GPM Database: Prayer Mobilization: Mission America: Pastors Ministry


TOPIC – Trainers of Pastors International Coalition


“sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association


When Promise Keepers restructured during the late 1990s, the new PK strategy was to place a primary focus on pastors. In line with this decision, staff from Promise Keepers, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Campus Crusade for Christ and AD 2000 & Beyond staged TOPIC [Trainers of Pastors International Consultation] at Wheaton, IL 1997. TOPIC is a plan to “internationalize” the training of pastors, especially “in the world’s economically weaker regions.”


TOPIC Leadership:


√ Ramesh Richards ––RREACH Int’l. = Ramesh Richard Evangelism and Church Helps International; faculty Dallas Theological SeminaryATS member; speaker at Promise Keepers]


√ Stuart Briscoe–– Honorary Advisory Committee for Mission America/ Lighthouse Movement [requires signing the Lausanne Covenant]; speaker at Promise Keepers. See Biblical Discernment Ministries exposé on Stuart and Jill Briscoe.


√ Paul Landrey ––president of Christ for the City International; international coordinator of the Cities Network for the AD2000 & Beyond Movement; previously with OC International in Brazil and Colombia [World Evangelical Fellowship associate member]. From 1980 to 1986, he served as a member of the senior leadership team of World Vision International. From 1990 until 1995, he was president of the Latin America Mission/LAM. LAM is associated with the Billy Graham Crusades, World Vision, Fuller Theological Seminary, the US Center for World Mission, Campus Crusade for Christ, among others. LAM founded Christ for the City Int’l. [read more about LAM below] 


√ Dale Schlafer–– Serves as Director of Mission America’s (Billy Graham, Bill Bright [CNP], Paul Cedar) World Center for Revival and Spiritual Awakening which is presently issuing An Urgent Appeal to Christian Leaders in America for Consensus and Collaboration on the Biblical Hope of Corporate Revival; previously with Promise Keepers as Vice-President for Revival and Awakening (1996-1998) and Vice-President of Church Relations (1994-1996). 


The following traces the development of TOPIC from its inception in 1997 to today, 2001.


TOPIC is an associate member of the World Evangelical Fellowship/WEF.


Edited for purposes of this report; emphasis added.



Trainers of Pastors International Coalition (TOPIC)


“Every church with at least one equipped and maturing pastoral leader



Trainers of Pastors International Coalition (TOPIC) seeks to explore the possibilities for concerted, co-active connection among pastoral training agencies to significantly reduce the great (and ever increasing) number of virtually untrained pastors in Africa, Asia, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America (currently estimated at some 2 million!). TOPIC was born out of the heightening realization among pastoral trainers that a task of this magnitude cannot and will not be accomplished if we all continue to “go it alone” on an organization-by-organization basis…


The role of TOPIC is to find and multiply pastoral training opportunities, network pastoral trainers, locate training tools and materials, stimulate training strategies, and to serve pastoral training organizations ministering in the world’s economically weaker regions. TOPIC does not compete with pastoral training organizations. Instead, the Coalition believes that the Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ, honors ministries intentionally and invisibly working together with clear and common biblical purpose toward a common task.


TOPIC Wheaton ~ December 1997

Leaders of 99 Western-based Christian organizations involved in the non-formal training of pastors worldwide gathered in Wheaton, Illinois for the first-ever Trainers of Pastors International Consultation (TOPIC). The meeting was called by RREACH International and co-hosted by the Billy Graham Institute of Evangelism. Missions historians may look back on this event as critically decisive in the Church Age, as the locus of missions shifted from Western and indigenous missionaries to the local pastor. Many of the participants were convicted of “the sin of doing one’s own thing,” when it was clear that more would and could be accomplished with an organized, cooperative effort. Twenty four organizations declared “coalition-level” commitment to the TOPIC vision. Others chose an “affiliate-level” status, while yet others wanted to stay in an information loop.


Wheaton participants voted a continuation committee to consider the next steps for TOPIC. This past year (1998) has been dedicated to praying, discussing, and beginning the ministry of the next phase of the TOPIC vision…


The TOPIC Organizing Committee became convinced that TOPIC ought to be a truly international movement, in both leadership and implementation, rather than following a “West-to-the-rest” model. Indeed, the movement and its executive director are yet to be named, issues awaiting the next Consultation in March 1999 in Manila, Philippines.


