After nine days of hearing 22 plenary speakers and a dozen seminar and workshop leaders, and meeting countless coworkers from around the world, participants of the Amsterdam 2000 conference for preaching evangelists heard what they really wanted: they got to hear Billy Graham tell them he loved them and encourage them in their work."I have been with you every day by satellite and have been convicted, challenged, and blessed with what my ears have heard, my eyes have seen, and my heart has felt," the 81-year-old evangelist said in a taped message from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "As you go home, I want you to know that I love you, individually and collectively, with all my heart." Due to health concerns relating to his Parkinson's Disease and hydrocephalus, Graham had to cancel plans to attend the conference himself. He was also too tired to address the conference via satellite at its opening session. The final session of the conference focused on the most multinational celebration of the Lord's Supper in history, with participants from 209 countries and territories. The conference finale was also marked by the distribution of two documents, a 14-point "Covenant for Evangelists" and a 10-page report from the conferences' three task groups titled "The Amsterdam Declaration: A Charter for Evangelism in the 21st Century."Neither holds any major surprises and reflected the recurring themes of the conference. The Covenant for Evangelists, for example, contains pledges to "worship the one true and living God," "be part of a local fellowship of believers," "maintain financial integrity and accountability," and "serve the needy and oppressed."The Amsterdam Declaration also includes pledges, which differ slightly in tone ...1
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