I have often pondered the influence of the United Pentecostal Church, International as it relates to the Apostolic Pentecostal movement in general. Those of us who declare ourselves to be believers of the oneness of God and the essentiality of both Jesus’ name baptism by immersion and the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues have long held the the additional belief that our world needs this truth. It is not simply a suggestion of scripture for salvation, but a mandate. The influence of the UPCI as it relates to the need to propagate the salvation message is a given, but… what importance does this organization have among other Apostolic, Pentecostal organizations and independent churches?
A recent quote by J.R. Ensey, a respected and revered man of God in this Apostolic movement, stated the following:
[quote]The UPCI is the bellwether organization of the Apostolic movement. Smaller groups and many Independents rely on the UPCI to stay the course. What it does will affect all Oneness believers, down to the local church level. It can weaken or strengthen the hands of every pastor. You are urged to pray every day for the organization and its leaders.[/quote]
This quote brings to bear an important consideration for every minister of this organization, as well as those without it. Size, visibility, and history have positioned the UPCI as an impressionable force in our world. This is not a statement to be haughty of, but rather to understand that, “to whom much is given, much is required”. With the ability to influence churches far and wide outside of our great organization, we have a tremendous responsibility to uphold Biblical truths and integrity not only for those within the UPCI, but for oneness Pentecostals far and wide.
I am unapologetically Apostolic. For 60 plus years our organization has existed as such, and we have witnessed the growth and proliferation of this message far beyond our own reach. Just as our influence has aided in enabling others who do not hold our card, our failure to maintain and grow what has been entrusted in us will not only cripple the UPCI, but those other Apostolic Pentecostals who are influenced by us as well.
Just a thought.