“And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.” Mark 1:38

When Jesus turned to His disciples and said, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth." His purpose was clear. With laser focus precision, He set the course for the activities in the coming days. Although there were several reasons why He came, this purpose was the one at hand and the one He wanted them to digest first. According to this verse, His purpose for coming forth was to preach. Just about everywhere you turn in the Gospels from this point on, you will find Jesus preaching or teaching. He preached in their homes, along the sea shore, in desert places, in the mountains, in the synagogues, and in every city; Jesus was fulfilling His purpose. Jesus charted a course to accomplishing the task He was given by the Father which included equipping others to fulfill their purpose in life.

While the Loving and Leading Conference is an ideal place to hone your skills, glean ideas, pick up a new book, learn techniques, and expand your vision, it is also a place to establish your core focus for ministry. What you gain throughout the conference could be the difference between filling a position and fulfilling a purpose. For me, it is so easy to float along life's stream on the raft of faithfulness, simply drifting to my place of service each week, developing neither a single long-term goal nor bringing those in whom I'm investing to a desired outcome.

What has helped me define my ministry is to write out one or two purpose statements that channel the activities of my life toward an expected goal. By keeping the objective in front of me, it becomes the watchdog preventing would-be intruders from hijacking the ministry which God has directed me to do. The Loving and Leading Conference is a perfect place for God to refine our own purpose before we return to the area in which we serve to refine the purposes of others.

In Mark 1:38, Jesus not only states His purpose but He also sees the potential. As He says to His disciples, "Let us go into the next towns," Jesus is revealing His vision, while pointing His disciples toward great potential. In those villages are lost sheep waiting for a Shepherd. In those towns are the hurting waiting for the Great Physician. In those villages are potential witnesses for His glory. In those towns are potential workers for His mission. How is your vision? What is in your "next towns?"

What if God could use you to invest in a child, who would one day translate a Bible for a Bibleless People Group?

You have, resting in your care, the opportunity to influence future preachers, school teachers, soul-winners, pastors, businessmen and women, missionaries, and even Bible translators who can help carry the gospel to all the world. Today, almost one-third of the world’s population still lives in total darkness. Billions with no Bible, no Church, no Gospel witness. Our Bible colleges are full of students who could do something about it, yet few are going. If we wait until our young people are college-aged before we plant, water, and nurture the seed of missions, we will have waited too long. What if God could use you to invest in a child, who would one day translate a Bible for a Bibleless People Group? Truly, that would be a worthwhile investment! Through intentional teaching and preparation, it could happen. The question is: Are you filling a position or fulfilling a purpose? Do you see the potential in the "next towns?

If your heart leans toward missions and you desire to instill a hunger in your students to reach this world for Christ, we would like to offer a few tools, provide a little teaching, and give an idea or two that could help sharpen your purpose and vision in ministry. During this Loving and Leading Conference, our team at firstBible International will be offering the following sessions: “Billions Still Waiting,” “All the Children of the World,” and “Opening the 10/40 Window in the Classroom.” Each session will broaden your vision for missions, challenge your motive for missions, and give you biblical and practical resources for application. For the very first time outside of our own church, our team will reveal a curriculum based on teaching students about Bibleless People. Over the past three years, firstBible International has been developing a curriculum called, Opening the 10/40 Window in the Classroom and teaching this curriculum in our Christian School (Milford Christian Academy). During two sessions at LLC, we will preview this curriculum by learning about the Domari People of Egypt based on four elements: geography, culture, language, and religion. Whether you home-school, teach at a Christian School or teach a Sunday School class, you will find each lesson to be interactive, educational, and will lead your students to a biblical approach to reaching Bibleless People.

Jesus states His purpose; He sees the potential; and then He offers a plan. In Mark 1:38, He clearly reveals His short-term plan to His disciples, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach" so that one day He could cast His long-term plan, "Go Ye therefore and teach all nations.” Jesus accomplished His work He came to do and continued the work through His disciples which He left behind all because He had a purpose; He saw the potential; and He had a plan. Are you filling a position or fulfilling a purpose?

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