Why Do We Have A Missions Conference ?
Today at Liberty Baptist Church we begin our 2018 Missions Conference. It is an annual event of our church and has been for nearly 30 years. This is not the only time of the year that worldwide missions is emphasized, in fact evangelistic outreach is focused on daily in all our ministries and missionaries visit our church continually through out the year. So why do we and why should others have a Missions Conference in the local church? Conferences like we have here at LBC used to be a part of most all biblically minded churches, they were vital and brought about many positive impacts both to the local church and the cause of missions worldwide. But over the past few decades they are beginning to be the exception and not the rule. In many churches they have become a thing of the past. I have heard several reasons for this which include: 1 ( People are to busy with many other things to participate in and they will not attend). 2. (Missionaries do not want to spend that many days at one church). 3. (Conferences are expensive and the church will not get anything in return). 4. ( People are more concerned about home missions rather then world missions). 5. ( People get worn out with several services back to back). Once we really begin thinking about these reasons we come to an understanding that they really just reveal the condition of the heart. They simply don’t stand the test of biblical nor rational thinking. People are busy and they allow themselves to be busier than ever. Night after night, day after day, weekend after weekend they are attending a lot of events and seem not to wear themselves out. I have found tat missions starts immediately once I rise from bed. It starts in my home, as soon as I leave my home and everywhere I go through out life. Home Missions and World Missions is all the same in my understanding of the Lord’s mandate of taking the gospel.
So with that in mind let me share a few reasons why we should have a Missions Conference!
1. To Inspire: To enliven and to motivate the church and the missionary to the gospel mandate. To spur on; to remember this is the life of the church. The purpose of the church is to share the gospel with the world we are a part of and to the uttermost parts of the world.
2. To Enlighten: To give knowledge, to instruct, to give spiritual insight as to how to get better
in this Great Commission of our Lord! To listen to the reports and messages with an
intense desire to be a missionary wherever we may be.
3. To Encourage: To encourage the missionary and the church together. Those who go and those who send are participating in one of the most exciting endeavors known to man. At the same time their mission is one of greatest difficulty and challenge anyone will partake in. The lonely missionary needs the exhorting of the church and the church body needs to see the commitment and the surrender of the sent one. The church needs a visible reminder that we also are sent to our world. It is amazing what happens in several days of assembling together as we are exhorting one another. Commitments of the past are renewed, hope for hopelessness has been gained, the spirit of depression replaced with the vision and an attitude of thankfulness for this great call our Lord has given each of us.
4. To Enlist:
*The church inspired to pray for missionaries around the world.
*Individual Christian’s inspired to share the gospel where they are now.
*Divine inspiration for those called to GO as missionaries.
*Inspired to give financially to the great gospel cause of missions.
According to the scripture, the Church SENDS the missionary (Acts 13:1-3) and the Missionary REPORTS to the Church ( Acts 14:21-28). The purpose of a Missions Conference is to CHALLENGE true believers to be MISSION - CENTERED. By INFORMING believers in what God is DOING and in what still needs to be DONE in the fields of harvest. By STIMULATING believers to be INVOLVED with missions through praying, giving, and going. By PRESENTING a challenge to all to RESPOND to God’s personal call to missions. By ENCOURAGING believers to REJOICE in what God is doing through missions around the world. By OBEYING a scriptural PRACTICE as, according to scripture, after each missionary journey in Acts, a mission conference was conducted. ( Acts 14:24-18, 18:22, 21:17-19 ).
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.