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In this year’s annual Missions Conference, Biola will be equipping students in their role as representatives for Christ through the theme “Ambassador: Citizen of the Kingdom,” the Student Missionary Union announced on Monday. The theme uses the analogy of an ambassador to communicate the importance of Christians to be examples of Christ’s love in a broken world.
According to its website, the conference seeks to prepare students with biblical knowledge and motivate them to partake in the Great Commission—spreading the gospel to all the nations of the world. This year’s theme focuses on reminding students of their identity as citizens of the kingdom and their role as ambassadors for the king in the world.
Missions Conference co-director and senior biblical and theological studies major Chris Middleton believes the theme encourages the furtherance of God’s kingdom through representing Christ, as well as the tension that Christians experience as being both citizens of heaven and members of a broken world.
“We are looking at the tension and the call of being a citizen of heaven, but living on this present earth. People can see the analogy of ambassador that Paul uses in 2 Corinthians 5,” Middleton said. “He is representing his king with the full authority, power and backing of the kingdom to proclaim that king’s agenda. Our king’s agenda is that every tribe, every tongue and every nation would confess that Jesus is Lord.”
The theme verse for this year’s conference is 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. According to Middleton, this particular passage was selected because it embodies the ideas and topics that will be addressed at the conference.
“We chose this passage because it is when Paul makes the analogy of an ambassador and truly shows that tension in God reconciling the world to himself,” Middleton said. “There’s that tension of God’s business now being our business.”
Middleton says this year’s theme will spread the idea that Christians are ambassadors and representatives for Christ to all attending through speakers, worship, workshops and many more activities. Middleton also explained how all Biola students are in the high 99th percentile for work in ministry, because of how the school requires a biblical and theological studies minor. This conference aims to motivate students to be further empowered by the Holy Spirit to utilize the tools already given to them by their education.
“The Bible minor that we get gives so much training, but I think with a lot of students there is still a disconnect because they still feel timid and passive in their faith in a lot of ways,” Middleton said. “I would love for students to walk away believing that they can make a massive impact on this world for Christ.”