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‘Sparking Imaginations’ for Mission

April 21, 2021

Messages about mission work from all over the world will be offered by a range of church leaders and innovators during the Glocal Mission Summit 2021: On the Road to Witness that runs online May 13-15.

Sponsored by Resonate Global Mission, the summit is free and welcomes all who are interested. Among other things, the event promises to break people out of “Zoom fatigue” by providing plenty of interactive time as well as forums for telling and sharing compelling stories.

Adding depth and providing new ways to think about doing missions today will be top-notch plenary speakers who will kick off every day of the event, said Moses Chung, Resonate’s director of mission innovation.

“The summit will be very interactive and participatory,” said Chung.

According to promotional material, the event will be provide four blocks of sessions over three days with plenty of time in between for breaks and interaction with others.

Aiming to be both manageable and accessible, this will be “a gathering where you will engage in conversations around mission” and “collaborate with others to reimagine what mission and discipleship can look like in our COVID-19 reality. . . .”

“We want to open the treasure chest and share” what CRC mission leaders and our partners  have to offer, said Chung. “We see this as a great opportunity for people who are concerned about missions today to be inspired and to walk out with something for their lives.”

Storyteller panels, featuring various people at work in missional settings around the world, from California to Germany, will take place each day after the plenary speaker. Table conversations and breakout sessions on a range of topics will be held as well.

These sessions include such topics as “Reimagining Church: Forward Thinking in Our Present COVID Reality,” “Engaging Our Neighbors in a Changing World,” “Healing the Racial Divide,” and “Planting Digital Churches.”

The kick-off speaker on the evening of Thursday, May 13, will be David Fitch, chair of evangelical theology at Northern Seminary near Chicago, a pastor at Peace of Christ Church in Westmont, Ill., and author of several books such as Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission, The Church of Us vs. Them, and most recently What Is the Church and Why Does It Exist?

“David will be asking some hard questions about where the church is going,” said Chung. “I expect that he will do a good job of opening the conference and encouraging everyone in congregations to engage in the real evangelism and discipleship issues facing the church today.”

Another of the plenary speakers will be Rachel Beveridge, who serves as Resonate’s Cohort coordinator. Cohort is a year-long experience in which fellows are immersed in a new culture by serving with local mission organizations at the grassroots level.

Also speaking will be John Eigege, a missionary from Nigeria who serves bivocationally as a community chaplain with the Christian Reformed Church in the historic Third Ward neighborhood of Houston, Tex.

Speaking on the final morning of the summit will be Ruth Padilla Deborst, a theologian, missiologist, educator, and storyteller who has been involved in leadership development and theological education for integral mission in her native Latin America for several decades.

“The summit can be a huge opportunity for renewal as long as people have the willingness to actually speak with and listen to one another,” she said.

Meanwhile, she added, she realizes that especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, churches have the tendency to close in on themselves and go into survival mode.

With this in mind, the summit will offer a fresh but realistic view of what churches, however hard-pressed, can do to witness for God.

“By sharing our stories, we can ignite hope and encourage those who attend the summit to be open to God’s new opportunities,” said Padilla Deborst.

Rich Braaksma, a regional mission leader for Resonate,
and Nalini Suganandan, mission support manager, will help to host the summit.

“We want people to see that the vision of the CRC is well beyond the local church,” said Braaksma. “We will be featuring creative, holistic gospel ministries working on the edge of the church in hopes of sparking imaginations” of what is possible to do in the name of God.

To register for free, click here.