World Mandate to spread evangelical message in WacoJan. 28, 2010
By Brittney Herman
Thousands are expected to join in a three-day international mission conference as Antioch Communinty Church holds its 22nd annual World Mandate at 7 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center.
World Mandate began in 1987 with 30 to 40 people attending in Latham Springs, a little Baptist encampment in Aquilla. The conference has now expanded to Waco and last year included more than 3,500 people.
Caleb Gallifant, associate college pastor at Antioch, said Antioch started World Mandate and that it has never been separate from the local church.
"I actually started doing registration for World Mandate three years ago; lots of detailed stuff," Gallifant said. "Most of my job is promotions along the campus lines. Students from all over the world come to Waco for this conference. I'm in charge of how students get funded and housed."
Throughout this three-day mission conference, a schedule of different activities will be taking place each day. The three main sessions will be Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday night.
The event will also include three breakout sessions, including "Matthew 28: Strategic Discipleship, Runway for the Nations and Power Evangelism."
"For Matthew 28 you will learn how to disciple, whether in the business world, or in the nations," Gallifant said. "Runway to the Nations focuses specifically around church movements, and how to get God's heart for the nations. And last is Power Evangelism. This is focused on how to share the gospel in the city, and how it looks to pray to people in the city. I would call this a vision piece. The people attending the conference will have a short discussion time and then break out into the city to spread the word."
These breakout sessions will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Gallifant describes his desire and vision for this year's World Mandate as being something more influential and life changing than just another spiritual weekend to add to a list.
"Most of the time you go to a conference and leave feeling great and fully impacted. You might get a cool burst, but a lot of times the question you find asking yourself is: How do I make this apply to today? What does it mean right now or what does it translate, especially if I'm in the working force?" Gallifant said. "A lot of people will perceive a mission conference as being for missionaries. That's not it at all. The international mission conference is directed around God's heart to reach people whether that is overseas or right here in Waco."
Over the course of events for this weekend, there will be three speakers: Jim Yost, a missionary from Papua, New Guinea; Jimmy Seibert, Antioch's senior leader and Robert Herber from All People's Church in San Diego, Calif.
Throughout this process of planning, Gallifant explained that the main goal is to get everyone who would like to come able to attend the conference.
Gallifant said scholarships are also available through Antioch on request for the conference.
Even though this conference is not sponsored by Baylor, it is well known around the university.
"I remember it being such a unique time to worship with people all over the world and to see how missions are affected by church's and church planting throughout the nations," Shreveport, La. senior Meredith Smith, said.
Drew Steadman, strategy trainer at Antioch, explained his vision as a great result from years past.
"Our desire is to see people take the message and use it to broaden their perspective and walk out of there realizing that there is more to life than what is here on earth," he said. "We would love to see people pray for and support anyone they can. I want there to be an awareness that this is not just something happening on the other side of the world, this is something for us," Steadman said.
Gallifant said he would like to see a wide range of people attend the conference this weekend.
"I would say the main point I would like to communicate to people is that you don't have to be a missionary to come to the conference. We welcome anyone who seems even slightly interested," he said "Our target is really to students and those who are off the transitional age or people who might be young adults and are settled somewhere nearby. Anyone with a desire to come, we want them to have the opportunity to attend," Gallifant said.