I’ve come to see my missions pastor role as helping God’s people answer Jesus’ call: “Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:9). This is the single greatest privilege of pastoral ministry—watching Jesus transform men, women, and children into missionaries he can use. And this is one of the main reasons we partner with Mission ConneXion—to reinforce a culture where members of our church can answer Christ’s invitation to mission.
Several years ago, a young mom named Allie here at River West Church (http://www.thewellchurch.com) approached me to see if our church would be willing to start up a ministry to support foster families. As I often do, I went on to explain that our church doesn’t launch new ministries without launching missional leaders who run these ministries. So I encouraged her to pray and see if Jesus was calling her to serve Him in this way. In the months to come, the vision for a nonprofit ministry called With Love began to take shape—a boutique that would provide foster families and their kids with beautifully bundled clothes, toys, and support (www.withloveoregon.org). With this vision in hand, Allie wondered how she would go about running a nonprofit while raising her children. Thankfully, I knew that Mission ConneXion was hosting a Board ConneXion event that month. The training she received that weekend helped Allie grow her vision into a ministry that is impacting hundreds of foster families in our city today!
Extraordinary things happen when ordinary people like Allie answer Christ’s call. Having attended and taught at Mission ConneXion events in the past, I can’t think of a better context for our people to become aware and engaged with what Jesus is doing locally and abroad.