Reflecting on the World Christian Conference

Communion Candles

This past World Christian Conference represented my third and my last as attendee/staff. Very soon my tenure with the World Christian Fellowship will come to an end as I transition full time into serving in Tokyo, Japan.

In my small group, I confessed that juggling the responsibilities of planning the conference with preparing for Japan had been a distraction for me. In fairness, it’s probably not easy for anyone to focus simultaneously on two tasks of this magnitude, but I admitted that I was just happy that we were able to finally host the conference for our attendees. Oops. That was my mistake.

I now understand the power of confession because soon after those words left my lips, the conviction of the Holy Spirit went to work on me. Was my whole motivation for planning the conference based on putting on a good performance for those in attendance? I had, without ever realizing it until that moment, developed a Martha complex.

But God is so faithful and so patient with me. When I realized how selfish and prideful I was thinking, I immediately repented of my attitude. “Lord, I know this conference is for me as much as it is for everyone else here.” I confessed. And those simple words changed everything.

During the next morning session, the Spirit was able to break through to me and challenge me in an area of my life where I had not acknowledged I was resisting God’s will out of my own fears and insecurities. I received prayer from a dear friend about yet another area of ministry where I would potentially struggle but had not sought prayer before. And another brother, whom I had just met prayed a powerful blessing over me that evening. Throughout the day, I was able to talk to many people, old friends and new, who confessed that God had moved them in a powerful way through the conference.

As the evening session ended, I stood alone but not alone, absolutely basking in the grace that God had for me. Not only had God broken through to me, but to many others as well, who prayed together or simply worshiped around me.

In the selfishness of my heart, I wanted to finish my tenure at WCF strong. I wanted to be remembered as a leader who left WCF in a good place and made positive changes to the organization’s culture. But it was all about me and God reminded me at the World Christian Conference that it’s NOTHING about me and EVERYTHING about him.

So if I am remembered as a leader of WCF, I want to be remembered as a leader who loved my fellow servants as brothers and sisters. I want to be remembered as a leader who came out of my role as Executive Director as a stronger and more mature follower of Christ than when I began. And I want to be remembered as a leader who believed so strongly in the vision of WCF that in obedience to God, I left the best job I’ve ever had at WCF to follow Jesus to Japan.

Day One

Photo by Paul Gor

For our 90+ first time attendees of the World Christian Conference that took place this past weekend, this post is especially for you. For the rest of you, you’re welcome to read this post too! 🙂

As first timers, and I count myself among you, attending the World Christian Conference can be a shock to the system. It is, after all, a weekend packed with messages from the Lord that are by nature going to turn our worldviews inside-out. When we are in complete obedience to God’s calling in our lives, we realize the priorities the world measures us with have no relevance to us. We may find ourselves caught up in the battle between flesh and Spirit.

Today, on Day One, the Spirit has the advantage. But even now, the world and the prince of this world, Satan, are relentlessly chipping away at your resolve with distractions and discouragement. They may seem subtle at first, but in time, the passion lit in your heart will fade and you will look back and wonder what happened to your motivation to live out God’s calling.

I want to remind you now, while it is fresh in your hearts and minds, that your relationship with World Christian Fellowship did not end yesterday when you left Redwood Christian Park. Your relationship with WCF began when you arrived at camp and we are still here, walking beside you to support you in prayer, encouragement and networking. As long as you stay plugged in with your WCF community, we commit to helping you find your place in the Great Commission.

There are currently two very practical ways for you to remain connected with us:

Prayer Groups. WCF Regional Prayer Groups were the foundation of our organization, existing even before the World Christian Conference. We still believe Prayer Groups to be the heart of our ministry, giving our community a place to meet regularly throughout the year to pray, learn and network with other World Christians going through the same trials and joys you are. You may contact the Regional Prayer Group Facilitator in your area on our website to find out about the group meeting near you.

What? There’s no Prayer Group meeting in your area? Well, that’s even better news! If you have the heart to establish a Prayer Group, our Regional Prayer Group Coordinator can train you to host one. Prayer Groups can meet in homes or churches; the important thing is that they provide prayer, learning, and networking opportunities for our community members.

Serve. If you believe God is blessing World Christians through the ministry and events of WCF, we welcome you to join us. We are in the process of defining the roles and skills we  need for our ministry, but it is never too early to let us know you are available and willing to serve with us. Currently, you can contact me and I will keep your information handy and send you an information packet once we are ready to communicate about our volunteer opportunities.

We are encouraged as your co-workers in Christ to accompany you on the journey you are on. Let’s keep pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14)!

Ready for WCC 2012!

Happy World Christian Conference Eve! After months of planning and hard work, the event has finally arrived. Tomorrow, over 220 people will retreat to the beauty of nature to spend the weekend with the Lord, listening for His guidance in how to go about living the Great Commission in their lives.

The WCF and conference leaders have been fasting and praying over the past couple of weeks for each of our conferees and speakers to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in camp this weekend. We pray that above everything else, God is able to meet each person where they are in their World Christian journey and direct them forward to where He wants them to go.

As this is my first conference, I admit I’m a bit giddy with expectation and nervous about the things I am responsible for, which are admittedly few. In a way, not being busy this weekend creates some of that stress for me because I feel like I have the bandwidth to pitch in wherever help is needed. At the same time, I want to get the real WCC experience and not get overly involved in the details and behind-the-scenes planning that goes on all weekend long.

I hope to be able to check in via blog at various times during the weekend, but of course that depends on how much time I have and how good the Internet connection is. At the very least, catch us tweeting on Twitter all weekend long using #wcc2012.