In the 1980s, David Shibley stood on the platform at a large evangelistic meeting in Nigeria with more than 10,000 people present as he preached through an interpreter. That's when God called him to the international ministry he continues today through Global Advance.
Shibley says back then, the supporting church pastors sat on the platform with the speaker, so he had 30 Nigerian pastors sitting behind him when suddenly, the Holy Spirit began to speak.
"Do you see those 30 Nigerian pastors seated behind you?" the Spirit asked, beginning an internal conversation that continued as Shibley preached.
"Yes, Lord, I see them."
And then came the directive that shaped Shibley's ministry: "Spend the rest of your life putting men like that up where you're standing; you go sit where they're sitting," God told him.
"And that was really, in my heart, the launch of Global Advance, and we chartered in 1990," Shibley says.
Since that time, Global Advance has had a presence in 103 nations of the world, he says, "equipping both pastoral leaders and believers in the marketplace. We also conduct women's conferences—many times, women even in Christian contexts are subjugated in many cultures of the world. And so we bring hope and encouragement to them. We have a Next Gen Initiative, raising up young leaders of the body of Christ. And then we have a humanitarian outreach, particularly for persecuted believers, who are also in great need of just the necessities of life."
Although Shibley is by no means finished ministering, he has turned over the presidency of Global Advance to his son Jonathan, whom he says "has his finger on the pulse of world evangelization" and is "giving wonderful, innovative young leadership to the ministry of Global Advance."
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Shibley believes there will be a new surge of God's grace and love poured out from His people. "The gospel is facing stiffer opposition than ever in the history of the United States," he says. "But that is running parallel to a second reality, which is the massive openness to the gospel, millions of people, just like Jesus said, the wheat and the tares are growing up together. So it's a very exciting, spiritually invigorating time to be alive. If we will simply open our mouths and, like Rick Warren's Dad always would say to him as they ended their conversations, 'put in a good word for Jesus.' Well, that's what we all need to be doing in every conversation."
For much more from David Shibley about God's work in world evangelism through Global Advance, listen to this entire episode of the Strang Report podcast here, and be sure to subscribe to the Strang Report on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast platform.
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