TOPIC Manila ~ March 1999

The TOPIC Manila Consultation has been called to internationalize the Coalition. This Consultation will provide a forum for non-Western, non-formal pastoral training agencies to meet each other and their Western resource-providers. A truly international consultation of select leaders of pastoral training agencies based all over the world will also think through the best way to implement strategies for the over-arching objective of increasing the number and effectiveness of pastoral trainers.


The Organizing Committee hoped for two leading pastoral training organizations from each of the 125 target (economically impoverished) countries to attend TOPIC Manila…However, the number of non-Western organizations that primarily focus on non-formal training of pastoral leaders is both surprising and saddening not more than 50 in number have been identified!


This somber development not only reinforces fears of an infantile church worldwide, but confirms the need for the vision and strategy of TOPIC. The Coalition sincerely rejoices over the results of wide-ranging evangelistic and missionary efforts through media and church planting strategies. Yet the post-evangelistic, church-health question demands the urgent attention of TOPIC


Given the proliferation of Western pastoral training organizations (cf. TOPIC Wheaton), the paucity of non-Western organizational counterparts, and the need to internationalize the endeavor, TOPIC will also pay the airfare for 50 select leaders of non-Western organizations who meet the Participant status criteria (above). These fifty leaders will pay for their participation by intense, pre-consultation preparation on strategic questions on non-formal pastoral training…



Note contacts

TOPIC Press Release

For Immediate Distribution For More Information please contact:

Dale Schlafer (303) 252-4516  

Ramesh Richard (972) 702-0303  

Stuart Briscoe (414) 786-7051  

Paul Landrey (402) 592-8332  


Trainers of Pastors International Consultation, (TOPIC) Manila, March 22-25, 1999


The leaders of ninety-six, like-missioned organizations met at an unprecedented gathering in the Philippines, March 22-25, 1999. Representing forty-nine countries, they launched a “church health” movement to bring essential ministry skills and tools to two million pastoral leaders in the weaker economies of the world.


All of these ministries train pastors non-formally--training not leading to an academic degree. They also carry a geographical focus toward weaker economies of the world-areas where church health has not kept pace with church growth. The purpose of TOPIC Manila was to internationalize a coalition of pastoral training agencies toward the vision of “every church with a trained pastor.”


This strategy was the vision of Dr. Ramesh Richard, who in 1997 wrote to a dozen ministries to accelerate non-formal pastoral training worldwide. His organization, RREACH International, hosted TOPIC Wheaton in December 1997. It was co-sponsored by the Billy Graham Institute for Evangelism. There, ninety-nine West-based organizations agreed to take steps to internationalize the coalition so that TOPIC would not be just another “West-to-the-Rest” approach. TOPIC Manila planned and accomplished the internationalization process…


Dr. Richard declared, “The task is bigger then any one group can possibly handle. Further, formal education simply cannot keep up with the explosive growth of the Church worldwide. By coming together intentionally and invisibly, it is our hope to minimize effort duplication, eliminate waste of resources, and thereby enhance missions impact. Indeed, an entirely new architecture for global missions is needed for the new millennium, beyond the traditional and indigenous missionary paradigms. The new design of missions locates God's program in healthier local churches and effective pastoral leaders in an everyone-to-everyone and everywhere-to-everywhere model.”[see below]


After three and one half days of prayer, discussion and presentations the participants determined to form an international coalition. A steering committee, chaired by Ramesh Richard, will handle the formalization process. J. Paul Landrey, president of Christ for the City International, will serve as international coordinator. Landrey said: “This is an historic day. For the first time, we who train pastors non-formally, have decided to work together to see the task accomplished.”


Locally based, pastoral-training organizations began to work together in Manila, many meeting each other for the first time. Numerous regional action plans will be pilot tested in ten regions of the world during the rest of 1999. Dr. Richard reminded the delegates: “for us to reach our goal of ‘every church with a trained pastoral leader,’ the Head of the Church will have to do something great for His Body. It appears that the Lord Jesus Christ has launched a powerful capacity-building strategy across the world to nurture the health of His Bride.”


