North American Emerging Evangelists Trained
September 1, 2004 - The first-ever North American Institute for Emerging Evangelists (NAIEE) drew 23 emerging evangelists from across the country to the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove near Asheville, N.C., in July.
by Amy Kenna
The five-day Institute furthered the evangelists' calling as ministers of the Gospel, through daily lectures on biblical topics, fellowship and prayer.
"God used the NAIEE to bring me back to the Cross and to the end of myself," Ben Bicknese, from Wheaton, Ill., wrote in reflection.
Also during the Institute, the evangelists were unexpectedly brought to their knees after a lecture by evangelist Al Whittinghill on the priority of maintaining an inner life with Christ.
At the end of the lecture, the evangelists entered into a time of intense prayer and repentance. Many felt led to stand up and boldly confess their own sins and struggles to their peers, in exchange for intercessory prayer.
"Through the lives of these fellow evangelists, God helped me to see their hurt and realize that they are just normal people like me," wrote Will Gray.
The evangelists will meet again in December for the second retreat of the two-year Institute.
"I came here anticipating great training and hoping for the chance to meet Dr. Graham," said Nick Hall, an emerging evangelist from Fargo, N.D. "Instead, I met with Jesus."
Mike Beresford, ministry manager of Strategic Ventures at the Billy Graham Training Center, said the first session of the NAIEE was "designed for God to work in the lives of the evangelists so that He could work through the lives of the evangelists."