Transformed Conference offers innovation to evangelism
JEFFERSON CITY – The Transformed Conference is coming Jan. 13 to Concord Baptist Church.
“It’s for the person who experiences maybe more valleys than mountaintops,” said Todd Friel, a Christian radio talk show host, television personality and stand-up comedian from Minneapolis who will be the featured presenter from 1-5 p.m. that day. “They’ve heard so many sermons that the Christian walk should be joy-filled, exciting and passionate. This conference is designed to get them to that place.
“This is not an easy conference. You have to actually apply what we’re going to be sharing with you, and if you will apply it, I guarantee you your prayer life will be richer, your Bible reading will be more passionate and consistent, your love for people will be greater, your desire to know the Lord will increase exponentially, and you will have maybe for the first time a walk that is consistently on fire.”
Friel, 43, has been on the air since Jan. 2 as host of The Way of the Master Radio, a two-hour daily program that is broadcast on 86 stations throughout the nation as well as Sirius Satellite Radio. The program is affiliated with Living Waters ministry, which was founded by Evangelist Ray Comfort, and blends Comfort’s evangelism partnership with “Left Behind” series actor Kirk Cameron into a format that is stamped with Friel’s distinctively innovative / borderline goofy style.
He proves that show after show by joyfully answering e-mail questions posed by listeners, by cleverly refuting the arguments of atheists and by patiently corralling, then witnessing to, lost souls who are out roaming the streets. He is bold about what he believes in to the point where he is sometimes mischaracterized as cocky.
“The source material I have is right,” he said. “If it comes across as arrogant, well, I’m truly sorry for that. I just know what I know, and I know that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.”
The Transformed Conference is a natural outgrowth of the radio show. Concord is the third such event after visits to Sacramento, Calif., and a suburb of Atlanta. Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga., and host of the Dec. 2 conference, said he has never witnessed a stronger presentation in his 30 years as a pastor.
“People are going from conference to conference because something seems to be missing in their walk,” Friel said. “They know that they should be excited and on fire, and they know that they should be eager to read their Bible. Praying should be easier than what it is for me right now, and they’re trying to figure it out.
“We think in this conference we know what the key is that will fire people’s ignition to help them understand what’s missing in their walk. So if they will apply the information that we are bringing, they will pray harder, they will read their Bibles more fervently, and they’ll desire it.”
Friel at one time studied to be a pastor.
“I was taught Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and theology, but they forgot one thing—to make sure that I was actually saved,” he said.
His conversion came about 10 years ago when “God graciously saved me.” He dedicated himself to secular radio and about six years of stand-up comedy, where he performed more than 1,500 times on stage, before determining that he was meant to serve the Lord full-time. Now he said he feels totally at peace doing The Way of the Master Radio.
To register for the Concord conference, call the church office at (573) 893-2876. Cost is $10, with a maximum of $30 per family.