Date: February 5, 2018
The Church of Pentecost continues to make great strides in the United States of America. The COP USA Inc. currently boasts a youth membership of more than 5000 active members. One of the people who has been instrumental in the growth of the youth base of the COP USA Inc. in recent years is the current National Youth & PENSA Leader, Pastor George Mike Portuphy. In this exclusive interview with Deaconess Mary Maame Druwaa (MMD), Pastor George Mike Portuphy (GMP) talks about the full-time ministry and the Youth Ministry of COP USA Inc.
MMD: Please tell us a little about yourself. First, when were you called into the full-time ministry and when did you start getting involved in Youth and PENSA work?
GMP: Thanks for the opportunity Deaconess. Well, I got called into the full-time ministry of The Church of Pentecost in 2009. I was called to serve as the Youth Pastor for the New York Region while overseeing the Pentecost International Worship Center (PIWC) of Worcester. Before then, I had been serving as the Local Youth and PENSA Leader for the assembly. An interesting part of it was that my wife, Cynthia, was the New England Youth and PENSA District Leader at the time, so I was reporting to her until I was called to serve as the Regional Youth Pastor.
MMD: How was your journey to the National Leadership like?
GMP: I served at the local level, learned the district work from my wife and went on to serve successfully as the New York Regional Youth Pastor for 6 years (2009-2015), a period during which I led the ministry to organize several Youth Camps and PENSA Conferences coupled with many leadership training sessions and more. I also served as the National Secretary for the Youth Ministry while holding the Regional leadership role. I was later appointed to serve as the National Leader.
MMD: That is very interesting. We thank God for your presence and impact on the horizon of PENSA-USA. For educational purposes, can you share with us what Youth and PENSA stand for in the Church?
GMP: The Youth represents all the teens in the church from ages 13 – 17. The PENSA stands for Pentecost Students and Associates, a representation of all the young adults and professionals (ages 17 if in college, and above). This includes college students and working adults who hold a type of profession.
MMD: Can you state in one sentence the vision of the Youth and PENSA Ministry?
GMP: The vision of the Youth and PENSA Ministry is to bring students and professionals to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, disciple and equip them so that they can reach out to the unsaved, provide spiritual leadership for the Body of Christ, excel in their spiritual, academic, and social lives while striving to maintain the Pentecostal landmarks of the Church.
MMD: What is the current Youth & PENSA population?
GMP: As at the end of the year 2017, the Youth Ministry had more than 5,400 active members.
MMD: Being the National Leader for the Youth Ministry, what do you see ministry doing or becoming within the next 3-5 years?
GMP: The ministry continues to thrive on the foundations and build-ups carried out by the previous leadership. As we continue to press forward, expand and impact lives in all local churches and on campuses, I foresee PENSA planting more campus ministries so as to win our decaying campuses for Christ. Within the ranks of COP, I see Youth and PENSA folks becoming stronger disciples, continuing to take on more leadership assignments, becoming the wing of outreach for the Church and grooming more professionals who would portray the excellence of Christ in our generation.
MMD: Can you brief us on the role of the Campus Ministry?
GMP: Our Campus Ministry efforts resulted in the release of an operating manual for the ministry and the appointment of a National Campus Ministry Coordinator in the person of Rev. Karl Badu. The Campus Ministry initiative is meant to nurture our young members who go to college and provide them with a place to sustain their faith with other Christians. It also aims to share the gospel of Jesus Christ on the campuses.
MMD: PENSA CONFAB 2017 seems to be the talk of the town. We all refer to it as the "Excellent Conference" as it was dubbed. What made it different from the previous conferences?
GMP: We remain humbled by God’s goodness in the 2017 National PENSA Conference. It came across as the most digitized and watched Conference of the ministry. Under the auspices of Vision 2021 and the guidance of our National Head, we moved to do things in slightly different ways last year. We had some very strategic and effective Programming, Publicity, Production and Prayer teams in place. These and other work teams spent months and nights together with the National Executive in planning for the conference. We gave our best and God gave His blessing to it.
MMD: Have you considered the possibility of organizing the PENSA Conference annually?
GMP: The National Executive as directed that we will be alternating the National Conference with the Regional Conferences, so as to strengthen our Regional/Grassroots base and empower the Regional Leaders to mimic the example of the one organized at the National level.
MMD: It is evident that PENSA-USA achieved some great feats in 2017. Acknowledge some of these and share any goodwill message with us.
GMP: True, God has been good. In 2017, the ministry launched its long-awaited Curriculum. The Pentecost Professional Network (PPN) was also established. The National Sports Evangelism committee was established to identify and support students with Sporting talents. Several other initiatives such as a stronger Social Media presence with God’s word was carried out. We look forward to carrying out programmes in 2018 that would disciple and ground our young ones in the Lord. A lot has been planned at all levels of the ministry and we are optimistic about yet another great year. We humbly ask for all Ministers and Presiding Elders to intentionally integrate the young people into the very fabrics of the Church from the local to the national level. Let us expose them to the Tenets of the Church and empower them to own sound doctrine and defend their faith everywhere they go.
By: Deaconess Mary O. Adjei
The Pentecost Students & Associates of the University of Ghana, Legon (PENSA-Legon), in collaboration with the PENSA branches in Greater read more