About 650 church leaders from over 40 countries gathered in Panama City, Panama to pray, learn and grow relationships to build God’s church. Our brothers and sisters from Panama and around Central America, led by Josue and Veronica Ortega, made every person feel like family.

Our theme for the 2018 International Leadership Conference was Forward by Faith. The classes on Day 1 were an examination of the first half of the book of Acts. This day’s goal was to present sharing and teaching that examined each chapter leading up to the Jerusalem council. With these early chapters, we looked for the principles and themes surrounding topics like prayer, courage, great preaching, the power of personal ministry, meeting the needs of the poor, and the role of the Holy Spirit in leading us forward. This first day concluded with a panel discussion centered on the exciting recent Mexico City turnaround story. We heard about a humble request for help by one of the largest churches in our fellowship, and how the Mexico and Central America Missions Society stepped up to produce a team of brothers and sisters to help support our brothers and sisters in Mexico City.

Day 2 is picked up in Acts 15. The men and women met separately for the morning sessions to hear teachings beginning with the Jerusalem council. From there the men’s and women’s breakout classes continued on a journey into the lives of some of the prominent men and women we see highlighted in the book of Acts. An Elders session was also held. The afternoon session brought us all back together for some focused teaching on topics relevant to our global fellowship at this hour. This session featured experts addressing subjects in a “TED Talk” format.

Day 3 began with an update on the results of the Delegates voting on ICOC 3.0 proposals and continued with various reports from the Women’s Service Team, HOPE worldwide, Disciples Today, and ICOC HotNews. The final session sent us off filled with a spirit of unity, faithfulness, and courage for the days ahead with the powerful closing message by Mike Taliaferro of San Antonio, “Forward by Faith: With All Boldness.”

Many stayed for the weekend to teach and participate in the dynamic Central American Conference Poderoso.

The overall goal for this ILC was for the spiritual leaders across our global fellowship to gather together and make decisions to reach for a unified vision. Our hearts were challenged, repentance was gained and God was glorified as we left this ILC spurred on to seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness to the ends of the earth.

The next ILC will be conducted as part of the 2020 World Discipleship Summit on July 2-5 in Orlando, Florida.

Click here for the 2018 ICOC Delegates Meeting Report.