Convention activities started today with a time of early-morning prayer, intercession and worship followed by the day's first session at 9:00 a.m. with speaker Amos Dodge, senior pastor of Captial Church in McLean, Va., which he and his wife, Sue, founded as a center for rebirth and renewal in the nation's capital.
After welcoming delegates to the 9:00 a.m. session, Foursquare General Supervisor Glenn Burris Jr. introduced Eric Green, who led in a time of uplifting and energetic worship with the Urban Praise Team--a collection of worshipers from D.C.-area Foursquare churches.
Following worship, Glenn Burris Jr. introduced Peter Bonano, Foursquare pastor and district supervisor, who welcomed those gathered to the East Coast and introduced Amos Dodge.
Pastor Dodge spoke on the subject, "Abundance and the Kingdom." He shared from his personal pastoral experience and taught from the life of Abraham, noting that the key characteristic of Abraham’s life was that he obeyed God.
He detailed four points about Abraham's spiritual journey in relation to his obedience and the abundance Abraham ultimately experienced as a result:
- He obeyed when he didn’t know where God was taking him.
- He obeyed when he didn’t know how God was going to do it.
- He obeyed when he didn’t know when God was going to do it.
- He obeyed when he didn’t know why God was asking him to do it.
"Is there any area of your life where you are delaying your obedience to God?" Rev. Dodge asked the crowd. "Will you still be obedient when nothing looks like it's going right? We want to live by explanations not promises--but we are called to live by promises not explanations."
The service ended in a time of prayerful commitment to obedience.
Daniel Brown, senior pastor of The Coastlands in Aptos, Calif., a congregation that has planted 35 churches throughout the United States and Western Europe, gave the keynote message in the morning’s second session, following a powerful time of praise and worship led by New Song Christian Worship Team.
Prior to the session's keynote address, Pastor Jack introduced well-known entertainer Amick Byran, who sang a stirring number about choosing to follow Christ and also shared some examples of being a positive influence as a Christian in Hollywood.
Peter Bonano then introduced Daniel Brown, who spoke on the topic, "Servanthood and the Kingdom."
Speaking primarily from 1 Chronicles, Dr. Brown noted what it means to serve the kingdom of God: "When we are serving the kingdom, we are serving the purposes and the people of God--we want to advance those people and the purposes of God in their lives."
He shared the story of David as he "took great pains" to prepare his son Solomon for his kingly assignment, noting that David had commanded leaders to support and encourage the soon-to-be king. In essence, he was saying to the older generation, Will you support this leader I'm raising up?
"David had commissioned people to be responsible for and in charge of every imaginable work that needed to be done in the kingdom," Dr. Brown said regarding David’s leadership. "How many pastors could even list five or six people who are responsible for ministry doesn’t have to come back to the central leader? Perpetual delegation is the pattern of Scripture. When I have been given a place, that place is not to end with me; it’s not about me. I recognize I’m supposed to take the DNA of what has happened in my life and pass it on to another generation of offspring."
Dr. Brown exhorted that "there is a mandate on our movement to remind us we are a discipling movement. It's generation to generation. God's plan is a multi-generational plan. The assignment to 'be fruitful and multiply' is still on us."
During the afternoon, following the morning's second service, convention delegates browsed the exhibit hall where more than 75 exhibitors from a wide spectrum of Christian companies and ministries showcased their latest products and services. Participants also enjoyed a free Internet café powered by faithHighway.
Workshops offered today included topics on creative communication, vibrant worship, reaching children and teens, and worldwide missions, among many others.
"The People That Shake Nations" was the theme of the 6:30 p.m. session, during which actor Dean Jones and singer Steve Amerson led the convention delegates in focusing a call to guide churches marked by prevailing prayer.
The service began with New Song Christian Worship Team leading in a time of high-energy praise, during which the congregation abandoned themselves to worshiping God. Pastor Jack Hayford gave a prophetic word following the time of worship, the encouragement of which was to "exalt the Lord your God and discover His mightiness toward you." The crowd broke out again in spontaneous praise.
After prayer and a time of greeting, Pastor Jack introduced Steve Amerson, whose brilliant voice has been heard on many TV shows and movies including The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He sang a powerful number about taking a stand and extending God's love by rescuing those around us who are lost and in desperate need.
Following this was a special video presentation on the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged so many in our nation this last year. The video highlighted Foursquare teams that have gone to minister in affected regions as disaster workers, making a real difference in the lives of people.
General Supervisor Glenn Burris Jr. introduced several leaders who represent the many across the nation from many churches involved in relief efforts. He reported that through Foursquare ministries nationwide, a combined total of more than $7 million has been given for hurricane relief, and more than 200 volunteers per week are involved in relief efforts. Foursquare has committed to the continuance of bringing hope and rebuilding--including spiritual hope, recovery and rebuilding--to the devastated areas.
Arthur J. Gray II, Foursquare's director of urban and multicultural ministries, led in the honoring of those receiving Service Awards for 25 years of ministry in The Foursquare Church. The crowd celebrated these servants of the gospel with cheering and a hearty applause.
Pastor Jack acknowledged Dr. John Holland and Dr. Paul Risser, former presidents of The Foursquare Church. They stood along with their wives--Doris Holland and Marilee Risser, respectively--to the crowd's applause. Steve Amerson then sang.
Next Pastor Jack emphasized the importance of prayer for the United States and the call upon The Foursquare Church in this present hour. He then introduced Dean Jones, best known for classic family films such as The Love Bug, That Darn Cat and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.
Dean Jones, in a dramatic presentation he wrote titled "America Uncensored," confronted issues currently facing our nation as he re-enacted character sketches of the Founding Fathers. He noted how historical spiritual revivals as well as the clergymen, or pastors, of our nation's founders, influenced their thinking--and thus our nation--in powerful ways. He detailed the ways in which the faith of America's Founding Fathers informed the decisions they made as they formed our nation and dealt with its societal issues. The presentation was both informative and stirring. He closed by reciting a prayer George Washington had written out and prayed.
The service concluded with a time of extended prayer for ministry leaders, our nation's leaders and our nation.