Changes at Missions conference to include more overflow options

Among some of the changes to this year’s Missions Conference, twice as many overflow locations will be available.


Chase Gymnasium fills to the brim during Wednesday’s afternoon session. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

Jackie Grade, Writer

Chase Gymnasium fills to the brim during Wednesday's afternoon session. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

After overcrowding issues at last semester’s Torrey Conference, this year’s Missions Conference will have twice as many overflow rooms available. Calvary Chapel and Mayers Auditorium will be overflow options in addition to the typical auditoriums in Sutherland Hall and Crowell Hall.

“We’re hoping the seminars do not get too filled up,” said Rebekah Davis, a junior business and intercultural studies major, and co-coordinator for the conference.

Various forms of worship to engage all students

Davis shares the role of overseeing a 74-person staff and directing the 84th Annual Missions Conference with Keaton Tyndall, a senior communications major.

Jon Thurlow from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, as well as Alan Frow from Southlands Church in North Orange County will be leading worship. The coordinators hope to bring various forms of worship into the conference in order to engage all students, said Tyndall.

Outpour, the conference’s theme this year, centers on the idea of inviting students into the mission field, according to Davis. The coordinators have asked speakers from all over who could tie in Outpour’s relevance and speak from personal experience.

Timothy Liu, a senior associate for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, will speak about his perspective in Singapore. Jimmy Seibert, the senior leader at Antioch Community Church, will bring his background of Waco, Texas.  Erik Thoennes, a professor in the biblical studies department, will convey the importance of missions in our backyard.

Re-establishing the perception of missions

“We don’t want Missions Conference to be only an emotional response,” Tyndall said. “We hope for the students to have no other choice but to respond in obedience.”

Rather than a three-day emotional high, the Missions Conference directors hope students will leave with a newfound appreciation for the gospel and a desire to pour out on others what the Lord has graciously poured into them, Davis said.

Outpour’s intent is to re-establish the perception of missions, according to Tyndall. All speakers are going to center their seminars around how students have just as much responsibility in missions here at school or work as they do overseas.

Keegan Cheleden, a freshman intercultural studies and journalism major who works as the interactions coordinator for the conference, said that missions conference is all about including every student in the Great Commission.

“We want to involve all majors within the mission field,” Cheleden said. “It is not just for the ICS majors.”

Cheleden emphasized the service-oriented heart of Missions Conference.

“It bridges together with Torrey [Conference] because they both relate to the year’s ‘From This Place’ theme and focus on the Great Commission,” Cheleden said.

Building solid relationships throughout the year

In the 16-person staff within Interactions, Cheleden and her co-workers focus on the decoration component to the conference. Since she first started working in October, she said her team has used many highlighters, much fabric, and lots of color in order to bring the conference into completion.

“Interactions is in charge of bringing the vision and color to the conference,” Cheleden said.

While the 12 coordination teams for the whole conference work hard, they are able to build solid relationships with one another during the many months of preparation, Davis said.

“We started last May preparing for this,” Tyndall said. “And after the conference is over, we are going to go straight into hiring the new directors.”

From weekly Saturday meetings to the one-on-ones throughout the week, Cheleden said the Mission’s conference staff has worked tirelessly to bring the service oriented conference together.

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