SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–Seminary students at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary were challenged to define their responsibility in helping to fulfill the Great Commission during Global Missions Week held Feb. 10-14 at the northern California campus in Mill Valley.
The mission emphasis, co-sponsored by the seminary and the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, offered students the opportunity to hear mission strategists and global mobilizers who challenged them to reach the nations for Christ.
“The faculty and students of Golden Gate certainly have a global and multi-ethnic focus,” said David Miller, event coordinator for the IMB. “We have had the opportunity this week not only to inspire goers but to also show future local church leaders how they can be senders as well.”
“Golden Gate students have always had a tremendous mission ethos,” said Stacey Harris, program administrator for the David and Faith Kim School of Intercultural Studies at the seminary. “This week provided an opportunity for them to hear from missionaries, peers and colleagues about how God has worked out his calling in their lives as individuals to both go and send.”
Speakers for the week-long event included missionaries from Southeast Asia, South Asia, South America, North Africa and the Middle East. In addition, students, faculty and staff shared their mission experiences and how they answered God’s call in their lives.
Mark and Alice Cox, missionaries to Taiwan, said they believed the week provided a great opportunity to mobilize those whom God is calling to look to the ends of the earth. “This week has reminded us all of Christ’s passion for all peoples to worship and praise him,” the couple shared.
Don Kammerdiener, former IMB executive vice president, was the special chapel speaker on Thursday. He warned attendees, “There are closed doors that will not open without persecution. The forces of evil will not disappear. We are not exempt from taking up a cross.” He reminded students that, “We go, not because the world wants us, but because the Lord sends us.”
In addition to speakers and personal counseling opportunities, students were also provided seminar sessions regarding mission issues around the world. Sessions included information about ministering to Muslims, growing up overseas, mission opportunities across the regions of the world, and the various avenues for mobilizing believers to meet worldwide mission needs.
David Buckner, a master of divinity student from Georgia, said he was thankful for the opportunity the week provided to rub shoulders with those who had followed through with their commitment to missions.
“For me, it is more than just hearing about the need for missions, but the chance to hear men and women who are the real heroes in missions,” he said. “It takes heroes to inspire.”
“Events like this tend to wake us up out of our complacency,” said Bill Wagner, professor of evangelism at Golden Gate. “It makes us more aware of the immense spiritual hunger of the peoples of the earth and our personal need to respond with the good news of Jesus!”