Missions Conference is complete! We were at BBC Wednesday through Friday to represent BCM. The conference was all morning and we used the in-between-sessions time to chat with interested students. In the afternoons, we had lunch with the students and hung out in the coffeeshop in case anyone else had more questions. Honestly, interest was not very high this year. But, that’s okay since our goal is to keep the BCM name out there and be available for those who have more questions, even just about missions in general. Our best conversation all week was really just answering questions about missions in general and how God has led us personally.
We did, however, love the conference sessions. Wednesday, we got to hear Dr. Soong Chan-Rah:
I, personally, was unfamiliar with him, but Brian knew who he was. His session was absolutely phenomenal. I won’t try to repeat it all here, but the one point that stuck with me was when he said that by 2023, 50% of the children in the USA will be minorities. Therefore, if your church is 99% white, it may not thrive or even exist in only 8 years.
That completely stunned me, especially as I look at my children’s ministry at our church – which is predominantly white. It got me thinking about HOW to reach minorities in our area, of which there are plenty! Something has to change if we want to reach our area for Christ – and it’s got to change soon.
The second session was Q&A, conducted by none other than one of our good friends, Jeremy –
who also happens to work in the children’s ministry with his wife. It was great discussing all this information with them on Thursday over lunch and to brainstorm ways to reach the kids better.
Thursday’s session was taught by a man from South Africa, Dr. Rob Elkington.
He was another really great speaker. His session was entirely on the importance of discipleship. It was a great reminder that THIS is what we’re called to do. We will never be “good enough” but in the end, it’s not about us anyway – it’s about the cross. I loved this line: “Preaching morality without the cross is just legalism.” He was another speaker we could’ve listened to for a lot longer than just an hour.
Then on Friday (didn’t get a picture), was Dr. Dale Marshfield – a BBC alum. He talked quite a bit about mentoring and how we are to join with the global church, not try to BE the global church. Every speaker this week brought out the point that we will not fully understand Christ without connecting with those from other cultures. Dr. Marshfield had a good point in saying in that every single country where “unreached people groups” still exist, the church DOES exist. His example was India – there are hundreds of unreached peoples in India, yet it also has one of the biggest church movements at the moment. BCM can attest to that as we have hundreds of churches and pastors in India actively reaching their nation for Christ. So, instead of trying to do all the work of reaching unreached groups on our own, we should join with the church in that country that already exists and that is already trying to reach them.
It was exciting for Brian and me each day to walk away from sessions going, “BCM does that!” We exist to assist the local church, not take over for the local church. BCM partners with churches; BCM’s desire is to help develop local churches. We don’t have 100’s of Americans around the world – we have 100’s of indigenous workers around the world doing the work in their culture, their language, their community, in a way we, as Americans, could never “compete” with. Our goal of reaching children is completely adaptable to each culture and country we work in internationally.
After a long week at the conference, we looked forward to the weekend and being able to spend some time with the kids. Brian took me up to the remodel so I could see it in person and take some pictures:
Hopefully this gives you a better picture of ALL the work going on! I think the transformation is just amazing! It’s going to be beautiful and SO accommodating and functional. Now can you see why we’ll need a work day to move furniture, hang pictures, and put all the linens and kitchen supplies back?? Looks like early March. We’ll let you know!