Networking for a Better Future Together in Israel

The Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries, FIRM, is a new player in the field of ministries in Israel, led by Wayne Hilsden, emeritus pastor of King of Kings Ministries in Jerusalem and operated by a young man named Michael Mistretta. They are preparing to host their first annual event called the JERUSALEM ENCOUNTER, taking place from May 31st-June 2nd. The speakers are not the usual Christian Zionist voices, but some new faces from the Evangelical world.

Michael shares, “We have invited three keynote speakers: Francis Chan, Jentezen Franklin and Rich Wilkerson Jr., who each speak and influence hundreds of thousands of people each year through their churches, programs and platforms. They are respected leaders, incredible Bible teachers, and our hope is for them to come and lead us in an encounter with God. At the same time, we desire for the internationals who come to develop relationships, partnerships, and friendships with the local body of believers in the Land.”

Some local speakers will include Mordechai Wiseman, Erez Soref, Wayne Hilsden and Calev Myers. The three international speakers will teach at the evening sessions, while the Israel-based speakers will speak during the day sessions along with relational mixers, leadership panels and ministry booths. Worship teams will all be local, often combinations of worship leaders and teams from different congregations, joining together in collaboration. Ultimately the conference is designed for international guests, who would want more than the traditional experience of a tour, to connect to the local body of believers. The goal being to develop relationships, hear stories and discover ministries in the land doing good work, including those who aren’t as well-known and thus receive less attention and support.

Michael continues, “The purpose is to connect leaders and pastors from the nations with ministries in Israel that are doing effective work and are committed to certain standards of financial transparency, Biblical soundness and operating in a spirit of unity. We have several dozen ministries in the land as FIRM members, who will be represented at the conference. Our heart is to foster relationships and cooperation among international and local ministries, rather than each ministry doing their own thing. FIRM’s desire is to inspire, connect, and equip ministries. We want to transcend ministry lines and brand names. We have a heart for ministries to work together in unity. We want to labor for God’s Kingdom together rather than our own, individual kingdoms.”

As part of their local efforts, Michael shared with Kehila News Israel (KNI) exclusively about the upcoming launch of their new web app, which will be a part of the FIRM website. They have been developing the app for over a year and will introduce it at the conference. The app is a social network of sorts, with features similar to Facebook and LinkedIn, but for Israeli ministries. Featured members will have profiles stating basic information about their ministry, what they do, and how to connect with them directly. Individuals, churches, and businesses from abroad will be able to sign up as FIRM friends to discover, connect with, and support local, believing, Israel ministries.

“We want to be a servant ministry, undergirding and strengthening believers in the Land. We have frontline members, who are actively engaged in ministry endeavors, and ambassador members, who are behind the scenes and support them. We truly believe that we can be better together. We have an application process in place to evaluate ministries who desire be a part of FIRM. This is in order to ensure excellence, effectiveness, transparency, and unity among our members.”

For more information on the Jerusalem Encounter 2016 visit the FIRM website.