Missions focus opens 30th General Assembly and Conventions
The opening service of the 30th General Assembly led with a charge to "Go" as General Superintendent Eugenio Duarte challenged the congregation of more than 8,000 people to go and live the Great Commission.
"The burden is on the sent, not the sender," Duarte said. "The success of the message depends largely on the messenger."
The March of Nations opened the service, highlighting the 164 world areas in which the Church of the Nazarene is present. A welcome message from General Superintendent Fili Chambo was followed by a video introducing the missions focus for Friday evening's service. Nick Robertson, worship pastor of Bethany First Church, led attendees in a time of worship.
Africa Region Director Dany Gomis led a prayer time before Duarte took the stage to deliver his message. Duarte's message was based on John 20:19-23, breaking down the moment in which Jesus commissioned the 12 disciples into three charges for the church: to go in the light of Jesus, go in the name of Jesus, and go with the mind of Jesus.
He emphasized the sending of the disciples with God’s peace and the Holy Spirit in verse 22, noting the similarity to what God did in Genesis 2:7.
"In Genesis 2:7, He finished the majestic work of creation, breathing on the human, and the verse says that it was the ‘breath of life,’ and the human being became a living creature," Duarte said. "The Holy Spirit is life, and He creates in us the life that we need to be able to share Christ with others."
In closing, Duarte asked people sent as missionaries, educators, health workers, and civil servants to stand. After thanking them for responding to the call on their life, he turned and addressed those not standing.
"As Jesus was sent, you are being sent by Him tonight," Duarte said. "Will you publicly, in the presence of this beautiful congregation, this church, your church, will you come forward and say, 'I will go'?"