Staff Editorial: Torrey conference vs Missions conference

Although Torrey Conference may not be as exciting as Missions Conference, it is a time to refocus ourselves on our passion for the Lord.


Courtesy | Jeremy Pedron

Chimes Staff, Writer

Courtesy | Jeremy Pedron

‘Tis the season for Torrey Conference, which means ‘tis the season to complain about Torrey conference. If responses this year resemble responses from years past, then they will inevitably be to the effect that sessions are too dull, the subject matter is irrelevant and professors don’t get that Torrey Conference should provide a break and continue to pile on homework. Can’t it just be Missions Conference already?

The lack of support for Torrey Conference is unsettling. Sure, Missions Conference may be more exciting. A greater number of students are involved in planning it, and living with a missions mindset generally sounds more glamorous than Torrey topics like retreating for Sabbath. We feel better fed by Missions Conference. It tends to stir us up and send us out. These are valid points — but they don’t give us an excuse to complain about the privilege set before us. Torrey Conference is an undeserved gift. Have we prayed for the conference to change hearts, or have we just complained to our friends about our discontent with it?

Passion and refocusing

Missions Conference gives us a place to direct our passion for proclaiming the gospel. Torrey Conference reminds us of why we have that passion. While Missions Conference encourages us to climb mountains with our hands wide open, Torrey Conference asks us to center our hearts on the importance of keeping our lives in tune with what God is calling us toward.

Perhaps, though, all of this complaining about Torrey Conference raises some questions about how we plan conferences. Is there a way to make Torrey more interesting or exciting? Or should we accept that sometimes God doesn’t make everything exciting?

Torrey Conference is an opportunity to refocus ourselves on our motivations and our calling from God. While it may not be the most active conference, it still has its place in preparing us for whatever God wants us to do in life.

A topic the community needs to care about

The question to ask is: How can I benefit from Torrey Conference? The toilet paper brand Charmin has a helpful slogan to guide us through: “We all go. Why not enjoy the go?” If you don’t like the topics, you’re still going. If you don’t like sitting on bleachers rather than at a desk, you’re still going. If you prefer Missions Conference, you’re still going. Remember while you’re sitting there next week that you’re stuck in that seat. Or comfort yourself with this cliche: You’re in that seat for a reason. So follow Charmin’s advice.

In this mission-centric year for Biola, the Torrey Conference theme will be “From This Place: Proclaiming Good News in a Changing World” — an extension of our overall chapel theme. This is a topic that we as a community need to care about. And if we can’t bring ourselves to do that, then rather than complaining about it we should start praying that God will give us passion for his word and for his plans in the world.

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