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Day 1: Foursquare Connection 2011 Begins in Columbus

Pastor Jon Tyson and worship leader Aaron Keyes set the tone for Foursquare's annual gathering, held this year in Columbus, Ohio.

For some of the nearly 2,500 Foursquare leaders registered for Connection 2011, getting to Columbus, Ohio, was quite a challenge—stories of stormy weather, delayed or cancelled flights, and lost luggage swirled through the Greater Columbus Convention Center throughout the day on Monday, May 30, 2011.

But memories of the inconveniences began to fade as longtime friends reconnected and, by evening, the Spirit of God moved strongly and triumphantly as the Foursquare family from around the world gathered in Batelle Hall for the 84th annual convention of The Foursquare Church, themed “Accelerate—the Whole Gospel to the Whole World.”

Interspersed between compelling worship sets by Aaron Keyes, recording artist and worship pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., were a strong invocation by Foursquare Chaplain and U.S. Air Force Captain Hank Thomas, a little light-hearted banter by hosts Steve and Kim Cecil, who pastor The Journey (Madison Metro Foursquare Church) in Madison, Wis., and a warm greeting from Foursquare U.S. President Glenn Burris Jr. and his wife, Debbie.

Barry Buzza, national leader of Foursquare Canada, and Jose “Meme” Sanchez, national leader of Foursquare Mexico, each gave a greeting, and Foursquare Missions International Director James C. Scott Jr. recognized the additional national leaders who were in attendance from around the world.

The crowd was brought to tears during a powerful worship art performance by teenager Tory Foster, who attends Harvest Community Church (Concord Northwest Foursquare Church), located in Concord, N.C. She beautifully executed a dramatic painting of Jesus’ face while the worship song “How He Loves Us” played.

Australian-born church planter Jon Tyson, senior pastor of Trinity Grace Church in New York City, gave an insightful message on “cause fatigue,” from the letter to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7.

Tyson pointed out that though the Ephesians were commended for their perseverance and holiness, and had Timothy and Paul encouraging them personally, they lost their passion for God within 40 years. He then cited five “myths” in regard to church passion: the do-it-all “super pastor,” the miraculous, cultural impact, focus on mission and servanthood, and doctrine.

While all of these are good, he noted, none will restore passion for God. Rather, the key is simply receiving His love and walking in it. “Success is walking with Jesus. Period,” said Tyson. He concluded in prayer, asking that Foursquare “be known as people that walk with God and abide in his love.”

The session concluded with passionate worship, as many came forward for prayer at the altar, while Keyes ended with a reprise of “How He Loves Us.”

All of this week’s sessions on CD and DVD, as well as bonus material, including this year’s story DVDs, are available in the Foursquare 2011 Experience Kit for $149.

Read More About Connection 2011

By: Beth Mead, a credentialed Foursquare minister who serves at the central office in Los Angeles 

is the content manager for The Foursquare Church in Los Angeles.
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