Empowering New Generations With Dr. Billy Wilson

Empowering New Generations With Dr. Billy Wilson

Dr. Billy Wilson was touched by the Holy Spirit as a young man. Now through his leadership of the Empowered21 movement and Oral Roberts University, he brings a strong vision of Spirit empowerment to believers around the world. Listen as host Chris Johnson interviews Dr. Wilson about this important work and learn how you can get involved.

21 Minutes • a month ago

Episode Notes

Charisma Connection

Guest: Dr. Billy Wilson

Dr. Billy Wilson was touched by the Holy Spirit as a young man. Now through his leadership of the Empowered21 movement and Oral Roberts University, he brings a strong vision of Spirit empowerment to believers around the world.

Listen as host Chris Johnson interviews Dr. Wilson about this important work and learn how you can get involved.

Introduction

Chris Johnson: It's my privilege today to speak with Dr. Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University about his work at ORU, but also mainly about his role within Empowered 21. You are the global co-chair of Empowered 21, otherwise known as E21. I understand E21 was born out of the Azusa Street Centennial. What was your role with that Centennial?

Dr. Billy Wilson: I was the executive officer of the Centennial and helped execute the event. In 2006, we had about 50,000 people from 114 nations around the world. It was really a wonderful homecoming for the entire spirit-filled movement globally.

Empowered 21 on Charisma

·         Next Generation of Spirit-Filled Leaders Gather in Dubai

·         Empowered 21 Appoints New Director to Lead Spirit-Filled Movement

·         2000 Spirit-Filled Pastors, Ministry Leaders Gather in Unprecedented Unity

·         Is This the Third Pentecost?

Chris Johnson: It’s hard to believe that was that long ago. So, could you tell us first how E21 came into being, and how you got involved.

Dr. Billy Wilson: Following the Azusa Centennial, we found ourselves with the largest database of really Pentecostal Charismatic leaders in the history of the movement. We had cell phone numbers, email addresses of people literally all over the world who came to the centennial. Initially, we really didn't know what to do with that and how to steward that forward. Then in 2008, I became part of the Board of Trustees serving as vice chair here at Oral Roberts University of that board. ORU was undergoing big change and the board chair wanted to do some things to assure alumni of ORU that this university would continue to focus on the Holy Spirit. So, we started a series of conversations around the world. We went to five different continents, had 17 events asking about spirit-filled, spirit-empowered Christianity in the 21st century and got ready for a large event that we had here at ORU in 2010 that ultimately became known as Empowered 21. We thought that would be it, that we do the big event, we would sort of make our statement to the alumni and friends of ORU that were going to continue to commit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our generation. Shortly before that, we realized the event was not going to be an endpoint, but rather a launch point and it initiated really a whole new organization that has come to be known as Empowered 21 … Empowered meaning empowered by the Holy Spirit. We did a lot of testing of words of how this new generation would self-identify themselves: Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, Spirit-led, Spirit-filled, or Spirit-empowered. The word that tested the highest that the new generations liked the most was Spirit-empowered. Then, focus groups among college-age students added the 21, which means 21st century. So, what does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit in the 21st century?

 

Chris Johnson: That really encapsulates it into a couple of words. So, you are also the president of ORU, as you mentioned, the fourth in the university's history, so I assume that at least one of your gifts is organizational in nature. You serve on the Board of other organizations as well. So, what do you bring to this role as global co-chair?

Dr. Billy Wilson: Good question, Chris. We didn't try out for the role. We ended up again, sort of say it this way, providentially stumbling into this significant relational network that is the largest in the movement’s history. You know, I have global relationships, have had for a number of years. I've preached in 98 nations around the world personally. I tend to be a person that … I’ve sort of been called a visionary. So, I will see a lot of things. Then due to the Azusa Centennial and our relationship building over the years, I developed a lot of trust among Pentecostal Charismatic leaders. I think that trust, being seen as a secure source, and also not necessarily personally being a large personality myself, not in competition with anyone, it's allowed me to bring these groups together and focus on the big task before us as Pentecostals and Charismatics in the 21st century.

Chris Johnson: You are the global co-chair, so you must have another co-chair and I believe that's George O. Wood, is it not?

Dr. Billy Wilson: Yes, Dr. Wood is serving with us presently. He's the chair of the World Assemblies of God fellowship and a wonderful friend and has been a great partner. Jack Hayford was our initial co-chair and then as Pastor Jack retired, Dr. Wood stepped in and has done a great job.

