It’s the Tuesday after our first men’s conference for 2012, and I’m still excited! By God’s grace, more than 1,000 men experienced the presence of God’s Spirit in a very masculine way. Let me describe what happened. Most of all, I will pass along direct quotes from others who were impacted by the Promise Keepers (PK) 2012 “Called Out” men’s conference.
You’ve got to realize, we’ve been working with the format and the details of the 2012 conference for months. You never really know how it will turn out until men start filling the seats and the band strikes the first note. As a veteran of PK events since Boulder ’93, I can tell you this is the best season premiere event I’ve ever seen!
Through its history, Promise Keepers men’s conferences begin with a call to Christ, but the response to Mike Silva’s invitation to faith was anything but typical. “God is calling you out of darkness,” Silva preached (I Pet. 2:9). An estimated 10 percent of the men crowded the front of the stage and backed up the aisles.
“Men were challenged to bring their friends, especially 20-somethings,” said Dr. Jim Copeland, vice president of Field Ministry, “but this is overwhelming.”
Friday night closed with another huge response to young adult minister Peter Tebow, NFL superstar Tim Tebow’s brother. The preacher with the famous quarterback brother shared his own story of how God’s Word became an anchor in his life.
Even by PK standards, the response to four separate altar calls was exceptional. On Saturday morning, Bishop Larry Jackson simply, quietly called men to come forward for prayer regarding sexual purity. Without shame men stormed the stage and filled the aisles.
Patrick Morley, founder of Casselberry, Fla.–based Man in the Mirror, kick-started a process that paired young men who want a mentor with older men who want to share their lives. Nearly two-thirds of the men in the room made connections.
Host pastor of First Baptist Church Orlando, Fla., David Uth, made his call to action was a call to care for each other. Scores of tough, strong men came forward to write their specific needs on note cards. Then in like numbers men came forward to meet those very needs. We didn’t say, “Be warm, be filled.” We said, “If you have a need, come forward. If you can help, come forward.”
I was honored to close the event with a call to prayer for the unified pastors of Sanford, where the nation’s media spotlight is on the Trayvon Martin shooting. Those courageous pastors in Seminole County who are meeting, praying and working across historical racial lines need our prayers and support.
Even the ministers on the stage were gripped by the spiritual intensity of the conference. Worship artist Matt Maher told me, “This was my first Promise Keepers meeting ever, but it won’t be my last.”
Andy in Orlando wrote, “I have been attending PK conferences for many years and I really think that this was the best yet as the anointing of God rested upon it.”
One PK volunteer wasn’t so sure about Promise Keepers’ return to all-out ministry to men. He came to the Orlando conference almost on a dare. Afterward he said, “I’m back in, because you’re back.”
PK is heading to Cedar Falls, Iowa (July 13-14), Dallas (Aug. 3-4), Cleveland (Aug. 17-18) and San Diego (Sept. 7-8) this summer.
Raleigh Washington serves Promise Keepers (PK) as its president and CEO, and the vice-chair of the Board of Directors. The mission of PK is to issue a catalytic clarion call to the Body of Christ, to hear and obey the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. He formerly served PK as vice president of Reconciliation and executive vice president of Global Ministries. Washington is also the founder and pastor emeritus of Rock Of Our Salvation Evangelical Free Church in Chicago, an urban church reaching across racial barriers in the inner city of Chicago.