By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director
In the Spring of 2012, we had the privilege of hosting Bob Blincoe, the President of Frontiers at the time, to speak at an event for us here in Portland. Without discussing it in advance, in the middle of his presentation he said: “I believe so strongly in Mission ConneXion, I would like to see a MC event in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.” By May of 2012 I was flying down to speak to about 50 leaders he had assembled and to tell them what we had been seeing the Lord do since launching in 2001.
There was interest for sure, but nothing came of it. Yet, I would say, “the door is not closed, but it is not yet open either…” if people asked. As we waited and prayed, six years passed…
Then in the Spring of 2018 we conducted Zoom interviews with the top 30 mission agencies who have exhibited with us every year from almost the beginning. We asked a few simple questions; had them share, and finally asked: “if we were to go to other cities outside the Pacific Northwest, would you follow?”
We were astounded when every single agency replied: “We’d follow you anywhere!” and… “We’ll even help you find the cities!”
Phoenix was one of two cities that rose to the top of the list as we received their feedback. In early December 2018, two board members and I meet with pastors and leaders in both cities, cast a vision based on our experience here in Portland, and invite them to join us in January for our MCNW event. Phoenix was immediately and enthusiastically eager.
We told them that they needed to begin to pull leaders together to pray and they said they would…plus some flew up in January and experienced Mission ConneXion Northwest for themselves. Their attendance further spurred them on to gather more leaders and begin praying.
Fast forward to November 2019, when a board member and I flew down to meet again with a different group of Phoenix pastors and share the MC vision. Even more enthusiasm and buy-in followed, and this time they brought quite a contingency to our January 2020 event. The monthly prayer meeting was growing in size as more mission and church leaders joined simply to pray and various ministries offered to host this group.
Even in the midst of the pandemic, they hosted their first pastors’ luncheon in November 2020 and over 75 attended. Then a small team of key leaders led a workshop track at Mission ConneXion Northwest in January 2021 entitled: “Mobilizing Arizona”.
This month they are hosting another Pastors Luncheon…and they have set a conference date…
So, we will be sharing more exciting news about Mission ConneXion SOUTHWEST very soon! Stay tuned…