“God’s up to something really wonderful.”
Those words, from Kelly Steffen of Prairie College in Alberta, Canada, identified the optimism felt among 500-plus church leaders and others who attended the first of three Canadian Evangelism Summits on Oct. 13 near Calgary.
After several years of division and challenge, Steffen noted “there seems to be a renewed energy” among different congregations and believers.
That optimism was reflected in the near-capacity crowd at RockPointe Church, who participated in worship from Brooke Nicholls and took in challenging, encouraging messages from Will Graham, Dr. Hugh Osgood, Dr. Crawford Loritts, Rev. David Macfarlane, Dr. Charles Price, and Pastor Skip Heitzig.
Steffen brought 10 students from Prairie College, most of them studying in youth and pastoral ministries.
“I needed to bring my students to the summit to spark evangelism as a central component of their faith,” he explained. “I wanted to be inspired and have my students inspired.”
In his message, Dr. Loritts, a former chaplain and pastor from Georgia, noted the importance of pursuing lives of holiness.
“In recent years, we’ve had too much to say and not enough Christian integrity to back up what we say. What gives us meaning and gravitas [in sharing our faith] is a real change in our lives.
“Call your sin what it is. Own your decisions,” Dr. Loritts advised. He continued that humility, introspection, and repentance are necessary. “Stop getting mad at other people and their bad stuff, and hold up a mirror.”
Eliana Nazari, one of the Prairie College students, was glad she attended. “I’ve been involved in evangelism before and it’s exciting to learn more. I liked the seriousness of all the topics; I don’t hear a lot of speakers who understand the depth of the need for evangelism.”