Missions Conference is a three-day event hosted annually by Biola University’s Student Missionary Union (SMU) in the greater Los Angeles area. Among the six main sessions, Missions Conference is comprised of multiple departments such as Global Awareness, Prayer and Worship, Interactions, and more. With the help of over 100 student volunteers, 12 coordinators, and two directors, the event is built from the ground up each year with an individual theme, multiple speakers, a live band, a focus on specific social justice topics, a chance to connect missionaries, and so much more. It is not just three days of activities but rather an experience where students can dig deep into the Holy Spirit’s movement in their lives and the lives of others. Since the time of Biola University’s founding, this conference exists to bring to attention the things God has called them to actively participate in the mission that He has placed on their life.
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The goal of this event is to communicate to students as well as local community members the significance and power of the Great Commission. For decades Missions Conference has sought to empower, educate, and equip everyone so that they may serve the Lord in their own unique lives.
Passage: Acts 20: 17-24
We are transformed inwardly and we act outwardly. COMPELLED by the Spirit for one purpose: to testify to the good news of God’s grace. Our heart behind the theme this year came from a position where we felt led to speak into how we are both called and sustained on mission for Christ. We wanted to bring attention to the source that motivates us to live on mission and break the misconception that missions are a singular event or trip. We are called to live on mission for Christ.
In this posture of compelling, we wanted to highlight how missions aren't always comfortable and a life lived in abandonment to Christ is one that is often full of hardships. Paul highlights this exceptionally through his letter in Acts 20 and we hope that this theme rings sound and true in your heart as you are compelled by the Spirit to live on mission for Christ wherever you might find yourself.
Passage: Ephesians 4:1-16
We are a part of something so much greater than ourselves. Than the forests, than the ocean, than the galaxies. We are a part of the most important story ever told. We are uniquely designed and crafted, yet made in likeness. We are part of creation, power, and redemption. We are invited into the greatest movement of all time. This is God’s plan. His call. His story. His mission. His gospel. His revolution.
We are UNITED with the Holy Spirit and with each other in His mission. It is inspiring to see the ways that he is working in the lives of people around the world. We are all invited into this work while here at Biola and the rest of our lives. God’s grace is so abundant that even in our brokenness He chooses to invite us and complete His mission in and through us. We are growing in strength and maturity, sharpening one another as we work with the Spirit and each other.
UNITED. In spirit for His glory. In community for His purpose.
Passage: Corinthians 5: 14-21
As ambassadors, we are called to proclaim the Gospel. A U.S ambassador does not enter another country to just be a “Good American,” so that country would then like the United States. An ambassador enters into another land to accomplish their leader’s agenda. Our Heavenly Father’s agenda is that every nation would be reconciled to God. The church has created this crutch to preach the gospel at all times and only use words when necessary. Without gospel proclamation, the church loses its substance.
Our primary objective is to reconcile the world to God. Living a “good” life is going to do nothing unless we leverage our transformed lives to proclaim the Gospel. How can the world receive the Gospel without hearing the Gospel? And who is going to share the Gospel of Christ’s ambassadors remain silent? We are citizens of a heavenly kingdom living in this temporary world for a short time. The enemy cannot take you or me to his kingdom, but he can convince each of us to not live for the kingdom of God. This world is lost, and we are God’s chosen instruments to reach this world. Our identity informs our mission.
We are AMBASSADORS: Citizens of the Kingdom.
Passage: 1 John 1:18
Out of the darkness God declared that there be light and it was good. Light was necessary for making God’s creative works visible and life possible. Because of the fall, our lives are immersed in the darkness. We are sinners who hide ourselves from the glory of God. In the same way as at creation, God declares it good for there to be light. He shines in us to illuminate our darkness, bringing shape, purpose, and healing to the areas that were once hidden. Having been illuminated by the light of Christ, we now are Luminous. We are full of light, shining, especially in the darkness. And now, we can’t help but shine. But why is this? Why is the light so desirable? Despite all of the darkness, the light has come. Despite all of our brokenness, we still encountered the love of God. Once we have experienced the love of God, we shouldn’t be able to keep it inside. Christ is our everlasting light.
This light carries hope. This light never fades. Now being filled with the light, we are Luminous. We will shine in the darkness and never be overcome.