Foursquare Connection 2015 is about to begin: Monday, May 25, through Thursday, May 28. As we anticipate this important gathering of our movement, here are five things we can expect during our time together in Southern California.
1. An Encounter With God
When people come together and open themselves to the presence of God, He never disappoints. There has been a lot of prayer going up for these days. On Monday night, after the main service, we are inviting anyone who wants to stay to join Jean Darnall and others, as we engage in a focused time of prayer, prophecy and praise.
Never has the American church needed to stay so in tune with God’s purposes and plans. Never have we needed to rely more on His Spirit rather than our ingenuity.
Also, on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, we are opening the auditorium at 7 a.m. for a short teaching/training session on the gifts of the Spirit, as well as personal prayer opportunities. We’ve asked Craig Lawrence, Leslie Keegel and others to lead this time.
2. A Connection With People
Doing ministry together is so much more fulfilling than trying to do ministry alone. That’s why relationships are so important, and why they are such a high value of God’s. Relationships are also one of the reasons people often say they love our annual Connections, because they get to see their old friends and make new ones.
We’ve left some important afternoon space in our schedule this year so that you have extra time with others. Over 25 percent of those registered are coming for the very first time. Find out who they are, and make them feel welcomed! We’re trending at over 1,000 more attendees this year than in Dallas. Hallelujah!
3. An Alignment to Mission
Jesus began describing the “end” days in Matt. 24. He spoke of some fairly disturbing trends of increased persecution, war, people of the faith falling away, false teachings and more. But in the midst of this calamity, He called the church to stay on mission and not get distracted by the events surrounding it: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (v. 14, NKJV).
We may very well be living at the beginning of the “end of time,” as we know it. Regardless, there has never been a more appropriate time for us to “send” the whole church, into the whole world, with the whole gospel. Everything we have prayed over and planned for our gathering in Anaheim has focused around the theme of being “Sent.” You’ve got to love this quote by John Keith Falconer: “I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.”
We will also be sharing the latest updates of our journey to Reimagine Foursquare. We have made great strides and look forward to discussing our progress together.
4. A Celebration of Worship
Before God calls us to work, He calls us to worship. Worship always seems to be one of the highlights of our Connections. When people gather together in His name, and collectively lift their voices to proclaim, shout and sing, something in the realm of the Spirit begins to shake. Chains begin to fall, joy begins to flow, faith begins to rise, and burdens begin to lift. These are some of my favorite times with our family, when we unite our voices into one song, the song of the redeemed.
We’re also highlighting a few of our emerging young voices that God has placed in strategic places of influence. They are taking the “song” God gave them and faithfully declaring Him.
5. An Exhortation From His Word
The Lord has helped us assemble a vast array of outstanding communicators, who will challenge us, exhort us, teach us and equip us for the task at hand. We have attempted to discern stories from our family that will inspire you and remind us that God uses imperfect but submitted people to accomplish His plan in the most unlikely places.
Henry Martyn once said: “The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” You will hear the stories of nation-changing ministries, of simple acts of love that transform the hardest hearts, of ministries that bind up the broken, and others that dismantle demonic strongholds. Others will share about serving in the most difficult of places on Earth. But all of them are called, and all of them are experiencing the faithfulness of God, while bearing fruit of their labors. We can rest assured that His Word will not return void (Isa. 55:11).
I can’t wait to see you in Anaheim. Debbie and I get to share you next week with our three grandkids and their parents. We hope you get to meet them. We feel so incredibly privileged to serve you during this time as we Reimagine our future together with this family we call Foursquare. To Him be the glory and the honor, both now and forevermore! Amen!