Dennis Isbell Pastor Grace Baptist Temple, San Antonio Texas
All I’ve been a part of for the 41 years of my saved life is a Wednesday thru Sunday Mission Conference. All we’ve had here at Grace Baptist Temple, for the past 27 years of my Pastorate, is a Wednesday thru Sunday Mission Conference. Is that the only way to do a Conference? Of course not. There are many variations and lengths. But, I’ve known many over the years that no longer see the value of a Mission Conference. I believe there’s still value. In Webster’s 1828, he says, “The real value of a thing is its utility, its power or capacity of procuring or producing good.” To me, what’s of value is what our people get during the time with our Missionaries, and our Missionaries in turn are blessed by our people.
In our Mission Conference, our Missionaries get to know our people, and our people get to know them. That’s a benefit for our folks and our Missionaries, and I believe it’s one of the greatest values to a Mission Conference. Allowing our Missionaries time to visit with our folks, answer the questions, understand their call to go, many times to another land, helps our folks in giving and praying.
Brother Don Sisk once said, “Since the last command of the Lord was a command to evangelize the world, this certainly should merit at least five days during the year when the primary emphasis of the entire church is worldwide evangelism.” I couldn’t agree more. This time spent with our Missionaries is of value to me as a Pastor. My life has been changed as I’ve had opportunities to spend several days with our Missionaries, getting to know them, their needs, and their likes and dislikes. It’s a value to our church members who get some “one-on-one” time with them and realize that our Missionaries are “normal people” who have just submitted to God’s call on their lives. Our Conference has the value of seeing some of our folks called to go. It has the value of burdening our folks to support our Mission endeavor, because they see and hear during that week what God is doing.
There’s value in being reminded during the focal week of a Mission Conference that souls still need to be saved all around this world. There’s value in being reminded that there are those who are willing to go. And, there is value in our Church being able to pray for these Missionaries that they’ve been able to get to know and give to support the work of God through them. Yes, it takes work and time and effort and prayer to have a God-honoring Mission Conference. Oh, but to see the results are of great value.