Friday, August 05, 2011

NAYC 2011-Columbus, Ohio - Day Three - A Generation of Giants

It took a while for us to come out of our comatose state this morning. However, it didn’t take long for the world to get after us. First a leaky iron to contend with and then Josh Sibley going around and knocking on doors and telling all the guys that the vans were leaving in five minutes proved to be a source of stimulation for us. We wanted to toss the iron and Josh out the window but we couldn’t do that because it would have broken the iron, I think Josh is already broke. We implored his wife and mother-in-law to do something but they said he was beyond their control.
The continental breakfast is very good at the Hampton and the lobby area is very large and very clean. Again, David and Shannon Goodwin did well with their selection of this place.



We had the vans loaded and going shortly before 9 and had everyone deposited at the unloading zone at Nationwide Arena by 9:20 for the Jumpstart session led by Paul Price. The New York Metro youth have a group called Wrighteous Word Drama that did a short but thought provoking skit about catching a plane to Heaven. They were followed by the Clark Brothers Band (and two sisters also) who sang through a medley of old hymns in bluegrass style. Even if you don’t particularly care for bluegrass you have to admit that this group of young men and women did an excellent job. I think that all of them are less than 22 years old and both of the girls were late teens. Closing out the Jumpstart session was the Woodlawn Drum Corp who also was quite talented if you like folks banging on drums with no other music.

Every year one of the things that take place in the mornings at NAYC is the split sessions. Numerous groups are divided up in various places around the convention center. They have a teen category, young adults, youth workers, young ministers, and one other session that slips my mind.

I always enjoy going to the Young Ministers group. This year I was particularly interested in going because a friend of mine was taking care of that session. Pastor Jerry Dean from Bossier City was in charge of that session and it was inspiring and convicting at the same time. I went to that session with Chad Kirkland, Jeremy McCoy, and Stephen Kovach.

Brother Dean mentioned that last night when GYD President Shay Mann was preaching that he looked around the arena of the 20,000 and thought to himself about the rejection that he had felt when he was growing up in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Those were the days when Pentecostals were looked down on as a bunch of “holy rollers” who were ignorant, uncouth and probably looked on with the disdain of the unwashed. He told a story that hit very close to home with me.

He said that when he was in the gym class that because of his convictions, he would not dress out in shorts. Apparently his dad had already cleared it with the principal that the four Dean boys could participate but not dress out in shorts but the coach did not know this. He humiliated the Dean boys with a lot of sarcasm for their convictions and Brother Dean said he can remember to this day the red-hot embarrassment that burned his face that day in his high school when he felt all alone.

While his father did go to the school to speak to the principal about the matter, there never was a public resolution that came to it. The coach did apologize to the Dean’s but it was in private and it was never rectified in public before the gym class. I remember well several times having to endure the criticism of some fellow students and teachers during my days in school because of my own convictions. As time has passed, I have just realized that what we endured back then has helped us not to buckle in our era. Some may wonder why we are so protective of our separation from the world and worldliness it is because we have known what it is to endure much pain and rejection in the old days. My fear for the modern Apostolic Pentecostal movement is that the world accepts us far too well. I have a feeling if the truth were to really be known that one of the reasons that folks like Brother Dean’s gym coach fought him like he did was because the Dean boys’ lives convicted him.

Anyway back to the point, Brother Dean said that on Wednesday night when he looked around and saw all of the NAYC students worshipping, singing, praying, and preaching that he was so glad he did not toss what he had been given as a heritage. This was the leaping off point for him to inspire the young ministers.

He referenced Habakukk when he desired for the Lord to revive His work among men. That seemed to be the force of the United Pentecostal Church back in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. He mentioned that we weren’t a very large movement back then but there were elders who gave themselves to preaching in such a way that men’s lives were challenged and changed. He named J. T. Pugh who passed away several months ago as one of those elders who inspired him to want to change the world. He told about preaching in small congregations that had ratty buildings but there was a genuine breakthrough of the Holy Ghost in those little churches. Folks were hungry spiritually and it was lived out by the way they lived.

