The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Pat Murdock


Executive Director of the Issachar Initiative

Previously served as the Managing Director of Development for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Worked 21 years with Deluxe Corporation in sales and marketing

B.A. in English from New Mexico State University

MBA from Regent University

Married to his wife Holly for 24 years

Parent to 6 children (3 biological and 3 adopted from China and Ethiopia)

Guest Bio

Completing the Great Commission

The 700 Club

In the fall of 2000, Billy Graham convened a conference of high profile ministry leaders on evangelism in Amsterdam. During a session, they revealed that there were 232 people groups who had not heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and were not being engaged by Christians. The leaders were stirred in their hearts to reach these people groups so they strategized about how to share the gospel with all 232 of them. Individuals and different organizations, from the 75 different tables in the conference, pledged to adopt certain people groups but almost half of the people groups were not adopted. At Table 71, there began a course of conversations between different key ministry leaders from Youth With A Mission and Campus Crusade. They realized that if they worked together and brought on some other leaders they could adopt more people groups. The Table 71 group took on the rest of the people groups and signed a contract/commitment to see it through. Their goal was to establish a strong and viable church within each of the Unreached People Groups so that the number would be reduced to zero.

The fruit that was born out of Table 71 encouraged and gave birth to a separate organization named The Issachar Initiative. The organization was named after the tribe of Issachar in the Old Testament because they “Understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” The Issachar Initiative is a non-profit organization whose vision is to serve the body of Christ by bringing vision and focus so resources are strategically directed toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission. However, the organization is more of a movement because they do not directly collect funds for the missions work and they do not publicly raise funds for themselves. The organization’s focus is to be a trusted source of information and encourage ministry activities and financial investments toward the least-reached people of the world. The Issachar Initiative helps fulfill their vision through their “Count for Zero Curriculum” and Issachar Summits. The “Count for Zero Curriculum” is a 6-week video study on fulfilling the great commission. The study raises awareness of unreached people groups and encourages action from viewers. The Issachar Summits are conferences that raise awareness of unreached people groups and empowers people to fulfill the great commission through church planting, giving, sending missionaries, translating scriptures, etc. The summits usually have high profile Christians from the marketplace and the ministry realm. At the first summit, the attendees pledged 4.6 billion dollars to use for reaching the unreached people groups.
Issachar Initiative Facts:

  1. 4,000+ language groups still have no Bible
  2. Over 3,100 people groups have no missionary.
  3. 95% of the world’s countries do not have a current survey showing the villages and barrios where there are no churches. It is estimated that well over 1 million neighborhoods are without a single church.
  4. 2/3 of the world and the unreached are illiterate and need to receive the Gospel message orally but we tend to minister with a literate approach.
  5. 3.5 Billion Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus are without Christ, and have very little chance of hearing the Gospel.

Pat was raised in a Christian home and gave his life to God in the 4th grade. He had it together on the outside but on the inside he was struggling in the flesh. He knew all of the right answers but didn’t surrender himself to God. He was getting ready to leave for college and his mother came outside to wave goodbye to him. He noticed that she wasn’t smiling and knew that she had struggled with depression but didn’t know how badly. He chased her around the yard and tickled her saying he wouldn’t leave until he saw her smile. She finally smiled and he left for college. During the semester he got a call telling him that his mother had committed suicide. He spiraled out of control with drugs and alcohol until he hit rock bottom in his junior year. There were four Christians reaching out to him and he finally surrendered his life to God. Pat went on to serve as Managing Director of Development for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and eventually became the one-man staff of The Issachar Initiative.

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