August 7 th wrapped up our first large-scale gathering on US soil in six years as nearly 11,000 people from 97 nations gathered in Orlando, Florida for the 2022 World Discipleship Summit (WDS). Another 2,100 registered virtually and joined us online throughout the week. The conference was originally planned for 2020 and then the pandemic changed everything. By faith the conference organizers postponed it by two years and prayed that people would still come. For those who could make it, the WDS was a refreshing and inspiring time. Due to Covid and travel limitations, we were sad to miss out on a higher number of non-US participants in person, but we enjoyed fellowship with those who were able to attend.
The WDS is a convergence of individual conferences to meet numerous needs. Meetings kicked off on July 27, with the Catalyst Team, Delegates, and Regional Family Chairs gathering for several days of leadership meetings to discuss the health of our churches worldwide. Thousands more streamed in over the weekend as the Campus (ICMC), Singles (ISC), and Leadership (ILC) tracks began on Sunday, July 31. These conferences were filled with energy, inspiration, depth of teaching, and continual fellowship. More classes than ever addressed a wide variety of needs. More younger people than ever were included in the planning and presenting.
On Wednesday and Thursday several more thousand came into town for the Forever Faithful, Families, Teen, Spanish, Deaf, Stronger and Communications tracks. With all that the world has been through in the last few years, it was deeply encouraging to hear topics that have affected all of us spoken to with grace, empathy, clarity and faith.
Thanks to incredible preparation by the conference planners, children and teens had a variety of options available, including the Inclusive Impact Summit Lounge for children with special needs and sensory issues, HOPE worldwide service opportunities for teens, and the Giant Cow program and Kids Zone for families.
Highlights included an incredible worship concert, tracks for many life stages or topics, more than 60 booths featuring disciple-led organizations, and the Communications and Stronger conference tracks that closed out the 10-day experience.
One other conference highlight was the introduction of the All Nations app, the one place you can learn about all our mission societies, discover places to go and serve, and be equipped for missions through the evangelism toolbox. Click to download: Android or Apple.
Wish you could have attended multiple classes at once? Or that you could’ve stayed the whole week for different tracks? Access all 180 classes from the Summit via the virtual platform. All conference registrants have access to this platform, and virtual registration is still available for those who want to sign up.
Thank you so much to Marshall and Shawn Mead and the entire Orlando Church for their heroic, tireless work, faithful vision and tremendous perseverance in hosting us.