Serving Central Ohio
And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.
Letter to the Greater Columbus Church
Greetings from the executive council of the 5 Points Greater Columbus Apostolic Network, apostles of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the Church of God that is in Central Ohio. We at 5 Points Greater Columbus Apostolic Network, who have been joined together by God’s grace for His work of service over the past thirty years, reach out to all denominations and ministries in Central Ohio in hopes that you share our vision for Greater Columbus. We ask that, as fellow members of the Body of Christ, we come together for this most exciting adventure for the transformation of our city for Jesus Christ.
While affectionately honoring each Christ-centered denomination and ministry for its unique contribution and work of love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we address you all together as one body in our city. We acknowledge you in the same way that the Apostle Paul and his fellow apostles addressed their letters to the believers in each city—as God’s Church in Columbus, Ohio, for that is what we all are together:
Paul and our brother Sosthenese to the church of God in Corinth; Paul and all the brothers who are with me to the church of Galatia; Paul an apostle to the saints who are in Ephesus; Paul and Timothy to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi with the overseers and deacons; Paul and Timothy to the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in the church at Colossae, then also Paul with Silvanus to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Corinthians through Thessalonians).
The leadership team of 5 Points Greater Columbus Apostolic Network would like to reach out to pastors and leaders who are called by God to our city and are willing to function in unity to advance the Kingdom of God toward the transformation of Greater Columbus. This invitation is for all pastors and leaders of every Christ-centered denomination and ministry in our city.
5 PGCAN leaders live in and represent all five points of Greater Columbus: north, south, east, west and downtown. These men and women are peer-recognized apostles, prophets and intercessors who have served locally for many years in their particular areas of gifting whether as evangelists, pastors or teachers.
Members of 5 PGCAN share a common vision and purpose: to live out the answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17 by a radical love and unity that will cause the world to believe, enter the Kingdom of God, become disciples—and through kingdom living in all areas of influence—transform Greater Columbus.
This network is not intended to replace any current network affiliation but rather to provide a close to home, highly relational family of ministry leaders sharing a common vision for our city by the grace, presence and power of God.
There has been an explosion of Christian organizational and relational networks dating back to the Protestant Reformation. These networks might identify themselves as church denominations or associations, fellowships, brotherhoods, or communities. They initially grew out of a further understanding of biblical revelation and were led by people with apostolic gifting. Most are trans-local, national and even international, and most are centered on theology and practice. Taken together they have planted churches throughout the world to advance the Kingdom of God, with the emphasis on their respective theology and practice. Over time they cemented into their traditions. In many instances, these are now dying networks sustained primarily by endowments and aging congregations.
In addition to these formal organizations many independent local congregations, and ministries not affiliated with a denominational-type network, have multiplied throughout the world. These nondenominational ministries receive their support and accountability from local pastors, and community or marketplace leaders.
So why, after all this investment in furthering the Kingdom of God, is the current condition of our nation and our own city still far from what God intends? The following statistics about the Church, taken from George Barna, Campus Crusade and other research ministries, paint a woeful picture:
The United States is one of the world’s greatest mission fields with an estimated 2 out of 3 people outside of the Kingdom of God. They do not know Jesus!
The American church is notoriously ineffective at reaching the lost.
Of those who do respond to the Gospel only 5% are in a congregation one year later.
18 million born-again Christians do not attend any congregational meetings. They do not consider attending church to be worth the effort.
The average church in America has less than 75 members and is decreasing.
Not one county in the U.S. has seen a net increase in church attendance in decades.
80% of American pastors are discouraged in ministry and struggle with depression. For many pastors and ministry leaders, their dreams of ministry and the equipping of hungry people have turned into headaches and heartaches, and all while laboring under the critical watch of congregational leaders.
When we consider the number of frazzled ministry leaders and the spiritual condition of the fragmented Church against the promises of God, we understand why God’s intended impact of the Church has greatly diminished. Yet Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is now and will always be the Apostle of our faith and the Chief Cornerstone of the Church. The statistics will change, for Christ is our firm foundation!
When a building is designed and the building process begins, there is a great deal of time, attention and work done on its foundation. The foundation must hold the integrity of the entire building in its place. He said that He would build His church and He prayed that we would function as one with Him and with each other (John 17). He prayed that we would be brought to complete unity, and through the witness of our lives, the world around us would believe He was sent by God and that they are loved by Him.
Collectively, all Christ-centered congregations and ministries, whether part of a network or independent, make up the ONE CHURCH in that city (Eph. 4:4-6), even though they are functioning as separate entities. In Greater Columbus the Church is still somewhat fragmented but it has all of the gifts (Eph. 4:11, 12) needed to become the soul-winning, disciple-making church Christ is building in answer to His own prayer (John 17).
What is uncommon are localized apostolic networks. We believe that many denominations have had their day and are on their way out. C. Peter Wagner, who was one of the premier church-growth specialists of the last century, and many see as the Father of the New Apostolic Reformation, has noted that the Pentecostals led the way in worldwide church growth during the latter half of the 20th Century (1960's, 1970's, and 1980's). During the same period the "old-line" denominations largely decreased dramatically in membership. "The Episcopal Church, for example, dropped from 3.4 million in 1968 to 2.5 million in 1994. During that same time period, United Methodists decreased from 11.0 million to 8.6 million; Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) from 4.2 million to 3.7 million; and the United Church of Christ from 2.0 million to 1.5 million, just to name a few" (C. Peter Wagner: Churchquake, p.11).
With contrasting analysis, R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec, in their recent book A New Apostolic Reformation, note that most all the growth in the last three decades is directly attributed to the New Apostolic Reformation Churches (NAR), inclusive of Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Neocharismatic Christians. They note that the total number of people in the United States who likely have come into significant contact with NAR teachings total over 66 million, a staggering number (p.12). They reference their statistics from Todd M. Johnson, ed. World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2007), and this is just one of many authoritative samples that all trend in the same direction.
We believe the time has come for an apostolic network in greater Columbus and for us all to come together as God’s Church in our city. Columbus may be the first city in the United States to form an apostolic network. It has been prophesied that Columbus, Ohio is “the heart of it all” and “the heart of the Body [of Christ]” for the last-days church arising. The official state motto for Ohio is, “With God all things are possible.”
We, the 5 Points Greater Columbus Apostolic Executive Council, pray for all of you in Christ’s love and with faith. Pray for one another and for the peace of God in our beloved city. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
The 5PGCAN will be led by an executive council, (elders of the city). These elders will function as peer-level visionaries, innovative risk-takers, and task-oriented leaders. We intend to tap into and mobilize the entire Christian community as the process unfolds on our watch. Relationship, mutual respect and trust will characterize the functional foundation of the council.