In a first ever address from a World Council of Churches (WCC) head to the Pentecostal World Conference, WCC General Secretary the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit gave a message on Wednesday promoting unity in Christ and the need to witness together.
"It is my deep conviction that the member churches of the WCC, some of which are Pentecostal, need the closer bond to the Pentecostal churches you represent," Tveit said. "And it is my humble conviction that you need us."
Referencing Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, Tveit added that, "'there are many members, yet one body.' I cannot say to any brother or sister in Christ that I have no need for you."
"We need each other because it is only together that we can grow into the one body of Christ," he said. "The world needs a common and credible witness from the churches about God's love for this world and for everyone in this world."
Tveit's remarks came during the 22nd Pentecostal World Conference being held from Aug. 24-27 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The theme of this year's conference, which is held every three years, is "Equip Yourself, Others, and the Church."
"Our goal is to move leadership to another level so that we can impact our world for Christ," said James D. Leggett, Chairman of the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF), in a video greeting.
"Join us in praying for a mighty move of the holy spirit which will bring a fresh anointing and vitality to the Pentecostal movement that will keep us relevant and transforming until Jesus comes again," he added.
The PWF is the largest Christian association in the world, representing over 700 million believers.
The fellowship includes notable members such as the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, Hillsong Church, the Pentecostal European Fellowship, and the Assemblies of God, which includes South Korea's 780-thousand-member Yoido Full Gospel Church, the largest single church body in the world.
The World Council of Churches has a handful of Pentecostal Churches in its body, including the Church of God, the International Evangelical Church, and the Pentecostal Church of Chile.
The WCC represents some 550 million Christians in over 140 countries.