News: The Foursquare Church

  1. When the Foursquare family gathers in Seattle, May 28-31, for Foursquare Connection 2018, they will find a lot more than a main stage. That’s because, this year, Connection has a lot more to discover than ever before. From fun new ways to connect and network with your peers to a much wider range of training and educational opportunities, Foursquare is revving up Connection to offer something for everyone. Here’s an overview of some of the exciting things that will be happening as The Foursquare Church gathers in the Emerald City in May. No matter what your age or ministry role, you’ll find plenty of ways to enrich your personal life and ministry, and connect with others in meaningful ways.Seattle City Run If you’re the type that needs a little exercise in the middle of convention, then this year you can skip the hotel gym and join us for a fun run around downtown Seattle. Join your friends or make new ones on a sight-seeing jog through city’s beautiful hills. The 3-mile course is designed to be challenging enough for regular runners but forgiving enough for amateurs. So be sure to add the run to your Connection 2018 registration, pack your running shoes, and get your heart rate up! Meal-Packing Event Convention this year is designed to create meaningful spaces for people to connect over the things they love. One of the best ways to do that for ministry leaders is to serve those in need. We know you have a heart for those in crisis. That’s why Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR) is hosting a service event to pack 110,000 meals for Project Nourish, a campaign fighting famine in East and Central Africa that is affecting thousands of Foursquare families. Participants can sign up for 3-hour shifts throughout Wednesday, May 30. If you are interested in reconnecting with a friend during convention while also doing some good, consider turning one of those many coffee dates into a service date this year. Youth Event It is important to Foursquare that Connection isn’t just for the senior pastor. Every participant deserves to get the most out of the week, and that includes the whole family. In that spirit, a special Youth Event has been organized for your students on Monday evening. Featured is the incredibly inspirational speaker, Nick Vujicic, alongside musician Evan Craft leading worship. Young people will be genuinely impacted while having a blast and connecting with their Foursquare peers from around the country at an opening session designed just for them.Foursquare has worked hard to bring an expansive new experience for you, your family and your staff to discover this year at Connection Young Leaders Mixer Continuing a focus on facilitating partnership among peers, Connection 2018 includes an improved and expanded mixer for young leaders. Seattle is a city full of youthful, exuberant energy, after all, so what better place to inspire and connect our next generation of leaders? This year, the mixer will be off-site in a nearby artful space and will offer free food to create a powerful, creative atmosphere for our leaders to share, network and collaborate with one another. Be sure your young leaders attend Connection this year so they don’t miss out on this opportune experience. Workshops If you’ve ever been to Foursquare Connection before, you know that workshops are nothing new. But for 2018, workshops are being elevated to a new level. With more than 30 different workshops in just over two days, you’ll be hard pressed to make it to all your favorites. These focused intensives are led by expert practitioners and span a wide variety of topics. Also included this year are Affinity Network Workshops. Affinity Networks focus on specific passions that bring people of like mind together to achieve new solutions to the issues you and your church care about, such as human trafficking, refugee care, campus ministry and many more. Foursquare has worked hard to bring an expansive new experience for you, your family and your staff to discover this year at Connection. If you feel like you’ve seen everything there is to see at Foursquare’s annual convention, or you’re stuck in a cycle of main sessions and coffee-chat breaks, give Connection 2018 another look. You’ll find that there are more than enough opportunities to transform your week into a powerful time of training, inspiration, and personal and professional connection in Seattle. So, this year, don’t just go—get involved, get inspired and get something to bring back home. Register Now
  2. A global initiative that will impact Foursquare pastors and churches around the world will soon make its mark on districts throughout the United States.A three-day training in Los Angeles in October brought together 25 leaders from throughout North America. It’s the latest step in getting the word out about the newly titled Discipleship and Leadership Training (DLT) program. “We are training people who can go back and roll out the training to local leadership,” says Lisa Penberthy, leadership education and training coordinator with Foursquare’s National Church Office. The initiative came out of a 35-nation survey conducted by the Foursquare Global Council, notes Global Education Coordinator Gary Matsdorf. “We discovered there are four areas that we need to work on as a denominational family,” he explains. “Those are making disciples; in-service training of leaders; the baptism with the Holy Spirit; and addressing