World Missions Update -
C. Peter Wagner

Via Doug_Demick@WYCLIFFE.ORG

I would like to summarize portions of three messages delivered by Peter Wagner of the Fuller School of World Missions. His area of specialty is church growth. These messages were given at the Living Way Christian Fellowship in Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 25 and 26, 1997. Because they were such a blessing and encouragement to me, I want to pass that on to others. I am writing from my notes and memory; if I misrepresent Peter in any way, I apologize in advance.

Peter proclaimed that we are ALREADY living in a time of a greater outpouring of God's Spirit than Pentecost. The reason that we in America don't realize that is that most of the activity is in other parts of the world, notably the third world. Some facts:

We are having a greater HARVEST than ever before.

* 140,000 people a DAY are coming to the Lord. This is 46 times the number that believed on the day of Pentecost. In China, a country officially closed to the Gospel, over 20,000 a DAY are turning to the Lord. In the Fungao area of the Hunan province of China, over 90% of the people are Christians. Significant mass conversions are happening in Hindu and Buddhist countries.

* Over the last 10 years, more people have become Christians than in all of church history prior to that.

We are having more MIRACLES than ever before.

Again, this is happening more in the third world than the western world. The messages contained many inspiring examples. My favorite:

Wagner became aware of an African pastor who pastors a church numbering 70,000, which has spawned FIVE THOUSAND other churches. Since his specialty is church growth, he invited this pastor to California to speak to the faculty and students at Fuller.

When asked how his church had achieved such phenomenal growth, the pastor replied to the effect that "miracles help a lot". As an example, one of the satellite churches of the "Deeper Live Bible Church" was having its Thursday night meeting. (On Sundays, the churches focus on Bible teaching; on Thursday nights, they pray for the sick).

During prayer for the sick, the pastor became burdened for the friends and relatives of those present who were too sick to come to the meeting. He asked those who had very sick friends and relatives to hold up their handkerchiefs while he prayed. (By the way, there is a Biblical precedent for this: Paul in Ephesus). They were then instructed to take those handkerchiefs home and lay them on the sick people, proclaiming them healed in the name of Jesus.

Unknown to the pastor, there was a Moslem man present who was headman of his village. This man had never been in a Christian church before. He could not think of any friends or relatives who were sick; however, not wanting to miss a blessing, he held up his handkerchief anyway.

The headman went home. Some time later a couple in his village came to him, saying that their 9 year-old daughter had died. The headman came to where the body had been washed and laid out for burial, and was comforting the mourners. Then he remembered the handkerchief, and went back to his house to retrieve it.

When the headman laid the handkerchief on the girl, and proclaimed her healed in the name of Jesus as he had been instructed, she came back to life! The elders of the village had a meeting and decided that even though this village had been Moslem for hundreds of years, they would now convert to Christianity. Small wonder!

This is only one of many exciting stories of God showing his glory to folks traditionally closed to the gospel, resulting in their conversion. The efforts over the past 5 years of focusing prayer on the "10/40 window" are showing positive results.

Another exciting fact: the church is now TRULY GLOBAL in scope.

The third world is now sending out more missionaries than the western world. Some of the top leadership in the church is coming from the third world.

The above are only brief excerpts of Wagner's talks.
The tapes are available for $6.00 by writing to:
Grace Presbytery Missions Office 5117 Cliffdale Rd. Fayetteville NC 28314