Vance Day, president of Promise Keepers, announced Friday that its national event, originally scheduled as a live event from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will be changed to a free, virtual event while the annual Stadium event will be moved to 2021.
PK, founded in 1990 by former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, was the largest ministry to men in the history of the church. Today, Promise Keepers is calling men back to courageous and bold servant-leadership by sparking a movement that will mobilize millions of men to follow Christ into today's broken world as changemakers for their families, churches and communities.
"Our mission has not changed... we want to see men transformed worldwide through a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, three things have become clear.
"First, according to the officials we've contacted in Texas, it is highly unlikely that 80,000 men will be allowed to gather at AT&T Stadium this summer. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading public health expert on President Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, even said this week that it might be very difficult for major sports in the United States to return to action this year.
"Second, men still need the encouragement, edification, and fellowship that Promise Keepers provides, more now than ever before. COVID-19 isn't the only pandemic right now. There is a pandemic of fear, anxiety and depression. There is a pandemic of uncertainty, unemployment and financial upheaval. These pandemics are creating unprecedented pressure upon men, their marriages and their families, and we MUST act.
"Third, God specializes it turning what looks to be a setback into a setup for even greater victory. Moving our stadium event to 2021 and switching to a global virtual event this year will result in MORE ministry to MORE men in MORE places. It will allow us to do a state-of-the-art virtual experience July 31 and Aug. 1 and open up the opportunity to host dozens of webinars and Facebook Live events with hundreds of amazing speakers all through the summer. Moving to virtual gives us an "online stadium" with limitless attendance, viewable by men from around the planet. And by making both the simulcast option for churches and the live-stream option for individuals completely free, we've made it possible for any man to attend regardless of their financial situation.
"As we've watched this unfold, we believe God is doing something big. Now He has opened the door for thousands more men to join us by tuning in worldwide from their local churches or small groups. The net result will be MORE ministry to MORE men this summer and MORE momentum as we build toward our live event in AT&T Stadium in 2021.
"We genuinely trust that God's plans are good, and we believe He is the one who is redefining our future. As Paul says in Ephesians 3:20, 'by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.'
"On behalf of the Promise Keepers Leadership Team, we look forward to grabbing hold of this new opportunity to gather virtually in 2020 at our global event, and regather in person at AT&T Stadium in 2021!"
Ken Harrison, CEO of Promise Keepers, said:
"As the leadership and board of Promise Keepers contemplated how best to minister to men during this time of unprecedented need, we heeded the admonition of the Word to seek wise counsel (Proverbs 15:22). We prayed and deliberated long and hard about this, and sought out people with wisdom in medicine, events and finances. The consensus of these experts is to focus on reaching men through virtual events this summer and move the event to 2021. And as we poured over their recommendations in prayer, we became certain that God was calling us to this strategy.
"For over a year, we've been hard at work building a ministry that could not only host a world-class event that could challenge men for a day but could also connect and disciple them everywhere, every day. Because of this, we are able to stand in the gap and minister to men in this unprecedented time."
Chad Hennings, a member of Promise Keepers' board of directors, said:
"As we sought the Lord about how to maximize our effectiveness in ministering to men this summer, we wanted to make sure that those who purchased tickets for the 2020 AT&T stadium would receive more value - not less. Not only will their ticket fully transfer to the 2021 event, but they'll also receive special seating, be able to participate in the 2020 Virtual Event and all of the associated webinars and Facebook Live experiences and be able to participate in exclusive insider updates."
Individuals may register for the free livestream of the event at https://promisekeepers.brushfire.com/virtual-2020/466931
Churches may register to simulcast the event for free at https://promisekeepers.brushfire.com/2020/463892