This past weekend, Greater Portland Bible Church hosted to the Student ConneXion Mission Conference. This was a conference centered entirely around raising up, equipping, and sending out the next generation of missionaries, whether they go out over the oceans around the world or out to their schools, homes, and friends. It was a fantastic conference and, for some students, it was life changing. We heard from all types of speakers with backgrounds ranging from evangelistic skateboarding to apologetics and missions backgrounds. We had 36 different churches represented during the conference hailing from all over the Pacific Northwest.
There were two themes threaded though the whole conference. The first theme, touched on by almost every speaker, was fear. Fear has become a very prominent part of our culture. Its role in our culture has been growing, as some have pointed out, since 9/11, It now seems to be intertwined within our culture in one way or another, and we see the evidence of this in the increase in anxiety of people to the entertainment industry. As one speaker put it, “We are now trying to get as close as we can to peeing our pants without peeing our pants.” Sadly, we are really paying for this. What does this mean for us? Well think about this, the youth that have been born in the last 10-15 years have been raised in this culture of fear that only seems to be growing. Which means that the youth of today have either become numb to the fear or engulfed by it. Either way is not good. So, what do we do?
This brings me to the other theme of the conference, which was pretty much opposite of fear. The theme was “Send Me.” We were not intended to live in the darkness and fear, so God came to us and rescued us through his son Jesus. It is through Jesus that we are transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light - into God’s kingdom. In doing so, we get to become fellow workers alongside Jesus Himself and help bring light into the darkness and fear. We get to help those still entrapped by the fear and darkness and liberate them into the kingdom of light. But, we have to answer the call first. It says in Isaiah 6:8, “the Lord asked who shall I send?” He is not just asking Isaiah, but He is talking to you and me today. We have to make the choice to step out of the darkness and say, “Send me!” Send me to those in darkness, whether it is to the ends of the earth or to my neighbor next door. Send me, Lord, for you are my true King and I am your worker.