Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Effective Missions Will Require More Power Shifts in the Status Quo

Effective Missions Will Require More Power Shifts in the Status Quo

My book, Power Shifts, challenges the Christian missions community to rebel against the status quo. Our traditional methods have been instrumental in evangelizing half of the world; that is true. But the half that is evangelized is slowly returning to the cults and “isms” that we thought were left behind. And the 40–50 percent that has never been evangelized still waits for the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. The bottom line here is that we must change our method of operations so we don’t take another 2,000 years to complete the final task Christ gave His followers before He returned to His Father in Heaven.

That means we must make ourselves available to what God wants to do in this generation. And I believe He wants to give His Church—the Bride of Christ, which He intends to use in His plan to win the world—a new understanding and experience of His power. Throughout my book, we call that a power shift.

However, I don’t believe that power shifts occur one at a time. We in the West tend to think in a linear fashion. We believe you start at the beginning and proceed step-by-step until you reach the end. Much of life, and especially life in the Spirit, can’t be explained that way. Instead of linear, it’s circular. In this context, our attitudes become actions, our actions necessitate alignment, our alignment releases abundant resources, which hopefully will happen in concert with an acceptance of God’s anointing. Each power shift gains momentum from and feeds into the others.

It’s a little bit like the fruit of the Spirit. Perhaps you’ve noticed that Paul didn’t say the fruits of the Spirit, as if we could take two or three and leave the others for someone else. The fruit of the Spirit is God’s character revealed in us. Certainly, it has different expressions, but God expects believers to reflect all of the fruit.

Power shifts are the same way. We can’t pick and choose from among them and expect them to have the same effect they have together. And they must be developed in the context of prayer.

This book was written primarily to challenge the Church to reconsider the missions status quo, which has left us with half of the world unevangelized, despite 2,000 years of labor in its harvest fields. Within that context, the comments of David F. Wells take on additional significance. Wells believes prayer is the most basic form of “rebelling against the status quo.” He says:

Petitionary prayer is, in essence, rebellion—rebellion against the world in its fallenness, the absolute and undying refusal to accept as normal what is pervasively abnormal. It is, in this negative aspect, the refusal of every agenda, every scheme, every interpretation that is at odds with the norm as originally established by God.

And so I challenge you to rebel against the status quo by prayerfully considering the conclusions on which this book is based. We live in an information-laden society. We have succumbed to the idea that information yields power. But we have lost the true significance of information in the tidal wave of data that has threatened to drown us. You see, information only has power as it changes the way we think and behave. Its authority lies in its application.

If you read this book, ponder its conclusions, and then put it on your shelf and promptly forget it, I’ve accomplished nothing. I challenge you, therefore, to earnestly bring my conclusions to God. Seek His face and ask Him if they are true or untrue. If you come away convinced that they are true, ask Him how He wants you to apply them.

We face a situation like that of the sower in our Lord’s parable, which we quoted at the beginning of this book. We can’t afford to continue settling for the thirty-fold harvest when God has provided for the hundred-fold yield.

We live in a crucial, strategic age. We must not miss His provision for this generation. That’s what utilizing power shifts are all about.

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howardfoltz@churchplanters.com'
Dr. Howard Foltz and his wife Pat have been missionaries since 1963. After pioneering the Dallas/Fort Worth Teen Challenge programs, they expanded the ministry into 27 Eurasian countries. Next, as a professor of global evangelism at Regent University, Dr. Foltz founded Acceleration In Mission Strategies (AIMS), a missions program committed to targeting unreached people groups. Today, tens of thousands of pastors and leaders have been trained by AIMS, while thousands of churches have been planted by it’s indigenous partners.