You are aware, I believe, My Trusted Fellow-Servant—aware of my desire to secure trustworthy communication with you.
Though my letters have risked being lengthy in my quest for full openness and forthright spiritual focus, this seventh of my letters to you will be briefer. It is the first of three numbered communiqu?s coming your way in the next few weeks. Each is of great significance—being packaged separately (a) to assist clarity and focus and (b) to emphasize the distinct importance of each one. Let me explain:
The “1” sticker on this envelope obviously indicates the first —by far the least in material content, but (I hope you’ll sense) the key to the others, both in a practical as well as a prophetic sense. Here, I will ask to engage your thoughts—your own sense of discerning the mind of the Holy Spirit for us as a movement, looking at our forthcoming conventions in Washington, D.C. and in Jerusalem. (Then, let me share my passionate belief about God’s sovereign providence and appointed purposes in these two events.)
The “2” sticker will appear on a packet you will receive in about 12 days. Its contents provide all the information you need to capture the rich dimensions before us in the Washington, D.C. Convention (focusing worship—from an evening with The Newsboys, to daily praise with Nashville’s New Song team, plus an Urban Praise team from our churches in the D.C. area; also, briefing you on special guest speakers, including the possibility of our being addressed by President George W. Bush). Your registration material, including hotel information, will be in your mailbox soon.
The “3” sticker will appear on the last packet—to be mailed March 1. It will include full details on our 2007 Convention in Jerusalem. While I trust you’ve been unhindered by not having this sooner, I am embarrassed to have earlier promised this material by the end of January. However, the complex details involved in working with both the U.S. and Israeli side for so large a group coming into the land requires unusually detailed, careful planning. We are endeavoring to assure the best possible prices for venues and accommodations in order to make this event enjoyable as well as spiritually fruitful.
Each of these events calls for a decision. May I urge you to not presume to treat either of them in a “Business as usual” matter.
It is that concern—that you and I join together in capturing the “unusual” of God’s timing and purpose for these events— that prompts this letter’s remainder.
Not since my first letter to you 16 months ago have I felt the dimension of “burden” I feel right now. It isn’t a burden of heaviness as one might describe a trial or weariness, but perhaps the “heavy” best described by a mother coming into the last weeks of a pregnancy. It’s the weight of an impending entry of life!
I see the coming 16 months holding this promise. I am possessed by a “word” I feel the Holy Spirit has imprinted on my soul—a belief that the coming two gatherings (in Washington, D.C. this May 29-June 1 and in Jerusalem next July 22-25, 2007) are more than simply “planned events”—that they are “God-designed.”
I want to submit to you my sense that this pair of conventions has been distinctly choreographed by God—that HE is the Host, and that He is inviting us to two very unique encounters.
Somehow, my heart feels the desire of HIS heart—calling us into His embrace, to know His living presence, to heed His mighty Word, and to drink of His Spirit’s refreshing.
These are weighty prospects—laden with “the weight of glory” with which I believe our Father wants to imprint us as a people in very distinct, dynamic, and prophetic ways!
THE DUAL CHALLENGE WE FACE
Let me be frank. With such a schedule and the requirement it places on you to think and plan your involvement in both events, our habits as a fellowship of churches incline many of us to “make a choice” rather than “plan for both” in a case like this. Practicality and necessity easily conspire to lower our vision for “what God could enable for me.” I understand—and I do not want to impose an emotional burden upon any leader—any who (by reason of the significant financial challenge in these back-to-back events) may feel forced to “decide between” conventions or tempted to bypass both.
Nothing in what follows is intended to do anything other than encourage. But, I feel I could fail you if I do not do two things:
First, offer you a deeply felt “word”—a pastoral call to faith, to believe both are possible for you; Second, enter a covenant of prayer with you that God will extend His hand in power and provision.
It is not presumptuous faith to believe this, for I am truly persuaded God is up to something with us as a Church family. And it is in that light that faith is stimulated to believe beyond the ordinary, convinced that He truly desires to enable us to unite at these events ordained in His purpose:
To partner in such faith requires both of us to refuse any trace of feeling that our conventions are merely an institutional habit or only a temporal “human idea.” Neither of us has time for nor interest in that. And I believe that, just as I am, you are too busy to “convene” for human reasons alone—just “to visit sites,” or only “to see friends.” At the same time, however, note this: I DO BELIEVE IN THOSE VALUES, TOO!
In no way is it trivial or unspiritual to anticipate visiting our U.S. capital. Neither is feeling excitement about our being in “His Land” unworthy!! Moreover, “being with friends”—our fellow pastors and associates with whom we labor in the Gospel—is a God idea too! (Read Psalm 133 for starters if any evidence is needed!!)
But I’m asking you to look beyond the best and the worthiest of human values inherent to our conventions; to move in a mutual accord and expectancy of God’s purposes among us and through us at this hour of our movement’s life. And, wherever it’s helpful, I want to assist us all to lift our eyes to see the promised possibilities I believe He is offering us.
Your Kingdom Come…In Word And In Power!
International Congress on Discipleship and Ministry
Washington, D.C. – May 29-June 1, 2006
Inviting God’s Mercy And Grace On A Nation
Come to Washington! Let’s say, “Jesus, meet us! Refresh
my personal leadership, sharpen our focus as a movement
and ignite our faith to love our country into Your Kingdom.
On Earth As It Is In Heaven
The International Congress on Worship,
Prayer and Our Global Witness
Jerusalem, Israel – July 22-25, 2007
Capturing A Vision From The Mount Of Olives
Looking at Christ’s “Heaven-side” Dream for His Church from the “Earth-side” location of His Commission.
As brief as the content in those two frames I hope you can feel something of the pulse of the vision that compels my passion in writing to you as I am now. So, at the bottom line, my letter is to ask you to kneel with me—now and over the days and months to come. As we do, I want to ask the privilege of joining hands with you in faith:
With every Foursquare leader –that we engage and embrace a spirit of expectancy regarding our next two conventions; and,
With any Foursquare leader who may need encouragement to believe beyond the ordinary concerning his or her ability to attend these gatherings.
In that prayer pursuit, let me recommend we “speak the same thing” about these events; that, when “Washington’s” or “Jerusalem’s” gatherings are referenced, we do the following:
Declare our prayer commitment to receive God’s highest
purposes for us there—all of us…each of us; and let us
Position ourselves beside one another in the belief that
God will provide a way for both events, because we see
them as His plan, and we desire His work in our midst.
Do, please—hear my heart, know my care for you and each pastor and leader. And please trust our commitment to serve and encourage you as we labor together in the harvest and stand together in the battle.
In the confidence that you do “hear” in that way, I leave this word in your hands. It’s longer than I wished, but of a length necessary for me to bare my heart and fulfill my desire to reach to you as your partner in service and as your joint-heir in the promises our dear Father has given us in Jesus, our wonderful Lord.
Yours, because His!
Jack W. Hayford