Chris Johnson: You have so many events coming up. But, first let's talk about what is the structure of such a large organization. Tell us about the inner workings and how you deal with different leaders across the globe.

Dr. Billy Wilson: We have a global council that gives inspirational oversight to the network. It's a relational network. So, there's no bylaws, you don't have to sign a constitution. There are no dues required. People do give that are part of the network, but it's all free will. We're there by relationship, although we are careful to have people of integrity at the table as much as possible. Out of that global council, then we have 14 regional cabinets. Most of the cabinets populated by between 15 to 30 leaders in that part of the world who are sort of top denominational, independent Charismatic Pentecostal leaders, all of them working on the same goals, purposes, mission as the Global Council. Then we have several auxiliary, ancillary type groups. We have a Next Generation Leaders’ Group; we have an evangelist group that is now formed. We have a scholars’ group that is doing work and a discipleship commission and all of that sort of is interrelated and connected back to the Global Council. The day-to-day operations are handled from here at Oral Roberts University. We have an executive director, Caleb Wehrli, who is leading sort of the day-to-day every-day operations of Empowered 21 and working with the network around the world. But it is broad, its vast. We think, from what we can tell they're probably about 600 to 650 leaders involved in the leadership of Empowered 21 around the world.

Chris Johnson: You have a rather large gathering coming up the Jerusalem Congress in 2020. But I've seen other gatherings that you have in places as diverse as Greece and Colombia. How do you decide where you're going to have these events?

Dr. Billy Wilson: The Global Council has decided that only once every five years will we have a Global Congress. So, coming up in 2020, May 31 through June 3, coinciding with Pentecost Sunday and the few days after will be in Jerusalem at the basketball arena for our Global Congress. We've only had two of these before. So, this is our third Global Congress. Then in between, in the five-year interim in between, there are all kinds of events being organized by the regional cabinets. For the most part, those are done at the regional level and the Global Council does not necessarily dictate to the regional cabinet what events they would do. We see events as part of process. We're after a bigger process, an intergenerational process of helping a new a generation connect with the power of the Holy Spirit and bringing Christian unity for world evangelization. So, we encourage the regional cabinets to do what works in their part of the world. Some have small events; some have really large events. Then we also ask that one region volunteer each year to have a Congress or conference right before Pentecost Sunday. So, this year, that will be in Bogota, Colombia in early June, right before Pentecost Sunday in the western church. It's going to be a grand event; it actually looks like it's forming up really well. Then next year, 2020, will be in Jerusalem together with the whole world there.

Chris Johnson: Even in your vision statements, you talk about reaching every single person on earth and having that person be touched by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. That is a big vision.

Dr. Billy Wilson: Yeah, what happened in one of our global council meetings a few years ago, in talking, we said, hey, what's the one thing that is so big that no organization, no one network, no one ministry could possibly do it by themselves? This is where the Holy Spirit led us. So, we've set a date of 2033, which is the 2,000-year anniversary of Acts, chapter two … at least we are regarding it so … that we would see every person on earth have an opportunity through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to know Jesus Christ. We don't necessarily believe that everyone is going to be saved. But we believe everyone deserves a chance to know the Jesus we know and we believe the work of the Holy Spirit is going before us and in us and through us to give every person a realistic opportunity to know Jesus Christ. So that's our goal by 2033, and that's what's keeping all of us together in the big, big vision of Empowered 21.

Chris Johnson: I was just going to ask you, Jesus called believers to unity. How does E21 work toward the unity of the church?

Dr. Billy Wilson: Again, I think when you look at John 17, there really three things in Jesus’ prayer. One is relational unity, that we would be one as He and the Father are one in relationship together. So, Empowered 21 calls spirit-empowered believers all over the world to be in relationship together in relational unity. The second thing is Jesus says, I want this to happen, and I'm praying it will happen so that the world may believe. And so, this unity needs a missional purpose. In fact, we've learned over the years that just bringing people together for the sake of being together doesn't work very long, that we need a shared purpose, a shared mission as it were. We believe Jesus prayed for that too, so that the world may believe and that's one of the reasons we work together in this relational unity, so we can help the world believe. But then there's a third element. Some people forget. And Jesus says, I've given them the glory father that you've given me that they may be one. So, I sort of say this, the glory is the rest of the story and God's presence is one of the things that holds us together. So, in many ways, E21 provides a platform that allows diverse believers in the spirit-empowered movement to come together, to share together, to love one another, to get to know one another, and to be in relational unity. Then we champion a united vision that is so big that it calls us all to work together in order to reach every person on earth.

