Acts 2 Journey Guides Church's Transformation
Generations Church (AG) in Guthrie, Oklahoma, had experienced hurt and hardship. But old wounds were healing and trust was growing as Pastors Randy and Carole Whitlow and their congregation began seeking God's unique purpose for them in the community.
In November 2013, the Assemblies of God Oklahoma District invited pastors to an introductory session of the Acts 2 Journey.
"After attending that session, I met with our leadership team at Generations Church to discuss if we were ready to do the hard work the Acts 2 Journey (A2J) required," says lead pastor Randy Whitlow. "It also was essential to be willing to move in whatever direction the Lord was leading us."
In developing the church's vision statement, "Love God, Love People, Serve Both Well," and their core values, the leadership put a framework in place to facilitate ministry decisions. According to Whitlow, when presented with a ministry or outreach opportunity, the church began by seeing how it lined up with the vision.
Now the church has a greater understanding of their mission in the community as well as to other local congregations. "What we do, we will do with all our might, and we will celebrate and support other ministries that are doing things beyond our calling," says Whitlow.
The church recently completed an "Art Camp," where 45 children were served. During the camp the children completed many different art projects, heard Bible stories, played games, and had a healthy lunch prepared for them each day. According to Whitlow, this event showed the progress that has been made toward becoming a healthy church.
"We realized at the end of A2J, that it was just the beginning of our church becoming the church God wants us to be," Whitlow says. "The attitude of the congregation today is one of anticipation and excitement to see how God is going to use us next.
"The Acts 2 Journey has helped Generations Church move in the direction God is leading. We still have a long way to go, but we are truly becoming a transformed church!"
At the beginning of the Acts 2 Journey, Generations Church averaged 75 in attendance for Sunday morning services. The church now averages more than 100.
"The Acts 2 Journey caused our leadership team to see our mission through 'fresh eyes.'" Whitlow says. "We no longer judge our outcomes week to week. We are committed to becoming what God wants us to be over the long haul, and we are doing it together."
To date, AGTrust members' gifts have helped provide Acts 2 Initiative scholarships for 207 churches like Generations Church. Altogether, 487 churches in 22 districts and one overseas country have participated in the Acts 2 Journey sponsored by Church Transformation Initiative (formerly Healthy Church Network).