In the midst of the global economic crisis, a growing number of Christian business leaders are embracing a call to minister in the marketplace.
So says Bruce Cook, a Christian businessman and host of the second Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit (K.E.Y.S.), which begins tonight in Austin, Texas, and ends Saturday.
"God is moving powerfully in the marketplace," said Cook, president of VentureAdvisers in Austin and a member of C. Peter Wagner's International Coalition of Apostles. "The global financial turmoil and shaking of economies, nations, markets, institutions and currencies has helped create or trigger widespread fear and a crisis of belief in many people.
"In contrast, a growing number of business men and women are turning to God, discovering prayer and biblical principles, choosing faith over fear, and re-examining their assumptions and beliefs about finances, investing, debt, retirement and stewardship in light of current conditions."
Modeled after the World Economic Forum, which brings together top business leaders, politicians and scholars to discuss world issues, K.E.Y.S. is expected to draw more than 2,000 attendees from 15 nations.
Eighty Christian business leaders will be speaking or participating in panels, including Os Hillman, author of TGIF: Today God Is First and founder of Marketplace Leaders Ministries; Pat Francis, an Ontario pastor and founder of Elomax Enterprises; Bill Hamon, founder of Christian International Ministries; and Rick Joyner, founder of MorningStar Ministries. Topics include women CEOs, kingdom entrepreneurship, financial intercession and investing in Israel.
"The people who are coming ... all have testimonies of how God has moved in their lives and in their businesses and their ministries," Cook said. "It's very, very powerful when you get 80 people together for three days who can all share their faith, their testimonies, their experience, their wisdom to other people who are working or who have businesses. It's very, very powerful; it's even transformative." (Read "Doing God's Business")
He noted that one of the speakers, Sharon Stone of Christian International Europe, prophesied last summer about the U.S. bank failures and the emergence of an Alaskan onto the national scene. "I believe [God's] going to be releasing key strategies through the different speakers we have at the summit for the global body of Christ," he said.
Cook said he believes Christ's return is near, so God is requiring Christian business leaders to change the way they think about their callings. "I think God is raising the ante so to speak," he said. "We have to start seeing business as a ministry, as simply a platform to influence and minister from."
The K.E.Y.S. event will be held at PromiseLand Church in Austin. Evening sessions will be webcast at Christian.tv.
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