The 22 students from The Church at Lifepark had no idea they would be the first of thousands. Student minister Paul Coleman registered his Mount Pleasant, S.C., group for the 2015 Send North America Conference when online reservations opened last year. More than 13,000 people have followed their lead.
The conference, to be hosted at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Aug. 3-4, is sponsored by the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board.
“This may sound crazy, but I’m bringing 22 high school students to the SNA Conference because I believe that these future leaders will be the ones that start a movement in our church and city,” Coleman said. “I’m asking God to grip these 22 students and to ignite in them something that will be trailblazing and powerful.”
NAMB president Kevin Ezell said he is “thrilled with the response.”
“We’re praying it will be a turning point for a lot of Christians and churches who will go home and make an impact for Christ like never before,” he said.
Church members and leaders from all 50 states and four Canadian provinces will be in attendance. The main sessions will be held in the Bridgestone Arena, the first beginning at 12:45 p.m., Aug. 3. Breakout sessions will be hosted in the Music City Center and the Renaissance and Omni Nashville hotels on both Monday and Tuesday.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum from the Lifepark group, First Baptist Church Lawrenceville, Ga., is bringing 30 senior adults. The group takes an annual excursion to exercise hospitality and share the Gospel as they fellowship and travel. Their 2015 trip is to the Send conference.
Organizers say the two-day gathering is more than a missions conference. It will challenge Christians to live on mission in every aspect of life and provide an environment for intentional networking among church leaders and church planters. Platform speakers include Louie Giglio, J. D. Greear, Eric Mason, Russell Moore, David Platt and more. Breakout session leaders include Jennie Allen, H.B. Charles Jr., Ronnie Floyd, Johnny Hunt, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Thom Rainer, Ed Stetzer and Bryant Wright among many others. Worship will be led by Casting Crowns, David Crowder, Passion Band, featuring Kristian Stanfill, and Shane and Shane.
The gathering has generated much social media attention, like this tweet from church planter Brent Williams:
“We’re bringing 22 Alaskans to the @sendnetwork Conference in August. Thank you @kevezell for your leadership. We love @NAMB_SBC.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press