Monday, July 31, 2006

BigDawgs UNLEASED at Promise Keepers

Over 9,000 fathers, sons and men from the Southeast converged at Philips Arena in Atlanta July 28 and 29, 2006 for the Promise Keepers' "Unleashed" men's conference. Mixed with a rousing worship set by PK7, video clips, drama skits by Awaken and messages by gifted speakers, men responded to the theme of being "Unleashed" - "it is not about learning how to be a nicer guy. It's about becoming the powerful man God designed you to be."

The evening's first speaker, Dr. Bob Reccord delivered the evangelistic message, addressing men's biggest fear - the unfulfilled life. Two hundred ninety nine men came to the front of the stage to declare publicly of their commitment to Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. I had an opportunity to pray with a father and his eleven-year-old son who accepted Christ as well with a deaf man. Exhilarating!

Dr. Tom Fortson, president of Promise Keepers, presented the Transformation Award to S. Truett Cathy, the founder and chairman of Chick-fil-A Restaurants. The award honored Cathy's "lifetime of transforming family, community, workplace, and most importantly, the lives of the next generation." Cathy shared how he got started in the restaurant business, marriage, his commitment to stay private that allowed the corporation greater flexibility to fund charitable causes as well as give greater honor to his employees. Despite closing on Sunday, historically 20% of a fast food's income, Chick-fil-A is the second largest fast food restaurant chain.

Pastor Rob Bell shared how Jesus sees incredible God-created potential in us, and what He sees in us is far greater that what we see in ourselves.

Promise Keepers provided a truckload of non-perishable food items donated by the attendees to Johnnie's House - a shelter for battered and abused women and children in Atlanta. Over 85,000 pounds of food have been donated thus far to local food banks at the midpoint of the Promise Keepers conference schedule.

Bishop Joseph Garlington opened the Saturday sessions addressing "the heart, not just our emotional center, but the core of our motivations. The heart drives our decision. As men, we guard our hearts to keep it dependent on God's leading." Underlying theme: God has written a unique calling and divine legacy on your heart, based on longings, desires, passions, and hopes. We were challenged by Garlington that we must pursue our calling, embrace it and live it.

Our group, the BigDawgs4Christ assisted the volunteer needs in areas of ushering, evangelism and the lunchtime feeding of nine thousand men in twenty minutes! "Grab and go; head for the hill!" was the bullhorn chant.

Promise Keepers returns to Nashville at the Gaylord Entertainment Center July 20-21, 2007. The previous two conferences in 2001 and 2005 were sellouts. We'll plan to raise up volunteers, assume a local leadership function and for a road trip, head to St. Louis. MO August 24-25. If you're interested in joining us, drop us a line to get connected.

View the UNLEASED Flickr set by clicking here

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Avalanche Internet Marketing said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Kerry - great pics. Always been a big fan of Truett Cathy as well. Would have loved to see Rob Bell. Just got turned on to his Nooma videos the week before your conference.

I saw PK the previous week at Jacksonville and it was such a tremendous blessing. They reported about 600 guys turned in decision cards for Christ that weekend - awesome! I sincerely hope it continues to grow and transform more men.

I wrote a little post about the conference entitle "Promise Keepers Survival Guide" with just a few tips for going to PK. If you have any suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from the Louisville conference and have to say it was the best one I 've been to since Columbus in 2003.

Those Rob Bell videos really are something!

Men were changed!