He talked about Evan Roberts who at 22 years old stimulated the Welsh revival which in turn influenced the old Methodist church and the Holiness movement. Out of those groups came the hunger and desire that pushed the folks at Azusa Street to experience the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Evan Roberts was a young man who had a heart for God and spent time memorizing Scripture and from the age of eleven until he was twenty-two, he memorized vast volumes of Scripture that would help him during the time of revival.

Robert’s actually started the Welsh revival on a Wednesday night after church. His pastor was not too keen on him preaching but told him that if he really wanted to preach that he could do so after he dismissed church and the people on that mid-week. When he dismissed the church, only seven old women stayed to hear him preach. He preached four points:

1. We need to confess all sin.
2. We need to remove anything in our lives that is a hindrance to your walk with God.
3. We need to hear the voice of the Spirit.
4. We need to publically confess all sin.

Those four points served as a hinge for revival for those Welsh folks and it began to extend beyond that church. Brother Dean’s point was that God can use young men who are called into the ministry to do great things for Him.

Brother Dean passionately preached to a large room full of folks, I would guess at least 2500 in three ballrooms at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center, about the North American church battling the Laodecian spirit. I won’t spend a lot of time with this because I have intentions of fleshing out a sermon on this theme in the near future.

Furthermore he preached about how those earlier generations had a great fear of the Lord and that is a very key ingredient that is missing in modern day America. To restore an honor and respect of God would put a lot of people back on the right path once more. We left inspired from that session and with some determination to do better with purpose, spiritual hunger, missions, and evangelism in the future.

The convention center where the split sessions are held are probably a half a mile from the Nationwide Arena. After Brother Dean finished we all trooped back down the street toward the Arena. It was a pretty amazing site to see all these people headed back to the general session where Jason Staten was going to preach.

I have met Jason Staten a couple of times in the past but have never heard him preach. His words were geared toward the youth and he did an incredible job. I took quite a few notes while he was preaching on “Misplaced Lamentations” from Judges 11:30-39. He preached about Jepthah’s daughter who met him in the gate after his great victory over the Ammonites. While I won’t continue to write a lot about his message, I did fire up my Twitter account while he was preaching and I post them below:

Dont be a halfacostal!... Jason Staten NAYC 2011

Jepthah's daughter misplaced her lamentation over her purity. Never weep over your spiritual and doctrinal purity... Jason Staten NAYC 2011

I have never heard Jason Staten preach b4 but he is banging it out of the park at NAYC 2011...

Does your Facebook profile and pics reflect your Apostolic identity? Jason Staten NAYC 2011

For the uneducated about Twitter you can only use 140 characters to send out a message to your followers, so that explains the short statements. There was a lot of inspiration flowing in the morning sessions.

After the general session was completed, we headed out for lunch. Last time we were in Columbus we ate at an amazing Italian place called Bucca’s. I think that Regina, Rhonda, and Tina accidentally found it and we all had a fine dining experience. When I went in today and asked about a group of 30, they said it would be 1 ½ to 2 hours to wait or I could make a reservation for tomorrow. So we are on for tomorrow at 12:45 to eat at Bucca’s although we are going to have to backslide and leave the general session early to get there. So all of you pray for our sorry souls that we won’t be in category of Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of stew!

We ended up eating at Red Lobster which is right at our Hampton Inn. It was very good; food and service was awesome!

Back at the Arena for the last general session little did we know that one of the NAYC classic sermons would be preached. Jimmy Toney, pastor from Richmond, Indiana and alumni of Texas Bible College. He took his text from Ephesians 4:11-14 on “A Generation of Giants.” There was a strong call to make a difference in our generation with apostolic doctrine, sacrifice, commitment, and separation. At the end of the message, he climbed a 30-foot cross and the whole place again ended in an altar of commitment. My apologies for not going into more detail but my brains and writing are deteriorating.

On a closing point, we did manage to find somewhere to eat tonight. We went to White Castle which is similar to the Krystal’s that are scattered about in the south. Small hamburgers, great fries, and good milkshakes hit the spot for all of us.

One more day and then heading home. . . . By the way, don't let the day count confuse you, I started counting the day we left Dothan.

More tomorrow. . .

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