Report on Aldersgate Renewal Movement Conference
July 15, 1998 - July 19, 1998
Wednesday - July 15, 1998
I registered my attendance as soon as the registration desk opened, at about 9:00 a.m. The packet of information provided was phenomenal, so I had to go off and study it for a while!
For the pre-conference (Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning), we had the opportunity to attend 2 workshops, 1 informational session, 1 general session, and the Parish Renewal Luncheon.
I chose Bob Tuttle (Pentecost Guarantees the Sun Never Sets on Easter Sunday) as my first workshop. Bob is an incredibly educated man of God. He is currently a professor at Asbury School of Theology.
His opening remarks to those in attendance were, "Sit right where you are until you receive what God has for you! If you leave one minute too soon youll get ripped off!" One of the most profound statements I have ever heard!
Our goal as believers should be to make non-believers jealous! If they are jealous of what we have they will seek it. His general topic was evangelism and how and why it must be accomplished. We evangelize because we love. When he addressed faith in this realm of understanding, he pointed out that God disciplines those whom He loves - through our guilty consciences! Then he quickly pointed out that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, however, a guilty conscience is cause for celebration! It proves that God is still treating us as His child!
He defined repentance as. "A willingness to allow God to take your sin from you." We need to be continually renewed - continually converted, not saved over and over, but repent and renew our faith over and over.
The General Session that evening was taught by Gary Moore and Sally Havens. The topic of their message was on Pentecost and how the church overlooks the end of the most important season in the Christian year. (The season begins with Easter and ends with Pentecost.) They spoke some about the L.I.S.S. - Life in the Spirit Seminars - sponsored by A.R.M. and the significant effect they can have on a congregation.
Thursday - July 16, 1998.
My second pre-conference workshop was titled "Prayer for Pentecost" and was taught by Pastor Pat McKinstry (Senior Pastor, Upton UMC, Toledo, OH) Pat McKinstry is a black, female pastor of a primarily middle class white church. This church was about to close when God brought Pat to be the senior pastor. The church had been funded in the past, but Pat refused to take any funding. She felt God was telling her to trust Him and He would make the provision. He did.
This workshop dealt with II Chronicles 7:14 and the necessity of the church to seek Gods FACE (not His hand) before revival will be possible. She pointed out that a lot of people are uncomfortable praying out loud, as if they have an audience and are afraid that they will say the wrong thing. We must teach people that they have an audience of One and it is impossible to say the wrong thing while praying to Him. He not only hears our words but sees our hearts, therefore, has perfect understanding.
Prayer is vital and necessary for God to perform His work. God desires a powerful people through whom to work. We become what He desires when we communicate with Him on a regular basis.
Pat pointed out the necessity of intercessors and the need for intercessors to remain in the background. Intercessors stand between the devil and the church or whoever they are praying for, it is important to be incognito. The devil cant read minds! He only attacks intercessors once their names are known. She also pointed out that when we wake in the middle of the night, it is God waking us to talk to Him...not to watch TV!
We were created to live in the Promised Land, not the Wilderness! Pastors are called to be Joshuas, lead us into the city!
The Parish Renewal Luncheon was next, with a message once again delivered by Bob Tuttle. The title of his message was, "Fired up or Burned Out?".
Bob taught that the root of "burn-out" is the sin of self-reliance. He taught about Jesus standing in Peters boat. He shared the story of how Peter had been out fishing all night and caught nothing. Jesus then asked if he would take Him out. Bob painted a picture of Peter sitting in the boat "pouting" because of his lack of a catch. Jesus then instructed him to cast his nets and the catch was great. One of Peters greatest dilemmas probably occurred when Jesus said, "Follow me". Imagine this, Peter was a fisherman and had just brought in the catch of his life and this man Jesus asked him to walk away from it! (There is no justice in this world!) If you wait until you get what you want, youll never be happy! The only way to be great is to be a servant.
The solution to burn-out is to find someone to disciple you and re-establish faith in God. The only way to stay alive is to keep moving!
Pray for God to renew our vision:
Thursday afternoon, after much prayer and studying the choices given, I chose to take Terry Teykls prayer track. The first workshop was titled, "How to Pray after Youve Kicked the Dog".
Terry pointed out that Adam and Eve were created to live in the garden. They met face to face with God, so at that point in history, prayer was not important. It was only after they were banned from the garden that we needed to pray to communicate with God.
Prayer is a temporary means of keeping in touch with God. Prayer is Gods idea, in order to keep in touch with man.
Things not to do when praying publicly:
1. Say the "right" thing.
2. Pray for a long time.
3. "Suffer" when you pray.
