Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Missions Door Conference review

I arrived at our annual conference early, even after walking 59 blocks from Penn Station to Central Baptist Church. It was good to see my friends Mark Marchak (our fearless leader) Rob Sundholm (pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Brooklyn) and Marvin Robinson from Rochester and the rest of my Missions Door family once again; to get better acquainted with some of them, and to meet a few new faces.

The theme of this year's conference was, "Collaboration," which was broken down into seven sub-categories or facets of collaborating for effective church planting in urban settings.

It was a blessing to hear how God is moving in NYC, Northern NJ, Boston, Providence, Montreal, etc. and to share my own stories of church planting in NY's capital region. I met Torli, a refugee from Liberia, now living in the Boston area, who has an incredible testimony and ministry there. We also heard from Dominic Jacob, a church planter/missionary, reaching out to muslims in Queens, NY (considered to be the most ethnically diverse city in the US). Hearing their stories of hardship and persecution, along with our conference session speakers, was a tremendous blessing indeed.

I left this city conference armed with the reassurance that the CORE Church of Troy is moving in the right direction. We have been doing a little bit of collaborating ourselves. It is imperative for the overall success of an inner-city church plant to collaborate with other local churches, social service agencies, schools, colleges and campus ministries, local businesses and community leaders, for the purpose of having a wider impact, as they strive to make Christ known in the heart of the city.