This is not a pipe dream, but a serious vision with real objectives and mature leadership. The key leader of this movement is a man named Dave Hodgson, who spent much of his childhood in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. I heard Dave speak for only 15 minutes in the autumn of 2014 at a conference in Connecticut. I immediately discerned he was carrying a vision from God.
Dave ended up in Australia, where he found Christ at a Reinhard Bonnke crusade event. Reinhard actually picked him out of a large crowd in Perth with a word of knowledge, and Dave surrendered his life to the Lord. Coming from a special operations military background, he saw his Christian calling through a lens of obedience to a commanding officer. God assigned him to relate to a certain pastor up in the northeast of Australia.
Dave would call his pastor often to offer assistance, including financial, to that man's vision. When God called that pastor to start a new church over 1,000 miles away down in the Gold Coast, Dave said his goodbyes. God then spoke to Dave, reminding him that he was assigned to help that pastor. Dave disobeyed for a year, and his business crumbled. Now $70,000 in credit-card debt, Dave moved his family to the Sunshine Coast and began again to assist his pastor and his local church. In the next three years, his business grew to be worth over $100 million, and in six years, it grew to $300 million. Dave now heads up the Paladin Group, a conglomerate of 32 companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars. For 15 consecutive years, the group has returned 17 percent annual growth to its investors.
During this time, Dave started Kingdom Investors (KI) at the request of his pastor as a marketplace outreach from their local church. Contrary to its name, the group has little to do with "investing" but everything to do with changing the culture of business in Australia. Dave now speaks each year to about 30-40,000 business leaders in Australia and increasingly around the world. His message is simple: "Get rid of greed, fear and corruption in the marketplace; move away from a business culture driven by maximizing self-interest at the expense of others; and establish a just economy based on sharing, caring and a goal of bettering everyone." Dave's vision is to turn Australia into the world's first "sheep nation" and to make it a prototype for other nations around the world to follow.
The vision for a "sheep nation" comes from Matthew 25, where Jesus says all the "nations" will be gathered before Him. He will divide the sheep nations from the goat nations, and I am sure He will also gather the "sheep" people from the "goat" people. The criteria for being in the sheep category are clear: "for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me" (Matt. 25:35-36, ESV).
Rev. Berin Gilfillan was the former TV producer for Reinhard Bonnke and graduate of Regent University. He is the creator of the International School of Ministry (ISOM) which is the world's largest video Bible school with over 330,000 students in 150 nations and in 75 of the world's major languages. Teachers include, among others, Jack Hayford, Joyce Meyer, Reinhard Bonnke and John Bevere.
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