it therefore has a new purpose. The first print issue will arrive in your mailbox this summer, though its website will come online later this spring.
You’re probably asking yourself: Why do we need a new magazine? To answer that question, I need you to draw four concentric circles. In the innermost circle, write the words “AG ministers.” In the next circle out, write “church leaders.” In the next circle out, write “church members.” And in the outermost circle, write “community.”
Our mission as Assemblies of God credentialed ministers is to lead local fellowships where worship, evangelism, discipleship, and compassion are the primary reasons for being. In other words, our work can be pictured as an arrow that begins in the bull’s-eye of those four concentric circles and moves outward. As we respond to God’s work of grace in our own lives, our ministries touch the lives of leaders in our churches, whose ministries touch the lives of members in our churches, whose ministries touch the lives of members of our communities.
To date, Assemblies of God publications have focused on church members (Vital) and credentialed ministers (Enrichment, Called to Serve). Vital helps church members understand what spiritually healthy Christianity looks like. Enrichment and Called to Serve have helped credentialed ministers understand what healthy pastoring looks like. Do you see which group we’re missing?
Church leaders. These people aren’t senior pastors. They can be staff pastors and employees. They aren’t necessarily credentialed ministers; they’re often lay volunteers. These church members are far more numerous than credentialed ministers, and they exercise face-to-face leadership throughout the ministries of the church. They are youth Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, youth ministry volunteers, bus ministry drivers, etc. They have a lot of influence, and to maximize their influence, we need to resource them, too.
That’s the purpose of our new leadership magazine: to provide resources for leaders in our churches, from the lead pastor to the lead volunteer. Think of the incredible opportunity this magazine will give us to provide ongoing education on a bimonthly basis to our church’s leaders — training that is Bible-based, methodologically sound, and thoroughly Pentecostal! If you’ve been looking for a training tool for your staff and volunteers, our new leadership magazine is it. And as far as we know, the Assemblies of God is the only organization providing such a comprehensive resource for church leaders.
As a credentialed minister, you’ll receive a complimentary subscription to our new leadership magazine. I want to encourage you to purchase a reasonably priced, bulk subscription to the magazine for your non-credentialed staff members and leading lay volunteers. Begin using the magazine to start conversations about sound theology and best ministry practices with the people who lead your church’s ministries on the ground.
And now you’re probably asking yourself: What about resources for me, as a credentialed, Assemblies of God minister? As credentialed ministers, we face issues that our unique to us. Therefore, in addition to our new leadership magazine, we are transforming Called to Serve from an 8-page quarterly newsletter to a 28-page quarterly magazine, which you’ll also receive free. The new ministers magazine, which is as yet unnamed, will dive deep into issues related to theology, pastoral leadership, church administration, and cultural analysis, so that you will feel confident as you minister the Word of God to your congregation. The first issue will arrive in your mailbox this fall, and the associated website will go online this summer.
In sum, Vital for all church members, our new leadership magazine for all church leaders, and the as-yet-unnamed magazine for Assemblies of God credentialed ministers. I trust that these new publication brands will contribute to more effective ministry in and through the church you lead and the community you serve.
If you’d like to receive email updates about our new leadership brand, please go to the following link to provide your name and email address: http://ej.ag.org/newleadershipmag.