Hell’s Hole transforms into the Hope Center.

It’s Day 2 in Nairobi, Kenya for the S4 Conference with Global Surge.

Today I met the pastor of The Hope Center in Nairobi, Brian King. This is where the conference is located. I will be attending their Sunday service. The land the church is built on was once part of the garbage dump next to one of the worst slums in Africa. The exact location was once called ‘Hell’s Hole” because of all the terrible things that went on here. But a businessman bought it for the church and now a beautiful building stands here that ministers to the community. What was once a highway to Hell is now a stairway to Heaven through The Hope Center.

This is a 2-day conference and so many will be going home. I am staying through the weekend to attend the Kids Ministry outreach tomorrow. The Philippine team will partner with the Kenyan team tomorrow for an outreach ministry. Should be great.

So, I want to continue what I started yesterday by started yesterday. Three take-aways from Day 2….

1 – Dream Big.

Anytime I get around Greg Lyons I realize he just dreams bigger than most. I think he determines his goals, then multiplies it by 10 as a personal challenge. In Manila, Philippines he is part of a ministry that has hundreds of small groups, sends thousands to camp every year, and has the largest Bible college in Asia. He challenges us all to dream big.

However, when Elmer Towns spoke today, he talked about some of the biggest ministries in the world. Elmer Towns is co-founder of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia with Jerry Falwell. Liberty has grown to be the largest Christian university in the world. He has also spoken in most of the largest churches in the world, including the largest in Seoul Korea. He challenged me today to dream big because we have a big God. This is going to help with our new building project.

2 – Young and Old Can Influence the World for Jesus.

I am so impressed by the passion of all the young people. Many young pastors in their 20s and early 30s are doing a great job in Kenya, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and now Viet Nam. John Markum, Life City Church near San Francisco, challenged us to embrace the young adults in ministry. The next generation needs transparency, dialogue, opportunities, coaching and significance. Embrace the youth of your church. 

In addition, we have some senior leaders who are still doing a great job. Elmer Towns is 86 years old and has the mind and enthusiasm of a man half his age. Tomorrow morning I will get to have breakfast with him and just talk about church life. What an opportunity! While some church leaders retire to enjoy some leisure, it appears Dr. Towns has no intention of following that path. As long as there is the Great Commission, I believe he will continue to encourage pastors. He is a great example of senior living for Jesus.

3 – Vision Precedes Resources.

Speaking of Dr. Towns, he is the one who told us this week, “Vision precedes resources.” One of the problems of attending a conference that encourages growth is that most of the ideas take resources. Many of the pastors attending this week have few financial resources and even less people resources. Yet, when God gives a church leader a vision of what can be done, He will resource that vision. If you wait for resources to follow your vision, you will never get started. Faith is trusting God when little physical evidence backs you up.

We cannot allow the excuses of why we can’t do something to keep us from allowing God to do it through us. If God calls us, He will sustain us. Some people see the hardness, while others see the harvest. 

I’ll be posting tomorrow about Day 3 of the S4 Conference. Greg Lyons and his Global Surge team have put on a great conference that will have eternal benefits for years to come.