The start of ICOM 2012 is now less than five months away. I couldn't be more pleased with the way everything is falling into place for "Radical...Again!" which will be a disturbing conference that will demand a response. The program has been in place for quite some time. The "Sneak Peek," a 16 page, full color magazine giving everyone a preview of all the conference holds in store is even now being mailed out by the tens of thousands. The closest hotels to the convention center are almost full (although plenty of rooms remain in other downtown hotels). A great SICOM (teen program) is in place. Campus ministries and Bible colleges are excited about bringing thousands of college students to Indy. We're trusting God for 300 new missionary recruits and a powerful move of His Spirit among the twelve to fifteen thousand attendees, resulting in a powerful new surge in cross cultural ministry at home and abroad.
What is fueling all this? Oh, yes, there are talented and gifted people. There's been a lot of hard work. Indianapolis is a great convention city. But the primary fuel for this conference is the power of prayer in accessing the blessings of God. Everything that has been done in preparation for this year's conference has been bathed in prayer. Indeed the plans themselves have come from seeking God's direction in prayer.
Knowing how essential prayer would be to the success of this year's conference, David Empson and I prayed early on for God to guide us in the selection of the right person to lead the prayer effort for ICOM 2012. God led us to David's own pastor, Steve Ranson, who has been the preacher of the Hazelwood Christian Church for over 30 years. Steve isn't just an excellent preacher, pastor, and leader. He isn't just a preacher who is sold out to missions. But Steve is a godly man, a man of prayer.
Let me tell you a little bit about the prayer effort he has led already. He has enlisted fourteen foundational prayer warriors from across the country that he calls Upper Room Prayer Partners. The fifteenth of each month (corresponding to the beginning of the conference) he sends out specific themes and requests for prayer. All fourteen men are known for being men of prayer and they both pray and fast. Among other things, this month they are praying specifically for the ICOM staff.
In addition to the fourteen Upper Room Prayer Partners, Steve has networked with a number of groups that he has enlisted for prayer, but with a little different emphais. Among those groups are CMFL, PBT, NMSI, Team Expansion, TCMI, IDES, FAME, and GNPI. Doug Lucas is helping to facilitate this effort and it involves hundreds in prayer for the conference.
Steve has even communicated with every Christian Service Camp, Campus Ministry, Bible college and seminary associated with our fellowship of churches, asking them to pray and share monthly prayer updates with their staff and leadership teams. There is much more. But this gives you a little glimpse of the scope of this organized prayer effort. Furthermore, prayer will be at the center of everything we do during the conference itself. But now it's time to ask you to join all of us in prayer. This conference has to be more than business as usual. The church must become radical again. That won't happen in the power of the flesh, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Please join us in praying that God shows up at ICOM 2012 in a way that is so powerful that it is unmistakable that He is at work...and therefore, that He gets all the glory!