Great Commission on mission—students anticipate Missions Conference 2018
As Missions Conference approaches, students eagerly await the knowledge and experiences they will gain. | Melissa Hedrick / THE CHIMES [file]
For 89 years, this year boasting the theme Luminous, Biola has encouraged the global spread of the Bible and the gospel through the Missions Conference held by the Student Missionary Union. With the elaborate size of the conference and the well established student missions team, students look forward to the largest student-led missions conference in the world.
“I feel like every year it’s just been such a cool time, just because it’s student-led, so it’s very applicable. I always feel like I have a change of focus after it, and just a renewed sense of wanting to serve God missionally,” said Kayla Newport, senior elementary education major.
Freshman commercial music major Hunter Green has yet to experience Missions Conference as a student, but has attended the conference before. Serving under SMU for the conference also provides a unique opportunity, which Green will experience first-hand in his first year.
“I’m excited to see where different missionaries are coming from and learn more about that. I’ve just been a lot more interested about missions lately. I’m also working for Missions Conference,” Green said. “I’ve been to it before, so I feel like I have an idea of what it’s about already. I think it will just give me a greater respect for it and understanding of the effort put into it.”
Many students feel excited that this year’s conference will host the band Kings Kaleidoscope for the third year in a row. Only seniors remember a Missions Conference without King’s Kaleidoscope, and for many, the worship band seems an essential part of the conference.
“People maybe are like, ‘Missions conference is all about Kings Kaleidoscope now.’ I’ve heard that—I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. I’m excited to see them again. I think they lead worship really well,” Newport said.
Kings Kaleidoscope has received mixed reviews across campus as they enter their third consecutive year of leading worship at the conference. Green believes that regardless of their recurring presence, the ultimate goal is glorifying God.
“I love their music and worship, but I’m wondering since they’ve played multiple times in a row and [they play] all the same songs, if that affects the way people view the worship,” Green said. “We’re all worshipping God, so I feel like that shouldn’t affect how we’re worshipping anyways.”
Freshman human biology major Younga Kim awaits her first Missions Conference, hearing many students favor this conference over Torrey Conference. She hopes the sessions will offer practical advice on how to implement what she learns during the conference into her life.
“It’s just like it’s more tangible in a sense… It compels us to do something like take action,” Kim said. “So I want to take [from Missions Conference] something that I can actually apply and change in my life for the better.”
Newport demonstrates that missions conference makes a lasting impact on students, since even as a senior, she remains ecstatic for a conference she cannot get credit for.
“Even though I don’t have to go this year because I’m a senior, I’m looking forward to going to at least a couple sessions, because there’s no way I’m missing my last one,” Newport said.