Editorials

Read More The PAOC’s 2020 Initiative – An update from the general superintendent From our General Superintendent David Wells The PAOC’s 2020 Initiative – An update from the general superintendent
Our national and district leadership, along with congregational and ministry leaders across the country, are actively committed to the goals of our 2020 Initiative and are trusting in God to see them fulfilled. We are exercising that trust in God with faith, prayer and obedient action. Our desire is to be a Fellowship of churches, ministries and leaders who experience spiritual vitality, theological vitality, and missional vitality. We believe for the following to be true of the PAOC by Decembe...
Read More At the Last Stop From the Editor Stephen Kennedy At the Last Stop
It had been a long day in Jerusalem, as had every other day since our arrival. We were four days into a six-day whirlwind press tour of Israel. My body was tired, my brain was overloaded, and I’d had enough. Then the bus stopped again. Our day had begun with a stroll down the Hosanna Road that descends from the Mount of Olives to the boundaries of Jerusalem. Gaining momentum from our downhill journey, we attacked the city, stopping at every possible attraction along the way.  Dutifull...
Read More Slim Pickings VIII From the Editor Steven Kennedy Slim Pickings VIII
Normally, this hodgepodge of editorial musings wouldn’t surface until the spring. Maybe it’s the confusion of weather patterns that has birthed it sooner. Or maybe it’s the absence of any coherent train of thought. Whatever the reason, here it is. It’s not how you want your hometown to make headlines.  For all but six of my 60 plus years, I’ve lived in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. We have raised our children here and are watching them raise their children he...
Read More A Painful, Marvellous Gathering From our General Superintendent What an amazing opportunity! A Painful, Marvellous Gathering
The Pentecostal World Fellowship and our chair, Dr. Prince Guneratnam, had asked me to be their spokesperson at a historic consultation of church leaders from 56 different nations. For three humbling, soul-searching, and at times heartbreaking days, we focused on the intensifying discrimination, persecution and violence against Christian communities around the world.  For the first time in modern history, every stream of global Christianity came together to listen to and learn from Christi...
Read More I Believe in Dinosaurs From our General Superintendent David Wells I Believe in Dinosaurs
My Friday began, like most days, with my routine of listening to the Scriptures, a breakfast of yogurt and coffee, and a quick check of the overnight emails. That’s when the morning took a turn—in a good way. In my inbox was an email with the subject line “Hello from a pastor’s kid.” It began with a bright, cheerful greeting: “Hello, Mr. Wells!” The sender mentioned her name and family and then stated, “You might remember me. I gave you a little di...
Read More One Day From the Editor Steve Kennedy One Day
I read a story recently, one I’ve read many times before. This time I was caught by the opening two words. The first line of the story reads: “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer—at three in the afternoon” (Acts 3:1). I’ve preached this story more times than I can remember, but I can’t ever recall those first two words jumping out at me like they did this time. “One day ...” If you’ve read the story, you k...
Read More A New Old Friend From the Editor Steve Kennedy A New Old Friend
It’s a five-foot baby grand piano built by the Mason & Risch Piano Company of Toronto. For 50 years or more it offered up its soul in service to the church—and bears the marks to prove it. The gleam is gone from its finish. Scratches and chips mar its complexion. Scars mark the places where amateur repairs have been made, one or two of the keys are sticky, and the bench is a little wobbly. But the ivory keys are flawless—except for one hairline crack on G5. And despite bein...
Read More In Such a Time as This From our General Superintendent David Wells In Such a Time as This
I remember them being assigned as homework in quick succession during my high school years. George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. All three writers offered their interpretation of what society might look like if powerful people with a single way of thinking controlled it. And then there was William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, perhaps the ultimate illustration of groupthink evolving into chaos. Each book carried a sense ...
Read More Waiting For An Invitation From the Editor Steve Kennedy Waiting For An Invitation
One of the intriguing aspects of being a server in a restaurant is working around the edges of conversations. I have confessed before that when I am dining alone in a restaurant or sitting alone in any public space, I am an unrepentant eavesdropper. Some of my best sermon illustrations, poems and editorial starters have come to me via this habit. But this is different. My interaction with a customer has one primary goal, and that is to determine what they want to order. How else will I know if t...
Read More The Randomness of Sovereignty From our General Superintendent David Wells The Randomness of Sovereignty
God’s sovereignty is both a comforting and a mysterious concept. We express our confidence in His sovereignty when we make statements such as, “the Lord knows” or “His will be done” or when we sing songs like “God Is in Control” and “He Reigns.” Yet we often wrestle with the idea of God’s sovereignty, especially when events that take place in our life appear random. When a family that loves Jesus is hit with tragedy, or when disease str...
