Starting April 6, we'll gather to hear from missionaries, theologians, pastors, and other church leaders on how we can play our part in the Great Commission. Four plenary addresses will expound the compelling love of God from 2 Corinthians 4:1-5:21; another three will directly address select topics of urgent concern to international outreach. Numerous workshops will explore special subjects in missions. We are asking God to bless this event by spreading passion for global missions among those who attend. We dare to pray that many will respond by committing themselves to cross-cultural outreach both at home and around the world.
Schedule | Saturday, April 6th
Pre-Conference Begins with Worship and Prayer for the World
Expository Plenary #1 - The Biblical Basis for Missions: Treasure in Jars of Clay: (2 Cor. 4:1-12) Don Carson
Expository Plenary #2 - Why the Great Commission is Great: Reaching More and More People (2 Cor. 4:13-18) David Platt
Schedule | Sunday, April 7th
Worship and Prayer for the World
Expository Plenary #3 - The Heart of God in the Call to Proclaim: Our Goal: To Please Him (2 Cor. 5:1-10) John Piper
Topical Plenary #2 - The Individual's Suffering and the Salvation of the World Michael Oh
Workshop Round 1
Workshop Round 2
Worship and Prayer for the World
A Biblical Theology of Mission: An Evaluation of Chris WrightGary Millar
In recent years, Chris Wright's massive work 'The Mission of God' has been the standout contribution on 'Mission' from an evangelical perspective. It is also a significant work on Biblical Theology in itself. But the big question is, 'Is Wright right?' The contention that what God is doing in our world can be brought together under the category of 'the mission of God' is highly significant and potentially game-changing. That's why it is crucial to evaluate the assumptions and conclusions of 'The Mission of God', highlighting both its many strengths and occasional significant flaws.
Are People Without Christ Really Lost?Andy Davis
Salvation is found in no other name than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). But billions of people all over the world have never heard that name. Are they truly lost? This talk will seek to show by Scripture the lostness of people outside of Christ, to move us with compassion for them, and to challenge us to suffer whatever needed to take them the gospel. In addition, we will address weighty questions concerning those who die never having heard of Jesus.
Being Ambassadors for Christ: “The Ministry of Reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:11-21)Mack Stiles
Christian Witness in a Religiously Pluralistic WorldHarold Netland
Awareness of the religious diversity in our world—including in the United States— presents significant challenges to Christian faith and witness. Religious pluralism says all major religions lead us to the divine. This seminar will point out problems with this perspective, highlight the uniqueness of Jesus Christ when compared with other religious leaders, and offer some guidelines for witness in contexts of religious diversity and pluralism.
Church Planting in Gospel-Resistant PlacesDave Furman
What role does the local church play in the multiplicity of opportunities to bless the nations? Come hear how God's corporate display of his glory, the local church, can be a blessing to the nations in the most unlikely of places.
Contextualization and the Gospel Once-for-All Delivered to God’s PeopleZane Pratt
We as believers are not called to save the lost, but to proclaim the specific message through which they may be saved. This does, however, require that this message must be clearly communicated. This does not mean that we should change the message but rather communicate it in a way that our audience may see both the sharp edges and the glorious truths of it. This seminar will discuss those aspects of the gospel which we cannot change and the communications styles which we must change in order for his sheep to clearly hear his voice.
Discipleship and Development: Connecting Sound Doctrine and Sound Economics in Global MissionsBrian Fikkert
Recent decades have seen a tremendous increase in Christians' desire to minister in word and deed to the poor. But good intentions are not enough. It is actually possible to hurt the poor in the process of trying to help them. This workshop explores the fundamental nature of poverty and provides principles to guide ministry efforts. Embracing the good news of the gospel—in its fullest sense—is the essential pre-requisite for us to help the poor without hurting them . . . and ourselves.
Jesus and JusticeStephen Um
Misconceptions about the Chinese ChurchJoann Pittman
Much that is written about the church in China tends to be outdated or simplistic, not taking into consideration the changing social environment in China or the complexity of the Chinese church. In this workshop we will look at some of the key misconceptions of the Church in China and present a more realistic and balanced view of the issues facing the Chinese Church. We will look at some of the amazing things that God is doing in and through his Church in China.
