June 5, 2019–Bogotá Colombia–Evangelical leaders from six continents and dozens of nations are gathered this week in Bogotá, Colombia for the annual meeting of Empowered21. The first two days are highlighted by a meeting of the E21 Global Council.
Empowered21 (E21) is a global initiative founded to seek the vision that, “every person on Earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033.” The five days are filled with strategic meetings and fellowship gatherings designed to advance the vision among the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement around the world.
The Global Council consists of ministry and denominational leaders from around the globe. The Church of God is well represented on the 65-member Council, beginning with General Overseer Tim Hill. Others include Pastor Niko Njotorahardjo of Indonesia, International Executive Council member Ishmael Charles of the British Virgin Islands, Elvis Medina, overseer of the Dominican Republic, and previous Executive Council member, overseer Nick Park of Ireland.
The Global Council opened their annual leadership session on June 4 at the Grand Hyatt in Bogotá with introductions and reports from the various global regions. Co-chair of E21 Dr. Billy Wilson stated that while there are 65 members of the Global Council, more than 650 leaders are represented within the 13 regions of the world.
“Empowered21 is a kingdom initiative, which God has entrusted us to steward,” Wilson told the Council. “This movement functions and succeeds through the efforts of the hundreds at the regional and local levels who have embraced the E21 mission and vision.”
This week’s E21 Global Council and Latin American Congress is the first gathering to be held in South America. Empowered21 was launched in 2010 with a global conference on the campus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2015, E21 gathered 4,500 leaders from around the world in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost in the land of Pentecost. Subsequent gatherings during the week of Pentecost have taken place in London (2016), Singapore (2017), and Johannesburg (2018). Other regional E21 events, particularly in Asia, have occurred through the years as well.
Wilson introduced Caleb Wehrli, a missionary, evangelist, and pastor who was named late last year as executive director of Empowered21. Wehrli reported on the growth of E21, particularly as it relates to engagement and social media. Wilson also paid tribute to former director Ossie Mills, who before his passing in February, served E21 as executive director for five years.
The Council heard reports from leaders of other initiatives of E21, including “Next Gen,” Discipleship Commission, and a Scholars Consultation, which convened in the same location on June 3-4. Scholars from around the world presented papers on, “Poverty, It’s Impact, and the Responses of Spirit-Empowered Communities.” Other scholars joined by video conferencing.
“The presentations stirred deep emotions for the social brokenness being experienced by many that the Spirit-empowered communities seek to help,” said Dr. Mike Rakes, Global Council Liaison to the Spirit-empowered Scholars. “The perspectives varied dramatically and exposed the contextualization that has to be done by scholars to formulate suppositions and lead Spirit-empowered Scholars to ask the hard questions that lead to the future.”
The remainder of the June 4 afternoon session focused on a discussion of plans for the upcoming Jerusalem 2020 Global Congress, set for May 31 – June 3, 2020. Highlights of upcoming events in Bogotá include a day-long meeting of the Global Evangelist Alliance on June 5, followed by the Latin American Congress which begins Wednesday evening at the G12 Convention Center and concludes Friday night.
Empowered21 aims to help shape the future of the global Spirit‐empowered movement throughout the world by focusing on crucial issues facing the movement and connecting generations for intergenerational blessing and impartation. Their vision is that every person on Earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033. Get more information at www.empowered21.com . Empowered21 is a Kingdom initiative served by Oral Roberts University, www.oru.edu.
(Source: Church of God Internet Ministries)