Clyde Rivers is on a mission of honor and civility that’s touching hearts at UNITE 2018.
When the world is asking for change, who better than to have Jesus chart a new course for you?
That’s how Dr. Clyde Rivers, Ph.D., sees it. And it’s because he’s lived it.
Rivers will speak at UNITE 2018 at the Worship Him! session Monday evening, July 9, and during a special welcome to international attendees Sunday evening, July 8.
The senior pastor of Miracle Faith Church in Victorville, California, Rivers has an outreach across 120 nations. He is the Honorary Ambassador at Large for the Republic of Burundi in East Africa, the founder and CEO of iChange Nations, world peace ambassador for Golden Rule International, and speaker with The Golden Rule Global Civility Initiative—all seeking world peace through civility, building cultures of honor and respect, and the Golden Rule.
Additionally, he is the acting representative to the United Nations for the Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative and the U.N. Department of Public Information.
In January, he received the nonpolitical United States President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for at least 4,000 hours of service improving the lives of others. Part of the award reads, “One of our Nation’s greatest strengths remains the compassion of our everyday citizens, who are giving willingly of themselves and their lives for the benefit of others…our Nation is proud for your commitment to this honorable tradition.”
It all started on mission trips to Burundi nearly 15 years ago. During one trip, Rivers met the nation’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, when he was in a tough reelection battle in his troubled country suffering devastating class warfare, genocidal battles, and children forced to be soldiers. Not realizing he was talking to opposition media at one public forum, Rivers expressed a prophetic message that Nkurunziza, a Christian, would be reelected. Rivers unknowingly put his life on the line and troubled his local hosts who walked him off the stage and got him to Kenya until after the election—and after the prophecy came true. When he returned to Burundi, Rivers was treated like a hero.
Rivers leads a small church in a growing desert community where he once had pastoral hopes of establishing and leading the world’s largest megachurch, but God brought him down to “it’s about the people, it’s not about you.” Rivers said he learned he had to love people and treat them with honor and respect.
“If you treat people well, you live under the law of liberty,” Rivers says, referring to James 2:8: “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.”
Through that, he learned to never despise small beginnings. “Let God graduate you,” he smiles.
He was called to his mission to bring the Golden Rule to the world and to engage people and promote with civility. Nkurunziza appointed Rivers as Ambassador at Large for Burundi, an unprecedented appointment. Also, while on a trip in Burundi, he was approached by the founder of the Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative, who invited him to join with the peacemaking group.
“God has opened all these doors,” Rivers says, enthusiastic about his work. “We really don’t know what the world would look like if everybody had the ability to be the gift that God called them to be and to bring that gift to the table.”
Sowing seeds of God’s Love has amazing impact, he says, because people recognize there’s something real about our God. Rivers has had Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others ask him to pray for them because they could sense the Holy Spirit and God’s authenticity.
Most Christians would be shocked at the extremely radical audiences Rivers has addressed, but he says, “I just go in there and love.”
“I’m here because of Jesus Christ, I tell them, but I’m not angry at you.”
“Our divisions in America are obvious, but I have one thing that can stop division and can change it all. Do one thing, love your neighbor as yourself. If you really want to change, we have a solution.”
People have to get hungry enough to want to eat, though. “For us, eating is getting back to God’s vision.”
Rivers has been in situations doing work for God, then stopped talking to God. “People’s work for God is not their service for God. Until people get that, they can’t move forward. It’s not about what you do but where your heart is.
“God has new ideas every day when you’re in fellowship and communion with Him,” Rivers says You don’t have to worry about innovation, God brings it daily.
He challenges Christians everywhere, and especially those in the Christian products industry, to depend on God and step out in faith with Scripture’s royal law.
“Some of the last people to make a change when change is needed are those who were in systems that worked and were once successful,” Rivers says. “The industry needs to broaden its scope, know and understand that God is the creator of the world and everything in it.” Why limit Him to one marketing segment?
CONFRONT YOUR ISSUES
The Golden Rule will make you confront your own prejudice, class consciousness, political advocacy, legalism, or whatever. The love of God doesn’t have to be beat into people, it just has to be lived, he says.
Rivers points to divisiveness as being beyond issues of politics, racism, and social issues. “It’s when histories collide,” he says, pointing out how social and business disruptions put people in the middle of swirling transitions of thoughts and ideas. We each have perspectives we own and don’t want to give up, perspectives forged in personal experiences and histories. When the histories collide, we get defensive and offensive in our defense.
When we pursue the Golden Rule, we honor and value others even in our differences. We choose to treat others humanely and with care. Few challenges cannot be resolved through deliberate and strategic communication.
God created everything in the world and made it for good, he says. Love is what compels God to move. In business, you can lose that element and it all becomes about selling a book.
“The greatest leaders love people,” he says. It’s not about me and you, it’s about us.