The final day of Foursquare Connection 2012 in Phoenix focused on reclaiming our voice with the boldness of the Holy Spirit.
The first order of the day was the morning business session, during which delegates voted on bylaw changes, and honored outgoing and incoming board members. This was followed by the final service at 10 a.m.
A prophetic urging to build bridges of reconciliation permeated the morning session as worship leaders Eric Diaz, Trevor Burris and band encouraged pastors and leaders to freely receive God’s touch on their lives during worship.
Charlie Finocchiaro, national leader of the Dominican Republic Foursquare Church, greeted the convention body, and Richard and Kristen Root, Foursquare missionaries to Ireland, led everyone in prayer.
Co-emcee Marcus Ellington interviewed Serena Wastman, senior pastor of Journey of Faith (Seattle West Alki Foursquare Church) in Seattle. She excitedly reminded every leader—and especially the younger generation—that God has appointed each of us to a unique place and with a unique voice to bring people to Jesus Christ.
Eight years ago, Serena and her husband, Robbie, started a group for young people, which became known as Skate Church. The ministry has received much positive press coverage through the years, including a recent article in The Seattle Times. The next generation is going to look different, Serena proclaimed with a huge smile, and we need to “let go but lend our wisdom” to them.
Ministry in Our Culture
Connection delegates enjoyed the ministries of two keynote speakers in closing session: Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research; and Keith Jenkins, missional director for the Greater Los Angeles District and senior pastor of New Life Christian Center (West Adams Foursquare Church) in Los Angeles. Each speaker had their own emphasis, but both focused on the release of our voice to speak right now and where we live.
Ed spoke of “the already but not yet,” which he defined as the uncomfortable time between knowing that God has won the spiritual battle and when sin in the world is finally conquered. The fact that the world lives in rebellion to God does not minimize the power of God’s Word and the sovereignty of His kingdom, he said. Ed called leaders to repentance for personal doubt and encouraged us to align with God’s mission as kingdom citizens who deliver a “subversive message” of the gospel.
“The cultural indicators are going the wrong direction,” Ed stated. “Kingdom indicators are always going the right direction.”
Picking up on this theme, Keith Jenkins exhorted leaders to overcome personal doubt in our preaching and not allow fear to influence our delivery of the gospel. He said that God is “on mission,” and told every leader to join Him on that mission. Referencing Acts 18, the Scripture theme for Foursquare Connection 2012, Keith said that now is the time for The Foursquare Church to be heard.
“Steward your voices well,” Keith said, and cautioned that we not respond to every cause that calls for our attention. “Teach the Bible and root your people in God’s Word.”
Jean Darnall, an ordained Foursquare evangelist and assisting minister from The Church On the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., was invited to minister a prophetic word of the Lord to the convention body. She said the Holy Spirit had given each leader gifts to reach the world, but that some had become stagnant in using those gifts. She said the Holy Spirit was opening new opportunities for the church to minister in a world shaken by darkness and sin, and she strongly urged each person to move out and boldly use their gifts again.
“Your submission to the Lord even in the darkness will bring light to this generation,” Jean encouraged. “The power of the Holy Spirit will bring a word of boldness and comfort in a day of fear and terror. Do not adopt the arrogance of the world, but humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. As you do, you will bring restoration, recovery and healing to the world.”
Communion and Commission
The service ended with worship by Eric Diaz and Trevor Burris as Burt Smith, senior pastor of The Church of Living Water (Olympia Foursquare Church), in Olympia, Wash., along with Missionaries Richard and Kristen Root, led everyone in observing communion. Blessing was spoken in both English and Spanish, and delegates were commissioned to a year of fruitful ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.
President Glenn Burris Jr. gave the closing exhortation: “Let’s reclaim our voice!”
Connection 2013 will be held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Pre-registration will open in September 2012. Details will be posted online as information becomes available.
Read More About Connection 2012
By: Rod Light, an ordained Foursquare minister and educator in Los Angeles