Prayer and worship filled the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California today as The Foursquare Church continued Connection '09, the annual international convention of the Foursquare movement.
Today's services included the creativity and gifting of the music ministry of several ministers from the Foursquare family. The acoustic sounds of Marc Wymore and his band in the morning session established the day with Holy Spirit anointing. In the evening service, The Worship Team of The Rock, which included a full-voice choir and band from The Rock in Anaheim, exploded with sound and led ministers and lay leaders in thunderous praise.
"Convention Kids," the children attending Connection '09, also took the platform during the evening service and presented a medley of songs. Later, Foursquare minister and four-time Grammy winner Soraya Moraes from Brazil ministered in music, and was joined by The Rock Choir under the direction of David Dirmann. Soraya's ministry of music in Spanish and in English further established the theme for the evening service: God has indeed set a wide-open door before The Foursquare Church to minister to every culture and people group—both in the U.S. and around the world—with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This morning, Pastor Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope Foursquare Church in Honolulu, Hawaii, delivered the keynote address, challenging ministers to return to "life on life" ministry—a relational focus that releases greatness in others. Wayne spoke about the need for reproducing leaders and said that the Christian church in the U.S. is not keeping up with the replacement rate—he offered the astounding number of 1,500 ministers leaving the ministry every month.
"Within the next decade 120,000 churches will require new leaders," Wayne said, "and we must intentionally increase the birth rate of young ministers who are committed to reaching the lost in ever-increasing ways."
He spoke of discipling the disciplers:
1. Believe Early. Greatness can only be believed; it will not emerge by coercion.
2. Mentor Courageously. In the end, we will not be measured by what we have done. We will be measured by what others do because of what we have done.
3. Challenge Boldly. Leaders desire to know the truth about how to improve.
Jonathan Hall, director of Foursquare Missions International, interviewed Pastor Jack, Glenn Burris Jr., and Ted Vail, recently appointed director of Foursquare's Urban and Multi-Cultural Ministries, discussing how Foursquare Missions International and the U.S. National Church will partner in reaching people of every language and culture for Jesus Christ. Ted spoke of how cultures and countries are indeed "wide open" to one another for ministry. He noted that while missionaries continue to be sent from the U.S. to other countries, missionaries are also being sent to the U.S., specifically to reach unique people groups sometimes overlooked by conventional English-speaking ministries.
Pastor Jack introduced Dr. Andre Hanny Mandey, general chairman of the Pentecostal Church of Indonesia, and Leopold Banzubaze, Foursquare's East African Regional Council Chairman and president of the Evangelical Alliance in Burundi. Each spoke from his heart about the convention theme, "Wide Open," from Revelation 3:8.
Dr. Mandey encouraged leaders to boldly step through the open door and to see what is on the other side as the Lord takes The Foursquare Church into a new season of fruitfulness. He spoke about how the Lord has called young leaders in Indonesia to be trained in their Bible schools, and about the excitement these young ministers demonstrate as they take the message of the Savior to the people of the world.
Leopold Banzubaze said that now is the right time for The Foursquare Church to approach the door before us. He reminded us that it is not an ordinary door but a spiritual one, and that we need God's eyes to see what is really before us. Referring to Mark 10 and the account of Jesus giving sight to Bartimaeus, he pointed out that the healing came by calling on the name of Jesus. "The name of Jesus is beyond illness," he said. The name of Jesus is beyond fear and doubt. Jesus has conquered them all, and as we begin to see the door before us, something is going to happen tonight!"
Also, the business session of the 2009 Foursquare convention concluded this morning. Among the decisions that were made and announced were:
1. The ratification of John Mazariegos for a second term of service on the board of directors.
2. Additional board members or observers who have accepted new assignments within the consolidated district structure were acknowledged, and their replacements were announced.
3. The 2010 Foursquare convention will be held in Atlanta.
Other events throughout the evening session included Pastor Jack Hayford recognizing ministers who received awards for 50 and 60 years of Foursquare ministry. Recipients received a standing ovation from their peers for a life of dedication and a legacy of faithfulness.
In addition, a video report about Foursquare Missions International was received with cheers and shouts of joy as the convention body celebrated the ministry results from the past year. Globally, 250,000,000 people came to the Lord through the impact of Foursquare ministries around the world, and 800,000 people were baptized in the Holy Spirit, a figure that represents an increase of 82 percent in one year.
As a conclusion, Soraya Moraes returned to the platform to sing, and her song ushered in a time of personal ministry and prayer as U.S. ministers and global leaders prayed together as one for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
As The Foursquare Church moves forward with a wide-open focus on urban and multi-cultural ministries in the U.S. and around the world, prayer was offered for a limitless harvest bringing the life of Jesus to people as never before in our history.
Connection '09 continues through Thursday night at the Anaheim Convention Center. Live video is available online during each morning and evening session, as are photos and backstage footage.
By: Rod Light, National Church Communications Facilitator