Influential pastor, pioneering revivalist and author Bill Johnson will be leading a three-day Kingdom Conference in Johannesburg in February next year — and the timing of his first ever ministry trip to South Africa has more than a little to do with Springbok rugby!
To understand the divinely-inspired rugby link it is necessary to go back to 2005 when John and Lisa Crumpton — leaders of Breakthru Life Church in Johannesburg — were given copies of Johnson’s books The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind and When Heaven Invades Earth while they were on sabbatical in the United States.
“The inspirational teaching and testimonies which Bill wrote tugged at our hearts — could this [a revival culture in which ordinary believers are empowered to walk in the Spirit and bring Heaven to earth on the streets, in schools and at work] even be possible for us here in SA? ” said John.
An impact player
“Then at our Spring Conference in 2007 (Foundation Ministries International) the Lord gave one of our leaders a dream. In the dream the Springbok rugby team were playing against the British and Irish Lions. An impact player was being introduced by the stadium announcer as he pulled on a Springbok jersey– Bill Johnson!
“When sharing the dream the following morning among the core leaders, I immediately remembered Bill Johnson’s books and the impact that they had made on me, so we soon concluded that the Lord wanted Bill Johnson to come to South Africa to make an impact in the nation,” said John.
In June 2008 the Crumptons were part of a team of 19 Christian leaders from South Africa who — like so many others from around the world have done over the past decade — travelled to the small town of Redding, California to visit Bethel Church to witness first-hand what a revival culture looks and feels like. The South African team were attending a conference at Bethel and were on a mission to invite Johnson to come and minister in South Africa.
“Due to his very busy schedule, Bill asked us to connect with Paul Manwaring who oversees Global Legacy, which is the vehicle through which people from around the world can stay connected to the river of revival,” said John.
“The following Easter Paul Manwaring came to SA and ministered at a Camp Meeting, fulfilling a prophetic word given him some 20 years earlier, and being a Brit he also helped us understand the connection to the international rugby team.”
Since Manwaring’s visits there have been multiple contacts and trips and ministry teams going back and forth from Bethel and South Africa, all strengthening the relational ties between numerous churches and streams, said John.
And it seems that the Holy Spirit was not yet finished with Springbok rugby.
Rugby World Cup
In October last year — while England was hosting the Rugby World Cup — John led a group of 115 church leaders on a visit to Bethel — the largest single tour group ever to visit there. While there the group attended an Open Heavens Conference.
And then on the very day of the SA-US match in the World Cup — a day in which some members of the SA group at Bethel were patriotically wearing Bok jerseys — the SA group got to have a private meeting with Johnson.
“In June of this year, once again on a sabbatical, Lisa and I spent personal time with the Johnsons and the Manwarings, bringing our original intention of inviting them to South Africa full-circle,” said John.
Conference registration open
Johnson and Manwaring will lead the Kingdom Come Conference at Acts Christian Church, Midrand, from Thursday February 9 to Saturday February 11. Bookings are open at itickets at https://itickets.co.za/events/367074,
“We feel that the time is right and ripe for a major impact into South Africa through Bill Johnson. He will not be coming into a vacuum, as the ground has already been prepared for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit,” said John.
“We invite you to come and be refreshed in the river of God (Ezekiel 47), to go further and deeper in the things of the Spirit, to be empowered to make a difference for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. The prayer of Jesus — Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done, On Earth As It Is In Heaven — still rings out across our nation. Will you be part of the answer to that prayer?