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4 Missions Conferences You Should Absolutely Attend

4 Missions Conferences You Should Absolutely Attend

Wherever you are on your missions journey, attending a global missions conference is a great next step. Whether you’ve spent years longing to go to the nations or you’ve just recently heard of the Great Commission, you’ll walk away with fresh motivation and a greater understanding of God’s heart for unreached people.

Why attend a missions conference

Jesus’ mandate in Matthew 28 to “go and make disciples” can seem daunting and even confusing. What does that look like? Where and how is it happening? How can you be involved?

It’s hard to find time to explore these big ideas in your day-to-day life. But a two-or three-day conference gives you space away from your normal routine to seek the Lord and consider how he might be asking you to serve him among the least-reached.

Bonus: You’ll be surrounded by other globally minded individuals who are asking the same questions you are. Missions leaders and sending agencies on site will be eager to connect with you, answer your questions, and help you understand God’s leading in your life.

Ready to go? Here are four missions conferences we recommend for your missions journey.

Four missions conferences you should attend

  1. For the newbie: Urbana
    You could call it the summer camp of missions conferences, and all the hype about Urbana exists for a reason. Urbana is a great first stop if you’re just beginning to explore the world of missions. Not sure where you want to go, how you want to go, or even if you want to go? This student-led gathering will excite, inspire, and educate you. You’ll hear from world-class speakers and get to meet mission agencies to help answer your questions, so you can leave with more clarity about God’s leading for your future. 

  2. For students: CROSS Conference
    Looking for a biblically based conference that will challenge how you view your role in God’s work in the world? CROSSCON will help you consider your response to these three realities: the global majesty of God’s sovereign grace, the gospel passion of Christ to rescue people from eternal suffering, and the remaining task of planting the church among the unreached and unengaged peoples of the world. 

  3. For the curious: Perspectives on the World Christian Movement
    Skip the traditional conference and instead take a Perspectives course near you (or online). You’ll learn about God’s heart for the nations from Genesis to Revelation, get insight into the history of missions, and learn about the modern-day missions movement. The course will stretch you and change your perspective for good. Plus, you’ll meet leaders in the missions world in your area, allowing you to continue important conversations and relationships long after the course ends.

  4. For everyone: The one at your church
    Does your church have its own missions conference, weekend, or retreat? Nothing beats personally getting to know the missionaries that your church supports! You’ll hear encouraging stories, gain firsthand perspective on how God is working around the world, and have an opportunity to become a partner in ministry. Stick around afterward and talk to your church leaders about your desire to get involved.

What to do before, during, and after a missions conference

Now that you’ve chosen a conference to attend, here are our pro-tips for making the most of it.

How to prepare for a missions conference:

  • Spend time in God’s Word and in prayer to prepare your heart. Ask God to give you discernment for what he has in store for you now and beyond the conference.
  • Pack your Bible, a journal, and at least one pen. Maybe throw in a highlighter or two as well.
  • Make a list of questions to ask other attendees, agency recruiters, and session panelists.
  • Let your church know you’re going, and invite others to join you.

What to do during the conference:

  • Schedule mealtimes to meet with speakers, mobilizers, or other attendees you’d like to learn from.
  • Take notes during sessions to share with others later.
  • Be flexible with your schedule. That might mean attending every session, or it might mean skipping a session or two to process something God is saying to you.
  • Visit the exhibit hall to make connections with organizations that can help you on your journey.
  • Ask God to show you a tangible next step, and commit to following his lead.

How to carry it forward:

  • Share your notes, takeaways, and next steps with your church and other important people in your life.
  • Follow up with organizations you connected with. They share your heart for the least-reached and they want to serve you.

What next? Register for the missions conference (or more than one!) that best fits you. If none of these conferences works for you, connect with us online. We would be happy to talk with you about missions, share some of our favorite resources, and come alongside you as you pursue your role in reaching the least-reached.

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