Today is the day I have been mentioning for a while. Encontro Global is the grandest emerging church event on the calender this year and it starts today in Uberlandia, Brazil. Sorry I cant be there everyone!!!! But I will be praying for you all today. Great to see how this movement, which goes by many names, has grown since we all met up ten years ago.
A little global emerging church history. In April 2000, a number of us gathered in Sheffield, UK for a meeting of emerging church leaders from around the world. We all realized something much bigger was happening. Bigger than any of our ministries and bigger than any of our countries. It was a global move of God among the counterculture. And we were all caught up it. Most of us are still involved, although we seem like a more respectable lot now – less punk-rock, less hair, and some of us no longer use the EC word to describe ourselves.
That historic event in Sheffield was the first time we all met. Wolfgang Fernandez had rounded up friends from all over. I was fresh from USA and shared about the various movements that were happening there. Olgalvaro Bastos Jnr told us of counterculture youth sharing Jesus through the arts in Brazil. Hengke Hartolo and a few Indonesians from Abbalove shared how punks on the streets of Jakarta were giving their lives to Jesus. A scruffy English guy named Pete Grieg had started a prayer room 6 months earlier and the bloody thing was still going, and, in fact, was now spreading to other countries under the name 24-7 Prayer. Mal Calladine told the story of St Thomas Crookes [where the meeting was taking place] from the time of revival under John Wimber to the new move of young students to God, Wolfgang Simson talked about the house church movement, and so on. There was some funding from DAWN Ministries and we started a website and chose the name “tribal generation” to tag the movement. Although the website never moved far from Sheffield so most countries (Brazil excluded) dropped the name. Within a year, I was working for DAWN Ministries and traveling the globe to resource the leaders and discover new ones.
That meeting led to a number of events that have gathering leaders in Japan, Czech Republic, USA, Colombia, Poland [last year] and of course Brazil. In fact, Olgalvaro and the Brazilians have been the most consistent and probably have more video footage of this movement than anyone. Its been a fantastic ten years!!!!! Really. Again, really sorry I cant make this event. Please pray for our roundtable in the Balkans next week.