4. Make sure people see you when you pray.
5. Keep copies of your tithing record.
6. Make noise when you pray.
7. Use "prayer" words.
8. Develop elaborate interpretation.
If its Gods idea then it is foolproof. Do Not Be Intimidated by Demons! Jesus is with Us! We must make time for God! No matter has magnificent an airplane is, if it doesnt have brakes it only flies once! The secret to effective prayer is to "brake for God". Terry mentioned two bumper stickers he wished he had, "Call Home - Pray" and "I Brake for God".
The Father is sitting by the phone. He will not shame us or intimidate us when we call.
Scott McDermott brought the message at the first General Session of the Aldersgate Conference (after the pre-conference ended). His text was Luke 9:28-36.
The disciples told no-one of the miracle that they had seen - the transfiguration. We are not to turn to the left or to the right but run the race that is before us.
He threw out a question, "Is the God of the mountain the same as the God of the valley?" Yes, because God is bigger than any valley!
He shared with us an experience he had when visiting a meeting taught by John Arnott. A true mountain top experience where he felt the presence of God everywhere. That experience then equipped him to pray as he had never prayed before and was the precursor to the prayer revival that is currently occurring at his home church. (Scott prayed for me on Saturday night, and I can testify to the fact that the man knows how to pray. He does not cut you off after saying a simple prayer over you, but stays with you as long as it takes to pray through.)
He then shared with us the valley experience of his daughter Rebeccas illness. Yes, the God of the valley is the same as the God of the mountaintop.
Scott cut his hair extremely short in support of his daughter who lost her hair during the chemotherapy.
Friday - July 17, 1998.
We started the day with Intercessory Prayer at 6:30 a.m. We had a time of praise and worship followed by praying for the scheduled times of workshops and general sessions, United Methodist Church, the prayer requests turned in the previous evening, and our home churches. A powerful time!
After breakfast I returned to the "Upper Room" prayer room to receive training on answering the prayer line. I signed up to return to the room and pray at 12:30.
Brief instructions on answering the prayer line:
If someone is suicidal, some things to say would be:
We then had a General Session on Friday Morning. The Aldersgate Youth led the Praise & Worship (much like our GenerationNext music) and the message was delivered by Gary Moore.
He spoke on II Chronicles 7:14 and Isaiah 58:9-10. We must spend our time spreading the Good News and less time lamenting the problems! (Conviction!) Pray for the church. He spoke a powerful message of repentance that convicted many people to turn from the courses they were on. (The video is more powerful that I can portray here, and as soon as Charles has finished previewing it will be placed in the library along with the rest of the videos as soon as they are available.)
After lunch I went to the Upper Room and prayed with callers. How incredible that my first caller would be a woman asking for agreement in prayer that her marriage would be healed and that her husband would come home. I was able to pray with her with real confidence due to what God has done in my own life! My second call was from a mentally ill man who only wanted someone to pray for him. A truly great blessing was had in both instances.
At 2:00 p.m. I attended Workshop #2 taught by Terry Teykl. The title of this workshop was, "New Prayer - An Invitation to the Holy Spirit". He challenged us to pray Acts chapter 2 and replace Peters name with the name of our pastor. He went on to challenge us to pray the book of Acts, a chapter a day for 28 days of each month. Do it over and over, there is always something new to learn!
"We only have one life to live - we must live it for God!" - quote of Terry Teykl.
We took a short break and returned at 3:45 to begin workshop #3. Also taught by Terry, the title of this workshop was, "My House Shall be called a House of Prayer".
Jesus was mainly upset at the merchants in the temple because the sick and hurting people couldnt get in. Jesus was not accepted in His own hometown, however, He continued to go around teaching.
We must be intentional about making the church a House of Prayer and it must be led by someone other than the Pastor. Plant the seed...dont ask people to pray, teach them how to!
Do these modules several weeks in a row but establish a definite ending. It is easier for people to make a commitment if they know for how long (eternity is a long time if no ending is stated).
At 7:00 p.m. on Friday night, after once again experiencing incredible praise & worship, we were blessed to hear a message prepared by Pastor Pat McInstry. I dont have the title of her message but the scripture the message originated from was Joshua 6:6-17.
She pointed out that a rams horn represents a life that has been sacrificed. We are the victor, not the victim! Isaiah 59 tells us "Shout it loud, raise your voice like a trumpet". When you want God to change things in your life, you must shout a loud hallelujah!
The armed guards in Joshuas army were the intercessors; the prayer warriors. They are the ones that pray down the spiritual powers and principalities.
The rear guard in Joshuas army was the choir. The choir is not in the church to entertain the congregation, the choir is there to praise the Lord! During praise the Lord sets up ambushes against our enemies. Everytime we shout, we split the enemies ear!
Saturday morning we once again had intercessory prayer for the Conference between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. We concentrated this time on seminaries, bishops, and local pastors. Once again running our of time before we ran out of prayer!
The Saturday morning General Session was taught by Sister Nancy Kellar, International Catholic Charismatic Teaching Ministry.
After another time of glorious praise and worship, she started her time with us by praying, "Dear God, please multiply my two dead fish!".