Mobilized for Missions…A Strategy for Launching College Graduates Around the WorldRupert Leary
Today's college students make up for 1% of the world's population. They not only want their lives to make a difference, they want to make a difference "together". We encourage every college senior to prayerfully consider making a 2 year commitment to serve together as apart of a church planting team. We have a strategy for mobilizing every graduate whether stateside or overseas. If you are a college student of a leader of college students, this seminar is for you.
Must One Choose Between Truth and Tolerance?Don Carson
Much of the Western world has re-defined "tolerance" in sadly pernicious ways. Moreover, in many domains we have elevated this newly-defined tolerance to the status of supreme good—a good that trumps everything else, including truth. Meanwhile truth itself, always a complex notion, has been weakened by contemporary subjectivism. So when Christians speak about the truth of the gospel they are frequently made to feel old-fashioned and, frankly, intolerant. If tolerance is the supreme good, intolerance is the supreme evil. What is the way ahead?
My Call to Missions: Missed or Misunderstood?Noel Piper
As a pre-teen, I responded to a missionary's challenge by going forward with a sense of being called to be a missionary nurse. Now I'm 65 and I've never been a nurse or a missionary. Perhaps there are others too who haven't followed through with what they understood as a call to missions. How should we think about that? What of the call to missions for those not called "missionaries"?
Reckless Abandon: Faith that Glorifies God by Advancing His NameDavid Sitton
There is no actual risk in carrying the gospel into the most hostile regions because Jesus is worth far more than anything we can possibly lose. We either live and win big, or we die, and win bigger. With no possibility of permanent loss, but only eternal gain, there is great motivation for living recklessly for the advance of the gospel.
The Biblical Basis for Missions: “Treasure in Jars of Clay”: (2 Cor. 4:1-12) Don Carson
At the heart of Christian mission is the obligation to preach "not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord," "setting forth the truth plainly." We do this even though we know that "the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers" -- for our confidence is in God who powerfully ordains, "Let there be light!", both at the beginning of the universe and in the minds of those who are blind. This mission we undertake, fully aware that the gospel itself has "all-surpassing power . . . from God," while we ourselves are jars of clay, privileged beyond words to display this powerful gospel.
The Heart of God in the Call to Proclaim: “Our Goal: To Please Him” (2 Cor. 5:1-10)John Piper
The Individual's Suffering and the Salvation of the WorldMichael Oh
The Reformers' Commitment to the Propagation of the Gospel to All Nations from 1555-1654Elias Medeiros
Far from being negligently silent about world mission, the Reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries were biblically, theologically, and practically committed to and involved with the preaching of the gospel through the ministers of the Word to all people everywhere. Mission historians who have categorically denied this activity are mistaken, owing to (1) the limited availability of sources to explore at the time of their research; (2) their preconceived assumptions stemming from some aspects of the Reformers' theology; (3) a lack of critical assessment of the data; and (4) mere disregard of some crucial historical data.
The Shape of Things to Come in MissionsZane Pratt
The Church has been given the glorious task of harvesting worshippers of God from all tribes, tongues, peoples, and nations. This mission cannot and will not be accomplished unless the Church is both intentional and strategic in its focus. This seminar will discuss the current strategies being implemented by God’s people to take his Name to every corner of the earth.
The World Mission of Christ in the Cross Defines and Empowers the Local Work of the ChurchJosiah Bancroft
God has always used cross-cultural workers to speak the gospel with clarity into the local church. Paul as a world missionary is able to speak with gospel clarity and focus into churches' local struggles and ministry. In this pattern we can see how world missions today has a unique voice to clarify, direct, and focus the work of the American church and begin to frame how our own ministries and leadership can benefit from Christ's global mission.
What It Means to Truly Consider MissionsMack Stiles
What should frame our understanding before we actually pull up roots and put them down somewhere else? Who should do that? What needs to be in place in their lives? How can we support them as they go? In this seminar we will focus on what today's missionaries should understand before they leave and the role churches and pastors should play.