TOPIC Organizing Committee:


Dr. Ramesh Richard, Chairman (President, RREACH Int'l & Professor, Dallas Theological Seminary [ATS member])

• Dr. Chris DeWet (Africa Ministries Network)

• Dr. Dennis Mock (Bible Training Centre for Pastors, Inc.)

• Rev. Celestin Musekura (Africa Leadership & Reconciliation Ministries)

Rev. Dale Schlafer (until recently with Promise Keepers)

• Dr. David Shibley (Global Advance)

• Pastor Mel Sumrall (Denton Bible Church)

• Dr. Henry Tan (Campus Crusade for Christ)

• Pastor Meredith Wheeler (Calvary Church, Souderton, PA)

Paul Landrey (CFCI/ Christ for the City International)


For a detailed report on TOPIC Manila, please contact:

J. Paul Landrey, Christ for the City International (CFCI)PO Box 241827 Omaha, NE 68124 …Web site:


Ed. note: “everyone-to-everyone and everywhere-to-everywhere model


The model referred to are other names for the Delphi Technique. The Delphi is a scientifically designed technique for achieving a pre-determined outcome; otherwise known as dialoguing to consensus.


The World Future Society meeting in Atlanta, Georgia [July1995] featured Richard and Jim Spady of the Seattle-based Forum Foundation with their presentation entitled “Many-to-Many Communications.” The Final Program reads: “The speakers will present the theory of many-to-many-communications and its implications for the future of administering systems democratically, from families to nations…The process generates data useful for diagnosis (the first step in the administrative process), helps inform citizens about problems and indicates their preferences for solutions, and leads toward peace by enabling citizens to pursue their own happiness.”


The Spady's Fast-Forum Technique, aka People-to-People Communication, is styled similarly to the Delphi Technique.


According to a Spady/Forum Foundation Opinionaire:  Participants are assisted in becoming aware of their own beliefs as well as of those intellectual and moral beliefs of others at a point in time––the ‘Zeitgeist,’ or ‘Spirit of the Time’…Nor will the views expressed necessarily represent those of the same participants at a later period of time; as humans we each have the ability to receive new information, consider it, and change.” The brochure goes on to describe the Fast Forum Technique as “an informed, theological approach…in community and civilization building.” By participating in the Forum’s questionnaire one is helping to contribute “guidelines for the future.”



Trainers of Pastors International Consultation (TOPIC) Manila ~ March 22-25, 1999



TOPIC Manila has been called to internationalize the coalition to provide essential ministry training to large numbers of pastoral leaders world.


This Consultation will provide a forum for non-Western, non-formal pastoral training agencies to meet Western resource-providers. Select leaders of pastoral training agencies based all over the world will think through the best ways to implement strategies for the over-arching objective of increasing the number and effectiveness of pastoral trainers…


The following is found on the Lausanne’s AD 2000 web site.

We discover that J.Paul Landrey worked formerly with World Vision and is presently coordinator of AD 2000's Cities Network:


A Church for Every People and the Gospel for Every Person by AD 2000  


J. Paul Landrey  

Biographical Information Sheet


J. Paul Landrey is president of Christ for the City International (CFCI), an evangelical agency with more than 100 missionaries serving in major cities of the Latin world. He assumed the post on November 1, 1995, becoming the first president of this newly autonomous ministry organization.


The son of missionaries to India, where he was born and raised, Landrey served 15 years with OC International in Brazil and Colombia. From 1980 to 1986, he served as a member of the senior leadership team of World Vision International in California. During that time, he founded and directed World Vision's U.S. Ministry Division, which launched and enabled urban, rural and refugee ministries in key areas of the United States.


From 1986 until 1989, Landrey served in Tyler, Texas as senior pastor of Grace Community Church, a nondenominational community congregation of 700. From 1990 until 1995, he was president of the Latin America Mission [see below], which began Christ for the City in the mid 1980s as a major urban evangelization program.

Under Landrey's leadership, CFCI ministry has grown from the kernel of an idea into a dynamic program impacting 33 major cities in 10 countries of the Latin world with the Gospel. Forty percent of its staff is Latin American. He also serves as international coordinator of the Cities Network for the AD2000 & Beyond Movement.


