Foursquare Connection 2010, the annual convention of The Foursquare Church, concluded today in Atlanta. The theme for the final day was "The Power of One to Send," with a culminating emphasis in the evening session on Foursquare Missions International (FMI) and the call for leaders to go into the world and reach others with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The nearly 3,000 pastors and delegates who attended the week's activities left a lasting impression on the residents of Atlanta. Ministers blessed people they encountered throughout the city, and many Foursquare leaders served in practical ways to reach Atlanta's men, women and children through the Foursquare Connection Atlanta Outreach Serving Project. Hundreds of volunteers served the convention delegates throughout the week.
In the morning session, three diverse and passionate leaders challenged the convention body regarding the day's theme. Serafin Contreras, area missionary for FMI in South America, spoke through interpreter Beto Paz and emphasized the need for Foursquare ministers "to fill people first with all God has given us before sending them out." Pastor Ricky Temple of Overcoming by Faith Ministries in Savannah, Ga., and Jim Romack of The Father's House in Granite Falls, Wash., encouraged leaders about what it takes to release and send other leaders into effective ministry.
Worship artists Aaron Keyes and Amena Brown brought the congregation boldly into the presence of God through music and the spoken word, respectively. Also this morning, local convention host and Southeast District Supervisor Scott Reece honored dozens of ministers for 50 and 60 years in Foursquare service.
Pastor Randy Remington of Beaverton Foursquare Church in Oregon interviewed former Foursquare President Paul Risser about his new book, An Eye for Miracles. In the book, Dr. Risser shares stories of real people who trusted God in impossible situations and experienced God's miraculous provision.
Board member Steve Schell, moderator of this year's business sessions, and Foursquare Corporate Secretary Sterling Brackett conducted this afternoon's session. New Foursquare board members were welcomed and acknowledged for their service to the movement. Foursquare Missions International Director Jonathan Hall, Interim General Supervisor Tammy Dunahoo, and President-Elect Glenn Burris Jr. gave national and international ministry reports via video and live presentation.
Encouragement to "send" and "go" in response to God's call was evident throughout the evening session. The Foursquare Church is dedicated to the cause of interdenominational and worldwide evangelism, and the highest trust within the movement is that of the appointment to the office of president as a model of one who is sent and one who faithfully sends others.
President-Elect Glenn C. Burris Jr., the denomination' sixth president, accepted the presidential charge tonight, agreeing to serve The Foursquare Church according to the bylaws of the movement and the gospel of Jesus Christ. In accepting the charge to the president, President-Elect Burris affirmed that he and his wife, Debbie, believe that accepting this office is the revealed will of God for their lives.
The group welcomed a special visit from John Rusk, area missionary to southern Africa, who rode his motorcycle from Angelus Temple in Los Angeles to Atlanta in an effort to raise awareness for and excitement for missions. Rusk rallied the crowd, building excitement for missions and giving honor to his late wife, Becki, who encouraged him to continue his mission.
Foursquare Missionary Bill Page of Papua New Guinea delivered the keynote address tonight and spoke from Ezekiel 47. He emphasized that the river of God pictured in Ezekiel 47 begins in the house of the Lord but does not stay there. When the presence of the Holy Spirit fills the house, like it has during convention this week, it should not create a "hot tub" for Christians, Bill noted. What starts in the house of the Lord is supposed to go "out the door" and change the world.
Bill described the rapid, supernatural growth of the church he and his wife planted in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in 1993. As the church grew, they saw a desperate need for land and a facility to house the ministry. God opened the door for Bill to meet a leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Port Moresby, who donated all the land they needed to The Foursquare Church.
Today, a thriving work has been established on that property. The Port Moresby Foursquare Church has built a 2,000-seat facility that is full every Sunday, a medical clinic and a Bible college. They have planted 33 churches in two years, because, as Bill says, "the river of life keeps flowing out the door." One of the reasons for this growth is that Bill recognized the success of others does not diminish his success. Instead of stifling leaders who want to go out from his church, he encourages them to go, and joyfully sends them.
As he concluded his remarks, Bill spoke the words of Isaiah 42:6-7 as a prophetic word over Foursquare leaders: " ‘I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house' " (NKJV).
Eastern District Supervisors Jim and Melinda Scott concluded tonight's service with a call for leaders to commit to "go" as the Lord calls them. As leaders prayed together for God's direction, the call to reach, train and send ministers into the global harvest was at the forefront of those prayers.
Foursquare Connection 2010 concluded tonight with a benediction by President-Elect Burris. Foursquare Connection 2011 will be held in Columbus, Ohio, from May 30-June 2.
All evening and morning sessions from Foursquare Connection 2010, Power of One videos and workshops may be purchased in the Power of One Experience Kit .
By: Rod Light, an ordained Foursquare minister and educator serving with Foursquare Communications in Los Angeles
To read the daily convention wrap-ups, click below.
Day One: The Power of One to Reach
Day Two: The Power of One to Reach and Train
Day Three: The Power of One to Train
Day Four: The Power of One to Send
Overview: The Power of One to Reach, Train and Send