More than 2,100 Christian leaders from around the world descended upon Atlanta last week for a three-day conference to help empower church leaders to reach the next billion people for Christ.
The Second Billion Network's semi-annual Synergize! Conference drew attendees from every state and almost 50 countries on Jan. 29-31. The Atlanta conference featured dozens of sessions led by top Christian and business leaders and highlighted a wide variety of methods and best practices used by pastors from around the world.
"Our 2,100 delegates not only heard from conference leaders about new and creative ways to engage their culture and grow and reproduce their churches, but they were also able to network with delegates from other cultures, countries and denominations and find out how some of those best practices worked," said Dr. James Davis, founder and president of The Second Billion Network and co-host of the Synergize! Conference.
A highlight of the gathering was a talk by Pastor Sunday Adelaja, founder and pastor of the largest church in Europe, God's Embassy Church in Kiev, Ukraine. The church has 30,000 members with a total membership, including all satellite locations in Ukraine, of 100,000.
Adelaja shared his insights into bringing the church into the seven spheres of influence – spiritual/social, government/politics, business/economy, education, media, culture/entertainment, and sports.
"If we infiltrate all these spheres of influence and their hundreds of subdivisions, we will have brought the kingdom lifestyle to a whole nation," Adelaja said.
Another highlight was Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, who shared how he succeeded in the business world with his Christian values.
Other conference speakers included Orlando Magic's senior vice president Pat Williams, Malaysia's Pastor Prince Guneratnam, and India's Pastor David Mohan.
"What's amazing about this vision of reaching the next billion people is that it compels us all to work together," said Leonard Sweet, a noted American Christian leader, theologian and author.
"Synergize: Bringing the Best to the Rest" conferences will be held around the world in the next 14 months, according to the Second Billion Network.
The Second Billion Network is an international church growth and church planting collaboration of pastors, leaders and denominations whose goal is to begin to double the size of the Church through five million new churches plants throughout the world and to bring to Christ the next billion people.
The network seeks out ministry partners, enlists leaders, shares resources, and provides leadership training to network churches and pastors to achieve the goal of a billion new Christians in the next 15 years.