Landrey speaks extensively across the U.S. and internationally on the issues of personal growth, leadership formation and cross-cultural mission mobilization. Paul and his wife, Carol, live in Miami, Florida, where CFCI's international office is located…


Christ for the City International is committed to fulfilling Christ's commission by helping churches in their pursuit of qualitative and quantitative church growth. It concentrates on the least evangelized cities of the world that are disporportionately untouched by the Gospel. Founded as a separate autononomous organization in 1995, CFCI is a ministry partner of the Latin America Mission, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies (EFMA, an affiliate of the National Association of Evangelicals/ NAE) and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA, founded by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and World Vision). 1/96


Back to the AD2000 home page



Christ for the City Newsletter


[CFCI president J. Paul Landrey announces that he will leave CIFI to take over the leadership of TOPIC––June 2000.]


…As you may have heard, Carol and I have a clear sense of God’s new call upon our lives (see Dr. Paul Pierson’s June 2000 letter [Pierson is a Dean, Fuller Theological Seminar, Pasadena, CA]). Beginning July 1st, we will concentrate more and more on something we relish—equipping and nurturing pastors in the two-thirds world. God has been burdening us with the two million (or more) pastoral leaders in the world, who lack basic formation and adequate tools.  TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition) is emerging as an important global alliance of pastoral training organizations. Through my role as International Coordinator, CFCI has played an important part in launching this strategic undertaking. Together with over ninety other organizations, we are committed to a compelling vision:


“That every church—in the weaker economies—will have at least one equipped and maturing pastoral leader, by the year 2010.”

As I embrace this new responsibility, it is a delight to affirm my good friend and colleague, Dr. Duane (Chip) Anderson, as the next President of CFCI. I have seen people thrive under his leadership in Costa Rica…

J. Paul Landrey


[in same newsletter…]


Just under 600 pastors from all over Colombia gathered April 24-28, 2000 in Girardot (at a resort hotel about 3 hours from Bogota, the capital). This was the site for the National Encounter of Colombian Pastors. It was co-sponsored by the Evangelical Confederation of Colombia (CEDECOL), World Vision [Colombia] and Christ for the City [Paul Landrey]…


[in same newsletter…]


A total of 96 individuals representing 92 pastoral training organizations and 17 countries met in San José, Costa Rica May 25 – 28, 2000 for "La Consulta Iberoamerica TOPIC 2000" (the TOPIC 2000 Iberoamerican Consultation). Among other things, the participants affirmed:

Our Vision: That every church will have at least one equipped and maturing pastoral leader.


Our Mission: To form an international coalition of pastoral training organizations committed to intentionally accelerate the number and effectiveness of trainers of pastoral trainers, pastoral trainers and pastoral leaders…


Desired Result: By the year 2010, two million pastoral leaders with Bible knowledge and ministry skills who, under the Holy Spirit’s direction and power, biblically shepherd congregations of believers in the fulfillment of the Great Commission, for the glory of God…



Latin American Mission web site


LAM’s primary emphasis has always been evangelism.

Before the Christ for the City efforts, there were three identifiable periods of extensive campaigns in the Spanish-speaking world:


1.  Harry Strachan’s [LAM founder] 1921-1939 citywide crusades, providing a tremendous boost to the struggling, underdeveloped Protestant church.

2.  The post-World War II campaigns under Kenneth Strachan, 1950-58, climaxed by the Caribbean Crusade of Billy Graham and his team…


Fenton continued leading the LAM (USA) until it was again restructured and in 1976 Clayton L. (“Mike”) Berg, Jr. became president. J. Paul Landrey assumed the presidency in 1990 and on November 1, 1995 moved sideways to become president of an LAM project partner, Christ for the City, while former missionary and trustee David M. Howard [see below] became LAM’s president.


Ed. Note:

LAM is an associate member of the World Evangelical Fellowship/WEF



David, M. Howard


√ Former Missions Director of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship.

√ Director of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship's Urbana Conventions (1973 & 1976).

√ Director of the Lausanne Consultation on World Evangelization [Thailand, 1980].

√ Contributor to Ralph Winter/USCWM's  Perspectives on the World Christian Movement the curriculum for 90% of all U.S. Christian missionaries.