doctrinal drift.” Based on the results, the council appointed Gary in January 2016 for a three-year assignment to address the four concerns. He initially met with a 20-member team of men and women, ages 28 to 88, representing every continent, to create DLT. Now he works with leaders from all 15 regions as the program expands its scope and influence. DLT evolved out of the former Foursquare Missions International (FMI) In-service Leadership Training (ILT) program, reflecting updated scholarship and pastoral ministry from the 1980s, when ILT was created. For instance, nothing in the original material on leadership addressed a leader’s personal care and emotional health, Gary says. “Previously, we concentrated more on what they did than who they were,” he explains. “We didn’t address if they were killing themselves, burning themselves out.” As a result, leaders struggled emotionally, often in isolation, and quit rather than seek help.“We were created holistically, and therefore we need to lead holistically.” —Lisa Penberthy, NCO leadership education and training coordinator On a separate issue, Foursquare leaders around the world asked for clarification both theologically and pastorally on the baptism with the Holy Spirit. “Pastorally, many felt they had to trade the baptism with the Holy Spirit for seeker-friendly services,” Gary explains. “In that tradeoff, we somewhat walked away from a core practice of the baptism globally, and that’s one thing, along with some doctrinal clarification, that DLT is trying to address.” Another aspect of the training deals with discipleship. Those surveyed felt churches often settle for making converts, not committed disciples. Converts are content knowing their faith promises them heaven, Gary says, while disciples go beyond that, to knowing, growing, serving and sharing the Lord.“We are training people who can go back and roll out the training to local leadership.” —Lisa Penberthy, NCO leadership education and training coordinator Global leaders estimate that no more than 20 percent of Foursquare members qualify as disciples. “The Great Commission says make disciples, not converts,” Gary asserts. After the updated, expanded training manual was ready came the next step. In February, 30 DLT regional champions, identified by the Global Council, met in Amsterdam to become trainers of trainers. Lisa, one of the 30, is now involved in step two, hosting three-day regional DLT training sessions to prepare one or two DLT national champions per nation. Next, district leaders will be trained, then pastors, who will be mentored. At the Los Angeles training, participants studied topics from different angles, Lisa says. One morning she presented the theology and philosophy of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and a second speaker spoke on the practical side of it: what it looks like in the local church. At the local level, Lisa says, training will mesh with practical help.“We discovered there are four areas that we need to work on as a denominational family: making disciples; in-service training of leaders; the baptism with the Holy Spirit; and addressing doctrinal drift.” —Gary Matsdorf, global education coordinator “After the training, the mentor will follow up with someone who has gone through it and could invite them into a service where an opportunity would be given to observe it,” she says. Or, the pastor could watch a more seasoned pastor in action. Lisa likes that the training focuses equally on a pastor’s head, heart and hands. “If they lack knowledge in one area they become unbalanced, like a three-legged stool,” she says. “We were created holistically, and therefore we need to lead holistically.” That the new resource has been translated into 15 languages is crucial to success. In addition, the Bible serves as the primary support “so they’re not having to find resources to help with what they’re doing,” Lisa adds.
  3. Update: Watch Dr. Paul Risser's memorial service, which was recorded at Angelus Temple in Los Angeles on Jan. 4, 2018. Click here to watch. Former Foursquare President Paul Risser went to be with the Lord today, Dec. 15, 2017. He was 80 years old. In addition to leading The Foursquare Church from 1998 to 2004, he served on the Foursquare cabinet for many years after stepping down from the presidency.An ordained Foursquare minister, Paul also served on the denomination’s board of directors for 20 years, at one time chaired the missions council, and was a member of the board of trustees for Life Pacific College (LPC, also called LIFE Bible College). His legacy will continue far into the future through the Paul and Marilee Risser Endowment for Pastoral Leadership, created in 2009 through the Foursquare Foundation. The endowment later launched the National Residency Program, which provides young leaders with mentors and hands-on experience before they assume the duties of a fulltime pastorate. “First and foremost, Paul was a pastor and remained so until his last breath,” affirms Glenn Burris Jr., current president of The Foursquare Church. “Like every good pastor, he cared about people. He studied how to partner with people and care for them. His presidential legacy is particularly marked by his establishment of a retirement program for pastors. That was a major step forward for the Foursquare family.” Paul embraced the idea that everyone has a role to play in the kingdom of God. He gave evidence of that during Foursquare Connection 