God in Washington,
Clair Mitchell directs the Church Development/ Home
Missions Department of the Potomac District Council.
While working with pastors across the district, Mitchell
has partnered with pastors in Washington, D.C., to address
the spiritual needs of the capital. He spoke recently
with Scott Harrup, associate editor.
would you describe the spiritual climate in Washington?
Changing for the better. Some of it may be reflective
of the new administration; but the truth is, it’s
more welcoming of the church and the ministries we can
pursue. It’s also very needy, from one end of
the socio-economic ladder to the other. Yet, this is
a climate the church can thrive in. We have to have
the right seed, and there is no better seed than the
gospel. Over the last decade, our prayer at the Potomac
District has been that Washington, D.C., would see the
glory of God. God has been answering that prayer and
we have seen tremendous progress made in the birth of
What daily opportunities for outreach are Assemblies
of God churches discovering?
When we think of
outreach, we usually think in terms of the poor and
needy. We’re certainly addressing that need by
joining with Convoy of Hope for special outreaches and
offering regular ministries like the weekly soup kitchen
of Urban Outreach. Bob Mathieu is an A/G minister who
is reaching out with tutoring programs for kids and
an annual camp he puts together in partnership with
the Potomac District. Jessie Jones and her congregation
at Harvest Mission Assembly of God are involved in some
hard-hit communities in southeast D.C. She has literally
repossessed through prayer property once used by drug
dealers. But you also have outreaches to the people
in positions of power — people who have spiritual
needs as pressing as anyone else’s. I think of
Dick Foth and the many avenues of ministry he follows
with people of influence. National Community Church
meets at Union Station and is targeting staffers on
Capitol Hill. They have a goal of multiplying themselves
in several locations. Pastor Dave Owen and Christ Church
are reaching the international embassy community.
is the most exciting dream a D.C. pastor has shared
Pastor Mark Batterson of National Community Church plans
to have three locations established in the next three
years. That is a powerful approach to church planting.
They are taking 100 people from their current church
and funding a church plant this September. That’s
just the first part of their plan. The whole picture
What evangelistic potential do you envision when believers
from across the country gather for General Council this
ministering with Convoy of Hope and about 2,000 AIM
volunteers. That will be a big opportunity. We’ll
also canvas the campus community. Chi Alpha is doing
so much on our campuses locally. The final gathering
on the Mall will be tremendous. My prayer is that our
corporate prayers will invite God’s glory to go
forth from Washington to the rest of the world. Whatever
happens politically in Washington, the world responds
to. I believe the same should be true spiritually. May
God give us a mighty revival and powerful miracles.
Our God is alive.
The whole concept
of servant evangelism needs to be embraced in order
to reach our capital. When we love people in Christ’s
name, that opens their hearts to the power of the gospel.
comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.