Serving A Movement & Empowering A Generation
Empowered 21: From Azusa Street to Tulsa to the World
April 25-29, 2006 the International Center for Spiritual Renewal facilitated and hosted the Azusa Street Centennial. This one hundred year anniversary celebration of the Azusa Street revival was attended by over 50,000 people from 106 different nations. The streams of Spirit-filled Christianity converged in Los Angeles to rejoice in a century of blessing on this movement that now numbers over 600 million people around the world.
In 2008, the new Oral Roberts University Board of Trustees began work on clarifying the mission of the university for 21st century ministry. An initiative was launched by the Board of Trustees called Empowered21 and the International Center for Spiritual Renewal was asked to facilitate this process to focus on new generations and the power of the Holy Spirit. Immediately, it was discerned that the convergence of these dynamics were leading toward questions and answers that would serve the entire Spirit-filled movement. Empowered21 began to be understood as a natural kingdom-wide follow up to the Azusa Street Centennial. The Azusa Centennial reflected on what God had done for the last 100 years and Empowered21 would focus on the future of the movement.
During 2009 and early 2010, Empowered21 held 17 unique conversation events around the world with leaders, scholars and new generation voices to ascertain their insights into the issues facing the movement in the 21st Century. Over 500 people from 54 nations and over 15 different universities were involved in the conversations. Questions like: “What does it mean to be Spirit-empowered in the 21st century?” and “What steps can be taken to engage new generations in the Spirit-filled experience?” were asked.
Conversation input and discoveries were used to inform the program of the Empowered21 Global Congress on Holy Spirit Empowerment which was held in Tulsa, OK April 8- 11, 2010. The Congress focused on shaping the future of the Global Spirit-empowered movement by focusing on crucial issues facing the movement and connecting generations for intergenerational blessing and impartation. Over 10,000 people from 95 nations attended the April Congress where over 210 learning conversations and numerous general session events informed and connected them. It became obvious that the Congress was forming a launch base for further exploration.
What has followed is truly remarkable. The International Center for Spiritual Renewal was asked to lead Empowered21 into the future and Empowered21 was officially transferred to the Center in the summer of 2010. Empowered21 is now witnessing a convergence and collaboration of Spirit-empowered ministries around the world. A series of regional Empowered21 gatherings are forming to focus on unique issues faced by Spirit-empowered churches operating within disparate socio-economic climates. In January of 2011, the Empowered21 Global Council, co-chaired by Billy Wilson and Jack Hayford, braught together top global leaders to begin providing inspirational oversight to all 11 regional initiatives.
Regional cabinets will be pursuing initiatives and events in their area of the world to address the future of Spirit-empowered Christianity and find ways to connect the generations for spiritual impartation. Each regional cabinet will operate under the same vision and purposes for Empowered21 in their region.
In many cases, Empowered21 meetings mark the first time leaders of the Spirit-filled movement in a given region have ever met one another. New, ground-breaking networks are forming in Canada, Africa, Asia and beyond. Additionally, a Youth Ministries Network (NGYN21) is the first-ever international network for Spirit- filled youth leaders.