How is success measured?
By the hope and progress it has inspired, in relation to the goals of the organizers. What goals are we talking about? Networking among the Israeli ministries with international ministries, is one goal.
A second major goal was taking a big step towards engaging a broad and popular Evangelical audience, previously disengaged in regards to Israel. These are the things you noticed, if you were there: lots of ministry networking, and a new crowd of younger mainstream Christians.
Check out this video focusing on previously disengaged young people on tour and at the conference:
The speakers were impressive; sharp in their personal presentation of themselves and in the manner in which they speak.
Francis Chan, arguably the most compelling and most popular public figure for young American believers, was the main speaker at the opening and closing evening sessions. This in and of itself is a big deal for reaching this new younger audience, the future of Evangelical leadership.
Rich Wilkerson Jr. is also extremely popular amongst young Western Christians and his presence was felt significantly at the conference.
The conference will definitely be repeated annually from now on. The next conference dates are already set: June 13-15, 2017.
This first time roughly 600 attended, 250 coming from abroad. That is a lot of people, especially when you consider that we are not talking about a typical tour of Israel, with a typical crowd of Christian tourists. These are young adults and/or pastors who came all the way over, albeit some on scholarship, to experience Israel and the local ministries with minimal previous exposure and interest in Christian Zionism or Jewish evangelism.
In that sense, FIRM’s work is truly original and cutting edge. It is a common unofficial topic of concern that the Christian followers of Israel and Jewish ministries are growing older, and finally, much obliged, the younger generation is coming.