Hundreds of people flocked to Antioch Community Church in Waco this past weekend for World Mandate, a gathering meant to inspire, engage and equip Christians for a life on mission.
World Mandate has been part of Waco for thirty-one years and has marked the very beginning of the journey overseas for many long-term and short-term missionaries. The website for the conference explained the event as an opportunity for everyday people who want to make an impact to learn about, worship and experience God over the course of two days.
“World Mandate is a conference for anyone who wants to worship God and change the world. We are everyday people: students, artists, teachers, business people and missionaries from all over the world who simply believe we can see the Kingdom of God established on earth in our generation,” the website stated.
Many of the conference-goers were Baylor students or came from nearby cities like College Station and Fort Worth. Others, such as those from Europe and Southeast Asia, traveled a much farther distance in order to participate in the event. Though Antioch Waco was the live host of the conference, a digital pass was available for outside viewing as well as satellite locations in twelve different cities.
While at the conference in Waco, Woodinville, Wash. junior Meghan McCahill expressed her desire to encounter God and others’ testimonies as the reasons for her eagerness to attend.
“I came to World Mandate because I was really expectant to meet with God, and I had heard so many incredible things about people being transformed by hearing words here,” McCahill said. “Really just being able to spend intentional time with God over a whole weekend made me excited to be a part of what is happening and going to happen.”
Though this was her first time at the conference, McCahill spent multiple weeks on an international mission trip this summer telling people about Jesus and engaging in discipleship, an experience reflective of the vision shared throughout the weekend by speakers and participants alike.
Vertical Ministries director and Baylor alum, Dale Wallace, was present at the conference this year as well as in 2018. After receiving a life-changing encouragement from a friend urging him to continue in ministry rather than chasing monetary success at last year’s conference, he returned this year and experienced a similar encounter during a sermon given by Francis Chan.
“Right when I think I am getting the hang of my role at Vertical Francis Chan comes in and rocks my world! Chan mentioned how Christians are creating man-made waves that are measured and consistent. This is causing us to miss out on being in the ocean and riding the real waves, no matter how large or small they may be. That destroyed me. I have been fighting to find routine and “input” certain things in order to create certain “outputs” at Vertical. That limits God. World Mandate began a process of transforming the way I view ministry.” Wallace expressed.
The speakers at this year’s gathering included Francis Chan and Jimmy Seibert, both pastors and authors, along with Dayna Curry, overseas worker and author of Prisoners of Hope, and Michael Miller, founder and senior pastor of UPPERROOM Dallas and movement. The UPPERROOM worship team were also in attendance and led a session on Saturday afternoon.