Global Network

A Meeting of our Global Family

The 2024 BILD Global Summit recently ended and we have been reflecting on what transpired during those 10 days with our international and North American partners.

It was a reunion for many as the world dealt with the covid virus and we were unable to meet in person for a few years. And it was an introduction for others who were new to BILD or those who are coming to understand the biblical principles around Christ's design for His Church as they continue to grapple with secondary church traditions. While they were with us at the Summit, they experienced our church gatherings as a family of families. We are His Global Church.

From the mouths of many who attended – whether they lived just down the street or in the farthest corner of the world – were their reflections on seeing the unfolding of God’s plan through Christ’s Church through the hospitality of the Ames-Des Moines CityChurch network (ADMCC). Guests were welcomed into homes, meals were prepared and eaten, transportation was given, conversations were had, songs were sung, and a whole slew of experiences were added to the memory bank and camera rolls. All of these things are a testament to our commitment of living out the way of Christ and His Apostles as patterned in the book of Acts. As one guest reflected on their time at the Summit: “Doing it once is worth more than hearing it 20 times.”

Being a family of families extended into all areas of the Summit and was seen in the participation from everyone from the oldest person to the youngest. Seeing this generational involvement and the establishment of our young people in the New Testament principles was a turning point for many as they could see the dedication and commitment from the older generations in laying a firm foundation in the Gospel and Christ’s teaching.

Throughout the week, BILD staff met in coaching sessions with our international partners who are leaders of large church networks around the world. Through their time together they addressed many different issues affecting their networks, some unique and some common to all. These coaching sessions were varied, depending on the needs of our partners, and great effort went into the work that they accomplished during the Summit. Out of these discussions the leaders created strategic ministry plans specific to the needs of their network that would train top leaders all the way down to every believer in their churches. These strategies are pursuant to spreading the gospel and reaching unbelievers and are centered around the importance of establishing new believers in the faith to strengthen churches in many different cultures, some where persecution is rampant.

ADMCC elders shared with our North America partners the importance of strong apostolic teams and elders in laying the foundation for strong church families. Our elders gave the history of our Ames-Des Moines network and their faithfulness and commitment over the last 40-plus years to hold fast Christ’s teachings and instill biblical principles into the next generations. This could be seen when on Monday night during the Summit, our third generation, those born between 1990 and 2015, met to discuss The First Principles book, Belonging to a Family of Families, and to further understand their unique life purpose and their family life purpose as it relates to the Church.

Being able to experience meeting as a family of families was also seen on Sunday evening as we gathered as churches in our homes, sharing a meal and the bread and cup together. It allowed guests to see how our churches are patterned after the book of Acts, living out our lives together, sharing spiritual gifts, songs and teachings that strengthen the church and progress the gospel.

We heard from Michael Vos and Jeff Reed as they continue writing on issues that focus on the continued development of key leaders which then cascades to the establishment of all believers within a church, so that we are presented mature before Christ. The papers that were presented along with the continuation of Jeff’s Mastering the Scriptures Series will be available in the future on the BILD website.

The Summit concluded with a keynote by Michael and a banquet prepared by families in the network who also worked tirelessly throughout the week to provide lunches each day. The banquet truly was a celebration as we ate and shared the bread and cup together. So many guests noted those serving us, our children and young people from our network - all playing an important role in the Church.

Michael’s keynote focused on the patterns of Acts as the roots of what we as a global network are doing in following Christ’s Great Commission. As Michael said in one of his presentations during the week: fulfilling the Great Commission is following Jesus and His plan for the Church, and once we understand that, we have a role to play.

This includes following the teachings of Christ, passing them from generation to generation, shepherding churches, and gathering to eat, drink and celebrate. We are people sent out to do the work and follow Christ’s plan as unveiled to the Apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians. “We are continuing that work. We are a part of that work. We are connected and integrated to the work that was given,” Michael said.

We met during the Summit as a global family, and that was felt by all in attendance. As everyone has returned to their homes around the world, we continue to hold them close as we shoulder the burdens together, building for future generations so we can continue to progress the work Christ began.

Main photo by Amber Riffo.

Banner photo by Hannah Mae Photography.