Larry Stockstill, pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, La., is calling church leaders to do more than just talk about living right. At the Summit on Integrity, a one-day gathering of ministry leaders, he's urging them to commit to a lifestyle of integrity that encompasses every area of private and public life.
Amid an increasing number of high-profile church scandals, Stockstill is partnering with Ministry Today magazine and the new Ministry21 Network to invite leaders to a daylong discussion on Nov. 16 in Lake Mary, Fla., on how church leaders can combat the sliding morals found in the ministry world and take a stand for righteousness.
"Isn't it time we come back to the purity of a Billy Graham, whose "Modesto Manifesto" kept him free from sexual embarrassment, numerical exaggeration, financial impropriety and vicious divisions for more than 60 years?" Stockstill says. "Why is the American population less inclined to follow spiritual leadership than ever in our history? Why does the credibility rating of spiritual leaders rate below 'used car salesman' and thousands of leaders drop out of the ministry annually? It's time we confront the spiritual, moral and ethical decline in the body of Christ."
The summit will feature discussions on financial integrity, sexual and relational purity, personal character, and other integrity-related issues that apply to personal, family, corporate and even the national arena. Along with receiving personal ministry time, church leaders will be invited to sign both the Statement on Integrity, which will be released to the public, and a more personal Remnant Covenant. This written oath is based upon Stockstill's book The Remnant, which has been distributed to more than 150,000 leaders in the U.S. and overseas, and argues that "accountability in standards of church discipline, finances, media, Internet, travel, counseling and appearances can revolutionize the present climate of suspicion and loss of influence presently characterizing ministry leadership."
While leading the 10,000-member, multi-campus Bethany World Prayer Center, Stockstill also served as guest editor for the Fall 2010 issue of Ministry Today, which centers on integrity and offers the story behind the Stockstill's commitment to integrity that has spanned more than four generations. Stockstill's father, Roy, started Bethany World Prayer Center in 1963, and two of Larry's sons, Joel and Jonathan, both serve as Bethany pastors.
"Integrity is needed in every season of life, yet the church desperately needs to address and revisit the concept of integrity—and thankfully, the Stockstills have a reputation for holiness and purity," says Ministry Today executive editor/publisher Steve Strang. "Larry is one of the few people who has earned the right to call church leaders back to this foundational principle, and I believe the Summit on Integrity will be invaluable in sparking a new level of commitment for those who attend."
For more information about the Summit on Integrity, including how to register, click here.
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