Tuesday, May 31, was the first full day of Connection 2011, with a special focus on missions locally and abroad. The jam-packed morning session began with energetic worship by Karen Ricketts and the Sanctuary Singers from Hyde Park, Mass., followed by a challenging message by Foursquare President Glenn Burris Jr. that encouraged listeners to ask the questions: “What if?” “Why not?” and “What are we building so that future generations will look back and say that God met us there?”

Those participating in the Twitter conversation were affirming the president’s challenging observations throughout the morning.

 

Foursquare Missions International Director James (Jim) Scott Jr. also challenged the convention body.

“Missions begins at home, by reaching a world that has come to us,” Jim said, noting that we no longer have to go overseas to do missions work.

The audience enjoyed an informative video that noted the current realities of church planting with host Rod Koop, national facilitator of Church Health and Multiplication, followed by some words on church planting from Northwest District Supervisor Dave Veach.

The audience then heard from entertaining church planter A.J. Swoboda, who leads Theophilus Church (Hawthorne Foursquare Church) in Portland, Ore. In his engaging, humorous style of speaking, he pointed out the need for complete dependence on resurrection, encouraging the Foursquare body to “hug the dead into life.”

Business Meeting

The morning business meeting, which immediately followed the morning session, focused on a presentation by Foursquare Foundation Executive Director Greg Campbell on a proposal to create Foursquare Financial Solutions (FFS). After an extended period of questions about FFS from the convention body, the group broke for lunch. The business meeting resumed in the afternoon with a financial report by Foursquare CFO Ron Thigpenn, a presentation of proposed bylaw changes by Foursquare corporate counsel El Clark, and the FMI annual report by Jim Scott.

Evening Session

The emphasis on missions continued into the evening session, with an opening prayer by missionary to the Dominican Republic Gerald (Jerry) Poppe, a Skype interview with Foursquare Pastor Gene Bebee of tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., as well as a prayer for Pastor Huey Hudson, who is leading Foursquare's Relief and Compassion efforts in Alabama. Members from the FMI team then commissioned missionaries Tim and Kristina O’Toole (Ireland), Rory and Pam Frink (Africa), and Rod and Teresa Koop (Alaska).

An FMI Faith Pledge Challenge offering was received, totaling over $960,000 toward a goal of $1 million. Throughout the evening, worship leader and recording artist Aaron Keyes led the convention body in passionate worship.

The evening’s main speaker Leslie Keegel, Foursquare’s national leader of Sri Lanka, related a recent vision received from the Lord, in which he saw a beautiful, fruitful garden, tended by a gardener and fed by a stream. As he walked up stream, he saw that a large rock was damming the stream, blocking the flow and creating stagnation. The garden, he said, represented the Foursquare family; the rock represented past hurts and unforgiveness and the quenching of the Holy Spirit.

“God is calling us to a true and renewed repentance, which will turn us to Him and to one another; He will restore everything that has been lost,” Keegel said. “God is calling us to come back to dependence on the Holy Spirit, to a Spirit-filled life, and to Spirit-led ministering. We have been guilty of grieving the Holy Spirit. It is time to return to our Pentecostal legacy.”

He then began to prophetically speak healing over numerous people in the audience, and a strong time of prayer and ministry ensued. As the evening concluded, several Foursquare leaders, including Northeast District Supervisor Robb Hattem, Pastor Huey Hudson, Mid-Atlantic District Supervisor Harriet Mouer and Children’s Pastor Lynn Cooper of Decatur, Ill., offered prayers of repentance for past offenses, misunderstandings and areas of division.

All of this week's sessions on CD and DVD, as well as bonus material, including this year's story DVDs, are available in the Foursquare 2011 Experience Kit for $149. Additional items, including individual sessions, are also available for purchase online.

Read More About Connection 2011

 

By: Beth Mead, a Foursquare credentialed minister who serves in the National Church Office