By Mike Hildenbrand, Missions Pastor, Sunset Presbyterian Church
My name is Mike Hildenbrand and for the past eight years I have been the missions pastor at Sunset Presbyterian Church in Portland, Oregon. I am a non-paid volunteer giving leadership to Sunset’s global outreach minsitry. I am part of a ten person team that in partnership with our Elders develops and implements the philosophy and strategy of Sunset’s worldwide missions effort.
To accomplish that task I am constantly looking for ways to learn more about what God is doing around the world, and I have found Mission ConneXion Northwest to be a key resource for me and our missions team.
I have personally attended every Mission ConneXion Northwest conference since its inception, except one when I was out of the country. I go because it is without a doubt the best place on the west coast to learn, be equipped, and challenged as to what God is doing around the world and to discover what my role as a Christ follower is in His Great Commission.
The first year I was on staff at Sunset I took our whole missions team to the first ever all day leadership intensive workshop. The investment of the time and money to take our team there proved to be pivotal in the future of our team and the development of a philosophy of ministry for our church.
Additionally, each year we advertise the conference within our church and encourage widespread participation because there is no better way for our congregation to be equipped and mobilized for mission at home and abroad. We have felt so strongly about this that our church has hosted the Mission ConneXion Northwest conference three times. We have also hosted several other Mission ConneXion workshops.
My experience is that Mission ConneXion provides the educational opportunities but it is up to individuals and local churches to take advantage of them. The local church benefits to the extent that it invests and participates.
Sunset financially supports Mission ConneXion each year as part of its mission’s budget. We feel if we are going to benefit we should help support this important missions mobilizing tool. I would encourage other churches and individuals to do the same.
Thanks Mission Connexion Northwest for your vital support of the local church.