For more than 10 years, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) World Mission has sponsored “New Directions”, an annual mission conference to equip and encourage LCMS congregations and mission societies in God’s mission. However, LCMS World Mission announced on March 16 that this year’s conference will not be held as planned.
This year, LCMS World Mission is hosting a series of events in connection with the official launch of its Ablaze! Initiative at the 2004 Synod convention. For the Ablaze! Initiative, LCMS World Mission, in collaboration with its North American and worldwide partners, plan to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with 100 million unreached or uncommitted people by the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Due to the amount of preparation involved in all of these events, LCMS World Mission made the difficult decision not to host a “New Directions” Conference in 2004. However, plans are underway for the 2005 conference scheduled for April 28-May 1, 2005, in St. Louis, Missouri.
In the past, “New Directions” conferences have reportedly helped mission leaders understand current mission trends, network with other mission-involved people, learn from recognized mission experts and lead their congregations toward meaningful involvement in God’s mission in their own neighborhood, district and around the world. The 2005 conference will focus on ways to help LCMS members, groups and congregations respond to the Gospel through the seven mission responses (learn, pray, give, send, go, tell and celebrate).