31 May Foursquare Connection, Day 2
The morning started out very nicely and continued on through the day. I mentioned last night that if one were to try to keep up with the entirety of the Convention schedule, you would be at meetings from 8:30 am through at least 9:30 pm with only breaks for lunch and dinner.
I, for one, am a confessed Convention wimp when it comes to a schedule like that! It’s just too much. So, one of the things I love about modern technology is that if you are in the convention hotel (and I always make sure to be; it’s never a matter of cost as it’s the same as outside hotels) , the live video feed from the main convention meetings plays right into your room. You don’t have to miss a thing.
For me, I can reserve the energy for people time instead of meeting time. I am at many meetings, but not all of them. So for this morning, I enjoyed the speakers from my room and went down for the business sessions, which took most of the day. Most pastors skip the business portions, but to me, that’s one of the primary reasons to come to the annual convention. You can’t gripe about decisions if you don’t take the time to participate in the process.
The highlight of this year’s business for Foursquare is a proposal being made to launch an “aligned business opportunity” that would allow for the organization to begin building a “nest egg” and structure, if you will, for savings and loans to be offered to churches that would eventually find its proceeds paying for administration costs of our National Church Office. That would mean that the tithe offerings sent in by each Foursquare Church (those that follow this practice; many don’t, though NewHeart does) would be freed to be invested in efforts such as church planting and missions into the future.
The concept is great and one I can easily get behind. The hitch is two-fold. First, the questions about what processes would be in place to make fair, equitable and safe decisions were met with a general “we’re working on that” sense. That led to the second hitch. There’s a fairly recent and unfortunate history of investments gone south and decisions made outside of protocols that led to those losses.
Where the convention body was asking questions and receiving a perceived lack of thorough processing behind the scenes (which is likely not as true as it sounded), a sense of mistrust and “hold our horses” arose. I should add we were being asked to vote on the matter in that very meeting. After quite some discussion, our President, Glenn Burris, wisely moved to table the vote until the next business meeting on Thursday morning to allow for additional discussion to happen.
There is what I believe to be a healthy sense of push back from the convention body that has been present in many conventions past, but not always responded to well by our leadership. The ability of our leadership to respond well to the push back is growing and expanding. I believe that to be a good thing.
Sat with my Youth Pastor, Ralph Torres, who just stepped aside from pastoring Pasadena Foursquare Church the last 27 years and handed the reigns to his son-in-law and daughter, David & Brita Pinkston. It’s quite something to sit aside a man who was very instrumental in my own call to ministry as a peer. Well, HE sees me as a peer, but he will always be a mentor to me.
Enjoyed lunch with our long time friends, Charlie & Darla Finocchiaro, who are Foursquare missionaries in the Dominican Republic, as well as Tim Mossholder (who now leads the exciting Emerging Leader Network for our movement) and Mark Yeager, a fellow Foursquare pastor in Tujunga. Also ran into a Bible College friend who is pastoring down in Anaheim now, Jerry Dirmann. Huge ministry where he is and exciting to see happening!
On the way back to the business session, ran into Tim Clark, who pastors in San Dimas and is a true emerging leader in our movement, He has also been instrumental in the lives of Jonathan Jackson, Megan Whitney and Rheanna Ruppel, recent graduates of LIFE Pacific College from NewHeart. Got to meet his wife, Deborah, as well.
During the late afternoon, after attending to some personal matters, my body began to respond to the 3 hour time difference/jet lag issue. It always hits me on the 3rd day of travel. It’s weird, but it’s a very real thing for me when I travel across time zones. On the 3rd day, my body makes the adjustment, usually signified by a deep and long nap. That happened today, and as a result, I missed a chunk of the evening session.
I did catch the last half, which was wonderful, and attended by a number of healings and prophetic words given. An offering was also received tonight to help move Foursquare Missions International ahead in some ways that it had been financially struggling. A prayer goal was set to raise $1,000,000 in money and pledges to be fulfilled in 2011. They broke through the goal! A point of exuberant celebration!
During the day, our bookkeeper and I had been texting back and forth. It’s the last day of May. NewHeart’s giving was strong this month (thank you for your faithfulness in giving NewHeart! Keep it up!!). We praised God together for that! It also enabled us to participate in this offering as a church to the tune of $1,000!
As a Pastor, I’ve always wanted our missions giving to increase. The economy of the last couple years has seen us unfortunately DEcrease our outside giving. What a great time to see INcrease happen, so that we can give more away, don’t you think?
After the session, had dinner with John Cox and also ran into Steve & Tami Abraham. Steve pastors one of the most growing churches in our district in Oxnard. They were with Scott & Carrie Kujath, also Bible College and early ministry friends. Scott now pastors in Colorado and is doing some great things there. THIS is what Convention is about to me. Running into each other and catching up.
I am missing Bob Penberthy, whose wife, Lisa, is here without him this year. Ran into her tonight too and did some too-quick catch up with her as well.
Another good day at Foursquare Connection 2011! By the way, if you click the logo above, it takes you to the Foursquare Connection website, where you can see the evening sessions all week long. You can view the previous ones, or even join in live. I think that’s VERY cool, but that wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me!
More to come tomorrow!