Connect with Empowered 21

·         Empowered21.com

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

Episode Notes

Charisma Connection

Guest: Dr. Billy Wilson

Dr. Billy Wilson was touched by the Holy Spirit as a young man. Now through his leadership of the Empowered21 movement and Oral Roberts University, he brings a strong vision of Spirit empowerment to believers around the world.

Listen as host Chris Johnson interviews Dr. Wilson about this important work and learn how you can get involved.

Introduction

Chris Johnson: It's my privilege today to speak with Dr. Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University about his work at ORU, but also mainly about his role within Empowered 21. You are the global co-chair of Empowered 21, otherwise known as E21. I understand E21 was born out of the Azusa Street Centennial. What was your role with that Centennial?

Dr. Billy Wilson: I was the executive officer of the Centennial and helped execute the event. In 2006, we had about 50,000 people from 114 nations around the world. It was really a wonderful homecoming for the entire spirit-filled movement globally.

Empowered 21 on Charisma

·         Next Generation of Spirit-Filled Leaders Gather in Dubai

·         Empowered 21 Appoints New Director to Lead Spirit-Filled Movement

·         2000 Spirit-Filled Pastors, Ministry Leaders Gather in Unprecedented Unity

·         Is This the Third Pentecost?

Chris Johnson: It’s hard to believe that was that long ago. So, could you tell us first how E21 came into being, and how you got involved.

Dr. Billy Wilson: Following the Azusa Centennial, we found ourselves with the largest database of really Pentecostal Charismatic leaders in the history of the movement. We had cell phone numbers, email addresses of people literally all over the world who came to the centennial. Initially, we really didn't know what to do with that and how to steward that forward. Then in 2008, I became part of the Board of Trustees serving as vice chair here at Oral Roberts University of that board. ORU was undergoing big change and the board chair wanted to do some things to assure alumni of ORU that this university would continue to focus on the Holy Spirit. So, we started a series of conversations around the world. We went to five different continents, had 17 events asking about spirit-filled, spirit-empowered Christianity in the 21st century and got ready for a large event that we had here at ORU in 2010 that ultimately became known as Empowered 21. We thought that would be it, that we do the big event, we would sort of make our statement to the alumni and friends of ORU that were going to continue to commit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our generation. Shortly before that, we realized the event was not going to be an endpoint, but rather a launch point and it initiated really a whole new organization that has come to be known as Empowered 21 … Empowered meaning empowered by the Holy Spirit. We did a lot of testing of words of how this new generation would self-identify themselves: Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, Spirit-led, Spirit-filled, or Spirit-empowered. The word that tested the highest that the new generations liked the most was Spirit-empowered. Then, focus groups among college-age students added the 21, which means 21st century. So, what does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit in the 21st century?

 

Chris Johnson: That really encapsulates it into a couple of words. So, you are also the president of ORU, as you mentioned, the fourth in the university's history, so I assume that at least one of your gifts is organizational in nature. You serve on the Board of other organizations as well. So, what do you bring to this role as global co-chair?

Dr. Billy Wilson: Good question, Chris. We didn't try out for the role. We ended up again, sort of say it this way, providentially stumbling into this significant relational network that is the largest in the movement’s history. You know, I have global relationships, have had for a number of years. I've preached in 98 nations around the world personally. I tend to be a person that … I’ve sort of been called a visionary. So, I will see a lot of things. Then due to the Azusa Centennial and our relationship building over the years, I developed a lot of trust among Pentecostal Charismatic leaders. I think that trust, being seen as a secure source, and also not necessarily personally being a large personality myself, not in competition with anyone, it's allowed me to bring these groups together and focus on the big task before us as Pentecostals and Charismatics in the 21st century.

Chris Johnson: You are the global co-chair, so you must have another co-chair and I believe that's George O. Wood, is it not?

Dr. Billy Wilson: Yes, Dr. Wood is serving with us presently. He's the chair of the World Assemblies of God fellowship and a wonderful friend and has been a great partner. Jack Hayford was our initial co-chair and then as Pastor Jack retired, Dr. Wood stepped in and has done a great job.

Chris Johnson: You have so many events coming up. But, first let's talk about what is the structure of such a large organization. Tell us about the inner workings and how you deal with different leaders across the globe.

