Timothy Liu and making a mission field out of the every day
On Thursday morning, Timothy Liu talks about how more and more people are moving from rural to urban areas. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES
Trickling of students tickles my soul with delight and it is only 9:00 a. m. With flags from many nations above the multicolored heads, unreached faces circled around the gym, and with students looking ahead, the buzz of Mission Conference again brings a unified sound of the Biola body by refocusing us on the Great Commission.
At yesterday's morning session, students of their nationality held their nations flag and marched, twirled, danced around the gym. At today's morning session, a student representative of each major held their sign proudly artistically proclaiming that the good news will go forth from this major.
Today’s speaker was Timothy Liu, founder of Marketplace Christian Network, whose topic was “Putting Flesh on Dry Bones: Making Alive the People of God in Missional Communities.” Liu is charming, witty, loaded with great puns, stories and quotes from inspiring people of God. The message he shared gave a mix of smiles, furrowed brows, laughter and repentance.
In that hour Liu spoke, the message he was trying to drive home was that missions need to be now where we are to all the realms of influence in society: business, government, arts & entertainment, education and media. Too often we lose sight ourselves to where and when missions should be, putting it at a distance. Widespread paradigm of mission tends to be doing missions oversea after graduation. Liu shifts the audiences paradigm into seeing mission as right now to their family, friends, workplaces, in this city and this nation.
A natural at storyteller, Liu tended to tie each point he was trying to make with a story. Point: a student-missionary should think of what is the need of the lost they are trying to reach out to and how to fulfill that need. Story: a student who wanted to use his drama major as the way to reach the lost in China, but what would have better met the needs of China is a business major to help reach the corrupt government and businesses. Although both are good ways to reach the lost in China, the latter would better fulfill China’s needs.
As students “our work becomes worship, our desk becomes an altar," Liu said. We need to study excellently to be the best we can be for the lost. Offer to the Lord as pleasing sacrifice our homework, exams and internships. Maybe the best thing to do as a student is not save up to go on a short-term missions trip during the break, but to do an internship at a accounting firm.
“Mission is in our own background ... mission-field is where non-Christian are," Liu said. We don’t have to travel far to see the desperate needs of Christ and we don’t have to wait years for graduate to come to preach; we can share the love of God now.