Encountering God at the “Missional Leader’s Conference”
On October 26 – 30, over 330 participants from 27 Asia-Pacific nations gathered in Manila, Philippines for the Asia-Pacific Region’s Missional Leaders’ Conference (MLC). The theme of the conference was ”Making Christlike Disciples in the Nations: Visioning and Equipping All Believers to Make Disciples”.
Two years prior, the Asia-Pacific Regional Advisory Council had helped cast the vision and the planning began. As the opening night drew near, the fervent prayer was that the ‘event’ would actually become an ‘encounter’ with God for each participant. During the opening service on Wednesday evening, October 26, representatives from the 27 Asia-Pacific countries joined in the Parade of Nations. The worship that evening and throughout the week reflected the varieties of cultures, color, and music that make up the Asia-Pacific Region. Each of the worship services and plenary workshops were translated into 8 different languages, underscoring the beautiful tapestry of people who call the Asia-Pacific region their home.
In worship services, plenary gatherings, and interactive elective workshops, speakers from within and without the region addressed a variety of topics such as “Becoming a Missional People”, ”Children As the Church of Today”, ”Discipling People with Disabilities”, “The Church’s Response to Human Trafficking” , ”Understanding Sexual Shame”, and “Organic Church Planting”. According to one participant, “We were blessed with just the right balance of theological foundation and practical tools to make this truly an inspirational and effective conference.”
Speakers challenged participants with fresh expressions of ancient truths, emphasizing the empowerment of every believer to make disciples and disciple makers. Those in attendance were urged to open their hearts to new ways to encounter God as they discussed His creative plan for reaching the unreached in the 40% of the earth’s population that live in the Asia-Pacific region. The keynote speakers, the plenary speakers and those that gave of themselves to serve in the many elective workshops were all greatly used by God.
Not only did participants encounter the Word, they also encountered fellow disciples and disciple makers. The Spirit of God was present in the reunions, conversations, and relationships shared during the MLC. One participant even had the opportunity to lead a hotel staff person to Christ during the course of the week.
As the week progressed, attendance surged to over 800 in the evening services as local Filipino congregations joined in with conference participants. Dr. Eugenio Duarte delivered the closing Sunday morning message on the subject of “Becoming Missional” based on 1 Corinthians 15:58: “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (The Message)
Only eternity will reveal the impact that the 2011 MLC had on the Church’s mission to make Christlike Disciples in the nations of the Asia-Pacific region. But for many of those who attended, the ‘event’ really had become an ‘encounter’ with the living, creator God. Thank you for praying for the Asia-Pacific Missional Leaders’ Conference 2011.
– NCN, Asia-Pacific Region