Dr. Billy Wilson: We have a global council that gives inspirational oversight to the network. It's a relational network. So, there's no bylaws, you don't have to sign a constitution. There are no dues required. People do give that are part of the network, but it's all free will. We're there by relationship, although we are careful to have people of integrity at the table as much as possible. Out of that global council, then we have 14 regional cabinets. Most of the cabinets populated by between 15 to 30 leaders in that part of the world who are sort of top denominational, independent Charismatic Pentecostal leaders, all of them working on the same goals, purposes, mission as the Global Council. Then we have several auxiliary, ancillary type groups. We have a Next Generation Leaders’ Group; we have an evangelist group that is now formed. We have a scholars’ group that is doing work and a discipleship commission and all of that sort of is interrelated and connected back to the Global Council. The day-to-day operations are handled from here at Oral Roberts University. We have an executive director, Caleb Wehrli, who is leading sort of the day-to-day every-day operations of Empowered 21 and working with the network around the world. But it is broad, its vast. We think, from what we can tell they're probably about 600 to 650 leaders involved in the leadership of Empowered 21 around the world.

Chris Johnson: You have a rather large gathering coming up the Jerusalem Congress in 2020. But I've seen other gatherings that you have in places as diverse as Greece and Colombia. How do you decide where you're going to have these events?

Dr. Billy Wilson: The Global Council has decided that only once every five years will we have a Global Congress. So, coming up in 2020, May 31 through June 3, coinciding with Pentecost Sunday and the few days after will be in Jerusalem at the basketball arena for our Global Congress. We've only had two of these before. So, this is our third Global Congress. Then in between, in the five-year interim in between, there are all kinds of events being organized by the regional cabinets. For the most part, those are done at the regional level and the Global Council does not necessarily dictate to the regional cabinet what events they would do. We see events as part of process. We're after a bigger process, an intergenerational process of helping a new a generation connect with the power of the Holy Spirit and bringing Christian unity for world evangelization. So, we encourage the regional cabinets to do what works in their part of the world. Some have small events; some have really large events. Then we also ask that one region volunteer each year to have a Congress or conference right before Pentecost Sunday. So, this year, that will be in Bogota, Colombia in early June, right before Pentecost Sunday in the western church. It's going to be a grand event; it actually looks like it's forming up really well. Then next year, 2020, will be in Jerusalem together with the whole world there.

Chris Johnson: Even in your vision statements, you talk about reaching every single person on earth and having that person be touched by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. That is a big vision.

Dr. Billy Wilson: Yeah, what happened in one of our global council meetings a few years ago, in talking, we said, hey, what's the one thing that is so big that no organization, no one network, no one ministry could possibly do it by themselves? This is where the Holy Spirit led us. So, we've set a date of 2033, which is the 2,000-year anniversary of Acts, chapter two … at least we are regarding it so … that we would see every person on earth have an opportunity through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to know Jesus Christ. We don't necessarily believe that everyone is going to be saved. But we believe everyone deserves a chance to know the Jesus we know and we believe the work of the Holy Spirit is going before us and in us and through us to give every person a realistic opportunity to know Jesus Christ. So that's our goal by 2033, and that's what's keeping all of us together in the big, big vision of Empowered 21.

Chris Johnson: I was just going to ask you, Jesus called believers to unity. How does E21 work toward the unity of the church?

Dr. Billy Wilson: Again, I think when you look at John 17, there really three things in Jesus’ prayer. One is relational unity, that we would be one as He and the Father are one in relationship together. So, Empowered 21 calls spirit-empowered believers all over the world to be in relationship together in relational unity. The second thing is Jesus says, I want this to happen, and I'm praying it will happen so that the world may believe. And so, this unity needs a missional purpose. In fact, we've learned over the years that just bringing people together for the sake of being together doesn't work very long, that we need a shared purpose, a shared mission as it were. We believe Jesus prayed for that too, so that the world may believe and that's one of the reasons we work together in this relational unity, so we can help the world believe. But then there's a third element. Some people forget. And Jesus says, I've given them the glory father that you've given me that they may be one. So, I sort of say this, the glory is the rest of the story and God's presence is one of the things that holds us together. So, in many ways, E21 provides a platform that allows diverse believers in the spirit-empowered movement to come together, to share together, to love one another, to get to know one another, and to be in relational unity. Then we champion a united vision that is so big that it calls us all to work together in order to reach every person on earth.

Connect with Empowered 21

·         Empowered21.com

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

15

0:00/21:39

Empowering New Generations With Dr. Billy Wilson