Great Commission Congress
The Great Commission Congress is…
…an annual week in the life of Asbury’s campus when we intensely focus on the words of Jesus in Matthew 28: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Having a central role on Asbury’s campus for more than a century, the first “missionary rally” was held November 14-16, 1908. While the name has changed over the years, the purpose remains the same—to promote and encourage year-round engagement of a “Great Commission lifestyle” on our campus, in our community, and around the world. We host missionaries and mission agencies which represent both domestic and international ministries, so Asbury students can be inspired and challenged to be “Great Commission Christians!”
“Historically, the week really has become a time where God meets students who have surrendered their vocation to Him.” However, Joy Ireland (Assistant Campus Chaplain, 2009) acknowledged that conflict emerges against such an offering. “Being a Great Commission Christian is counter to what our culture teaches. Western society is very materialistic, very selfish and all about consumption.”
While the conference during much of the 20th century gave focus to missions overseas, our 21st century emphasis has included the breadth of Acts 1.8 – “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Joy Ireland expands on this passage playing an important role in our approach to the Great Commission: “We are called to being witnesses to all places. Not just outside of the country, but we are also called here in the United States to cities, regions and wherever we live.”
The Great Commission Congress is committed to…
- Motivating through promotion and encouragement of year-round engagement of a “Great Commission Lifestyle” on our campus, in our community and around our world.
- Equipping students to define, explore and answer theological, spiritual, social and cultural implications at the heart of living out the Great Commission.
- Mobilizing Christians — both individually and corporately — to help fulfill the Great Commission mandate in our generation.
The prayerful outcomes from the Great Commission Congress are…
- A significant increase in Great Commission-centered thinking and action on campus through consistent prayer, stewardship and daily witness.
- A growing wave of students, faculty, administration, staff and alumni participating in short-term missions — domestically and internationally — thus growing in our expression of the mission Cornerstone.
- A larger remnant of the campus community committing to a lifetime of cross-cultural and international Great Commission service.