Dear Friends,

The idea was to partner with a small African village to help build a church, to join in a mutual ministry of encouragement and prayer continents apart. But how does a small rural church of less than 100 members start the journey of making that happen? We had no full-time missions director, and we’d never taken an international short-term missions trip. It seemed a bit daunting. Eventually a friend of a friend introduced me to Carol, the missions director of a larger church about an hour from our own. Carol said, “It just so happens we’re going to Africa in six weeks. You want to come?!”
Fast forward about fifteen years, and not only did we partner to build a church with the nationals in Africa, we partnered with another church in our own presbytery, taking not just one mission trip together, but three. Carol and I developed a friendship that led to collaboration and idea sharing, blessing both our own congregations and many of the missions we supported together.
Presbytery Meetings and General Assembly are such remarkable opportunities to bring Teaching and Ruling Elder Commissioners together, not only for the business of the church, but especially for mutual encouragement, collaboration, and idea sharing. Wouldn’t it be great if we had that kind of opportunity for the missions leaders in our EPC churches?
The Connecting Mission Leader Conference is just that! It brings together lay leaders, missions directors, pastors, and mission enthusiasts – providing opportunities for missiological reflection, worship, prayer, building relationships for new collaboration in mission, and sharing best practices. EPC World Outreach has partnered with Frontier Fellowship, The Antioch Partners, The Outreach Foundation, and others to plan and offer the biennial conference for mission leaders, this year to be held at Hope Church (EPC) in Memphis, Tennessee, October 24th to 26th.

Whether you lead missions in a small church, are on staff at a large church, or just feel a passion for God’s mission for the world, you are invited and encouraged to attend, make connections, share, and be inspired.

This year’s theme is the Whole Church, taken from the Lausanne Covenant, including the phrase, “evangelization requires the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world.” In reflecting on what is meant by the ‘Whole Church,’ Matthew Ellison, plenary speaker and president of Sixteen:Fifteen, will bring the perspective that the Great Commission is for everyone sitting in our pews. Missions isn’t just for the few God calls to go around the world; missions is for all believers! Whether by praying, sending, welcoming, mobilizing, going around the world, or going across the street, the Great Commission is for all of us. We have been blessed to be a blessing—to be used by God to take the whole gospel to the whole world.

Looking at the ‘Whole Church’ from the perspective of all generations, Rev. Dr. Lisa Pak, Finishing the Task and Operational Catalyst for the Kingdom Impact Network, will share her own passion for mobilizing the global church, especially the rising generations, towards collaboration in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with all who have yet to hear. As we invest in younger believers, as the world is changing, and as we work to reach the unreached, how do we disciple, encourage, and prepare tomorrow’s leaders for the Great Commission? What do we have to learn from them? What synergies can be found by working together? And how can we sustain a long-term call to missions that continues from one generation to the next while trusting in Jesus’ promise to be with us always, to the end of the age?

The third plenary speaker will explore the ‘Whole Church’ from the perspective of all nations. As we enter a new era of missions, how can the global church partner to bring the whole gospel to the whole world? Inspiring the global church, to fully embrace its calling to share the news that is truly good, both in word and deed, at home and around the globe, is the subject of the third plenary. P* founded a youth movement dedicated to fostering reconciliation and leadership development in his homeland, which burgeoned to encompass over 25,000 young adults during the country’s post-civil conflict period. This movement ignited similar initiatives in over 10 other nations grappling with violence and turmoil. Today, the youth leaders of these movements are championing hope in their respective regions, guided by principles of forgiveness and love for their neighbors. P is renowned worldwide as a speaker, driven by his passion for hope and reconciliation rooted in the Gospel, and he inspires young people within the faith to embrace their mission of being witness to the Good News through both word and action on a global scale.

So, what happens in between the plenaries? Worship, prayer, networking, break-out sessions, meals, and time for fellowship. Perhaps you’ll find a new colleague and friend to plan a short-term trip with. Perhaps you’ll be inspired with new ideas to mobilize all the believers in your church to be on mission with God. Perhaps God will lead you to new ways to disciple the next generation for the Great Commission. Whatever God might be calling you to do next as a missions leader in your church, we invite you to come together, to connect, to be inspired, and to inspire others.

You can find registration details here. We hope you’ll mark your calendars now and plan to join us in October for the Connecting Mission Leader Conference. 

– Nancy Cimprich, EPC World Outreach Church Engagement Coordinator

Upcoming Opportunities for You and Your Congregation

Pray for WO Workers

Join the EPC World Outreach Prayer Network to care for our workers through intercession. To join the network, click here.

Support WO Workers

Support the GROW Center here. Otherwise click the SUPPORT button for the WO worker support landing page.

Sign up for the Conference

Learn more, register, and get connected here.

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