The Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International Convention opened Wednesday evening with a series of inspiring international speakers and vibrant music.
Missionaries Scott and Emily Armstrong emceed the program, which featured “TED Talks” from Angel Sigui (Guatemala/USA), Jimmy De Gouveia (Venezuela), Khalil Halaseh (Middle East), and Celita Soares (Cabo Verde), and a greeting from Global SDMI Director Woodie Stevens. All focused on making disciples through Sunday school and related ministries.
Nazarene singers from Cali, Colombia, led worship in song Wednesday night, and the group Blessed Generation from Rwanda served as Thursday’s worship leaders.
Thursday’s SDMI plenary included a message from General Superintendent Jerry D. Porter, who talked about encouragement and being open to new methods in the church. Porter highlighted his points with “older music,” which he pointed out was once new, unwelcomed, and initially rejected. He encouraged SDMI delegates of all ages to avoid bitterness and arrogance in attitude and welcome new ideas.
He closed his message by emphasizing the importance of relationships as Nazarenes make disciples – who make disciples – who make disciples.
“Who is discipling you, and who are you discipling?” Porter asked.
“It is absolutely thrilling to recognize the global family coming together, united in our great mission of making disciples,” Stevens said. “All of us are sharing the same mission, and we’re united around Vision 2020.”
Porter, who is retiring this year as general superintendent, and his wife, Toni, were presented with the Second Mile Award for their service to SDMI and the Church of the Nazarene.