PORTLAND — As it has grown over the past two decades, Mission ConneXion Northwest each January has become one of the region’s biggest annual Christian events, drawing many thousands each time.
But this year, the people and churches behind the event say that although the COVID-19 pandemic is not allowing the traditional in-person format, Mission ConneXion’s 19th run actually could reach its largest audience number of people yet by going online viewable only.
“After months of thinking, praying, and planning, we realized that our current worldwide situation was providing an unprecedented opportunity for us to reach a greater audience to help serve the Church to mobilize workers … to take the gos-pel to the rest of the world who has yet to hear about Jesus and His redeeming power,” stated Bill MacLeod, Mission ConneXion’s founder and executive director, on the event’s website.
Mission ConneXion will take place Friday evening and Saturday morning and afternoon, Jan. 15 and 16. Theme this time is “Speak His Name … Jesus.”
The conference will have its traditional mix of plenary sesions, dozens of workshop options, and exhibitors — but this time on a virtual format.
“We will have exhibitors from the cutting edge of current mission practice and key relevant equipping workshops on a variety of topics,” according to MacLeod. For full information on the conference and for free registration, go to missionconnexion.com
The conference’s four keynote speakers are:
•Daniel Fusco. For the past eight years, he has been lead pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Wash. A follower of Christ since 1998, he toured for several years as a professional upright and electric bass player, but felt called to pastoral ministry. He joined the staff at Calvary Chapel Marin in California in 2000, then planted Calvary Chapel New Brunswick in Canada in 2002. In 2006 he moved back to the San Francisco Bay area and planted two more churches as well as founding the Calvary Chapel Planting Network before coming to the Northwest. He is author of several books.
•Dr. Issam Raad. A leading expert and physician inventor in the field of health care-related infections and infections in cancer, Raad is founding senior pastor of Arabic Church of Houston. He also is founding president of Health Outreach to the Middle East—a Christian medical missionary ministry he has served for 30 years.
•Natacha Chantel. She co-pastors with her husband, Nico, at Keil Church in Keil, Germany. After having worked for 13 years with Wycliffe Bible translators in the USA, Central Asia and other countries, she spent seven years equipping women in their faith by recording many Christian TV programs. The Chantels evangelize and disciple internationals, including Muslim amd atheistic background students, refugees, expatriates, and foreign workers from many different nations.
•Greg Stier. Founder and president of Colorado-based Dare 2 Share ministries, Stier has more than 20 years of ministry experience. He relates biblical passages and common biblical stories into modern times to make the Bible easier to understand. Stier concentrates on the culture of the past, and strives to bring biblical passages to life in explaining what was acceptable in society, and relating the passages to movies that allow youth to understand the Bible in a more educated way. Stier also acts as a counselor and friend to many of his fans, providing them support and learning about the struggles that some of his teenage fans face. Stier is also the author of multiple Christian curricula and three books.