Dear brothers and sisters praise the Lord. It gives me great joy to be able to speak to you just after the holiday season. Please receive the warmest greetings from my wife, Rose, myself, and my family. I pray that your holiday seasons were blessed and filled with joyful memories.
I have been receiving from various pastors and bishops questions regarding the vision of our administration. So, I thought it would be important for me to take the time and explain briefly what the Lord has put in my heart regarding the vision. I envision the Apostolic Assembly as a growing, healthy, spirit-filled, Apostolic cellular church.
Let me take each of those primary points and explain what I mean.
By GROWING I mean a church that is growing spiritually and numerically. God’s order in creation teaches us that when we speak about growth, we must speak both about multiplication, numbers (seeds), and quality (maturity and development). From that I understand that our Church’s growth must be both numerical and spiritual; it must be in number and in health and beauty and functionality.
By HEALTHY I mean that we are a doctrinally sound church, focused on loving God and loving people.
By SPIRIT FILLED I mean a church that is openly and unashamedly Pentecostal, I mean a church that is pursuing greater manifestations of the Holy Ghost and of the spiritual gifts.
By APOSTOLIC I mean a church that teaches, believes, and practices apostolic doctrines and disciplines.
By CELLULAR I mean a church that is committed to the Strategy of small groups. I see a church that meets regularly in our homes for the purpose of fellowship, discipleship, and evangelism. The Jesus Strategy is the heart of the vision. I see the Jesus Strategy gaining greater acceptance and implementation globally. Until it becomes our strategy for winning souls and discipling new believers.
By CHURCH I mean that we are part of the true church. We are not just another church in the panoply of churches that a person can choose to attend without caring about doctrine. We are a part of the Apostolic movement in the world. Our core doctrines are central to our identity. We believe in absolute truth. We are certain that our essential doctrines are biblical and come from the Apostles. We believe that the world (secular and religious) needs to hear and believe the essential doctrines that characterize the Apostolic movement.
Again, I envision the Apostolic Assembly as a growing, healthy, Spirit-filled Apostolic cellular church.
That does not mean that we are not what I have described. But I do think, that in some of the things I have mentioned, we have some work to do.
THE THEME FOR THE YEAR 2023 is to
“BUILD THE CHURCH: MISSION.”
Sometime before the General Convention God began to speak to me about the growth of the church. So, I began to pray and think. Here is what I believe God told me. “Tell the church two things: one, that I (Jesus the rock) am the one who builds the church. And two, we (believers) are the “small stones” that help in the construction of this great edifice called the church.” From that message, a theme was born in my heart. BUILD THE CHURCH: MISSION. The more I prayed and thought about Matthew 16:18 the clearer the theme “I will build my Church” settled on my heart: first a cry to the Lord and then as an encouraging declaration.
I see saw it as a cry because that is what every leader and believer must be crying out to the great Architect: “Jesus, Build the Church!” It is also to be seen as an encouraging declaration in that, it is a phrase that reminds us that we are essential helpers of the great builder and that our task is to build. “Hey brother, Let’s Build the Church!”
I envision a mindset of evangelism and discipleship filling the church. This must become the way we think, the way we speak, and the way we work. Build the Church must become our motto.
Let me share with you what I believe God is going to do for those who catch the vision. He is going to make you part of the greatest revival that the Apostolic movement has ever seen. The churches that experience revival will be those churches that think, speak and work to see souls saved and believers formed into the image of Christ.
In the following weeks and months, we will be sharing the details of our plans to organize ourselves for this great task. Let’s Build the Church in 2023.
My wishes are that the Lord bless you and prosper you in everything that you do, within the confines of his will. God bless you and let’s build a great church for the Glory of God.
Bishop Felipe A. Salazar