Why Latin America Needs to be "Re-Evangelized"Migel Nunez
Some of the Latin American nations have had a missionary presence for the last 150 years or so. However the advance of the gospel was minimal until the 1970s. Even now, the continent has seen little “salt and light” effect. This has been worsened lately by the wide penetration of the prosperity gospel. Therefore a new strategy based on expository preaching of the gospel and the whole counsel of God is mandatory at this time if we want to see a real change. This is the only response we can give to a population that has been vaccinated against the real gospel with an “attenuated” version of the message of Jesus Christ.
Why the Great Commission is Great: “Reaching More and More People” David Platt
Obedience to the Great Commission is fueled by a gospel-induced, hope-filled, people-reaching, suffering-embracing passion to see God glorified among all the peoples of the earth.
Why the World Needs the GospelAugustus Nicodemus Lopes
The letter to the Romans was written to obtain the support of the Church of Rome for Paul’s missionary vision to preach in Spain. In chapter 1 he argues that the world needs the Gospel because it is under God’s judgment. God revealed Himself in creation. The worlds rejected this revelation. God justly responded giving them up to their own sinful desires. Their only hope is the Gospel.
Josiah Bancroft is director of mission for World Harvest Mission. He graduated from Reformed Theological in Jackson, Mississippi, and was ordained in 1981. After planting churches in Louisiana and Alabama, Josiah and his wife, Barbara, worked overseas in Ireland and stateside with World Harvest from 1992 to 2004. They both look to God’s grace to unfold how their practical experience in pastoral partnerships, supporting leaders and marriages, training new pastors, and preaching and pioneering new ministries will best serve in WHM.
Don Carson (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He has served as assistant pastor and pastor and has done itinerant ministry in Canada and the United Kingdom. Carson is co-founder (with Tim Keller) and president of The Gospel Coalition. Carson and his wife, Joy, reside in Libertyville, Illinois. They have two children.
Andy Davis is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church, Durham, North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT, MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and PhD in church history from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has also worked as a mechanical engineer in Massachusetts and church planted in Tokushima, Japan, through the SBC International Mission Board.
Brian Fikkert is the founder and executive director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College, where he also serves as a professor of economics and community development. Brian received a PhD in economics with highest honors from Yale University. He has numerous academic and popular publications and is a co-author of the book When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself. Prior to coming to Covenant College, he was a professor at the University of Maryland and a research fellow at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector.
Dave Furman moved to the Arabian Peninsula to help pastor Redeemer Church of Dubai. Dave has previously served in various churches in the United States and has ministered to university students in Mexico, Spain, Kenya, and China. Dave enjoys reading, playing, with his daughters and watching the airplanes that fly by his office window. He is married to Gloria and they have three children.
Rupert Leary came to Christ as a college student on the football team at Georgia Southern University and has worked with college students for over 20 years. He has been apart of leading college ministry teams around the southeast and is now currently serving Raleigh-Durham area campuses in North Carolina as apart of The Summit Church. His ministry specializes in reaching the demographic on campus who do not know Christ, discipling these new converts into laborers on campus who will reproduce this process with others. His passion and primary role at The Summit Church is mobilizing teams of graduates who will serve both Stateside and around the world as apart of church planting teams. He and his beautiful wife Lisa have 4 children, Payton, Jordan, Blake, and Madison.
Augustus Nicodemus Lopes is a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB). He holds degrees in theology from Potchefstroom University, South Africa (Th.M), Westminster Theological Seminary (Ph.D) and courses in New Testament at Kampen Theological School, Netherlands. Author of many articles and books on theological and practical themes, Dr. Lopes is professor of New Testament at Andrew Jumper Graduate Center at São Paulo, Brazil and Chancellor of Mackenzie Presbyterian University, also in São Paulo, where he ministers as assistant pastor of a Presbyterian local church. He is married to Hendrika Schalkwijk and they have four children.
