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‘On Mission Celebration’ coming in spring 2000

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–The year 2000 will bring a new name and a new format to a familiar missions education experience in Southern Baptist churches and associations. The World Missions Conference will become an On Mission Celebration, and the new format will offer more flexibility, customization and creativity for the local planning team.
The On Mission Celebration, like its predecessor, is a partnership project between state conventions, national Woman’s Missionary Union and the International and North American Mission boards. The first On Mission Celebrations are planned for spring 2000.
The primary reason for the changes is to give a familiar program a “fresh, new look,” said Kenny Rains, chair of the OMC administrative team and mission opportunities and events manager at NAMB.
“The World Missions Conference has served us well for many years,” Rains said, noting the program was introduced in 1968. “The On Mission Celebration launches us into a new millennium with a new way of planning, promoting and conducting an association-sponsored or associational-wide missions experience.”
The On Mission Celebration will include many of the components of the World Missions Conference. It will highlight the work of missionaries; be planned and conducted through a local team; and seek to increase participants’ involvement in and support of missions.
The major differences center around the design of the event. For example, the maximum length of an OMC is four days, compared to the maximum eight-day format in a WMC. The planning tools also provide direction for planning an event that targets a certain group, such as young adults or children.
The elements of the OMC also have been broadened. While an OMC may include an associational kickoff event — a common element of a World Missions Conference — an OMC may be built around a “kindness explosion.” This event would involve missionaries and church members in community ministry projects that focus on performing kind deeds.
The name “On Mission Celebration” is descriptive of the goal of the event, Rains said. Each OMC will seek to remind participants they are called to be on mission with God and will involve them in celebrating God’s activity in the world.
Leaders of Southern Baptists’ national sponsoring entities affirmed the direction of the On Mission Celebration.
Stating every believer is called to be on mission with God, Robert E. “Bob” Reccord, president of the North American Mission Board, said, “Every congregation needs to commit to become passionate advocates in resourcing every Christian in being on mission with God. On Mission Celebrations are a conduit through which Christians and churches strengthen their on-mission vision.”
Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board, underscored the need for Southern Baptists to celebrate and be involved in God’s activity in the world. “God is demonstrating his providence and power in unprecedented advancement toward fulfillment of the Great Commission,” he said. An OMC will highlight this activity and challenge “churches and associations to join God on mission through direct and personalized involvement,” he said.
Dellanna O’Brien, executive director of WMU, highlighted the overall missions experience that an On Mission Celebration will provide. Noting it will “bring the world to our doorsteps,” she said that participation will “open the door to heartfelt experiences of missionaries who represent us to those places we may never go — places that need the gospel so desperately.”
For information on scheduling an On Mission Celebration, contact the On Mission Celebration (World Missions Conference) coordinator in your state convention office or contact Beth Bootz, OMC coordinator for NAMB, at (770) 410-6478; e-mail, [email protected].
*Name changed for security concerns.

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