When Christine Caine, on a mission trip, met with victims of human trafficking, one young woman screamed at her, "If what you say about God loving me and wanting to rescue me is true – then why didn't you come sooner?"
"Why didn't I?" Caine wondered in horror. She realized that none of the things that had kept her from "coming sooner" had been more important than helping these young victims.
After crying and begging forgiveness, Caine – a pastor at Hillsong Church in Australia – threw herself into a new ministry and founded The A21 Campaign, an organization dedicated to the care and healing of victims of human trafficking.
Caine was one of the speakers at last week's 2010 Global Leadership Summit, hosted by the non-denominational Willow Creek Church in Chicago, and broadcast via satellite to more than 170 other locations in North America.
"If I thought about 27 million slaves I would be overwhelmed," Caine told attendees. But, "Hope fuels our risk-taking … We were born for this moment; this is our time of greatest potential. I am still 'old school' enough to believe that Jesus Christ is the hope of the world, and his church is the vehicle [for] that hope [to] be taken out to a broken and despairing world."
Caine is one of three summit participants – including United Methodist pastor Adam Hamilton (the guest speaker for the 2011 California-Nevada Annual Conference Session) – who will participate in "Beyond the Summit" webinars beginning this week.
Tomorrow (Thursday, August 12) from 10 to 11 a.m. Pacific time, you may join Christine Caine via Internet, to hear and interact with her.
Just paste https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/558080835 into your Web browser to register. You will receive a confirmation email with directions for participation, which you may save to Outlook.
Thursday, August 19 from 10 to 11 a.m. Pacific time, visit "The Land Between" with Jeff Manion, author of the book by that name and pastor at Ada Bible Church in West Michigan. "The land between" is known by other names: desert … wilderness … a place of barrenness and despair. It's the place in which you find yourself when you're between jobs, when your marriage fails, when your health is bad, or when you're losing your home. If it's a place you know all too well, join Manion at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/405270578 for a dose of encouragement. Because besides being fertile ground for complaint and emotional meltdown, "the land between," Manion attests, also is fertile ground for transformational growth.
Thursday, August 26 from 8 to 10 a.m., Pacific time, the Rev. Adam Hamilton, founding and senior pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas (one of the fastest growing, most influential mainline Protestant churches in the country, with adult membership which has grown from four to 13,000 since 1990) will engage with webinar participants on the subject, "When Leaders Fall." At the summit, Hamilton spoke candidly about a painful situation at his own church – and how the handling of it became a powerful witness. He laid out steps a church can take to lessen opportunities for misconduct, and steps an individual can take to lessen the chance of falling victim to temptation.
"All of us are tempted as human beings," Hamilton said. "The final word always must be one of healing and grace. We have to remember that we serve a Lord who was a friend to prostitutes, drunkards, and sinners. No one is beyond redemption. God is the God of the second chance. If you sin, remember that the Gospel is for sinners."
For all three webinars, you may submit questions in advance or ask them during the webcast.
In October, the Conference Communications Office will have a DVD of all eight summit sessions, which will be available for circuit leaders and others to borrow.