Archive for August, 2010

Good Shepherd International Fellowship
219 “E” Street, Suite C
Davis, California 95616

Rev. Arthur W. Defenderfer Phone (530) 758-7750
Assistant General Superintendent E-mail gsifus@gmail.com Web Site gsif.org

35th Annual Conference

The 35th Annual Conference was held July 9-10, 2010 in Chico, California. Pastor Larry Lane of Neighborhood Church graciously hosted the Conference at Eglesla Christo Salva, the brand new Spanish church located on Neighborhood’s grounds.

The Conference theme was, Deepening Love, Multiplying Churches. Conference speakers were frontline pastors and missionary evangelists to whom God has given fresh and innovative ways to multiply churches and promote love and unity in the Body of Christ. Attendees included pastors, evangelists, intercessors and zealous believers from 27 different churches in California, New Jersey, Hawaii, Austria and the Philippines (Thirteen cities in the Sacramento Valley were represented.)

Heather Wurlitzer opened the Conference with anointed worship. The first speaker, Gaylord Enns, is the President of Servant Leadership Network and author of the ground breaking book, Love Revolution: Rediscovering the Lost Command of Jesus. Three days before the Conference Gaylord returned from sharing the “Love Revolution” at pastors’ conferences and crusades in Uganda and Ethiopia.

Gaylord pointed out that God wants us to put the corporate Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God first. He stated, “This is not about me and my kingdom … it is about the next generation.” He also emphasized that we need to live entirely out of the love, strength, grace and glory inherent in the New Covenant. If we try to live out of a combination of the Old and New Covenants we will weaken because, “The Law always empowers our weaknesses.”

Gaylord’s revelations on unity in the Body of Christ were instructive. He pointed out that The New Covenant introduces a “God styled” form of love and unity, because our triune God is love and dwells in perfect oneness. As His children, we are made in His image and are designed to share the Father’s love with each other. Gaylord also spoke of “Missional Unity,” a term that highlights the reality that the Body of Christ is relationally unified and called to corporately fulfill the Great Commission.

The next speaker was Jonathan Morris, the President of Strategic Partners Among Nations (SPAN) and Church Multiplication Coalition (CMC). Jonathan shared how an encounter with God and his own research led him to spearhead a new movement in world missions. Briefly, here is his story:

While Jonathan was part of a team doing crusades in the rural Philippines, God spoke powerfully into his heart. He said, “No one wants these people … but I do.” God also told Jonathan that He was upset that it had taken so long to reach the lost. After hearing from God, Jonathan has been totally convinced that, “Jesus deserves to be worshiped in every village.” He has dedicated the rest of his life to making that happen.

Jonathan started by working with Jill Boyonas, GSIF Asia Foundation’s President in the Philippines and an experienced crusade evangelist and mobilizer. After researching church growth patterns in the Philippines, they concluded that past evangelistic efforts were not adequate to reach the Philippines in their lifetimes. A new strategy was needed. Jonathan and Jill found a key component of God’s plan in India. There they found that pastors working together across denominational lines established thousands of churches—many more than they did previously when they labored independently of each other.

The success of the pastors in India led Jonathan and Jill to establish the CMC in the Philippines in 2006. They shared the church multiplication concept with ministerial fellowships they had done crusades for in recent years. They found many pastors who were zealous to join their own CMC pastors’ networks to cooperatively establish self- supporting Bible studies and churches in unreached villages. Jonathan and Jill, along with regional Filipino CMC leaders, encourage the pastors to continue to meet, pray and support one another and co-labor with American crusade teams.

The results have been encouraging. In CMC crusades from 2006-2009, 267,967 Filipinos prayed to receive the Lord. As a result, the local Filipino pastors and church planters started 3,404 new Bible Studies for the converts and 579 new churches were established. CMC research shows that one year after the crusades, 40-60% of the new converts remain in the Bible Studies and connected to the local sponsoring church.

There are now over 150 CMC pastors’ networks comprised of over 2,200 pastors from different denominations. These networks are active in 60% of the provinces in the Philippines. In the first two months of 2010, CMC pastors’ networks planted 100 new churches.

At the Conference, Jonathan shared some great mission stories and showed a DVD in which he, Jill and African leaders discussed the way CMC is mobilizing pastors. CMC’s pastors’ network and church planting movement is now active in the Philippines, Myanmar (Burma), Peru, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Cedric and Joy Panis, CMC’s Regional Directors for Luzon (The Philippines’ large northern island), presented a very lively and informative video. It highlighted the progress in Luzon and provided timetables to establish more CMC pastors’ networks that will reach thousands of villages still without a church.

For over ten years Cedric and Joy have coordinated GSIF seminars for pastors in the Philippines. At these gatherings, Rev. Arthur Defenderfer and other American ministers encouraged the pastors to unify, love one another and faithfully fulfill their callings. Cedric and Joy are now pastors, crusade coordinators and vital members of the GSIF and CMC leadership teams in the Philippines.

The Conference host pastor, Larry Lane, presented a candid message summarizing the high points of 17 years of inspiring unity among pastors in Chico and in Central and Northern California. Larry continues to spearhead the Pastors’ Prayer Summits in the Chico area and many local and regional gatherings of pastors, church leaders, intercessors and churches.

Larry shared a summary of what he has learned in unifying pastors and working for revival. His five points are as follows: 1. Maintain a holy dissatisfaction and hunger for revival. Do not settle for achieving the “lowest bar” of change. 2. Relationship, Relationship, Relationship. He pointed out that, “You will never go beyond the level of your relationships.” 3. Faith. Pastors will not invest in anything they don’t believe will happen. 4. Develop Kingdom people, not Kingdom events. Release the Kingdom in your sphere of influence. 5. Perseverance. It takes years to get to know the people in the local church and the community.

Conference attendees were grateful to hear GSIF minister Mary McDonald share some highlights of her outstanding new book, Uncovering Love, Discovering Soul. She described how God designed us to love. Once we are born again, our spirit is designed to pour the Father’s love into our souls so we love one another as Jesus loved us. When this happens, we can proclaim the Gospel with love so that unbelievers can believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Mary’s very readable book shares her difficult personal journey. She describes how she was transformed from relentless self efforts to earn God’s love, to resting in Him as a beloved daughter. After decades of striving, stress, guilt and condemnation she is now free to joyously flow in God’s lavish love for herself and others. The book also contains a clear Biblical explanation of the way God designed our spirit, soul and body to function and interrelate. Mary gave her book to everyone at the Conference who requested a copy.

Other highlights of the Conference included the ordination of Bill Wallace from Davis as a Licensed Minister in the GSIF. The prayers of the Aglow intercessors were significant, especially for those who received words of encouragement from them in the prayer room.

The GSIF leadership wants to thank Larry Lane, the leadership team and loving members of Neighborhood Church for hosting the Conference. All appreciated the volunteers from different churches who took care of the behind the scenes details including serving up a delicious free lunch for everyone.

Please contact Arthur Defenderfer if you would like a CD of any of the messages, a copy of Mary McDonald’s/or Gaylord Enns’ book, or desire membership in the Fellowship.


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