Thursday, January 2, 2014

to live is christ, and to die is gain | the 2013 cross conference

We've asked our daughter, AnnaKate, to write a post about CROSScon 2013:

Through a completely insane series of events that were ordained by an extremely gracious God, I found myself on a bus at 5:30 a.m. seven days ago. This bus was filled to the brim with some of my favourite people in the world, a Dominican driver was gripping the steering wheel, and we were headed to Louisville, Kentucky, for a five-day missions conference. Yes, I was a little overwhelmed.

But I was also more than a little happy to be there. With those people, headed to that city, to hear those speakers. It was my dream trip, with some of my dearest friends to my favourite place in the world, where some of the most gifted spiritual leaders of our age were going to speak to us. What an adventure!

Nearly four thousand students had gathered at the Louisville convention center to have our view of missions refined and informed. We had booked the hotel rooms, chosen our breakout sessions, even scoped out the local eats-- but I think we were all unprepared for the intensity of the next five days.
Or at least, I know I was.

I came prepared to be convinced of the importance of missions, to have my emotions stirred into pity over human trafficking victims and starving children of third world countries. But as I sat under at least six sermons or lectures a day, I found that something else entirely was happening within my heart. These speakers were not giving us dry lectures on the physical needs of the world. They were attacking the sin that lurked within each of us. The result was nothing less than transforming for me.

Perhaps seasoned missionary Mack Stiles summarized the heart of the conference best-- "There is no sanctification by aviation." Being a missionary doesn't transform you into a super Christian. Being a missionary is a series of small, scary steps, only taken when you set your eyes on Jesus and follow Him relentlessly. Every Christian is called to Jesus, every Christian is called to missions--it's only what PART you play in missions that is tricky to determine. Some of us will be called to go and carry this mission to other cultures ourselves, some of us will faithfully serve in our local churches and fuel the fire of missions--but we must all cultivate a passion for God's Word to the lost. All of us must love Jesus with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and then, we won't be able to keep this wonderful news to ourselves.
"You can risk everything because God risks nothing." (Kevin DeYoung)
To listen to some of these life-changing lectures, click here. I'd highly recommend it. =)

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written! I completely agree. That Mack Stiles quote is great. Did you notice Kevin DeYoung in the background of our group picture? :)