Bernard Palmer is a minister at Christchurch, Baldock and went to our Make Disciples By All Means conference at All Nations College on Saturday, July 14. This is his report of an inspiring day.
Almost 40 people came to the Make Disciples By All Means conference last weekend and left with a new heart for mission.
Organised by Serving In Mission UK and UFM, the conference focussed on the need to persuade Christians that sharing the gospel should not be the role of a few but a major focus for all church members at home and overseas.
The simple truth is that Christians who have not learned to share the gospel effectively in our homes and churches will have little concern for mission anywhere.
The day began with a stirring talk by Michael Prest (above), director of UFM, from Romans 15:14-22, in which Paul stresses his ambition is to make Christ known where he is least known, even though this is costly. We were challenged to have the same gospel ambition and give our all so that others might hear.
There were then seminars about effective gospel initiatives going on in medicine, in business and in sport.
The Make Disciples through Medicine seminar was led by the Christian Medical Fellowship's Head of International Ministries Fi McLachlan, who emphasised how students and doctors are being helped to share the gospel with patients using a course called Saline Solution. She stressed that medics and nurses can be welcomed into areas that are normally closed to missionaries.
Ben S, of Mission through Business, emphasised the opportunities business people have to build authentic relationships with all sectors of society, helping Christ to be shared. What is needed, whether in sport, medicine or business is more intentional Christians who see pleasing Christ as their priority in life. Amongst those attending was a group of doctors from many overseas countries who had come to England for a Developing Medicine course run by the CMF.
After lunch there were some inspiring testimonies from three younger people who clearly were intentional in their desire to spend their lives living for Christ in sport and on the mission field.
The day finished with a moving talk by SIM UK director Steve Smith from 1 Corinthians 9, in which Paul says he had rights but did not use them if this was to the advantage of Christ and the gospel.
Paul was free but made himself a servant of all because he intended everyone to hear the gospel. Paul was obedient to Christ and he asks all Christians to share his ambitions, to be ‘imitators of me as I am an imitator of Christ’ (1 Cor 11:1).
It was a joy to spend a day with others who passionately long to serve Christ in varied walks of life.
We need to hear this message again and again to remind us of the urgent need to bring the gospel to the unreached.