Blue Mountain College hosted the first meeting of the March Missions Youth Conference on March 19. Headed by Biblical Studies professor Dr. Stan May, the conference ran from 9 AM to 3 PM and featured several exciting breakout sessions and a keynote missionary speaker. About 120 young people came and learned more about missions, challenged to pray through their own potential callings.
The day began at 8:30 AM, with about 15 churches arriving on BMC’s campus with bus loads of youth excited to learn. The young people received a special treat at 9:15 as BMC’s worship team, Exalt, led them in a welcome service. After a short song, Dr. McMillin welcomed everyone, and then Dr. May introduced the seminar speakers and provided an outline for the rest of the conference.
The young people had the opportunity to attend two breakout sessions from 9:45-11:50 AM. “We had a great turnout for most of the seminars,” shared Kylie Fink, the BMC student responsible for coordinating the conference. “The most popular was Dr. Mims’ […] on how to pray effectively.” Other sessions included such interesting topics as “How to study a passage in the Bible” with Dr. Meeks, “What is real missionary life like?” with former IMB missionary Joel Strahan, “Leading music worship” with Dr. Gray, and “How do I learn the Bible’s big story?” with Ms. Iva May, Dr. May’s wife and founder of Chronological Bible Teaching Ministries.
After the breakout sessions, the youth got a taste of college life by spending the lunch hour in BMC’s dining hall. The cafeteria team provided an excellent meal of hamburgers, fries, and pizza, perfect for the high school students. The room was filled with hundreds of chattering voices and long lines for the ice cream freezer.
Following lunch, all the young people returned to the MLB for the final event of the day. There was a brief time of games and giveaways, during which about half a dozen people received free BMC merchandise. Exalt led in a second time of worship, and then IMB missionary to Africa Robert Lane delivered the main message of the event. Lane shared about his own calling to missions and how he carries a constant burden for the lost, especially the unreached people groups around the world who have never had the opportunity to hear about Christ and His love for the world. He preached from John 3:17-18, explaining that Christ came to deliver all people from the condemnation we have brought on ourselves because of our own sin. It is only by placing faith in Christ that we can be free from that condemnation.
This was the first time BMC has hosted the March Missions Conference, but people are hopeful that this is just the beginning of what could be an annual event. “We’re currently asking our pastors what’s the best time for them,” Kylie stated. “We are going to make little changes here and there, but for the most part we’re going to keep a couple of them the same.” Students interested in helping with next year’s conference can contact Dr. May at firstname.lastname@example.org.