Missions Conference returns to campus

The student-led conference prepares for its 91st year.

Caleb Jonker, News Editor

In 2020 Biolans left campus because of the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a week before Missions Conference was scheduled to take place. In the wake of the pandemic the conference was canceled.

Last year, in 2021 Missions Conference bridged the gap between virtual and in-person attendees, and now Missions Conference will be an in-person event once again.

A YEAR OF WORK

Since last April Missions Conference co-director Cy Bryan worked with his co-director Nicole Chang to put together a conference for students. After a year of work, the conference will take place March 16-18.

On March 9 the theme of the conference was revealed to be “Restore & Remember.” The Conference will focus on Ezra 3:10-13 and speakers will lead sessions through Ezra and Nehemiah. 

This year’s conference features worship from Isla Vista Worship and numerous speakers, including Ben Stuart, who spoke at Missions in 2019 and Megan Fate Marshman who spoke at the conference in 2014 and 2017.

ENGAGING THE AUDIENCE

According to Bryan, part of the Missions Conference team’s challenge was to build excitement for the three-day event. Bryan stated that he hopes students will experience fruitful sessions with strong speakers, and enjoy the many activities that the team has coordinated outside of the regular sessions.

“[Students] should expect to learn a little bit about missions,” Bryan said. “And to have a fun time as well.”

Since it has been so long since the conference took place Bryan explained that the team has worked to distinguish themselves from other Biola events such as Torrey Conference. Bryan expects that most students will anticipate it to be similar to Torrey, but Missions has its own flavor.

“Missions Conference is entirely student run, and so it has more of a homemade [and] gritty feel to it.” Bryan said. 

Missions Conference, Bryan explained, is made possible by people you know.

CHALLENGES AND CHANGES

The process has not always been easy. Bryan explained that when he and Chang started they did not know what they were getting themselves into. Bryan expressed that going into the position with little foreknowledge trickled down to the other positions, who similarly did not know what to expect.

Coming into the conference with a fresh audience and new staff has become an opportunity as well. Bryan explained that the conference has chosen to be very intentional about what they chose to keep and let go.

“[Missions] has done away with some things that were really expensive and not so useful to a conference,” Bryan said. “I am excited for a year’s worth of work to come to fruition.”

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