By Dan Larsen, Executive Pastor at Cedar Mill Bible Church
Since its inception, Cedar Mill Bible Church has been a strong supporter of Mission ConneXion Northwest (MCNW).
Back in 2001 when Bill MacLeod first approached us about the idea of launching a joint effort among churches in the Portland area to strengthen and multiply their engagement in missions, we were hesitant. It wasn’t that we didn’t like the idea. It was simply that we were already so engaged in missions and had plenty on our plate already! But the idea of doing something together, something that had the potential to have exponential impact, grew on us and we haven’t been disappointed in what it has become!
Those from our congregation who have attended have been both inspired and better equipped for involvement in missions. The breadth of the workshops offered and the high quality of the speakers have provided input that we could never offer to our church family on our own. Frequently we have heard comments from our people like, “I had no idea God was doing so much in the world” or “My commitment to serving in missions was reenergized over the weekend.”
Another fantastic benefit of our involvement in MCNW is the relationships that have been formed with other attendees. Those on our missions team have been able to interact with missions leaders from other churches, sharing stories and ideas. We have had missionary candidates connect with agency leaders who eventually became mission partners with us. (Personally I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie with other church staff and leaders over the years, finding encouragement, insight, and even friendship with those with similar passions and responsibilities).
Finally, the many ConneXion events that have come out of MCNW have provided excellent leadership training for our volunteers who serve and lead in missions at our church. Our missionaries have benefited from the input at Muslim Connexion while our missions leadership team has come away from Leadership Connexion and Care Connexion better equipped to serve our body and missionaries. Again, this is all training that we, as a local church, could never have provided on our own.
While our church has been pleased and blessed by our involvement in MCNW, we also feel privileged to be part of something that is enabling so many other churches to challenge and bless each other. This is part of what we love about our city, especially the churches in our city!