As spring approaches each year, ABEFC hosts an annual Missions Conference, a weekend focused on worship, teaching, and fellowship centered around our common goal to "go, and make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:19) Every gathering during those few days is an opportunity to place before our eyes Christ's commission, to be inspired by God's work in the nations through the testimony of missionaries, and to be challenged to renew our gospel commitment or perhaps embark on a journey of faith towards a specific call to missions work abroad.
Although these commission themes are a regular part of the life of the church gathered, like any 'liturgical' season there is a richness in narrowing our focus during times of corporate worship. Last year we had the unique opportunity to join with churches around the globe in singing Facing a Task Unfinished. Modern hymnwriters Keith & Kristyn Getty describe the event:
Over 5,000 churches in 100 countries joined together to sing this hymn on February 21st, 2016. An estimated one million believers contributed to a global hymn sing that was sung in several languages that reminded the church to the call for global missions!
In 2016 this hymn became the inspiration for a recorded album by the same name, focused specifically on congregational singing and mission. As a musician, I commend this album to you for its stirring arrangements and musical breadth. As a pastor, I commend it to you for its doctrinally sound and inspiring lyrics. If I've sparked your interest, you can listen to all the songs on the Getty's website.
One song in particular, For The Cause, will be taught and sung during our conference this year. This new, energetic hymn is rich with scriptural references that remind us of the gospel-embedded mandate to proclaim Christ through our lives, through our joy, through the witness of our faith, and ultimately by taking up our cross and following in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior. I look forward to singing these refrains with you during this weekend!
For the cause of Christ the King
We give our lives an offering
'Til all the earth resounds
With ceaseless praise to the Son
For the cause of Christ we go
With joy to reap, with faith to sow
As many see and many put their trust
In the Son
Christ we proclaim
The Name above every name
For all creation, ev'ry nation
God's salvation through the Son
For the King once lifted high
To cries of rage, of "Crucify!"
Endured the cross, as every sin was laid
On the Son
To the King who conquered death
To free the poor and the oppressed
For lasting peace, for life and liberty
In the Son
Let it be my life's refrain
To live is Christ, to die is gain
Deny myself, take up my cross
And follow the Son
Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend ©2016 Getty Music Publishing (BMI) and Townend Songs (PRS)