Missions Fest Vancouver 2020 Wrap-up

Welcome to Missions Fest Vancouver
Welcome to Missions Fest Vancouver

I would like to thank all of you who joined us at Missions Fest Vancouver 2020 – Altar Vision. We had a wonderful time together even as we faced a torrential downpour on Friday, and a growing concern over the Corona virus and public spaces. God is so faithful, and his presence was so tangible all weekend.

This was our first year operating over two days instead of three. Overall, this was a positive change. Because exhibitors were available on Sunday several churches graciously hosted mission agencies, deepening relationship and understanding in the Church. We hope to turn this into a tradition under the banner of Mission Sunday. Be sure to have your church sign up next year to host an agency. In September visit the Mission Central Conference website for more information.

We also introduced a new floorplan in our Exhibit Hall. The design opened up the space and provided more places of rest so visitors would be encouraged to spend more time discovering the exhibits. There was visible evidence of conversations around the tables, relationships being formed in the centre of the hall and around the seating areas. Our Big Idea area was had a face-lift and doubled as our interview area. You can watch the interviews on the Mission Central Facebook page.

Interview Area
Interview Area

The plenary sessions were also well attended, but more importantly people were deeply engaged with the topic of surrender. Surrender may not be the first topic you think about when you think of a mission conference. However, our research for the 2019 theme Mission:Discipling revealed a deepening crisis in the church in Canada. When you look at the marks of mature discipleship in the church, they are in decline. If we want disciples who are mature, if we want a church that passionately participates in Christ’s mission – then we must have a church that is fully surrendered to Jesus and his ways.

The team at Missions Fest and pastors from the city invested hours of conversation, prayer and intercession into this theme before the conference. The days of recruiting new missionaries by telling stories from far away lands is past. The Body of Christ in Canada needs renewal. We need to humble ourselves and pray for God to reveal himself to us. Experiencing his purity and holiness leads us to surrender — from that place of surrender, our lives will testify to the goodness, righteousness, justice and love of our God. Please continue to pray for God to move in Canada.

Ken Shigematsu, Friday evening General Session
Ken Shigematsu, Friday evening General Session

Once again, the seminars were a highlight of the weekend. We are incredibly grateful that we had over 70 seminars taught by missional leaders from around the world. Interest remains strong for topics related to sharing our faith, which is a wonderful sign of hope in our individualistic secular society. Other topics of interest relate to important social issues such as the ongoing refugee crisis, vocation and ministry and mission as a single person.

As many of you have heard, 2020 also marked the last year that the conference will be called "Missions Fest Vancouver". We’ve changed the name of the society to Mission Central and will be calling the 2021 conference the Mission Central Conference. Over the next few months, more details will be coming about the new conference format. For now, we can tell you that we are planning on having three streams: Grow, Create and Serve.

The Grow stream will be designed to equip people with practices and knowledge, so they grow as missional disciples in their vocation.

The Serve stream will continue to connect followers of Christ with mission agencies so that collaboration and networks can develop. Serve will most closely resemble Missions Fest this year.

Finally, the Create stream will be a showcase for Christian artists. Create will be anchored by the Film Festival and feature other art forms as well.

Kevin & Julia Garratt's seminar
Kevin & Julia Garratt's seminar

Over the last 37 years it has been our joy to see Missions Fest Vancouver bring Christians together from many denominations and traditions. As we gather with the purpose of seeing the name of Jesus lifted up in every corner of the world, our differences melt away. Unity for unity’s sake doesn’t really work. However, when we gather around Jesus and join him in his work in the world, we strengthen bonds of love and that gives space for unity to flourish. We can’t afford to overlook Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21, “Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” This is a key missional verse. The Mission Central Conference will carry on with this core value going forward, into 2021 and beyond.

We ask you to join us. Show your support by inviting your friends to the conference, participating in lead-up events, reading our posts here on Mission Central and through your giving.

Our goal remains the same — to see the name of Jesus glorified in every place and among every people of the earth.

Please save the date: January 28–30,2021

Feel like you missed an exhibitor over the weekend? See this year's partner organizations for contact information and send them a note of appreciation for coming to Vancouver.

Pick up the recordings of our plenary speakers and seminars and be challenged in your walk with God. Find the downloads at our online store.

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About the author

Profile photo for John Hall

John Hall became the Executive Director at Mission Central (formerly Missions Fest Vancouver) in 2014. In 1997 he, his wife and brother in-law started Eco Outdoor Sports in Metro Vancouver. In 2003 the business was sold, and his family entered a seven-year ‘desert experience’. During that time the Lord impressed on John and his family the importance of hearing and obeying Jesus every day, something that he tries to integrate into everything he does. In 2010 God changed the family’s direction and led him to finish his degree at Regent College in preparation for life as a full-time missionary overseas. Although that ministry opportunity didn’t develop as planned a whole new perspective and participation-in Christ’s mission was born at Missions Fest Vancouver. It’s now a daily occurrence for John’s business background and theological training get a workout.

John and his wife Wei live in Richmond, BC. They have two wonderful adult girls. John completed his MA at Regent College in 2010.

The Tapestry Church (Richmond, BC)
Mission Central (Burnaby, BC) — Executive Director

Series: Altar Vision

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