By Andrew Hinge
21 January 2022
What an encouraging time it was to return to an in-person event this year for the Church Missionary Society Victoria’s annual missions conference, Summer Under the Son.
We met together at Syndal Baptist church with 170 adult attendees, 60 kids. More than 100 SUTS youth, also had a ball at the Phillip Island Adventure Resort.
Despite the rapidly expanding numbers of COVID cases, we opted to go ahead in-person, as most of our prospective attendees were vaccinated and eager to meet together.
This year we looked at the end goal … all the way to the end of time! Our text came from Revelation 7:9-10, where we hear the multitude from every tribe, tongue and nation will be worshipping the Lord.
All the way from San Francisco, we heard Wendy Quay who is the staff advisor to InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship at Stanford University.
“This Revelation passage is a glimpse into something bigger, into God’s plan for people of every tribe, tongue and nation to worship him,” she said.
“We must be aware when we are bringing our own cultural lens with us, when we bring the gospel into the lives of those with other cultures.”
We heard from CMS Australia international director Peter Rodgers on the state of mission around the world. I found it encouraging to see a fuller picture of the church.
In Peter’s words: “Never before has the church looked more like Revelation 7: we are multi-ethnic and multicultural.”
“Countries that formerly sent missionaries now need to receive missionaries. For example, postmodern Australia is now receiving missionaries from South Korea, Africa and the Latin world,” he said.
“The global church is no longer centred in the west, it is polycentric.”
For Peter, it was encouraging to see that during the past 200 years, the modern missionary endeavour had been successful.
“What is more encouraging for Australians is that there is a huge respect for Aussie missionaries around the world—we are very well received. That’s ample reasons for Aussies to ‘Go’ in His name,” he said.
Our other keynote speaker, Derek Brotherson, who discussed how Jonah’s story fit in with the Revelation message.
“It was not fear of preaching to the Ninevites that made Jonah flee, it was a much deeper problem.
“In Jonah’s time, Israel wasn’t devoting themselves to God’s plan of something bigger, so His plan remained unfulfilled.
“Jonah’s problem was not fear… it was that he didn’t have a love for the lost.”
The conference this year felt exciting, relaxed, and a return to form after two years of lockdown blues.
There were a healthy number of conference participants who approached CMS leadership to express their interest in serving in mission. If you are interested in seeing the conference online, or to discuss a potential calling to missionary work in your future, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a multitude around the world who have yet to know the mercy of the Lord Jesus.
CMS Victoria has a plan to send 24 missionary teams from our state by 2024. We currently have 17 teams.
This goal is achievable. Visit our website to see how you can pray, care, give or go. Together, we can do our part to see a world that knows Jesus.
More information is available at: cms.org.au/vic/
Andrew Hinge is communications and marketing manager for CMS Victoria.