Encountering God at the Asia-Pacific Missional Leaders’ Conference

Sometimes an “event” becomes an “encounter.” More than 330 participants from 27 Asia-Pacific nations gathered October 26-30 in Manila, Philippines, for the Asia-Pacific Region’s Missional Leaders’ Conference. The theme of the conference was “Making Christlike Disciples in the Nations: Visioning and Equipping All Believers to Make Disciples.”     Two years prior to the event, the Asia-Pacific Regional Advisory Council helped cast the vision and the planning began. As the opening night drew near, the fervent prayer was that the “event” would actually become an “encounter” with God for each participant. During the opening service on Wednesday evening, October 26, representatives from the 27 Asia-Pacific countries joined in the Parade of Nations and the worship that evening and throughout the week reflected the varieties of cultures, color, and music that make up the Church of the Nazarene’s Asia-Pacific Region. Each of the worship services and plenary workshops were translated into eight different languages, underscoring the beautiful tapestry of people who call the region their home. In worship services, plenary gatherings, and interactive elective workshops, speakers from within and outside the region addressed a variety of topics such as “Becoming a Missional People,” “Children As the Church of Today,” “Discipling People with Disabilities,” “The Church’s Response to Human Trafficking,” “Understanding Sexual Shame,” and “Organic Church Planting.” “We were blessed with just the right balance of theological foundation and practical tools to make this truly an inspirational and effective conference,” said a participant.   â€¨â€¨ Speakers challenged attendees with fresh expressions of ancient truths, emphasizing the empowerment of every believer to make disciples and disciple makers. Participants were urged to open their hearts to new ways to encounter God as they discussed His creative plan for reaching the unreached in the 40 percent of the earth’s population that live in the Asia-Pacific Region. The keynote speakers, plenary speakers, and those that gave of themselves to serve in the many elective workshops were all greatly used by God. Not only did participants encounter the Word, they also encountered fellow disciples and disciple makers. The Spirit of God was present in the reunions, conversations, and relationships shared during the conference. One participant even had the opportunity to lead a hotel staff person to Christ during the course of the week. As the week progressed, attendance surged to more than 800 in the evening services as local Filipino congregations joined in with conference participants.  General Superintendent Eugenio Duarte delivered the closing Sunday morning message on the subject of “Becoming Missional” based on 1 Corinthians 15:58: “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (The Message) Only eternity will reveal the impact that the 2011 Missional Leaders’ Conference had on the Church’s mission to make Christlike disciples in the nations of the Asia-Pacific Region. But for many of those who attended, the “event” indeed became an “’encounter” with the living, creator God. Thank you for praying for the Asia-Pacific Missional Leaders’ Conference 2011. –Church of the Nazarene Asia-Pacific Region (For more photos from the conference, courtesy of World Mission Communications Asia-Pacific, click here.)

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