√ Senior Vice President of the David C. Cook Foundation [publisher of the Alpha Course]

√ World Evangelical Fellowship/ WEF based in Singapore; serving for ten years as WEF International Director mid-1980s.

√ Author of The Dream that Wouldn’t Die, © 1986, which tells the history of WEF from the years 1846 - 1986, Paternoster Press, U.K.

[Paternoster also publishes the Perspectives textbook.]



Research from Public Eye about the Latin American Mission


Latin America Mission (LAM), founded by Harry and Susan Strachan, was established and began operations in Central America in 1921. (3,4) While it began as a fundamentalist faith mission, LAM has always been on the innovative edge of evangelism. It was the first of the North American mission groups to use pentecostal methods and also was the first protestant group to make conciliatory moves toward working with the Catholic church in the 1960s. (4) LAM is an independent, interdenominational mission that both establishes its own missions and works with existing organizations and churches. (6)..


LAM is affiliated with the School of World Missions [US Center For World Mission/USCWM] which conducts two-week intensive training courses for Latin American pastors from a variety of evangelical and charismatic denominations. (3)…

Private Connections:


Kenneth Strachan worked as coordinator of the Billy Graham Crusade in Latin America and the Caribbean. (3) He also taught at the Bible Institute in Costa Rica and was a lecturer at the Fuller Theological Seminary. (14)


LAM is a member of the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association (EFMA) [affiliate of the National Association of Evangelicals/NAE]. Other members include: Assemblies of God, Bible Literature International, Campus Crusade for Christ, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Church of God (Cleveland Tennessee), Compassion International, Foursquare Missions, International, Luis Palau Evangelistic Team, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Nazarene Division of World Missions, OMS International, Overseas Crusades, Trans World Radio, World Concern, World Vision, and Youth for Christ International. (4)


Cliff Holland, director of the School of World Missions in Costa Rica, maintains a research center in Pasadena, California [USCWM] where he strategizes on new ways to evangelize Hispanic communities within the U. S. (3)


Templo Biblico in Costa Rica, a LAM affiliate, has a number of members who are associated with the rightwing Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship and the World Vision, a private evangelical aid organization. (3)…



TOPIC’s Himalayan Pastoral Leaders Conference 2001





Written by: J. Paul Landrey


A total of 1334 pastoral leaders gathered in Kathmandu, capital of the storied Kingdom of Nepal for four days. This was one of the most significant meetings in the history of Christianity in Nepal, stated Pastor Phalgun Sunwar, a leader of the Nepal Fellowship of Christian Churches…


The excitement of being on the cutting edge of an emerging global strategy to train leaders for Asia's rapidly growing Christian church, more than made up for any inconveniences. The opening keynote address called participants to Faithfully Feed the Flock of God. It was given by Dr. Ramesh Richard


The Himalayan Pastoral Leaders Conference 2001 was held Feb. 19 to 22. 45 percent of the 1343 participants were pastors or emerging pastors. 40 percent were congregational leaders (lay elders and/or deacons). Another 15 percent were trainers of pastors. This latter group included cross-cultural missionaries (Koreans serving in Nepal, Nepalis serving in Bhutan and etc.) About 30 percent of all participants were women.


A workshop on how to equip and empower pastoral leaders was led by Rev. J. Paul Landrey, the international director of TOPIC, which stands for: Trainers of Pastors International Coalition - a global coalition of pastoral training agencies. TOPIC grew out of a December 1997 meeting in Wheaton, IL, of 99 Western-based Christian organizations involved in training local church leaders. This event was hosted by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism and sponsored by RREACH Intl. [Ramesh Richard]


Four thousand new Christian churches are born somewhere in the world each week, Landrey said. Those numbers could triple within three years. In addition, he said, 2 million present pastoral leaders lack in some aspect of essential pastoral training.


