Nearly 2,000 attendants representing every state and from over 20 countries soaked up the wisdom and insights from key leaders at an event meant to train pastors to plant five million new churches and convert one billion new souls to Christ over the next ten years.
The Billion Soul Pastors Conference is hosting a sold-out crowd at Faith Assembly Church in Orlando, Fla., from Jan. 25-27. Its vision to complete the Great Commission has generated much excitement around the nation since 2002, when the first pastors conference drew more than 5,000 pastors.
James O. Davis, co-founder, president and CEO of sponsoring ministry, the Global Pastors Network (GPN), said Thursday evening that this is the greatest concerted effort of evangelism in history. He said that with laser-like vision, the Great Commission can and will be fulfilled.
It starts with a mandate from the Master. God puts vision in our hearts, said Davis. When God gives vision, when God puts something in your heart, youre not chasing every rabbit any more. When He puts it in your heart, your light will be clear, [and] your direction will be crisp. We need to go where God wants us to go to finish the Great Commission for the glory of God.
Robert Barringer, leader of the strongest church in Lima, Peru, said Wednesday that to plant five million churches is the greatest mission of the church.
We must be focused and ready for Christ! exclaimed Barringer, who has brought political reform to his nation. His topic was, How to Win the Hearts of Political Leaders.
Surprise guest and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said he depended on his faith in God and people in the 9/11 tragedy.
Strong beliefs guide countries and churches, he said.
I know many of the men who died on 9/11 came from religious homes where they were taught there is no greater principle than to lay down your life for another, Giuliani later added.
He shared from his heart the principles of leadership universal that apply to the public and private sector as well as the church, said Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church in Los Angeles. The value of teamwork that brought him through 9/11 is the same principle of discipleship that can lead the Church for Gods Kingdom.
According to Davis, pastors are the heartbeat to the fulfillment because the task is too large for any one group. That's the heartbeat to train enough pastors and to do it exponentially, the GPN head stated.
The greatest need on the earth today is to train pastors because if we're going to multiply we're going to need leaders to multiply, he said. If were going to have one billion conversions, we need five million leaders.
Davis said that leaders must be trained as they go along, and leaders cannot wait to finish seminary after eight years in order to lead others to Christ. Thus, GPN is developing leadership resources, and preaching materials for pastors.
The Global Pastors Network began four years ago in 2002 as a resource for the Church to train and equip pastors. Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ and Dr. James O. Davis, co-founders, wanted to provide ministry leaders around the world with the best Christian leadership training available. Though Bright died in July 2003, his vision and legacy live on through the leaders he inspired.
Over the past four years, the Global Pastors Network has brought together more than 20,000 pastors from every state, every Canadian province, and over 70 nations.
The Global Pastors Network is at the forefront to train millions of pastors and Christian leaders for the billion-soul harvest, all for a fraction of the time and cost. A Summit conference is scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Faithful Central Bible Church in the Los Angeles-area.
For this weeks event, camera crews, photographers, and reporters from the PBS show, Religion and Ethics Weekly and The New York based Associated Press were on hand. MSNBCs Hard Ball with Chris Matthew also covered the conference.
The Billion Soul Pastors Conference runs through Friday evening, with a line-up of top visionary Christian and business leaders yet to speak, such as evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, who will also preach at a special Sunday evening service at 6:00 p.m. that is open to the public.
World-class speakers for the conference number over 50, including the Rev. Sunday Adelaja from Ukraine; Robert Barriger of Peru; Focus on the Familys H. B. London; best-selling author John Bevere; Prince Guneratnum from Malaysia; David Mohan from India; Ronnie Floyd from Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark.; Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty of Victorian Christian Center; megachurch pastor John Hagee; founder of INJOY and EQUIP ministries John Maxwell; founder of Chick-fil-A, S. Truett Cathy; success expert Peter Lowe, president of worldwide operations for Disney Al Weiss; and former mayor of NYC, Rudolph Giuliani.
Those interested can still register online for the live Internet webcast of the event at www.soulmillionaire.com.