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Important fall updates for Foursquare pastors and leaders

As we focus this fall on leadership development, President Glenn Burris Jr. shares spiritual insights about leadership as well as updates all Foursquare pastors should be aware of.

Glenn Burris Jr.

Early in my ministry, I was struck by the amazing leadership that Moses displayed, despite his obvious flaws.

Moses concluded his ministry with an act of impatience, but he is still an honored leader, and his name appears more often in the New Testament than any other Old Testament personality. In his book Messengers of God, Elie Wiesel said this about him: “The immensity of his task and the scope of his experience command our admiration.”

There are some simple principles of Moses and his leadership that are remarkably reproducible in contemporary leaders:

  • He listened to others: When his father-in-law chastised him for a lack of delegation and the impact of that style of leadership, Moses listened and adjusted (Exod. 18).
  • He understood leadership was temporary; he knew that godly leadership is the stewardship of someone else’s vision—God’s. He saw a future that did not include himself (Numbers 27:12-33).
  • He let others lead. Joshua was put in charge of Israel’s battle with the Amalekites (Exod. 17:8-16).
  • He let others hang out to experience leadership firsthand. When Moses received the Ten Commandments (Exod. 24:13), Joshua was there. When he smashed the two tablets in anger (Exod. 32:17-19), Joshua was there. When Moses had holy communion with God, Joshua was there guarding the tent of meeting (Exod. 33:11).
  • He let others help him shape the outcomes. Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands in battle, enabling Israel to prevail (Exod. 17:12).

Joshua was a great leader and a powerful warrior who took much territory. But Israel departed from their allegiance to God after his leadership ended. While we read about his exploits, we do not see the same commitment to developing the leaders around him.

At Foursquare Connection 2017, it was very obvious that God is blessing Foursquare with very gifted leaders who are outside of the traditional clergy role. Just over 50 percent of our registered participants were not licensed, but they were active participants in our gathering. God is increasing our understanding of His design and architecture of a people-force to radically alter the spiritual landscape of our world.

One pastor in Hawaii had five business leaders attend the convention in Washington, D.C., and, according to him, they came back “fired up” for the kingdom. They plan to encourage more business leaders to attend Foursquare Connection 2018 in Seattle, which will be themed “Transformed by Jesus.”

I would love for you to read the reports from three powerful teams of people who researched “the whole church, taking the whole gospel, to the whole world.” Visit 4sq.ca/lausanne to read about new insights into each of these three dimensions of the Lausanne commitment to the Great Commission. As you might expect, the discussion has moved beyond the simply quantitative and geographical aspects of sharing the gospel and also highlights the importance of the qualitative aspect of effectively sharing God’s saving grace with the world.

Important Updates

Our Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR) team has been working on the ground with chaplains and local pastors to provide support in the wake of this year’s hurricane season. Our Foursquare family has donated with generosity and has sent skilled workers to serve in the cleanup and restoration efforts. It’s an honor to serve alongside such wonderful people. Recovery will be a long-term issue, and donations are still being gratefully accepted for recent hurricanes as well as for the FDR ready fund, which provides immediate relief in the wake of disasters. Learn more about current efforts here.

Foursquare Missions International (FMI) is a powerful partnership of leaders reaching the world and our own nation. This partnership—forged through years of kingdom expansion, cross-cultural training and local church connections with international opportunities—continues to be strong today. A couple times a year, we have special opportunities of coming together in giving to help seed compassion and love with the gospel. This Christmas is no exception.

This Christmas, FMI invites your church to partner with them as they work with FDR for Project Nourish. This initiative brings food and Christ’s love to those facing starvation in East Africa, tens of thousands of whom are our own Foursquare family. FDR is equipping local Foursquare leaders to be the hands and feet of Jesus by providing funds to buy nutritious, locally sourced food for those in need.

We’ve heard many stories, including Foursquare churches who opened their doors to take in South Sudanese refugees facing violence and famine, and pastors who frequent Ugandan camps to deliver food and pray with people. Now, we can do something to help. With FDR, FMI has prepared easy ways your church can get involved with giving this Christmas. For more information, visit foursquaremissions.org/christmas and commit to help stop starvation now.

Next year’s theme, “Transformed by Jesus,” will begin with 21 days of prayer and fasting on Jan. 1, 2018. We will focus on the ministry and person of the Holy Spirit, and call people to intercede and immerse themselves in the world and in prayer. We constantly receive updates on miraculous breakthroughs that have been connected to our times of prayer and fasting.

Thank You

Thank you for your trust and support. Debbie and I, and our L.A.-based team, consider it our highest honor to serve you and the mission of our Foursquare movement. Many stories are emerging from our Reimagine efforts, and local church ministry is maximizing opportunities for ministry. May the Lord crown your efforts with success, and give you a clear sense of His presence, protection and provision as you labor in His kingdom. May the enemy’s plans be exposed and come to nothing.

The words that were written to the church at Rome many centuries ago still give us great joy and hope today: “It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself?” (Rom. 8:11, MSG).

is president of The Foursquare Church.
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