IT’S SIMPLY TOO RARE TO MISS. . . .
November 14-16, 2013 from 6pm Thursday to noon Saturday we will host our second Global Faith Forum- Those of you at VERGE, there is a special rate for you. We have opened registration and are excited. We did it the first time in 2010 and had close to 700 which was incredible. It’s a very, very different gathering. It’s for evangelicals – but also everyone else and the idea is to move from a conversation about the world and about others to a conversation about us with others in the world that we live. All the major religions will be represented. All the major domains will be represented. Some of the top global leaders that make the news and determine the news will be there.
Believe it or not many at their own expense because their perception is that contrary to the past, there are evangelicals that want to relate to them. They want to understand you and be understood by you. Some of the principles I outline in Bold As Love will be the guiding principles of the conference: multifaith, one conversation, hand-heart-head, global public square, forgiveness, engagement, etc. The goal will be to get you in the conversation, and then to get you connected and working together.
Google these people that are speaking – Wadah Khanfar – the man who put Al Jazeera on the map and one of the top global leaders – listen to his TED talk, His Royal Highness Turki-Al-Faisal – listen to him on Charlie Rose, President Sampaio of Portugal – a socialist & atheist, Tom Dine former head of AIPAC, Dalia Mogahed of Gallup, Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool – close friend and prison-mate of Nelson Mandella, Ayatollah Irivani – a major player in Shia Islam from Iran that I’ve traveled with. John Esposito – perhaps “the top” global expert on Islam. There are many more. All of these and more, at the website you can google and hear their talks all over the world. They don’t want to just speak – they want to mingle with you and meet and ask questions and build relationships. People of all faiths will be present.
You’ll be given a copy of my new book Bold As Love. There will be main sessions: #1 Can there be peace in the world with all religions all places? #2 How do we relate to each other when we are afraid of each other? #3 Women in the world today. #4 Communication and media – Getting your message across. #5 What do we do about this Jesus thing – the Muslim Jesus, the Jewish Jesus, the Philosophical Jesus, the Christian Jesus? Breakouts will involve country briefings, from North Africa to the Middle East and North Africa. Breaks will cover hot topics like different religions, sharia, conversion, faith and foreign policy, sexuality, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc.,
They want to get to know you and focus on the common good in their societies where partnerships and engagement can be formed. There will also be mixers with Tex Mex and Blue Bell. This isn’t a conference where they are going to run and hide in green rooms – they want to meet you! They want to ask you questions. They would love to connect with you and work together globally. They don’t mind that you are evangelicals – they want to know how human you are. The top 30 imams from Saudi Arabia will be coming – I’m connecting them with 30 evangelical pastors the week before the conference. They will share their experiences. Later in the year the pastors will go stay with the imams in their homes and mosques. There will be several opportunities for this kind of engagement. Recently I was in a country where the imams wanted to do humanitarian projects together in a struggling neighboring nation with Christian pastors from America – they asked me, “Would American evangelical pastors work with us?” I told them some would! BE PART OF THE SOME – PAUL & JESUS WOULD AND DID!
I don’t know of another conference like this – most of these people have become my friends over the past 2 decades and I want them to see there are far more than me. Local people of different faiths are coming. It isn’t a “missions conference” it’s a global public square event where I as an evangelical will define who and what I am and believe and then allow others to speak the same and find places in the world we can work together.
For evangelicals – this can be scary – BUT it could be the most strategic thing in the world, in learning a new way to relate in the 21st century to see the Gospel of Jesus lived out and shared naturally in a world. When Jesus said love your enemies he knew you couldn’t love someone and be their enemies. When Jesus said his message was meant for all nations – he meant it. The problem is we have allowed a 200 year old context to frame how we engage the world – that context no longer exists. Welcome to the 21st century! Global Faith Forum
Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.