Last month the Beam Missions Foundation (BMF) hosted a first of its kind event called the BMF Global Connect Forum. Entitled “The Young will See Visions, The Old will Dream Dreams” the event brought teachers, directors and students together from its schools worldwide. Participants were able to share good news, dream for the future, and collaborate with missions societies and local churches on upcoming endeavors.
Though visas and Covid-19 restrictions made it challenging for some of our brothers and sisters to attend, we were able to facilitate an inspiring program digitally, making the forum available through livestream. In-person attendance included BMF directors and teachers, as well as our partners from France, Nigeria, South Africa, Jamaica, India, Mexico, and the US. The forum attracted more than 200 church leaders, through in-person and online participation.
The forum began with a lesson by Doug Arthur, BMF Global Missions Director. He emphasized BMF’s goal of having a common vision and purpose: to train the next generation of leaders for our family of churches. This theme was felt throughout the forum as we heard vulnerable, hard-hitting lessons from speakers including Chris Ogbonnaya from Lagos, Nigeria, Arturo Elizarraras from Mexico City, Mexico and Cash McHargue from Boston, Massachusetts. These brothers reminded us of the importance of having a vision for the next generation while being globally connected in our efforts.
After an inspiring series of teachings, we had great times of fellowship together. During one of our meals, BMF students presented their final projects to showcase their hard work from last semester. Students made presentations on ICOC church history for their world region. The last 40 years were chronicled as a time to remember our history, the good and bad, and to celebrate the many victories worldwide.
During our brief time together, BMF directors, teachers and students shared good news from all corners of the world. Jorge Zamorano, who recently graduated from the Latin America School of Missions and now leads a region of the Mexico City Church of 120 members, was one such speaker. Jorge is paving the way for more single men to answer the call of leadership. It is refreshing to see this shift in our movement of churches as we embrace the gifts of single brothers and sisters, giving them a platform to answer God’s call to lead his people.
The forum concluded with a day for the BMF directors and teachers to learn from one another, share ideas and questions, and inspire one another to take their program to the next level. Teachers and trainers shared their school’s strengths. Jordan Massey and Tom Brown from the Atlanta School of Missions helped us cast a vision for a powerful succession planning. During their lesson, Jordan shared, “When you delegate authority to someone, you are giving your leader an opportunity to grow. When you tell them exactly what to do, you’re just controlling them. And I have never felt controlled by Tom (Brown). He didn’t just delegate tasks to me, he delegated authority.”
To conclude this final day of the forum, each school’s representatives shared their specific school strengths as well as areas of weakness. This exercise drew us closer together as friends and allowed us to pray more specifically for each other.
We are grateful for everyone who joined us whether in-person or online for this one-of-a-kind event. Prayerfully we’ll see you all again in Orlando next summer!
For the recordings of the sessions from the BMF Global Connect Forum, check out the playlist on our YouTube channel here and subscribe! If you are interested in donating to the Beam Missions Foundation to support the work we are doing, please donate by clicking here.