Gary Millar is principal of Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, Australia, where he teaches Old Testament, biblical theology, and preaching. A Northern Irishman, Gary is married to Fiona, a Scot born in Peru of missionary parents, and they have three daughters. Before moving to Brisbane at the beginning of 2011, the Millars spent 12 years in Dublin, Ireland, where Gary pastored a pair of Presbyterian churches, as well as teaching at the Irish Bible Institute. He is the author of Now Choose Life: Theology and Ethics in Deuteronomy in the NSBT series, and is deeply passionate about equipping people to preach Christ from the whole Bible.
Dr. Núñez (MD, Th. M.) serves as senior pastor of the International Baptist Church, and is the president of Wisdom & Integrity Ministries. He is the author of two books: “¿Y quién es Jesús?” (So, Who is Jesus?) and “Una Iglesia Conforme al Corazón de Dios” (A Church After God’s Own Heart). Dr. Núñez’s and his ministry are responsible for the annual conference “Por Su Causa”, which gathers thousands of Latin Americans in the Dominican Republic, to embrace historical biblical Christianity.
Dr. Michael Oh is the newly appointed Executive Director / CEO of the Lausanne Movement (lausanne.org). He is also the founder and board chair of CBI Japan (cbijapan.org) in Nagoya, Japan which includes a graduate level theological seminary (Christ Bible Seminary), church planting efforts (All Nations Fellowship), and various outreach ministries (including the Heart & Soul Café). Michael received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania where he also did his undergraduate degree and a master's degree. His theological training (Master of Divinity) was received at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he also completed a master's degree in Japanese Studies at Harvard University. He and his wife Pearl have 5 children.
Noel Piper is a speaker and the author of Treasuring God in Our Traditions and several other books. She has traveled extensively internationally for missions purposes and blogs at noelpiper.com. But her main calling is to her family. She and her husband, John, have ministered 31 years at Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis. They have four married sons and twelve grandchildren. Their daughter is a high schooler and is home schooled.
John Piper is pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (BD), and the University of Munich (DTh). For six years he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 40 books and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available at DesiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and twelve grandchildren.
Joann Pittman is a consultant, trainer, researcher, and writer who helps people prepare for and navigate the challenges of cross-cultural living. She has lived in China since 1984, working as an English teacher, Chinese language program director, English language program director, and Cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has taught Chinese Language and Culture at Northwestern College (St. Paul, MN) and is a Guest Instructor at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), teaching Asian Culture and Communication. She has done extensive study and research in Chinese language, history, and contemporary society, and is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese. She is the author of Survival Chinese Lessons, published by Dawson Media.
Platt is the senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama and author of New York Times Best Seller Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (A.B.J.) from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theology (Th.M.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has previously served at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as Dean of Chapel and Assistant Professor of Expository Preaching and Apologetics, and as Staff Evangelist at Edgewater Baptist Church in New Orleans.
Zane Pratt is the dean of Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism and associate professor of Christian missions. Pratt served as a church planter and pastor in New England and as an Army Reserve chaplain before appointment for overseas service in 1991. He lived and worked in Central Asia until 2011, the last 10 years of which he had regional leadership responsibilities. He has written multiple articles in an upcoming volume on the theology of missions being published by Broadman and Holman in the fall of 2011.
David Sitton served as a church planting missionary in some of the remotest regions of Papua New Guinea during the 1970’s and 80’s. The Lord enabled him to make first contact with several previously unreached tribes and the establishing of 34 churches. In 1994, David founded To Every Tribe and, the following year, The Center for Pioneer Church Planting on the south Texas / Mexico border where he lives with his wife Tommi. David serves to train and launch church planting teams to those still without access to the gospel of Christ. David is the author of two books, To Every Tribe With Jesus and Reckless Abandon.
Mack Stiles is CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and general secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE Students (FOCUS) in the United Arab Emirates. He has worked for many years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the United States. He is the author of Marks of the Messenger and Speaking of Jesus.
Stephen Um (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is the senior pastor of Citylife Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He also teaches New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and serves as Associate Training Director with Redeemer City to City. For the past 18 years, Stephen and his wife, Kathleen, have been involved in several Presbyterian churches throughout the Northeastern part of the country. He is the author of Why Cities Matter (Crossway). Stephen also serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.