Words cannot define or describe how fortunate I am to have just returned from Atlanta, GA particpating with NGA (Next Generation Alliance). Evangelist Luis Palau has travelled the globe preaching the match-less message of Christ, cross (burial and resurrection) and coming again! Dr Billy Graham was Dr Palau’s personal mentor and in one of their sessions, Dr Graham expressed that one of his greatest regrets was that he didn’t invest more in the future generations of evangelists. Lord knows, Dr Graham did invest in many and I was blessed to attend his school of evangelism in Monterey, CA in 1999. Ironically, out of 900 to attend that year I was informed that I was the youngest to partcipate that year. Honestly, Dr Graham was being humble but he was sharing that perhaps time wise he wish he really may have done more.
Luis Palau took to heart Billy Graham’s statement and got a burden and vision from the Lord to help future leaders. NGA exists to encourage individuals whom are on the front lines sharing their faith and a network to invest and bless those are commited to the Great Commission. About a year ago, I was blessed to get a note from Jeff Pieper of Luis Palau’s ministry that I was being considered for this great group to be mentored and become an associate alliance evangelist with the Palau World-Wide ministry. Eventually, the call came that I had been accepted and for the past two days had the privilege to sit at the feet of one of God’s choice servants. Dr Luis Palau is now 77 but in the wise words of my buddy, Tony Nolan who was also in the room and NGA group member said: “I was smiling ear to ear because despite the fact that Luis Palau is older he is preaching with more FIRE than ever!”
NGA selected folks with a wide plethora of giftings but the same call to preach the Gospel and share the redemptive story that folks can come to faith in Christ. Present were some of the world’s best skaters and extreme sports athletes to seasoned statesmen whom have shared the Gospel for decades. The event was filled with faith and fellowship and held in the beautiful Marriott hotel in Atlanta just blocks from where Catalyst was meeting.
What a JOY to connect with Luis Palau in person and to meet his two amazing sons, Kevin and Andrew respectively and their dedicated team whom flew in from Portland, Oregan. Plus, it is always a treat to connect with friends that you rarely get to see because of the schedule of ministry and non-stop pace of life. It is ALWAYS a treat to meet new friends and finally connect with folks whom you have respected and corresponded with but not yet met. Some of the folks included Brock Gill, one of America’s most anointed illusionist and he my buddy, Curt Anderson are both being used to reach many with the Gospel for God’s glory. WATCH Brock’s video below! We filmed it on the 16th floor right after a workshop with my good friend, Keith & Joan Cook. They have also dedicated their lives being ON THE GO for God!
It was super to finally meet Bob Lenz and Scott Dawson whom God only knows their reward; they both rock for The Rock! It really is humbling to be in the same room much less same table as some of these gospel giants. My dear friend, Matt Brown was in the house and he is the founder of THINK E (eternity) and hails from Minneapolis, MN and we co-authored “BLESSEDNESS OF BROKENNESS” together. Nick Hall is being used of God MIGHTILY and he was the tour pastor at WINTER JAM and literally preached before half a million people this year alone and scores came to saving faith in Jesus!
We also had the privilege to hear from Mark Burnett, exec director of SURVIVOR, The Voice and a host of “1” Reality TV shows and his new tv show will air Easter 2013 called “THE BIBLE.” He and his beautiful bride, Roma Downey (played ten seasons on hit show TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL) shared their testimony, love for God and showed us 20 minutes of un-seen footage of the show that will touch millions next year. Yes, it is encouraging to learn from others but also know that Hollywood has some Christian believers too!
Prior to attending the NGA on Tues & Wed Oct 2-3, 2012 I flew into Atlanta on Saturday and preached Sunday, Sept 30 at Providence Baptist Church in Columbus, GA for Pastor Dean Knipe. A special shout out to Evangelist Tony Workman who graciously opened the door and the local newspaper in Georgia wrote the nicest, two page article promoting my visit. The service was wonderful on Sunday morning and 90% of the entire church came forward to the altar both broken and praising God. They elected to extend the service and invited me back to preach that evening and more people brought visitors in the pouring rain! God really blessed.
The next morning, I was a guest on Tony Workman’s television show “REVIVING YOUR DAY” in Phenix City, Alabama and we taped TWO 28 minute interviews that airs all over both Alabama and portions of Georgia. We will post that link asap. After a quick lunch at Steak & Shake we drove nearly 100 miles to be a guest on ATLANTA LIVE (WA TC 57) in Norcross, GA. It is ALWAYS a treat to be on “Atlanta Live” TV and it was the fourth time they graciously had me on and we had the privilege to share God’s Word and love with viewers watching LIVE from all over the Peach State.
The very next morning, my dear buddy, TONY SUTHERLAND – worship pastor at Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA (home of JESUS and Pastor Jentezen Franklin) drove two hours to have brunch with me and what a man of God that brother is! He is one of the most anointed singers in the world and flat out LOVES Jesus! Tony while on staff at Free Chapel also travels to minister and would be a great ASSET to your next outreach or service. It was a whirl-wind trip but much needed because encouragers need encouragement and ministry is lovely but can be lonely. We were given a free pass to attend Catalyst and many of the evangelists stayed but I had to hit the road and flew home on Thursday, Oct 4 only to take off again to preach for the second year in a row at Anchor Baptist Church for their annual REVIVAL with my good friend, Pastor Ken Card in Mechanicsville, VA (October 7-10). I really needed to be with the family at home and so grateful for my wife, Ruth who really keeps the trains on track. She is my hero and not only a princess but priceless.
Mentoring is so crucial in any profession and I am so thankful for so many whom have poured into my life. Mentoring is more about accountability and transparency than celebrity. We don’t have to be famous to be a blessing but its imperative that we life faithfully. Today, praise God for what He has done in your life and pause to thank Him for those He strategically placed in your path to make you a better person. Ponder whom you may be a blessing to in the future. Life is too short to live alone and never invest in another.
Winter Jam artist & illusonist BROCK GILL on “Frank & FRIENDS”