She reminded us that the pioneers had a vision and we are called to be pioneers. People with hope and a vision. Hope is the desire for an eternity. We have not yet experienced all that God has for us. We should pray for Pentecost in our daily lives. The fruit of our lives is not for us and our Christian friends, the fruit of our lives is for the hungry and lost, the ones that are starving because they dont know Jesus.
At 2:00 p.m. on Saturday I attended workshop #4, also led by Terry Teykl. The title of this workshop, was "Strategic Prayer Models".
The early church was not easily ignored: They relied on and lived with Jesus. The early church had designated places of prayer.
Are we "preyed on" or "prayed for"? If you are not prayed for, then you are preyed on. The early church prayed for their pastors. A viable model for the church is to pray for people.
We should make daily prayer in our lives a "prayerority". The origin of the Methodist movement was through small groups in homes. The only way to get into homes with the gospel is through the Holy Spirit. One prayer group that Terry is familiar with, walks around a blackboard writing names on the board of people to pray for. Another model for prayer could be placing praying requests on the altar, publicly, rather that slipping them into the offering plate.
The fifth workshop began at 3:45 on Friday afternoon and was titled "Praying for the United Methodist Church".
Desperation will birth prayer in all of us, and in our churches. When Christians hear that there is life somewhere, they want to go there. Find out what God is blessing and go with it.
Terry shared that at times in his prayer ministry he has felt like "a mosquito on an elephants rump". "Well," he said, "if you get enough mosquitoes together, you can make your presence known." People praying can change impossible situations, change the spiritual climate of a place.
We should all be praying for our pastors and encouraging others to do likewise. Put pictures of our pastors on cards and hand them out. If there is division in the church, on committees, etc., etc., we should pray for those people that would seek to argue with us. We need to be seeking the Lord in all areas of our lives and ministry.
We could consider asking our District Superintendents to do a District Event, one day workshop on prayer.
Saturday nights subject was on Healing and was delivered by Duane Miller. Duane is a retired Southern Baptist Pastor.
He shared his testimony with us. In 1990 he was on staff and teaching an adult Sunday School class. He taught this class for about 3 years before being called to be the Senior Pastor at a different S. Baptist Church. He had been at the new church for about 6 months when he woke up one Sunday morning with a sore throat and feeling really rotten. He had no choice but to go and preach since there was no one to fill in for him. During the next two weeks he would alternately feel better then worse, waiting over two weeks before he went to the doctor. By this time he had lost his voice completely.
The doctors ran all kinds of tests and came back with no conclusive findings. No reason for the loss of his voice, but the doctor did recommend he take off 6 months and go into seclusion, not speaking at all. He did this, writing notes whenever he needed to communicate.
At the end of that time, his voice still was no better, so he resigned his pastorate and returned to his former church. After he had been there for a period of time, his former Sunday School class asked him to teach the class again. He explained to them that with his squeaky voice it would not be possible, however, they insisted. So they purchased a special microphone that would rest on his lips, therefore, picking up every sound and transmitting it within the range of those in the class.
All the while that this was going on, this class along with his former church, and many, many friends and relatives were praying continuously for his healing.
This particular Sunday School class had formed the habit of recording all of their lessons so that any that were absent could get the tape and therefore, not get behind in the series of teachings. They had been doing that for over 20 years.
It was during one of Duanes lessons that his voice was miraculously restored. He brought the tape with him as evidence of the miracle that had occurred.
The congregation was then invited to come forward for prayer if they had a need for any kind of healing in their life; whether it be relational, spiritual, emotional, or physical. It only took a few moments for over half of the people present to fill the altar. He prayed for us and over us, individually and collectively, then we broke up and the ministry team made themselves available to help individuals pray through issues.
Another evening in the life of Aldersgate and evidence of how the Holy Spirit moves. This evening didnt end until after 1:00 a.m.
As I was making my way out of the auditorium, I was stopped by Gary Moore. He was holding an executive board meeting and a reporter from the United Methodist News Reporter was there. She asked me a couple of questions and I answered them. The questions were similar to, "Before you came to Aldersgate were you discouraged? And, "How do you feel now?" They were more detailed but I dont remember exactly what she said. I did tell her that we have to get the word out. People have to know. They have to be told that there is hope, not only for the United Methodist Church but there is hope for the Body of Christ.
Sunday morning brought us to the closing ceremony and celebration of the Lords Supper. Never in my life have I experienced the breaking of the bread in such a moving, spiritual, celebration. The video will show it better than I could ever explain it. (The entire set of videos has been ordered and will be made available for all to see they should be here by the end of August.)
All in all, I would summarize the Conference as one of encouragement without any political motivation. Challenging us all to pray for each other, pray for our pastors, pray for the entire body, and spread the good news - Jesus is alive!
Respectfully and gratefully submitted,
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