We attended our first missionary conference at our new church home this last week. The emphasis was on understanding the Islamic faith and identifying effective ways for sharing our faith. We enjoyed the opportunities we had to listen to stories from faithful missionaries to Muslims around the world.
For the first time in a long time I was not the pastor in charge of promoting the conference; I was a participant, a layman, a listener. It was a new place for me to be in many ways. The challenge as a pastor was to try to figure out how the message of missions could be translated to lay people in such a way that they would be more than spectators. I never felt that we accomplished that as well as I would have liked.
What I remembered today was this--a burden for the lost is something God places in our hearts. John tells us that as believers it is impossible to see our brother in need and NOT respond...IF the love of Christ dwells within us. See I John 3:16,17. Although the context is physical needs, it is impossible to not make the connection to spiritual needs.
Missions conferences can help us visualize the plight of people around the world in a dramatic way--but only a life indwelt by the Holy Spirit can respond with Christ-like love for the plight of those who desperately need Him.
Such love motivates action. My question from the conference--"What am I doing to fulfill God's commission to help carry the gospel to the world?"
I am thinking about it; what about you?