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Attend a Missions Conference in 2023
Almost every career has a path for continuing education. Some might include formal classes and advanced degrees, while others could involve special conferences or events. The world of missions is no different. Whether you’re a veteran or just dipping your toes into God’s call on your life, attending a missions conference can make a difference in your life and your ministry. And, even if you’ve never thought about attending a missions conference in the past, this might be a great year to start making your plans.   3 Reasons to Attend a Missions Conference If you’ve heard God’s call to missions, you may wonder why you need to be part of a missions conference. One great reason is the opportunity to network. If anyone needs a support system, it’s a missionary. And missions conferences give you the opportunity to learn from others and build new relationships. Second, you can be trained to be more effective in what you do—or will be doing. The world is a big place, and things are happening all over the planet. Some of these things could affect your ministry, but it’s hard to keep up with everything on your own. Mission conferences bring groups together from everywhere. The keynotes and the breakouts provide important information about both world conditions and the global work of God. Finally, being a part of these missionary conferences can draw you closer to God and to your calling. Discipleship is a vital part of any Christian ministry, including missions. Digging into the worship and instruction can help clarify your call and keep you moving in the right direction.     2023 Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC)    This medical missions conference will be held November 9-11 at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. The conference will provide both keynote talks and breakouts that cover a variety of topics related to medical missions, global health issues, and education. Over the years, GMHC has become one of the premier missions conferences in the United States and draws presenters, partners, and participants from all over the world. In addition, the conference can be attended virtually. Learn more about the virtual Global Missions Health Conference happening this year.    Other solid options for missionary conferences include the following: • Cross Conference. The next Cross Conference is scheduled for January 3-5, 2024, in Louisville. Founded by long-time pastor John Piper, Cross Conference challenges believers to “make their lives count by making Jesus known.” While the stated target audience is young adults, ages 18-25, this missions conference has something for everyone. The emphasis on holistic discipleship and surrender to God’s leading makes it a great place to dive deeper into your mission calling. • Business as Mission (BAM). Decades ago, evangelist Billy Graham recognized the need to connect Christian leaders around the world for the sake of the gospel. That led to the creation of the Lausanne Movement, which eventually opened the door for Business as Mission. Much of the organization’s content is web-based, but it uniquely exists to support the redemptive power of believers in the marketplace. • Local church and denominational conferences. As mentioned above, churches across America hold mission conferences every year. You might find one close to home that can provide encouragement and direction. In addition, many denominational missions groups host regional and national events. For example, the International Conference on Missions (held November 15-19 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) focuses on churches aligned with the Restoration Movement of the Christian churches and Churches of Christ. Likewise, the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention hosts events throughout the year that help churches and individuals focus on the Great Commission.   How to Stay Connected and on Mission Of course, as great as the Global Missions Health Conference and these other opportunities might be, they are really just scratching the surface. The options are truly beyond what one blog post can encompass. That’s why a resource like the Missions Event Calendar published by Missions Catalyst can be a great tool.  Whether you’re interested in medical missions, marketplace missions, or a more traditional form of missions, being a part of a missionary conference is a great idea. God has provided a wealth of resources, so it just makes sense to take advantage of the opportunities. It will take some research and planning, but the end result could make you more effective in your ministry, which will bring more glory to God and expand His kingdom.   Discover Medical Missions. Medical Missions serves to connect your professional skills and biblical calling to the largest database of healthcare mission organizations, professionals, and thought leadership. Join us at the Global Missions Health Conference to find your Medical Missions calling. Or, browse our full list of partner organizations to find the right mission for you.
