Staff Editorial: This Missions Conference, don’t force yourself to feel

As Missions Conference begins, the Chimes staff reflects on the emotions that sometimes accompanies this time.

Illustration+by+Jenna+Schmidt%2FTHE+CHIMES

Illustration by Jenna Schmidt/THE CHIMES

Chimes Staff, Writer

The Chimes staff reflects on the emotions that encompass these three days. | Illustration by Jenna Schmidt/THE CHIMES

Missions Conference is a great part of Biola’s history. As students, we’re proud to be part of a community that cares so deeply about spreading the Gospel both internationally and locally. Even with all the good features of Missions Conference — the amazing speakers, the challenging and informative seminars, and don’t forget the International House of Drinks — it can be a difficult time for some Biola students.

MISSIONS CONFERENCE GUILT 

During passionate speeches about the importance of evangelism, sometimes you can start to feel guilty for not feeling called to become a missionary or even to go on a missions trip. In the past few years, Biola has done an excellent job celebrating the spread of the message of Christ’s love wherever we are. Even still, when Thursday night rolls around and students engage in heartfelt, exuberant worship, it’s easy to experience that same guilt for not feeling something. We are here to tell you that that is OK.

Within the Missions Conference sphere, there is often a dramatic split. There are the people who are hyped up for the three-day experience and then there are those who are apathetic towards the conference based on a lack of passion. This doesn’t mean that they have no interest in missions, but their call might not lie within the realm of what Missions Conference is trying to convey.

LACK OF AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE 

The lack of emotional response can sometimes be attributed to one’s personal background. For those who grew up in churches where the mere act of raising hands was looked upon with confusion or even disapproval, attending an emotionally-charged event like Thursday night’s session can be uncomfortable.

This is not to say that those who experience the conference in an empowering way are wrong. On the contrary, just as the body of Christ is made up of many different people with many different passions, so too is the world of missions influenced by these different people. If you’re one of those people who gets psyched up for Missions Conference and feel that you can use what you learn, that’s great.

To be fair, Missions Conference does come at an inconvenient time for some. Students can be distracted with tests to study for and books to read. Many have fallen behind in their classwork and often try to use the conference time to “catch up” rather than rest and reflect in God’s presence. With midterms usually the next week and many floor retreats or film shoots taking place the weekend after, Missions Conference can often swiftly pass by. But this is not how it should be. As Christians, we should train ourselves to rest in God and enjoy each moment as a blessing, regardless of the stress surrounding us. 

Missions Conference is not intended to be a guilt trip for those who do not feel called overseas and it is not meant to be an added burden for those with an already hectic schedule. Whatever your feelings are towards Missions Conference, we hope that you are able to find encouragement from the speakers that come to the conference and find rest in the opportunity Missions Conference brings us to pause our normal workweek.

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