Whether you are an international missionary, church planter, business professional or teacher, your life should be spent fulfilling the Great Commission. This was a resounding theme during the ninth annual GO Conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
Walter Strickland, left, instructor of theology at The College at Southeastern ([email protected]) in Wake Forest, leads a panel called “Working for the Kingdom: Using Your Passions, Gifts, and Dreams for the Gospel” during the Go Conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Joining him are, from right: LaToya King, director of operations for Jobs for Life; Greg Mathias, [email protected] professor of global studies; Ashok Nachnani, director of Data Center Software Solutions; and Chip Hardy, professor of Old Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
More than 550 students and guests gathered Jan. 27-28 to be challenged to go into all the world and fulfill the Great Commission. Main speakers included Danny Akin, president of SEBTS, Tony Merida, SEBTS associate professor of preaching and pastor for preaching and vision at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, and Matt Carter, pastor for preaching and vision at The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas.
Akin started off the conference by telling the story of martyred missionary Jim Elliot. After sharing Elliot’s famous quote, “Oh that God would make us dangerous.”
Akin said, “Have you ever prayed that prayer? Might it be that when the demons see you coming they might tremble because they see the hand of God on your life.”
Explaining the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Merida said, “These words are actually some of the most important words in all of scripture. This last command is our first priority.”
Merida went on to encourage everyone to take part in God’s mission. “Jesus can use the G.E.D. or the Ph.D.,” he said. “The question is not, ‘Do you have the education?’ The question is, ‘Are you available?’ Is your heart captivated by this King?”
Carter charged students to not only see the need to take the gospel around the world and to lost neighbors but to be part of meeting that need. He encouraged them to obey the command of Christ in the Great Commission through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“You have the power in you right now to do powerful things with Christ for the kingdom of God,” Carter said. “You are just as equipped and just as called.”
The GO Conference included breakout sessions addressing the topics of using passions and gifts for the gospel, sharing the gospel without fear, weaving the gospel into stories and dealing with the unexpected as a missionary.
Students also heard from ministry leaders in the U.S. and former international missionaries about ministry opportunities and what life is like in a cross-cultural setting.
On Friday night, students had the opportunity to see the new “Insanity of God” movie followed by a question-and-answer session with Scott Hildreth, director of the Center for Great Commission Studies, and Chuck Lawless, dean of graduate studies at SEBTS.
The conference wrapped up on Saturday night with a special concert by well-known recording artists Shane and Shane.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Harper McKay is the news and information specialist for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.)