USA (MNN) — Even for churches who have a deep desire to answer the Great Commission call and get involved in the mission realm may have trouble getting started. It's hard to know who to send, who to support, or really where to start at all.
This is the case today, and it was 10 years ago. At that time, Bill MacLeod, an associate with Luis Palau Association, noticed how many churches near Portland, Oregon, where he pastored a church, were uninvolved with missions. MacLeod knew people need to be mobilized to answer Christ's command to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel, but it seemed impossible alone.
Thus, MacLeod had the thought, "What would it be like if we could do something together that we couldn't do alone?"
With that idea came the birth of a vision: a conference for pastors, mission agencies, church leaders, mission committee members, students, lay people–really any believer at all–to come together to connect, share mission visions, and mobilize.
The first Mission Connexion happened in 2002, and the conference has been taking place every year since. From it's conception, Mission Connexion has hosted over 100,000 attendees and 200 mission agencies. Hundreds of people have been sent out as a result with various agencies for short and long-term missions around the world.
Essentially, says MacLeod, "We exist to connect local churches and individuals to mission, so that increasing numbers of believers are actively serving in areas of the world's greatest need and opportunity."
Each conference boasts dozens of ministries and 125 workshops on mission-related topics. The two day event is a simple tool to equip the local church to mobilize more people for the sake of the Gospel.
The next conference is not until January 20-21, 2012, but start planning now. Send mission committee members, suggest it to your pastor, go yourself if you're the slightest bit interested in missions. Mission Connexion hopes to expand across the country, but for now, the next conference will be in Portland, Oregon.
MacLeod has advice and encouragement for every believer:
"I would say to the pastor who's listening: mobilize your church, get excited about missions and lead the way. That's what Leadership Connexion is all about.
"To the mission pastor or mission committee member: you need to know about opportunities where you can plug in, where you can get your folks plugged in. That's why we actually have the Mission Connexion event.
"I'd say to the lay person who doesn't know where to go, come to Mission Connexion, hear the experts talk about mission and meet like-minded people.
"To the donor: you can come to Mission Connexion to get exposed to great opportunities to give and support organizations that are doing great work around the world.
"I say to the student: you're looking at ‘how can God use my whole life–how can I invest my whole life for God's global purpose?' You can come and find those opportunities.
"Finally I'd say to the teacher or professional: maybe there's somebody in their 50s that are looking at 'how could God use my skill, use me, and the skills that I have used in my lifetime, to advance the Great Commission?' I would say, come."
Learn more at missionconnexion.com.