San Diego was left off the list of 19 Promise Keepers men’s conferences in the U.S. for 1998, but this area could still obtain an event, according to a conference planner in Colorado Springs.
The national office is interested in San Diego as a site, but the local representative cancelled three scheduled meetings to present the city’s plans. The problem is that the sports teams using Qualcomm Stadium had pending events – and the teams have priority in scheduling.
A couple of dates in October are available and PK will consider an additional conference. Two years ago, 60,000 men attended the first and only Promise Keepers conference held in San Diego. The word was that Promise Keepers leaders in Colorado felt it was a good conference and would come back.
And though there is hope for a conference to be held here this year, it would take a major financial commitment by the local church for it to happen.
Promise Keepers no longer charges $60 for men to attend the two-day events. Instead, it relies on donations. The change in policy resulted in all the paid staff in Colorado Springs being laid off last month – until the leadership could establish if donations from the conferences will be able to cover the bills.
“If the men in San Diego want a conference, they’re going to have to help pay for it,” said Cliff Taylor, head of the local PK task force. “Someone’s going to have to step to the plate and make a commitment.
“The conferences cost 1.2 million dollars per location last year, but they’ve trimmed that down to $850,000 this year. We need to come up with that money up front.”
Taylor said a private individual was financially responsible for San Diego’s start-up budget in 1996. He hasn’t been able to find someone to handle the increased local commitment this year, so on April 1, he’s sending hundreds of letters to churches and Christian leaders in the region, asking for seed money.
“I’m asking for 85 churches or individuals to contribute $1,000 each. If that happens, we’ll have a conference here.”
Taylor said a separate account is being established to handle the checks. If San Diego doesn’t land the site, the money would be returned. He can be contacted at (619) 576-8363 for more details.
California has three conferences scheduled: May 22-23 at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, June 5-6 at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, and Oct. 9-10 at the Arco Arena in Sacramento.
“We’re really excited about the possibility of having a local conference because so many men are realizing the potential for evangelism. Every man who’s been to a PK conference in Los Angeles, Anaheim or San Diego should consider bringing an unsaved person,” Taylor said.
Meanwhile, Promise Keepers is continuing its active role in local ministry. Two local events are planned here in April:
- A Reconciliation Exercise will be held Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m., at New Creation Church in San Diego. Men of all denominations and ethnic groups are invited to addend a time of worship, prayer, training and fellowship. Speakers include Bishop George McKinney, Pastor Bob Maddux and Pastor Reginald Gary. For details, call (619) 584-5460.
- A Prepare to Live a Legacy Seminar will be held on Saturday, April 11, 10 a.m., at Santee United Methodist Church. Leadership training sessions will be held on prayer, discipleship and evangelism. For details, call (619) 448-4456.