Jonathan Bellamy spoke with Dr Ed Silvoso

Ed Silvoso
Ed Silvoso

On June 25th-27th a major conference will take place in Stoke-on-Trent with Argentinian church leader Ed Silvoso coming to the city as the main speaker at an event which will generate national level interest.

Ed Silvoso is a highly influential and respected leader with a particular emphasis and understanding on how the church can bring about transformation in society through engaging in the marketplace.

Jonathan Bellamy spoke with Ed about the Argentinian revival and marketplace transformation.

Jonathan: Dr Silvoso, you're the keynote speaker at Transformation - It's Our Time. Could you share something of your journey of connection spiritually with the UK?

Dr Silvoso: Oh absolutely. My wife Ruth - Ruth Palau - and myself are the product of British missionaries work; missionaries sent by your country to my country and we are so grateful for that missionary investment. Here we come many years later not to teach, but to remind the UK of the things you taught us through your missionaries and that is that not only can lives be transformed, but cities and why not a nation!

Jonathan: Now you've seen that yourself in Argentina, a nation being changed. We've heard of the Argentinian revival, you were a leader during it. Could you share some stories of how churches and market places were transformed during that time?

Dr Silvoso: Yes. Before the revival broke out in the early eighties the average size of the church in Argentina was no different than the size of the church in the UK. Relatively small, doing a good job but not growing. And then God used a market place leader Carlos Anacondia. He got saved and he was able to lead the way by combining what we already knew in the church with the new perspective that everything we do inside the four walls should be done outside of the four walls; not for ten or fifteen people, but for as many people as possible. And in his first crusade he saw fifty five thousand people, not only make a decision for Christ but most of them joined churches. Now picture for a moment what happens when you have a congregation of forty to fifty people and after a month and a half of an open-air crusade, in come three thousand new converts! That changes everything. But the key Jonathan was combining the pulpit with the market place; and that is the heart of the message that I have the privilege to preach. We need to find the Pauls and we need to find the Aquilas and Priscillas and put them together so that 'Corinth' and 'Ephesus' and eventually all of 'Asia' will hear the voice of God.

Jonathan: Do you have an example of how a market place has changed in Argentina?

Dr Silvoso: Actually, even though this movement began in Argentina, now I have the privilege to lead a network of about twenty three hundred influencers in five continents. So let me give you a very specific example. In Thailand, which as we both know is not a nation with a Christian background, there is a British missionary who faithfully served the Lord and planted a church, and after sixteen years he only had forty-three believers! Now that doesn't sound that bad in Thailand because churches were very small. But he heard the principles and said to me at the end of a conference, like the one we're about to have there, he said "what should I do?" I said "go home and teach your people prayer evangelism and defy people to become a part of that", which means we are to disciple nations that they will just worship and so forth. He did that, he trained forty-three people; and just to make a long story short, one of those forty-three was an ice-cream vendor lady who had been healed of cancer but never led anyone to the Lord. She dedicated her ice-cream tricycle to the Lord, combined ministry with labour, led over seven hundred people to the Lord, including the Provincial Mayor who came to the lord and returned a million dollar bribe, appointed this British missionary pastor as his Minister of Righteousness, and today that church has grown to over four thousand people; seven million dollars have been returned in bribes and that Provincial Mayor has just been chosen as the best Provincial Mayor in Thailand! So here you have a pastor who caught the principles, taught them to his church, impacted the government, impacted the market place and his church grew from forty-three to over four thousand.

Jonathan: Wow. That's just an incredible story. I'm smiling on my face listening to it because it's exciting to hear.

Dr Silvoso: Actually Jonathan people can watch these stories on our website, because we have captured these on a documentary, these and many many others.

Jonathan: Awesome. Why do you believe then that we're yet to see this kind of revival in Europe and the West?

Dr Silvoso: Oh I tell you Europe has such a rich tradition of godly righteous people. It breaks my heart when people, not intending anything, but they curse Europe saying "we are beyond hope". No! No! There is hope! And I believe that revival is coming to Europe but it will require the combination of the pulpit with the marketplace. Paul was very discouraged in Acts 16, 17, 18, until he realised "I need to get out of the four walls of the synagogue, and I need to take everything I do here on the day of rest to do it publicly the rest of the week". So I believe Jonathan that this conference is very strategic. I love the leadership that has been provided. I go there with passion but with humility, and I encourage everybody to come and discover where is God on Monday morning, and they will be blown away to realise that he's right there, in the school, in the neighbourhood, in the workplace; and that the best miracles, the most effective miracles, are the ones that happen in the marketplace.

Jonathan: Can you tell me how you see radio and media? What role does that have to play as a tool for church in transformation?