I suppose this is a bad time to be asking this question, considering our 2011 Missions Conference begins tonight.
In reality; however, it’s not the first time we’ve asked this question. Our elders have prayerfully considered this question, as we would any event or activity, and are convinced that this is not only worthwhile, but critical to the life of the church….but why?
First of all, it reminds us that we serve a missionary God. Scripture reveals to us that our God is not a passive force who simply created the world and then sat back and watched as man sinned and made a mess of things. Instead, Scripture reveals to us that He actively reveals Himself to His people, and that He has had a plan to redeem mankind back to Himself…a plan that found its fulfillment in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ His Son. A missions conference reminds us that God was, and still is, on mission to bring the hope of the Gospel to lost sinners like us.
Second, it reminds us of our mission. Jesus, command to “go and make disciples of all nations”, was given to all believers. Our mission is the Great Commission, but it is so incredibly easy for us to lose sight of that and begin to focus our mission on other things (getting a degree, getting a job, getting married, buying a home, having 2 1/2 kids, raising our kids to do the same, and then retiring to play golf). A missions conference should remind us that our life is not our own, and that we have been tapped on the shoulder by our King, and He has given us a king’s command to take the good news of hope that is found in the story of His Son to the nations. A missions conference should ignite a passion for the glory of Christ to be recognized and celebrated where it currently is not.
Third, it is a time to celebrate what God has done in the past year. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to partner with a number of missionaries and ministries. These missions partners have the privilege of being on the front lines to see what God is doing through their efforts. A missions conference is an opportunity for our partners to pull back the curtains on their ministries and allow us a peek at how God has been moving through their efforts. This brings us all to a place of thanking and worshiping God for what He has done, and affords us the privilege of learning first hand how we can further engage with our partners through prayer, financial support, and active personal involvement with their ministry projects.
There are many other reasons why having a missions conference is a worthwhile activity, but these reasons have me sold on the idea, and I can’t wait for these things to start happening…..in a matter of hours!