The typical Nepali pastor, for example, became a believer in Christ within the past 18 to 24 months, states Rev. Devendra Rai (a missionary with ACTION Intl…Landrey said,…"The great challenge is to equip Nepali leaders in basic biblical understanding and ministry skills."…


The Nepali conference is a good example of this local leadership at work. It was organized by two national Nepali pastoral networks, which represent about 90 percent of Christian denominations and associations in Nepal. They sent out 4,000 applications and accepted 1,200. Participants came from all over - some journeying up to 10 days by bus or seven days on foot…


For more information, telephone: Dr. Ramesh Richard / Rev. J. Paul Landrey

TOPIC, Inc. - (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition)

P. O. Box 965, Elkhorn, NE 68022 USA



Ed. Note: At the bottom of this same web page is found the following info of interest. <<web site which carries article on the TOPIC meeting in Nepal]


In His Power Portal is a partnership ministry of Phil Miglioratti ~ National Pastors’ Prayer Network and Mission America

[Original Mission America web site found ––]

Page created and hosted by ®

© 2001 Unlimited NeXtwork Group


Ed. Note:

Web Master Wolfgang is a member of Che Ahn's Harvest Rock Church which is located on the campus of US Center for World Mission [USCWM, founder Ralph Winter], Pasadena, CA. Previously Harvest Rock was a Vineyard Church.



TOPIC’s Dale Schlafer


Pastor Dale Schlafer has served as Founder and President of the Center for World Revival and Awakening [a division of Mission America] since December 1998.  The Center is a worldwide ministry dedicated to building the local church by promoting the revival of the church, the awakening of the lost, and seeing reformation come to the society.


Prior to establishing the Center, Pastor Schlafer served with Promise Keepers as Vice-President for Revival and Awakening (1996-1998) and Vice-President of Church Relations (1994-1996).  He served 22 years as Senior Pastor of South Fellowship in Littleton, Colorado and six years as a senior pastor in New Jersey.

Pastor Schlafer is a native of Philadelphia and holds a B.A. from Westminster College of PA and a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary [ATS member] He was a contributing author for the books Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper [published by Focus on the Family, see below] and The Lighthouse Movement.  He also authored the book A Revival Primer.  He has substantial international experience speaking and ministering on every continent except Africa and Australia.

Pastor Schlafer currently lives in Colorado…



Dale Schlafer and Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper


(published by Focus on the Family, 1994)


Eighteen essays by a variety of Christian leaders on unlocking the power and potential of men — how to become a man of your word and a man of God’s Word. Includes writings by Randy Phillips, Jack Hayford, Wellington Boone [ECFA board member], Edwin Louis Cole, Howard Hendricks, E. Glenn Wagner, Tony Evans [Evan's Urban Alternative serves as a model for faith-based welfare reform], Gary Oliver, Jerry Kirk, Gary Smalley, James Dobson [CNP], Dale Schlafer, H.B. London Jr. [Works for Focus on the Family's Ministry to Pastors –– cousin to James Dobson], Bill McCartney, Phillip Porter, Gary England, Bill Bright [CNP] and Luis Palau [associate member of the World Evangelical Fellowship/WEF].



Dale Schlafer & Mission America/Lighthouse Movement


Schlafer is listed on the staff of Mission America:


Dale Schlafer  

National Facilitator of Pastors, Revival & Spiritual Awakening, World Center for Revival and Spiritual Awakening


Mission America's Revival & Spiritual Awakening Project [Dale Schlafer]


An Urgent Appeal to Christian Leaders in America for Consensus and Collaboration on the Biblical Hope of Corporate Revival 


“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6)


Presented by the National Revival Network to the Annual Meeting of Mission America ~ October 25-27, 2000 St. Louis, Missouri


NOTE: This is a draft of a document authored by The Revival Network of Mission America. Once the final draft is complete, it will be posted here, along with a list of Christian leaders who have signed it.


Send comments and suggestions to: Dale Schlafer, facilitator of the [Mission America] Revival Network.



Contents [highly abbreviated]


1.0 Preface: A Nationwide Call

2.0 Introduction to the Appeal

4.0 Definitions of Biblical, Corporate Revival

*          Scholars Speak

*          Cycles of Revival

*          Revival is Christ!

5.0 An Apologetic for Corporate Revival

8.0 Responses to the Hope of Corporate Revival


At San Francisco in January, 1998 nearly 40 denominational leaders on behalf of the 400 members of Mission America, signed a newly issued “Nationwide Call to Prayer to the Church in America”. Subsequently, The Call was published as a full-page ad in USA TODAY signed by Billy Graham, John Perkins, Bishop George McKinney, Paul Cedar, Bill Bright and more than one hundred other national Christian leaders. Since then it has circulated widely throughout the body of Christ.