2015 when he talked about LPC having received accreditation during his presidency. “Dr. [Vaneda] Courtney always said LPC was a preacher factory,” Paul said to the convention body. “I believe in preachers and pastors. I love ‘em. Now, with LPC, Foursquare will have wonderful laymen all over the place.... I believe there ought to be 200 great laypeople for every great pastor. Wouldn’t that be a blessing to our churches?”Paul Risser’s legacy will continue far into the future through the Paul and Marilee Risser Endowment for Pastoral Leadership, created in 2009 through the Foursquare Foundation. Born on Oct. 5, 1937, in Chattanooga, Tenn., Paul was the son of Foursquare ministers Otto and Martha Risser, who started their pastoral career in nearby Dayton after leading a revival there. Paul spent the first 10 years of his life in Dayton, still known nationwide as the scene of the infamous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial and home to Bryan College. Founded in the aftermath of the trial, the school teaches a Christian worldview to thousands of students. The Rissers then moved to Muncie, Ind., where Paul attended junior high. His father then planted a Foursquare church in Battle Creek, Mich., where Paul attended high school and played on a state championship football team. After high school, he enrolled in LPC, where he met his wife, Marilee, the daughter of longtime Foursquare supervisors Dr. and Mrs. Craig Bigg. Marilee would become Paul’s lifelong partner both at home and in the ministry. Paul and Marilee had three sons and seven grandchildren. After graduation, Paul was appointed minister of youth at Lynwood Foursquare Church in Lynwood, Calif., before moving to Texas in 1962 to pastor Brownfield Foursquare Church. The church experienced dramatic growth during his decade there, a pattern duplicated in his final pastoral position at Florence Avenue Foursquare Church in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.“First and foremost, Paul was a pastor and remained so until his last breath.” —Glenn Burris Jr., president of The Foursquare Church Paul’s tenure there lasted for 26 years. Growing from 200 to 2,000 people by the time he left in 1998, the church became one of the denomination’s strongest. His youngest son, Terry, replaced him in the pulpit, while Marilee continued to teach a Sunday school class there. Known for its ministry to world missions, many Foursquare missionaries call Florence Avenue their “home church,” and many leaders look to it for direction and encouragement. The church’s missions emphasis reflects the missions consciousness Paul learned while growing up, when his parents hosted numerous missionaries and itinerant evangelists. He later would travel to 65 nations and preach in most of the major Foursquare mission fields. Some of the moving stories Paul heard as a youngster and on his travels found their way into his book, An Eye for Miracles, which Foursquare Media published in 2010. A memorial service to celebrate Paul's life will be held on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at Angelus Temple in Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, the Risser family invites others to make a donation to Foursquare Missions International or Foursquare Missions Press. Paul Risser Partió a la Presencia del SeñorEl ex-presidente Cuadrangular Paul Risser partió hoy a la presencia del Señor, 15 diciembre del 2017. Él tenía 80 años. Además de dirigir La Iglesia Cuadrangular desde 1998 al 2004, él sirvió en el Gabinete Cuadrangular por muchos años después de su mandato presidencial. Paul Risser, ex-presidente Cuadrangular Paul, un ministro Cuadrangular ordenado, también sirvió en la Junta Directiva de la denominación por 20 años, dirigió el Concilio de Misiones y fue miembro de Junta Directiva de Life Pacific College (LPC, también conocido como LIFE Bible College). Su legado continuará en el futuro a través de la Fundación para el Liderazgo Pastoral de Paul y Marilee Risser, creada en el 2009 por medio de la  Fundación Cuadrangular. La fundación de Paul y Marilee lanzó el Programa de Residencia Nacional que provee mentores a líderes jóvenes y experiencia práctica antes de asumir las responsabilidades del pastorado de tiempo completo. “Ante todo, Paul fue un pastor y lo siguió siendo hasta su último suspiro,” afirma Glenn Burris Jr., actual presidente del La Iglesia Cuadrangular. “Como todo buen pastor, apreciaba a la gente. Él estudió como asociarse con las personas y como atenderlas. Su legado presidencial fue particularmente marcado por el Programa de Jubilación para Pastores. Ese fue un gran avance para la familia Cuadrangular.” Paul acogió la idea de que todos desempeñamos un papel en el Reino de Dios. Dio evidencia de esto durante la Conexión Cuadrangular 2015 cuando habló acerca de la acreditación de LPC durante su presidencia. “Dr. [Vaneda] Courtney siempre dijo que LPC era una fábrica de predicadores”, dijo Paul al organismo de la convención. “Yo creo en predicadores y pastores. Los amo. Ahora, junto con LPC, La Cuadrangular tendrá unos maravillosos obreros laicos en todas partes. …Creo que debe haber 200 obreros laicos por cada buen pastor. ¿No sería esto una bendición para nuestras iglesias?”El legado de Paul Risser continuará en el futuro a través de la Fundación para el Liderazgo Pastoral de Paul y Marilee Risser, creada en el 2009 por la Fundación Cuadrangular. Él nació el 5 de octubre de 1937 en Chattanooga, Tennessee, Paul