Monday, April 30, 2007

What it's like: part 7 (GIC)

GIC, or Global Impact Conference, is the mission's emphasis strategy created by Johnny Hunt, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA. In a nutshell, it follows the Acts 1:8 strategy of reaching your hometown, then your state, then your country, then the world. It encourages a church to combine their missions offerings into a year long endeavor, not just IMB at Christmas, NAMB at Easter, etc. Generally, it serves to increase the offerings, not dilute them. The actual event is a missions fair, with lots of local, state, NAMB, and international missionaries and ministries invited to attend and to "schmooze" with the local congregation.

The missionary assumes the role of spiritual celebrity, much to the uneasiness of the missionary. Certainly of all the things we do missions for, we don't do it for our own glory. It is a constant job to keep the focus on God and HIS work, not on our OWN pitiful little corner of HIS work. I have, however, decided to keep attending them when asked, because I have seen God change people through these conferences. Basically, I see God at work there and I choose to join Him.

I received the following letter from a man at the last GIC I attended. It had the subject line: I'm mad at you for stirring the waters of my life If you read it the same way I do, it looks like he should be mad at God, not me! (lol)

I must share with you what an impact you have on me this week-end. I visited with you at breakfast on Saturday, and again on Sunday, individually with (your wife). Your courage and conviction are contagious. The waters in my life are quite peaceful, and I am happy. You, however, stirred those waters, and I am entering a grappling contest. I want the peace that I know and cherish. I do not want to pulled down by the current the crashes over the waterfall. I told (your wife), that I was mad at you because you have stirred the waters of my life.

I must confess that I have really enjoy participating in GIC's. They are unique opportunities to address crowds of people who are already interested in missions. They are opportunities for missionaries, especially those of us in Security 3 areas, to "feel" like missionaries. We get to wear special name tags that identify us as missionaries, we get to tell our stories to folks who want to hear, and we get to be loved on and let us "refill" our cup. We get to stay with members of the church and get to know them and their families.

If you ever have an opportunity to attend a GIC, or even better, house a missionary during a GIC, GO FOR IT!

No comments: