THOUGHTS ON PROMPTLY RESPONDING TO THE HOLY SPIRIT FROM MIKE SHAUGHNESSY
How do you organize an online, two-hour, international conference in multiple languages for 1,500 young adults aged 22-35, who live in 17 different time zones, in less than seven weeks?
On May 25th, Ralph Mascarenas, the leader of our Young Professionals work in London, proposed in an email that we should “bring together the young professionals from all the communities and outreaches across the world.” In Europe, they had just done a “Legacy Conference” for that age group in Europe. They had double the number of attendees they had ever had and it worked well via Zoom.
The following Saturday we met with eight leaders of our international work at 10pm (in Manila), 3pm (in London), 10am (in Michigan), and 8am (in Costa Rica) and agreed we liked the idea but would make a firm decision the following Saturday after a bit more research on dates, media, purpose and personnel.
We found: Saturday is the only day that works (starting at 10pm in Asia and 7am in Vancouver). It could be no more than two hours, live, The maximum number we could have online was 1,000 via Zoom and we were convinced we needed to do it asap.
By June 12th we had a steering committee, a date (July 18th) and a sketch of the event but we still needed a title, a theme, and a team, before we could promote or put on a conference for a group of people who had no idea we were planning to do it! We had five weeks and were going to do it on volunteer labor. We needed everything done PRONTO.
Pronto was emceed by our very own Michela
Brooks here in New Jersey and Daniel Dunkl
We wanted something compelling, uniting, informative, and inspiring! How do you do that on Zoom for two hours? We aren’t Hollywood but our goal is to do a highly professional and inspiring conference for our audience. We are convinced that God has called for this.. (Why? That is another story…) His hand is upon our times and we have a call to proclaim that to a world that has been confounded by Covid 19.
A Personal Experience of Pronto 2020
Pronto 2020 brought together thousands of young professionals from across the globe to join in a unified two-hour virtual conference. Delivered in real time, the conference spanned 12 different time zones and drew close to two thousand participants from Sword of the Spirit communities around the world. The content of the conference included live praise and worship, interactive icebreakers, small group discussions, and an exhortation delivered by none other than Anton Colella. Through his talk, Anton effectively inspired us to seek freedom from fear and in that freedom allow the Lord to continually guide our paths in whatever stage of life we are in. Being able to connect with other young professionals from across the world including my own home community in Glasgow while actively living and serving with the People of Hope in New Jersey rekindled in me the mission and vision of the Sword of the Spirit. One of the most striking ways this happened for me was during our times of praise and worship. Knowing that two thousand people from across the world were unified in charismatic praise and worship reminded me that although we are separated by time and dispersed throughout the world, we are unified through Christ and it is for him and in him that we do all things. It felt like the doors of the upper room were being flung open for us to claim freedom from fear and to go forth boldly into the world knowing we are supported by brothers and sisters all over the world. It is clear that this is just the beginning, that the Lord has reignited the flame, and He is calling us onward and upward.
- Clare, Compass Member
Picture 1: Anton Colella exhorted the group of over 2000 young professionals from his home in Scotland
Picture 2: The worship team from Lebanon lead the group in praise & worship in multiple languages