fue hijo de los ministros Otto y Martha Risser, quienes comenzaron su profesión pastoral cerca de Dayton después de dirigir un avivamiento. Paul pasó los primeros 10 años de su vida en Dayton, aun conocida nacionalmente como la escena infame del juicio Scopes Monkey de 1925 y el hogar de Bryan College. La universidad fue fundada después del juicio, y enseña una cosmovisión cristiana a miles de alumnos. Los Risser se mudaron de allí a Muncie, Indiana donde Paul fue a la secundaria. Sus padres después plantaron una iglesia Cuadrangular en Battle Creek, Michigan. Allí, fue donde Paul cursó la preparatoria y jugó en un campeonato estatal de fútbol americano. Después de la preparatoria, se matriculó en LPC donde conoció a su esposa, Marilee, hija de los supervisores cuadrangulares, el Dr. y la Sra. Craig Bigg. Marilee se convirtió en la compañera de vida de Paul en casa y en el ministerio. Paul y Marilee tuvieron tres hijos y siete nietos. Después de graduarse, Paul fue pastor de jóvenes en  Lynwood Foursquare Church en Lynwood, California antes de mudarse a Texas en 1962 para pastorear Brownfield Foursquare Church. La iglesia experimentó un crecimiento impresionante durante la década en que él estuvo allí, un patrón que se duplicó en su última asignación pastoral en Florence Avenue Foursquare Church en Santa Fe Springs, California.“Ante todo, Paul fue un pastor y lo siguió siendo hasta su último suspiro.” —Glenn Burris Jr., presidente de La Iglesia Cuadrangular El pastorado de Paul duró allí 26 años. La iglesia creció de 200 a 2.000 personas antes que dejará la iglesia en 1998. La iglesia se convirtió en una de las iglesias más fuertes dentro de la denominación. Su hijo menor, Terry, lo reemplazó en el púlpito, mientras que Marilee continuó enseñando en la escuela dominical. La iglesia fue conocida por su ministerio a las misiones globales, por misioneros que la consideraban como su iglesia y por la dirección y ánimo que muchos líderes recibían allí. El énfasis de la misión de la iglesia reflejaba la conciencia misionera de Paul que aprendió al crecer cuando sus padres recibían numerosos misioneros y evangelistas. Después viajó a 65 naciones y predicó en la mayoría de los campos misioneros de La Cuadrangular. Algunas de las historias conmovedoras que Paul escuchó de niño y en sus viajes se encuentran en su libro, An Eye for Miracles, que fue publicado por Foursquare Media en el 2010. Un servicio conmemorativo celebrando la vida de Paul se llevará a cabo el jueves 4 de enero de 2018 a las 10:30 a.m. en el Angelus Temple en Los Ángeles. En lugar de flores, la familia Risser invita a los amigos a hacer una donación ya sea a Foursquare Missions International o a Foursquare Missions Press.
  4. A fire broke out at the Prayer Chapel of The Church On The Way (Van Nuys Foursquare Church) in the Los Angeles area, one of Foursquare’s most well-known churches as the longtime home of Jack Hayford, who was senior pastor there for more than 30 years and also served as the movement’s president.Monday evening’s blaze caused significant damage to the roof, the interior of the main floor and the attic of the two-story Prayer Chapel. No one was in the building at the time, nor were there any injuries, and Pastor Jack’s basement office escaped damage. The alarm is understood to have been raised by a law enforcement officer responding to another call near the church campus on Sherman Way in Van Nuys, according to Tyler Shaw, executive pastor of operations at TCOTW. The cause of the fire is not yet known, he says, “but we have no indication that it was started maliciously.” Church communications were affected by the fire, as power to the building—which is used for youth ministry and also houses the church’s servers—had to be cut off. Middle and high school programs will be relocated elsewhere on the campus. Prayers and expressions of concern from some of the many thousands who have attended or visited TCOTW through the years were posted on its Facebook page. “So many memories there,” wrote one person, while another recalled having been married there in the 1970s. They described the building as “a spiritual landmark of God’s blessing!”“We can celebrate that there was no loss of life, there were no injuries, and, quite miraculously, most of the important documents, books and personal items that were in the building were unharmed.” —Tim Clark, senior pastor of The Church On The WayIn an email message to church members, Senior Pastor Tim Clark said that it was “a sad day” in light of the many “significant life events” that have taken place in the chapel. “I’ve spoken to many who encountered God’s presence and who heard the Lord’s voice giving them life-direction in that very room,” he wrote. But he reminded people of what he had said in his sermon two days previously, that “the church isn’t the building—God doesn’t live in buildings made by human hands—the church is God’s people! We can celebrate that there was no loss of life, there were no injuries, and, quite miraculously, most of the important documents, books and personal items that were in the building were unharmed.” Jack Hayford was senior pastor of TCOTW from 1969-1999, returning to lead the church for a short time during a transition in 2003. During his leadership, membership grew from fewer than 20 to more than 10,000. He was Foursquare president from 2004-2009, and was named pastor emeritus of TCOTW in 2015 in honor of his leadership contributions.
