Christian business and financial representatives from at least 15 nations and 40 U.S. states have convened in Austin, Texas, to discuss potential economic strategies and solutions for the troubled economy.
Patterned loosely after the World Economic Forum, the 2nd Annual Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit (K.E.Y.S.) is being held at the PromiseLand Church and features speakers including best-selling author Dr. Richard Blackaby, president of Blackaby International; Johnny Enlow, president of Daystar International; and Os Hillman, president of Marketplace Leaders Ministries.
According to K.E.Y.S. organizer, convener and host Dr. Bruce Cook, this year's summit is especially significant considering the state of the marketplace today.
"What's happening is both a market correction and a marketplace reformation," he says, "and the global financial turmoil and shaking of economies, nations, markets, institutions and currencies has helped trigger widespread fear and a crisis of belief in many people."
"In response, a growing number of business men and women are turning to God, discovering prayer and Biblical principles, choosing faith over fear, and re-examining their assumptions and beliefs about finances, investing, debt, retirement and stewardship in light of current economic conditions," he adds.
Notably, however, a Gallup Poll last month found that church attendance in the United States had hardly shifted since the economy went south.
"It is not an unreasonable conjecture that the current recession would cause Americans to increasingly turn to religion as a surcease from their economic or personal sorrow. But that does not appear to be the case," according to the Gallup report.
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life had similar findings.
A Pew Forum analysis of polls by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press showed earlier last month that there has been no increase in weekly worship service attendance despite the drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
But Cook, an ordained Christian minister as well as a business and financial consultant, insists that there's a different response among businessmen.
"God is moving powerfully in the marketplace," he reports.
This week's four-day conference, which kicked off Wednesday, features a slew of speakers as well as 16 marketplace panels dealing with topics such as business, finance, economics, ethics, Internet sales and marketing, corporate strategy, philanthropy, wealth management, entrepreneurism, international business, insurance, real estate, microeconomic loans, and public market investing.
The event is being webcast and the evening sessions are being offered free after 7 p.m. each night as space will allow.
It is being held only seven months after the first summit took place Sept. 4-6, 2008.
Among the event's sponsors are Green Growth Technologies, Compassion International, The Rock Investment Group, and Sartius Investments.