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How to Find Affordable Mission Trips
God has called us to share the gospel with the world. He’s also called us to be good stewards of the resources He provides. Where those two important parts of the Christian life intersect, you find affordable mission trips.  While many have chosen to follow God’s leading in career missions, others fulfill His mission with trips that don’t require a permanent move. But they still face the challenge of paying for those trips. That makes finding affordable mission trips all the more important.   4 Questions When Planning Mission Trips The best way to start identifying a mission trip that you can afford is to create a plan. For that, you’ll need to answer some important questions to help you make the right choice and experience an effective trip. So, as you research affordable mission trips, begin with these four questions: Why do you want to go? Whether you’re a veteran or a first-timer, this is probably the most important question you can ask yourself. You can find a reasonable mission trip, but you will never find purpose and meaning if you go with the wrong motives. So, spend time making sure you and God are on the same page before looking into mission trips you can afford. Where do you want to go? God may have already laid a certain people group on your heart, or a door could open that you weren’t expecting. Either way, it makes sense to find a location where people need your help and where you believe God will help you thrive spiritually. When do you want to go? This is another way of saying that you need to determine how long your trip should be. Honestly, all mission trips are not created equal. Some short-term mission trips last a week or two, while mid-term and long-term trips can last for months. And, as you might expect, longer trips require more financial investment. This is one of those cases where time really is money. Who do you want to go with? Thanks to the explosion of mission interest in recent years, you have plenty of options for a sending agency. And it’s important to find the right mission organization as part of your plan.    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20     Affordable Mission Trips Again, you have a lot of choices when it comes to identifying a solid sending organization that can provide a mission trip you can afford. In the list below, we’ve highlighted six programs that have a track record of meaningful mission trips. Three of the groups specialize in medical missions, while the other three offer more general trips. As mentioned, “affordable” can be a relative term depending on the length of your trip and the funds you have available. As a result, the numbers you might see in your research can vary greatly. So, weigh your options carefully and prayerfully. Medical Mission Opportunities: Global Health Outreach. The mission of Global Health Outreach (GHO) is to provide short-term medical mission trips that provide hope to people around the world. In 2023, GHO has scheduled 31 trips for medical professionals to different parts of the globe, including Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.  One World Health. The goal of One World Health is to provide sustainable healthcare for underserved people groups. The mission trips that One World Health sponsors connect missionaries with its partners in nations like Nicaragua and Uganda and support the larger effort of providing permanent, site-based solutions. Volunteer HQ. With years of experience, Volunteer HQ provides a number of missions experiences, including medical missions. These trips can fit several categories of medical professionals, depending on the level of one’s experience and field of specialty. Nations served include Peru, Nepal, Kenya, India, and Vietnam.   General Mission Opportunities: Operation Mobilization. The year 2030 will be here before we know it. Operation Mobilization (OM) is working hard to reach its goal of seeing at least 25,000 new, healthy, and growing Christian communities established by that date. To that end, the organization sponsors short-term mission trips and college internships in the United States and overseas. Possible locations include Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.  SIM. The roots of SIM can be traced to mission work in the Sudan more than a century ago. In fact, SIM originally stood for “Sudan Interior Mission.” Today, though, SIM carries the gospel around the world through many avenues, including social initiatives, media, Bible translation, education, and church planting. In terms of affordable mission trips and internships, SIM offers a wide array of experiences that can fit your timing and passion.  Adventures in Missions. When it comes to affordable mission trips, Adventures in Mission (AIM) has a lot to offer. AIM provides both short-term and long-term trips and can serve both groups and individuals. The ministry even has options that allow you to customize your trip. One note: While the prices on the AIM site are lower than what you might see on other sites, be sure to consider any travel costs you might incur getting to your chosen site.    One More Question to Ask The four questions listed above are vital in creating your plan for an affordable mission trip. But there’s one more question that you might be asking yourself: How much to go? While it’s important to count the cost in terms of time and location, you still have to make sure that you have the funds to make it all happen. When it comes to missions, debt is not your friend. In fact, the hopes and dreams of many missionaries have been dashed—or at least deferred—because of debt. As you start researching reasonable mission trips, don’t neglect your current financial situation. Instead, use it to create a budget for your trip that you can stick to. If God is calling you to a missions experience—whether career, long-term, or short-term—He can and will provide the resources. So, pray for His guidance. He will never point you in the wrong direction.   Discover Medical Missions. Medical Missions serves to connect your professional skills and biblical calling to the largest database of healthcare mission organizations, professionals, and thought leadership. Join us at the Global Missions Health Conference to find your Medical Missions calling. Or, browse our full list of partner organizations to find the right mission for you.