The Call has two parts: “A Call to Extraordinary Prayer” and “A Call to United Action” -- in other words, it sets forth consensus on an agenda for prayer and collaboration in mobilizing concerted prayer.


The focus of The Call is nothing less than corporate revival. As such it provides a major step toward the document you now hold: This newer document, an Urgent Appeal to Christian Leaders in America for Consensus and Collaboration on the Biblical Hope of Corporate Revival, is designed to bring about even deeper levels of consensus and collaboration around the focus of The Call which reads in part:


In recognition of:

*          our absolute dependence upon God;

*          the moral and spiritual crisis facing our nation;

*          our national need for repentance and divine intervention;

*          our great hope for a general awakening to the Lordship of Christ, the unity of His Body, and the sovereignty of His Kingdom;

*          the unique opportunity that the dawn of a new millennium presents to us for offering the gospel of Christ to everyone in our nation,


We strongly urge all churches and all Christians of America to unite in seeking the face of God through prayer and fasting, persistently asking our Father to send revival to the church and spiritual awakening to our nation, so that Christ's Great Commission might be fulfilled worldwide in our generation.


In the spirit of The Call and with its vision, the National Revival Network now submits An Urgent Appeal to the Mission America membership meeting in St. Louis, Missouri October 25-27, 2000…


 (4.0) Definitions of Corporate Revival


"This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.... The promise is for you and your children and for all who are afar off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call.... Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord..." (Acts 2:16-17, 39, 3:19)


(4.1) Scholars Speak

Let's call on two evangelical scholars, with over 100 years of scholarship and four earned Ph.D.'s between them in the study of biblical and historical revival. They provide us with excellent definitions as a starting point for our considerations.


First, J. Edwin Orr [see below] distilled his decades of research into the following definition:


“An Evangelical Awakening is a movement of the Holy Spirit bringing about a revival of New Testament Christianity in the church of Christ and in its related community. Such an awakening may change in a significant way an individual; or it may affect a larger group of believers; or it may move a congregation or the churches in the city or district, or the body of believers throughout a country or continent; or indeed the larger body of believers throughout the world. The out-pouring of the Spirit affects the reviving of the church, the awakening of the masses, and the movement of uninstructed peoples toward the Christian faith; the revived Church, by many or by few, is moved to engage in evangelism, in teaching, and in social action.”


Theologian J.I. Packer [see below] concurs with this perspective when he writes:


“Revival, I define, as a work of God by his Spirit through his Word bringing the spiritually dead to living faith in Christ and renewing the inner life of Christians who have grown slack and sleepy. In revival God makes old things new, giving new power to law and gospel and new spiritual awareness to those whose hearts and consciousness have been blind, hard and cold. Revival thus animates or reanimates churches and Christian groups to make a spiritual and moral impact on communities. It comprises an initial reviving, followed by a maintained state of revivedness for as long as the visitation lasts...”


Who are the men Schlafer references on Revival?


About J. Edwin Orr


In1966, Orr became a professor at Fuller Seminary's School of World Mission, a position he held until 1981. Besides his teaching and writing, he greatly stimulated the study and understanding of revivals and evangelism through his founding in 1974 and continuing leadership of the Oxford Reading and Research Conference on Evangelical Awakenings…


He was an advisor of Billy Graham’s from the start of that evangelist's career, a friend of Abraham Vereide and helped shape the prayer breakfast movement that grew out of Vereide's International Christian Leadership and he was a important leader in Andrew Gih’s Evangelize China Fellowship.


About J.I. Packer

√ Drafting Committee, Evangelicals & Catholics Together Document

√ Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia –– an Association of Theological Schools member.

Senior editor of Billy Graham's Christianity Today

√ Renovaré Board of Reference


See Biblical Discernment Ministries exposé on J.I. Packer   


The above Urgent Appeal is now posted on the Mission America National Prayer Committee's web site:

However, it is a updated version of the appeal and Dale Schlafer's name does not appear on it.


See GPM Database: Prayer Mobilization: Mission America: Pastors’ Ministry: facilitator Dale Schlafer