Every Generation Needs to Reach Its Generation
|Sandie and Greg Mundis|
An interview with Greg Mundis
Greg Mundis was elected executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions at the 54th General Council in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 4, 2011. Recently, Called to Serve interviewed Mundis about how his missionary service prepared him for this new assignment, as well as what challenges AGWM faces in the coming decade. To see Mundis’ installation service and testimony go to http://agtv.ag.org/Mundis_testimony.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
My wife Sandie comes from a strong Italian Pentecostal background and I am a “Heinz 57” American from an unbelieving home. We met in her uncle’s little church in Youngstown, Ohio. For me it was love at first sight. She then went off to Central Bible College because of a missionary call on her life, and I went to Youngstown State University to study political science. After I had a dramatic call to ministry at the altar one Sunday night, we reconnected. We have two children who are married to wonderful spouses, and we have eight grandchildren. Our daughter serves as a missionary in the Middle East and our son is a spinal orthopedic surgeon in California.
How did you become a follower of Jesus Christ?
I was 13 years old, visiting my half-sister in Ft. Gordon, Georgia. We went to a little base chapel where a Billy Graham movie (black and white) was being shown. At the altar call I walked down the aisle with several soldiers and gave my heart to Jesus. Later at the Italian Pentecostal church, I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
How did God call you to be a missionary?
My wife and I were serving as youth pastors at Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri. The year was 1977 and we were sensing that God had another direction of ministry for us. On June 12 the superintendent of the Assemblies of God in the Philippines shared a testimony after he had visited the World Pentecostal Conference in Europe and stopped in Austria. His heart was moved at the lost condition of people in Austria. He used his entire testimony to say that Austria needed workers and that would be his message when he got home to the Philippines. On that morning God shot an arrow of a vocational call to missionary life through my heart for Austria. The same day our second child, our son, was born.
Where did you serve on the field? What form did your missionary work take?
We served in Austria from 1980 through 1997. We were involved in evangelism — media evangelism, leadership development seminars, youth ministry, Bible School ministry — and we helped to plant Vienna Christian Center (an international church). In addition I served as an area director for Central Europe and was appointed Europe regional director in 1998.
How did you feel when you realized that God was calling you to lead AG World Missions?
Sandie and I, along with the other candidates for executive director, were deeply involved in prayer for God’s will. We spoke with one another before the election and shared with each other that we were comfortable if any one of us would serve in this office. Upon hearing the results of the fifth ballot, we were stunned, shocked, humbled. We accept the will of the Council as God’s hand of direction on our lives.
Early on, the AG resolved to do “the greatest work of evangelism the world has ever seen.” What does this present generation need to do to accomplish that resolution?
I believe with my whole heart that every generation needs to reach its generation. God has equipped this present generation with incredible gifts. They also have more tools at their disposal than any other in history. But they need the same commitment, calling, and passion as every generation since Christ to accomplish the task. It is not only about the tools and gifts but also about the character, call, and commitment of individuals and the church as a whole.
Compassion is a new theme in AG missions. How do AG missionaries demonstrate compassion on the field?
Actually compassion is a theme that is receiving a revived emphasis. I say revived because one can think of the Lillian Thrasher Orphanage that celebrated its 100th anniversary last year as but one example among many of missionaries reaching out in compassion ministry over the last century. What I can say is that the present generation has embraced the fourth pillar of our mission of reaching, planting, training, and touching in a new and more significant way than in the past. It is in part the recognition of the biblical mandate of taking the whole gospel to the whole world in word and deed.
What can the U.S. AG learn from its international brothers and sisters about faithfully following Jesus Christ?
Much of the world where AGWM operates (217 countries and territories) does not have the political clout, the economic status, or the inherited freedoms we enjoy in the U.S. In their particular contexts, they have been a witness for Christ while being ostracized from mainline society through prejudice, poverty, and political/social/religious systems. They have not only survived as a testimony to the fact that Christ will build His Church, but they are thriving in spite of persecution in some cases. We as Americans need to bring to the forefront of our heart and mind that Christianity is about a relationship with Christ that supersedes political persuasion, economic security, or manmade social/religious systems.
What can local church pastors do to better support AG World missionaries?
The backbone of AGWM is the missionary. I cannot emphasize this enough. The growth of the Assemblies of God, I believe, is because of the grace and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the world. I also believe it includes the fact that our missionaries are on the ground in different countries working with a multitude of different people groups. They know the language, the culture, and the power of God to do His work in their context, and the results speak for themselves.
Supporting the missionary through prayer and finances is as vital today as it was in the days of the apostle Paul, the golden age of missions, and in the last years of our AG history. As missionaries, we recognize the changes in the culture here in the U.S. and the churches’ adaptation to get the gospel out in the culture. If the missionary and the pastor could set a time for the missionary to come in to that church’s individual context, it would be a blessing to the congregation and the missionary.
I recommend securing the booklet that still is in a beta format, 13 Things a Pastor Would Like to Say to a Missionary but Can’t ...13 Things a Missionary Would Like to Say to a Pastor but Can’t. The beta site is: www.mpdialog.com. This will set up the format for a creative dialogue. Also the pastor can keep in mind that when the missionary comes and shares, it is not all about money.
It is about prayer support and sowing the seeds of information so that God can reach the hearts in the congregation with a call to a missions vocation or a missionary associate assignment. The exposure to the need through the missionary is one of the great tools God can use to touch the hearts of people for overseas ministry.
How can we pray for you as you begin this new assignment in service to Christ?
Thank you for asking this
question! I will admit upfront that the task of leading this great missionary
enterprise consisting of approximately 150 support staff and 2,700 missionaries
and missionary associates is overwhelming. No one person is adequate for the
task. My request for prayer is that the Lord would give me His wisdom,
discernment, and humility. These three elements among many others are needed to
be able to lead like Christ modeled in Mark 10:45.
Back to Listing