‘Redefine’ for Mission: Send Orlando Conference Stirs 4,000-Plus to Take the Gospel to the Unreached

At the Send Orlando conference, every main session opened with worship led by Austin Stone Worship. More than 4,000 gathered for four main sessions, five worship concerts and 43 breakout sessions held during July 25-26 at First Baptist Church in Orlando. Photo by Casey Jones

“Is anybody hungry for a fresh move of God?” Las Vegas pastor Vance Pitman asked the crowd of 4,000-plus during the first of four main gatherings at the Send Conference in Orlando, Fla.

“Our prayer is that God would move fresh in your heart — that you would have a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit,” said Pitman, senior pastor of Hope Church in Las Vegas, in speaking on how to live on mission by redefining life.

The sold-out Send Orlando, July 25-26 at First Baptist Orlando, was the last of three 2017 Send Conferences focused on the theme “Redefine” sponsored by the North American Mission Board and International Mission Board.

Send Orlando featured 43 speakers including Trip Lee, J.D. Greear, Rachelle Starr, David Platt and Kevin Ezell in 36 breakout sessions with topics that included “Effective Preaching in the 21st Century,” “Critical Issues in Global Missions,” “College, Compassion and Community,” “Women, Missions and the Holy Spirit.”

Starr, founder of Scarlet Hope, an organization that rescues women in the sex industry in Kentucky, led a breakout session on “Big Issues Made Small … Change Your Community, Change the World.” Starr shared stories from the front lines of her everyday ministry and encouraged attendees to look around and “find people who need to hear about Jesus.”

“Ministry can be messy, and sometimes even heartbreaking, but seeing the light of our great God shine into the darkness is a one-of-a-kind experience,” Starr said. “Our mission is to meet each woman right where she is and point her to Jesus who is our only hope. We share the Gospel with each dancer, bouncer and club owner God puts in our path. He didn’t call us to just share the Good News when people ask but to go and share it to all who will listen.”

Generation Link, a mission-minded mentoring program located in 13 states and four countries, brought 150 interns to Send Orlando. Jeremy Chasteen, director of Generation Link, said he knew the positive impact Send would have on his interns because “the Send Conference always aligns with our desire to train young adults through the local church to be lifelong disciple-makers.”

“I love having the opportunity to invest in young men and women currently making big decisions in their lives,” Chasteen said. “It was our hope that our participants would be exposed to continued opportunities for mission after Send Conference.”

While Send Orlando hosted breakouts for those looking to be discipled, the event also provided steps attendees could take to redefine their lives and move toward missional living every day.

“I pray that God will raise up many in attendance at Send Orlando who are willing to accept His call for their lives to take the Gospel to places it has not yet reached,” said Chris Hunsberger, executive director of Radical, who has attended all three conferences this year. “The Send Conference is laser-focused on equipping and encouraging the church to mobilize and plant healthy churches.”

Send Orlando attendee Mark Koch, executive director of Ride Nature, a company created to impact the world through surf, skate and wake outreach, brought eight of his team members to Send Orlando for further growth and spiritual encouragement.

“We heard David Platt and Tripp Lee were speaking at Send Orlando,” Koch said. “They’ve always been an encouragement to our adventurous team. I’ve heard these men speak in the past and I was excited to bring my team along with me to hear them again, to grow in fellowship and to leave inspired to continue living daily missional lives.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Josie Bingham

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