What is Missions Fest™?
Missions Fest™ is a city-wide mission awareness event, sponsored solely by Christian churches who work together to inform the public of a needy world, along with the opportunities to serve, celebrating the achievements being made and challenging people to participate worldwide in the Great Commission of Jesus.
The vision of MFIA is to see the “ordinary people” in cities around the world become inspired to participate in bringing freedom, healing and justice to the peoples of the world. In the last words of Jesus, He commissioned us to disciple the nations. Discipling is not only educational, it is spiritual. As people become followers of Jesus, they are transformed and their worldview changes.
Jesus described his mandate that we, too, can follow: to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, comfort to those who mourn and proclaim God’s favour on those who follow Him.
Our vision is that the bringing together of people to dialogue and learn during Missions Fest™ conferences, will influence them to take action and to find appropriate ways to bring about changes to a needy world. At Missions Fest™, participants often discover common goals through networking, and heighten their effectiveness while reducing duplication of services.
Missions Fest™ began in 1983 when a cluster of churches from different backgrounds began working together to plan an event that would bring together organizations and excellent communicators who could provide current information about worldwide needs and ways to meet them. The conference focus was designed to appeal to all ages with free general admission.
Instead of limiting the event to the group of churches who planned the conference, they opened it up to the surrounding cities. They held their first conference in January 1984. Seventy-six organizations set up information exhibits; four keynote speakers who had firsthand, cross-cultural experiences were invited; topical seminars were planned for both youth and adults, and people of the city filled the venue to capacity celebrating first with the flag parade of the nations.
Although it was intended to be a one-off event, the leaders observed that there was both a great interest and the need to hold regular annual conferences. Twenty-five years later, Missions Fest™ Vancouver, Canada, continues to draw people from southern British Columbia and northern Washington State with an aggregate attendance of 34,000 each year.
For many years, cities in other parts of Canada and the world have observed what has been taking place in Vancouver and the impact it has had around the world. Some have visited Missions Fest™ and inquired about its function and organizational plan.
Consequently, the Vancouver team has been called upon to assist other cities in forming their own conferences. For the increased interest and time required to attend to these requests, the Missions Fest International Association (MFIA) was incorporated, to operate separately from the Vancouver conference but garner all that has been learned over the twenty-five years.
One of the founders of Missions Fest™ has been invited to give leadership to MFIA and to consolidate the planning and procedures that make such a conference successful. He is now available to mentor leaders of other cities seeking to organize a Missions Fest™ style of conference in their location.
Since the concept and the name, Missions Fest™, originated in Vancouver, Canada, the name, “Missions Fest” was inherently owned by the Vancouver conference from its beginnings. More recently, Missions Fest™ Vancouver assigned its trademarked name and registered logo to the Missions Fest International Association (MFIA) so that it could have worldwide use through License Agreements.
MFIA is now committed to working with cities worldwide in planning and organizing their own Missions Fest™ conferences.
First of all, cities have access to a mentoring relationship with MFIA. During initial contacts, cities will be encouraged to consolidate a planning group appointed by local Christian churches from a variety of backgrounds.
When a viable group is formed, and MFIA is satisfied that this group truly represents a cluster of churches who wish to work together to hold a Missions Fest™ style of conference, then MFIA will be able to provide a License Agreement together with a registered Logo for that city.
With this arrangement, MFIA can provide planning strategies, job descriptions, policies & procedures and an operations manual to execute the organizing of a Missions Fest™ conference.
With this kind of affiliation, MFIA can recommend speakers and seminar leaders, as well as bona fide mission organizations who may be willing to participate knowing that the plans for this Missions Fest™ will follow the original blueprint and be worth their investment of time and funding to participate. Having this credibility is a valuable resource of trust that can benefit any city that wishes to be affiliated with MFIA.