On 7th January 2015, many pastors and leaders gathered in Monaghan Elim to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the birth of our Movement in the town where it all beg an. The day was split into three sections, focusing on Elim’s past, present and future.
Pastor Edwin welcomed everyone to the special event and then Maldwyn Jones took us all on a trip down memory lane. He began on the 7th January 1915 when a small group of men gathered to “discuss the means of reaching Ireland with the full Gospel.” He reminded us that our Movement was birthed in prayer by men who were willing to take risks and make radical decisions for Jesus. Within the first six years of the Movement being launched, twenty-two churches were planted and thousands of people were being reached on a weekly basis. Maldwyn encouraged each of us to be mindful of our responsibility to use the past as a platform to go into the future that God has planned for us.
During the next session we heard from each of the departments within our Movement. Representatives of Generation Next, the Academy, Serious for God, International Missions, Elim Life, Invisible Traffick and Elim in Ireland each took a few minutes to tell us what God has been doing in and through their departments. It was great to hear story after story of God’s amazing goodness and grace; but even better to hear of their excitement and enthusiasm for the future.
Each department mentioned some prayer requests and the session finished with everyone going to specific areas throughout the church to pray. It was amazing to see people of all ages and stages of life praying together, united in spirit, asking God to break through and pour out blessing on each department.
In the final session, Pastor Edwin Michael reminded us that, as much as we celebrate the past, we are writing the next one hundred years, and challenged us to plot a course and reach a destination. He challenged us to keep in mind that God’s heart for this Movement is the same as it was a hundred years ago – “to reach the people of Ireland with the Gospel” – and encouraged us to remember that God is looking for ordinary people who are willing to surrender to Him. The session ended with prayer, during which Pastor Edwin read the consecration vow to pastors and they each responded in their commitment to the future by standing. People close to them gathered around and prayed for them.
The day was significant. It was a day for looking back but also with a challenge to look ahead. God has done great things in and through people in our Movement over the last hundred years but it isn’t over yet. In some ways, this is only the beginning!