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Here, There, and Beyond (Acts 1:8)

June 25, 2014

Reflecting on East Point Churchs 1st Global Mission Conference:

Recently, here at East Point Church, we had the privilege of hosting our first global missions conference entitled “Here, There, and Beyond”. During this three-day conference, we examined missions from a biblical perspective, and we were reminded that the local church is at the heart of God’s redemptive plan for establishing His kingdom on earth.

We heard from three men – David Meade, Jim Whittle, and Byron Johnson – who have served on the mission field and sent others to do the same. Meade kicked off the first session of the conference by asking the question, “What do we mean by Missions?” The second session of the conference featured Whittle expounding on the “3 Motivations for Missions”. Lastly, Johnson challenged both the senders and goers of missions to understand their “Stewardship of Grace” in mission, whether here, there and/or beyond.

What Do We Mean By Missions?

He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:7-8; ESV).page49_picture0_1400265705

As the first speaker, David Meade set the tone for the global missions conference by helping us understand missions from a biblical perspective. Meade defined missions as the process of specially called, equipped, and sent-out people (called “missionaries”) crossing culture and language barriers to proclaim the gospel with the aim of growing indigenous Gospel & Christ-centered, reproducing churches in those contexts. Likewise, he went through the seven common fallacies that people believe about the Great Commission, such as the Great Commission is a New Testament phenomenon. However, Meade dispelled these fallacies with examples of how God’s redemptive plan included the nations, considering all are descendants of Adam (cf. Psalm 67).

Three Motivations for Missions

Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name…‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouthfor I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witnessdelivering you from your people and from the Gentiles to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me (Acts 9:15, 22:14, 26:16; ESV).”

In the second session of the conference, Jim Whittle explains the driving force of missions is the Glory of Christ, Gospel Partnership, and the Needs of the People. Whittle demonstrated how the first motivation of missions, namely God’s glory, comes from the promise God gave to Abraham of making his name great and blessing him, so that he would in turn be a blessing to the nations (Genesis 12:2-3). Also inherent in the promise God gave to Abraham was that He would use or partner with Abraham, a weak vessel, to promote God’s glory, which makes the preaching of the Gospel and prayer all the more necessary for the Christian in missions. Last of all, Whittle called us to pay attention to God’s heart and vision to send His people to all the nations to preach the Gospel and persuade some, considering everyone will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (cf. Christ Sending Out His Disciples, Matthew 10).

The Stewardship of Gods Grace

“…assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelationThis mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:2, 3, 6; ESV).

Byron Johnson concluded East Point Church’s first global conference with a challenge “What kind of steward of God’s grace am I? Will I be found faithful?” Johnson reminded the Christian that the Gospel has been given to him or her for the lost and from the Lord. In other words, God delights in using those He redeems to accomplish His plan by equipping with the same Power that raised Jesus from the dead. Likewise, as the Christian understands the grace that they have received in Christ, this should compel him or her to proclaim Christ in spite of their circumstances (cf. Acts 5:40-42; Ephesians 3:7-13). Above all, Johnson’s underlining principle of the Christian life was that God does not need us to accomplish His plans, yet because He is kind, loving and merciful, He desires to use His children to advance His kingdom on earth. Do you see your trials and tribulations as ways of opportunity for advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Colossians 4:3-6)?

A Message from the Missions Team of East Point Church

The Missions Team of East Point Church (EPC) would like to say thank you to everyone who helped pull this conference together. We are thrilled that the Lord chose to bless EPC with it’s first global missions conference, and we pray that there will be many to follow.

Thank you to the leadership of Southwest Christian Church for allowing us to use your facilities.

Thank you to David Meade, Jim Whittle, and Byron Johnson for your preparation in teaching. For more information about David Meade, please visit www.propempo.com. For more information about Jim Whittle, please visit www.equippingleadersinternational.org. For more information about Byron Johnson, please visit www.vision938.org.

Thank you to all of the EPC men and women who gave up their time to prepare food, serve in the nursery, edit video, set up and much more. Thank you for your faithful service.

It is our prayer that this would give a fresh perspective concerning the Lord’s heart for all nations. Furthermore, we pray that the church would more so be characterized by obedience to the call of Christ to be His witnesses “here, there, and beyond!”

East Point Church Supported Missionaries

  • Mwamba and Nyema Johnson (Zuriel, Zoey, Zion, Zach, and Zuri)
  • Pascual and Sharon Thedford
  • Timothy and Niai Byrd (Thandi and Naledi)
  • Strong Tower Church

We will continue to support these missionaries and others through prayer and the giving of ourselves to meet their needs as they seek to advance the Gospel for Jesus Christ.

Listen to this full conference for free.

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