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A Pastor's Perspective: How the Global Missions Conference Shaped My Life's Direction

In November of 2002 I attended the PCA Global Missions Conference (GMC). As a student at Covenant College, I was initially lured by the promise of two days away from the dorm and cafeteria. But God graciously redirected me toward something far better: the adventure of two months on the mission field.

Through its times of worship, helpful seminars, and relational tapestry, the GMC nourished a seed that God had planted in my heart two years earlier when John Piper preached at my home church in Dallas, Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCPC). Following a series of powerful sermons on missions, Piper extended a “missions altar call,” where he invited people in the congregation to come forward if they believed God was calling them to give a month or more of their lives to missions. I went forward that night, but was unsure how I might fulfill that calling until I attended the GMC.

At the GMC, I learned about MTW’s summer internships, which allow young adults to go live and serve with full-time MTW missionaries for an extended time. Through PCPC’s high school ministry, I had been on several trips to Peru; so the summer internship in Cusco piqued my interest. Better still, I was able to meet with some of the MTW missionaries serving in Cusco, and by the time the weekend was over I had written a letter to my parents telling them the good news: I was not planning on coming home the next summer!

My participation in the GMC not only shaped two months of my life, but also led to indelible changes in how I think about the world, the Church, the gospel, and my own faith and dependence on Jesus Christ. It deepened my belief that while I am sinful on my own, even I can be graciously counted righteous in Jesus Christ (Romans 4:5). And it broadened my understanding that while I am insignificant on my own, I am called to world-shaping work as a witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). Ultimately, the truth and joy of those convictions led me to seminary, to pastoral ministry, and, in a surreal work of grace, back to PCPC where I now serve as an assistant pastor.

I am thrilled that PCPC has the privilege of welcoming and equipping a new generation of missionaries, college students, and many others to the GMC in Dallas this November. I am eager to see how God will continue using this event in my life, and in the lives of so many others in our denomination as we seek to be obedient to the Great Commission.

Join us Nov. 10–12 at the 2017 Global Missions Conference in Dallas! Visit mtw.org/gmc.

Matt Fray is an assistant pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. 

Matt Fray Oct 31, 2017
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