By Hayley Gibson
“Worship God, Change the World.”
World Mandate’s slogan reflects a conference that believes changing the world is an integral part of Christianity.
World Mandate, an annual three-day missions conference presented by Antioch Community Church, will begin at 7 p.m. today in the Ferrell Center.
The conference, which focuses on instructing Christians in how to become missionaries, will continue until Sunday morning.
Thousands of people from Antioch’s worldwide and national church plants are expected to attend.
Four sessions will be offered. The first will be offered at 7 p.m. today, featuring Australian missionary Rod Plummer, who has planted churches in Southeast Asia.
The second will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, featuring Paul Richardson, an inner-city Los Angeles missionary. The next session will take place at 7 p.m. that night, featuring Antioch senior pastor Jimmy Seibert, who founded Antioch Ministries International.
The last session will be free to the public and begins at 10 a.m. Sunday.
It will feature popular Christian author Max Lucado.
Each of the four sessions will consist of a worship period and a sermon on expanding personal passions and using one’s gifts to help nations of the world.
Jady Griffin, the producer of the event and member of Antioch Community Church, said he hopes that people who attend World Mandate will gain a greater understanding of intimacy with God, which will inspire them to be more active in their faith.
“I want people to know that he is massively intentional about radically loving us, so that we can radically love other people,” Griffin said.
The worship sessions will be lead by Antioch’s worship team, featuring Antioch worship leader James Mark Gulley and songs from the church’s recently released album, “Forever Sound.”
The conference will explore how Christians can become missionaries in a variety of professions, from the business world to the health care world.
“Our desire is to mobilize young people,” Griffin said “We are believing for people to get vision that what they’re called to do can be done all over the world.”
The complementary interactive Impact Now Missions Fair, an off-site extention of the conference, will be open simultaneously at the Waco Convention Center.
It will showcase Antioch’s ministries and nonprofit organizations in creatively-themed walk-through displays.
Impact Now displays will be open whenever no session is in progress at the World Mandate conference.
At each of the stations, guests can learn about international and local ministries, donate or pray. Impact Now is free and open to everyone, even without a ticket to the World Mandate conference.
Pat Murphy, who is directing Impact Now alongside Josh Lawson and Allison McBrayer, encourages those who attend to bring as little as $20 to donate to an organization that really moves them.
“We hope people are drawn into God’s heart for the hurting, broken and lost people in the world, and want to be a part in a practical way,” Murphy said.
Among the organizations featured at Impact Now will be:
Open Gate; a ministry for the Bedouin in Lebanon.
Haiti Transformed; a long-term community development ministry that will be raising money for health training projects in Haiti.
UnBound; an organization dedicated to eradicating sex trafficking locally and internationally.
Clarion Creative; a ministry that uses technology and animation to translate Bible stories in Indonesia.
Impact Now will allow everyone inspired by World Mandate to put what they have learned into action in a practical way. “I expect God to jumpstart dreams and promises in people’s hearts, the courses of lives to shift and nations to be transformed,” Griffin said.
Tickets for World Mandate can be purchased at the door for $95. More information, including a complete schedule of events, can be found at www.worldmandate.com.