A historic General
Superintendent Thomas E. Trask spoke with Scott Harrup,
associate editor, about the upcoming 50th General Council
in Washington, D.C.
PE: How would
you describe General Council for someone who has never attended?
It’s an opportunity to see the length and breadth
and depth of the Fellowship — to see thousands of
young people involved in ministry, to worship with the general
assembly, to experience the preaching of the Word and wonderful
times at the altar.
PE: Why are
Washington, D.C., and the 50th General Council a good marriage?
50th General Council is a milestone. The setting in Washington
lets us make a statement to our nation’s leadership
that we stand behind them in prayer. We are one nation under
God, and we want to make that statement and let office holders
at all levels of government know that the Assemblies of
God is deeply appreciative.
a family enjoy General Council?
The activities reach all age groups. In Washington, D.C.,
families can view some of our historical monuments and places
of government. We have set Saturday afternoon apart so families
can tour Washington.
PE: What are
some of your Council memories?
I’ve returned from General Council as a pastor, as
a district official, and now as a national official, renewed
and refreshed in my spirit. The Early Church experienced
four factors that are essential for the church today: They
continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, in
fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayer. All
of these elements are part of General Council.
PE: What do
you hope to see God accomplish at this year’s gathering?
Vision for Transformation that has been under consideration
will come before the delegates. We want to be at our best
in the 21st century. We’re going to highlight the
need for church planting. We’re also going to highlight
discipleship and evangelism, two essential elements for
the church that are deep expressions of the heart of Christ
in reaching the lost. And we’re going to roll out
some new curriculum that will revolutionize Sunday school.
Prayer is essential
to all of this. Unless this event is bathed in prayer from
the opening night to the closing rally in the Mall, the
best laid plans of men are just plans. God has to give His
What prayer emphases would you ask churches to remember
between now and July?
for the event itself, for our speakers, for the outreach
ministries that will take place across the city, and for
the safety of people traveling to and from General Council.
Pray that God’s presence would stir the church again
and that He would send our pastors and delegates back to
their places of responsibility with a new vision and new
excitement for church planting and evangelism and a revival
in our land.
PE: What will
happen in Washington that will impact young people?
I hope young people will see that the Assemblies of God
will be on the cutting edge until Jesus comes. We haven’t
settled in. We’re not comfortable with the success
of yesterday. Our young people are bold and I want them
to be challenged.
PE: As you
look to the future of the Fellowship, what do you envision?
pray that out of this Council will come a releasing of the
laity for ministry. The laity and the clergy together can
enjoy the greatest days of the church. I believe that’s
promised in the Word of God. In the last days He promises
to pour out His Spirit on all flesh.
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