Read More Listening to the Body From the Editor Steve Kennedy Listening to the Body
It’s taken me 59 years, but I am finally trying to listen to my body. The fact that it is talking to me more loudly than ever before may have something to do with my newfound attention to it. The arrival of grandkids has been a catalyst for change as well. The invitation to get down on the floor and play trucks is one I want to accept, as will be the ones to swim, fish, play ball, ride bikes, or any of the other hundred things I dream of doing with them. Unfortunately, decades of undisci...
Read More  Empowerment — More Than a Nice Idea From our General Superintendent David Wells Empowerment — More Than a Nice Idea
One of the six strategic responses expected of PAOC churches and ministries in our 2020 Initiative1 is “Equipping for Spirit-empowered living.” Empowerment has been a popular concept in leadership circles over the last number of years. The theory is that if you give someone a responsibility or a mission to accomplish, they should also receive a corresponding amount of authority and resources to fulfil that task.     Unfortunately, a feeling of disempowerment in c...
Read More Everyday Moments From the Editor Steve Kennedy Everyday Moments
In many parts of our world, and for a variety of reasons, the month of May kicks off with a party. From Finland to Hawaii, from Drumheller, Alberta, to the Northern Territory of Australia, the first day of May—May Day—is a cause for celebration. It also happens to be my birthday. And this one’s a big one. This year, while millions of people around the world welcome the arrival of spring, march in solidarity with their fellow workers, or pay tribute to their country’s nat...
Read More Grounds for Relationship From our General Superintendent David Wells Grounds for Relationship
It was a casual conversation with a relative stranger, but it quickly turned to a topic I find myself discussing with people on a regular basis.  “I was talking to a friend,” this person said, “and she asked me, ‘If there’s a God, how can He allow what’s going on in my life right now? There’s just so much trouble.’” Then this person offered an insight that you don’t often hear in our culture today. “What I told her was, I&rs...
Read More Something Better From the Editor Stephen Kennedy Something Better
The tree came with the house. It’s an American linden and it stands in the middle of our backyard, about two-thirds of the way between the deck and the back of the lot. Thirty-one years ago, I could have wrapped one arm around its trunk. Now I can stretch both arms around the main trunk and still be a yard short of its circumference. For more than three decades, we’ve watched it grow. We have measured its maturing by the growing girth of its trunk, by the lengthening of its limbs and...
Read More Something Worth Hoping For From the Editor Steve Kennedy Something Worth Hoping For
I enter a new decade this year. Come May, my fifties will be behind me. I’m told I will be able to apply for early CPP. I’m not sure if that excites me or not. I haven’t crunched the numbers to see if it’s a wise thing to do. I need to have a chat with my financial advisor some day—when she isn’t out shopping for the grandkids. What I am excited about, though, is all the money I’m hoping to save when I turn 60. I can see already that my calendar is goin...
Read More Anticipation From our General Superintendent David Wells Anticipation
There are many things I look forward to at the start of each calendar year. My plans for this year include trips to many events and settings, all of which I will begin to anticipate months in advance.  This spring I plan to be in Jerusalem, along with thousands of Christians from around the globe, to participate in Pentecost 2015. Come join us! With the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games coming to Toronto in July and August, I will have the opportunity to serve as the co-ordinator for the Faith C...
Read More A Broken Ankle Christmas From the Editor Steve Kennedy A Broken Ankle Christmas
​On December 23, 2010, my friend Larry broke his ankle. He slipped on some ice on his own front porch and went down hard on the concrete. It was a bad break. To add hardship to injury, he had no one to sue but himself. Larry is a man who is most often on the move. He’s been active in his local church in men’s ministries and as a visiting elder and cell group leader. When my mom was, as we used to say, “shut in” during her last few years of life, Larry visited her faithf...
Read More Not Just Another Number From our General Superintendent David Wells Not Just Another Number
In our 2020 Initiative we use a lot of numbers to define our vision and the goals we have for increasing the “missional vitality” of our leaders and churches. The initiative challenges us to believe that in the year 2020, 1 per cent of the Canadian population—350,000 people—will be part of 1,500 PAOC churches and disciple-making communities across the country. We are also challenged to believe that there will be 420 PAOC global workers in 85 nations outside Canada, 40 Mis...
Read More A Spiritually Vital Fellowship From our General Superintendent David Wells A Spiritually Vital Fellowship
As part of our 2020 Initiative, we have developed three clear statements of vision that explain what we mean when we talk of spiritual, theological and missional vitality. They describe what we believe is needed in order to see our 1,120 churches, and the 236,000 followers of Jesus who attend them, become 1,500 disciple-making communities with 350,000 spiritually alive Christ followers empowered to share God’s grace and truth. Consider with me these three statements of vision. 1. To exper...