The Office of Ethnic Relations serves as a liaison between the national office and ethnic minority and immigrant ministers, churches, and Ethnic/Language Fellowship Groups in the United States. Our mission statement purposes to redeem changing demographics for growing opportunities to reach the nations in our Nation. We strive to accomplish this by working with our Fellowship Groups, serving as co-chair on the Commission on Ethnicity and working with key personnel to discover, develop and implement strategies that build relationship and partnerships among our diverse people groups.
Our Relationship to the General Council and the Assemblies of God U.S. Missions
The Fellowships, as an integral part of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, a nonprofit, religious corporation with headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, is subordinate and amenable to the said General Council as prescribed in its Constitution and Bylaws (see Bylaws, Article V, Section 6, paragraph a.). The Director of the Office of Ethnic Relations serves as liaison between the General Council and the Fellowship.
The Fellowship has a cooperative working relationship with the Assemblies of God U.S. Missions (AGUSM) in matters of mutual concern. The Intercultural Ministries director of U.S. Missions or one acting on his behalf shall serve in an advisory capacity.
Our Relationship to the District Councils of the Assemblies of God
Ministers and Churches of the Fellowships shall conduct their ministries in relationship to and in cooperation with the appropriate geographic and language district councils. Since ministry in the United States is conducted primarily through the district councils, this working relationship is vital to the long-term success of the Fellowship’s ministry.
Our Relationship to Local Assemblies
The local assemblies may become an integral part of and subject to the Fellowships with privileges and responsibilities as prescribed in their specific Articles of Fellowship.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
According to the latest US Census information – over 13% of people living in America were foreign-born which amounts to over 40.7 million people.
What is the Assemblies of God stance on Immigration?
August 14, 2006 - During the annual Commission on Ethnicity meeting the following statement was drafted and has been adopted as our church’s position on the Immigration issue. Let us pray for our government as it works on a just, compassionate solution to this dilemma.
“It is appropriate for the borders of the United States to be secure in order for immigration to conform to the laws of the United States. As people of faith we support comprehensive immigration reform that reflects human dignity, compassion, and justice integral to a ‘nation under God.’ Apart from issues related to governmental jurisdiction, we believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ compels us to minister to all who live or work within our country.”
-- The General Council of the Assemblies of God
What percentage of the Assemblies of God is ethnic minority?
Utilizing the Annual Church Ministries Report (ACMR) and the ministerial renewal forms we collect as much ethnicity information as we can for our churches and ministers. The ethnic information regarding adherents for the Assemblies of God has changed significantly over the years. Currently, 43% of the US Assemblies of God adherents are from ethnic minority people groups. When looking at our churches, ethnic and multi-ethnic churches have been steadily on the rise while Anglo churches have been on the decline. One positive reason for this change is the fact that many of our Anglo churches are catching the vision to welcome their ethnic neighbors into the church. Multi-ethnic churches are on the rise everywhere. It is the desire of the Assemblies of God to be God’s hand extended to everyone, regardless of where they were born. Statistics on the Assemblies of God (USA)
What is the answer for a church that has ceased to grow or beginning to decline?
The “Mega Church” does exist within the Assemblies of God. Churches in large communities with multiple campuses, etc. But the average-sized church in the AG is much smaller. The Lord admonishes us to not be discouraged by small beginnings and that He will bring the increase. We just need to be faithful in doing what he taught us to do. Love people, all people regardless of economics, language, place of birth or any other value the world would like to exploit. The enemy wants us to build walls, to create an environment where everyone feels the emptiness of being alone. The church is uniquely gifted to fight this concept. We encourage every church to love their neighbor, reaching out to bless them and in turn be blessed. Let the demographics of your church mirror the demographics of your community. We recommend the inspiration and encouragement outlined in the Acts2 Journey led by our Assistant General Superintendent. Many churches and their leadership have been rejuvenated by this ministry. Give it a look at Acts2Journey.com.
What is the purpose of the Ethnic/Language Fellowship?
America is made up of men and women from nearly every country on the planet. In recent years, the influx of immigrants has increased greatly. You would be hard pressed to find a community anywhere in this country that doesn’t have some ethnic minority residents. Many of these immigrants are highly trained doctors, scientists, and other professionals including ministers of the gospel. They have come to America for many different reasons, but they desire to find welcome and inclusion. We in the Assemblies of God desire to find a way to extend welcome as well as recognition of their giftings and accomplishments. The Ethnic/Language Fellowships accomplish many things. It gives our ethnic minority brothers and sisters a way to network and encourage others who are here from their native homeland. They gather together and find a taste of home as they fellowship and worship together. The ethnic/language fellowship is given recognition with voice and vote on our General Presbytery as a valuable part of our governing body. They are the experts in their native language and culture, so they are a tremendous resource for our national office, our districts and our churches. The fellowships are the welcoming bridge, ready to be embraced by all.
God has called me to plant a church in an ethnic community. How do I get started?
Never doubt when God calls you to a task that He has already set your steps in order. You just need to be available and open to what God has arranged. The ethnic/language fellowships are there to serve with cultural and language helps and in some cases personnel to walk with you. The Church Multiplication Network has training available to those called to plant a church that is tried and true. In addition, they have start-up funds and mentors to help you get going. Don’t reinvent the wheel, just learn to steer it in the direction God wants you to go.
With other questions and/or comments, please contact us at [email protected]!