This year was certainly a bumper year for conferences in Cornerstone. Apart from our flagship Kingdom Invasion Conference in March, we also had the hugely-successful Kingdom Wealth Conference, our CORE Media Conference, and most recently, our FOPx Conference. And finally in December, we’ll be hosting our first Kingdom Invasion Kids Conference. The buy-in and support has been nothing short of phenomenal.
We’re closing our registrations for KI Kids because we’ve maxed out. Our CORE Conference saw more than double what we had estimated earlier and FOPx, which Cornerstone is leading charge of, is becoming the go-to conference for young people in the nation. Over 83 youth ministries participated. This is in addition to our Family Church Camp, which is a big event, our Leaders Advance and the many cluster retreats. So yeah, this has been a good year for conferences.
Several years ago, Dr Brian Bailey, my spiritual father, prophesied that it wasn’t coincidental that our name is CORNERSTONE. Names, of course, are important in Scripture because they specify calling and also identity. We’ve had, on numerous occasions, different prophets prophesying that our name was significant and indicative of the ministry to which we’ve been called. So if we’re ever going to be a model and plumb-line, we must then make sure all our measurements are correct. We must build according to the pattern shown to us on the mountain. Once the pattern or mold is perfected, multiplication is just a step away.
The trail of the Golden Delicious apples that originated from West Virginia is a fascinating story. The Golden Delicious is one of the best and sweetest varieties of apples in the world, but it’ll surprise you to know that it originated from one single tree, which was a cross between two different strains of apples. It had its humble beginnings in the autumn of 1905, on a small farm in Clay County, West Virginia. It was there that Anderson Mullins noticed a tree with large yellow apples, unlike any variety he had seen. Little did this hillside farmer realise that his discovery would, one day change the course of apple production around the world. The Golden Delicious apple tree has since become the ancestor of millions of such trees.
For nine years after he first observed the tree, Mullins harvested an abundant crop annually, even when other trees in the family orchard were barren. In the spring of 1914, Mullins sent three apples by parcel-post to Stark Brothers Nursery, Louisiana, describing the observations he had made of the bearing habit of the tree and quality of the fruit. When the brothers sampled a slice of one of the apples, which had been stored in Mullins’s cellar all winter, it was still firm. But what was even more impressive was its spicy flavour. They then set out on a journey that would later be called the “Trail of the Golden Delicious Apple” and he found what he was looking for, an exciting new apple that would become a standard in the fruit industry.
The naturally-occurring chance seedling was later identified to have sprung from the Golden Reinette, pollinated by the Grimes Golden. From that one tree in Clay County, West Virginia, over 150 billion pounds of Golden Delicious apples are grown annually in the United States and at least as many in the rest of the world.
This amazing story illustrates that it might take a long time for the correct strain of apple to be discovered, but once it’s properly cultivated, it’s multiplied all over the world. And herein is the key to multiplication: You don’t mass-produce anything that’s flawed. You don’t mass-produce anything that has inherent defects; because if you do, those defects will amplify and magnify down the road.
Car companies had to find that out the hard way. All your defects are supposed to come to the surface at the R&D stage, not after you’ve put the product on the counter. No matter what the product is – whether it’s an automobile or a consumer product, an iPhone or a fruit; if something’s flawed, you don’t mass-produce it, do you?
And nowhere is this principle truer then in the Kingdom of God. Why do you think that God painstakingly takes such a long time in the preparation of a man or a woman for ministry? Why do you think that God demands “perfection” in all His sons and daughters? It’s to do with the principle of multiplication. What He’s seeking to do is to multiply His sons and daughters. God’s not going to multiply immaturity. He’s not going to multiply carnality or childish behaviour. But He’ll reward and multiply maturity and beauty. And once you’ve the perfect DNA; once you’ve the perfect strain; once the engineering is perfect; then what you have is ready for multiplication all over the world.
May our conferences become “industry-standard”, because we’ve taken time to make sure that everything is perfect.