  5. Developed by the Foursquare National Church Office (NCO) and Life Pacific College (LPC), FoursquareLink, The Foursquare Church’s new job connection platform, is now available online.As The Foursquare Church extends its global influence, greater needs exist for qualified ministers and leaders to fill positions both in the church and the marketplace. FoursquareLink will connect job candidates with local church and business leaders who are part of the Foursquare Network. This includes LPC alumni, licensed and ordained Foursquare ministers, and students of Foursquare institutes and the Emerging Leader Network (ELN). Until now, Foursquare leaders have had to rely on personal contact or word of mouth to learn about candidates or open positions. Developers of FoursquareLink say the job placement process is about to get much easier. Users can create a personal profile and password, and upload cover letters, resumes and additional documents to assist them in job placement. Employers can upload details about open positions that will be searched by qualified Foursquare ministers and leaders. Because the Foursquare family will always value our personal connections, FoursquareLink will not replace the relational approach to ministry assignments. Instead, the platform offers a primary online system for posting and searching resumes and job opportunities. Lisa Penberthy, NCO leadership education and training coordinator, believes FoursquareLink will be a central place for NCO and districts to “track our pipeline of available leadership” while offering local churches access to qualified candidates. She hopes FoursquareLink will offer a better solution to job placement, providing people with an online location to make the right connection. Foursquare churches, districts, pastors and leaders can post opportunities and search for jobs by keyword and preferred Foursquare district. In addition to traditional jobs, users will also post available residencies, internships and opportunities for experiential learning. A.J. Zimmermann, director of the office of calling and vocation at LPC, is co-developer of FoursquareLink. He says these non-traditional, innovative opportunities are “vital areas of potential growth” for students and job candidates. FoursquareLink helps connect young leaders and ministers with practical, hands-on opportunities through the Experiential Learning Module. Job seekers can add these experiences to their resumes on FoursquareLink.FoursquareLink will offer a better solution to job placement, providing people with an online location to make the right connection. “LPC has long been an established pipeline for emerging leaders,” Lisa says. “The college has always worked hard to identify students seeking placement as well as serving churches and ministries with positions to fill.” New academic programs are being developed at LPC, and corresponding job opportunities will emerge through FoursquareLink, including positions in business, human development and psychology, communications and other degree programs in cooperation with Foursquare-affiliated leaders. To assist job hunters, FoursquareLink features resources for resume building and cover letters. The resume builder allows Foursquare Network members to link professional networks, such as LinkedIn, to their FoursquareLink account and create resumes based on industry-specific standards. As users develop additional skills in their field of expertise, they will be able to update their resumes to reflect that growth.Foursquare churches, districts, pastors and leaders can post opportunities and search for jobs by keyword and preferred Foursquare district. In addition to traditional jobs, users will also post available residencies, internships and opportunities for experiential learning. After signing up with a personal login, users can easily create and update personal, academic and work experience in their individual profiles. They can post an open position or apply for jobs within a desired Foursquare district. Job posters can set expiration dates for the entry and receive reminders about open positions in the system. FoursquareLink will notify employers when resumes and applications have been uploaded for an available position. Lisa celebrates the unified effort that made FoursquareLink possible, particularly the partnership between NCO and LPC. “FoursquareLink is a natural next step to merge our shared need for placement as NCO, LPC, ELN and Bible institutes work together toward the same outcome,” she says. Create a FoursquareLink Account Post an Open Position