This year Converge MidAmerica is celebrating 165 years of ministry. It was in 1852 that school teacher Gustaf Palmquist was baptized. Palmguist quickly became a lay minister and forty-seven days later he baptized three converts in the Mississippi River near Rock Island, IL. Five days later they together organized the first Converge MidAmerica church.
Celebrations are vital to the life of the church. They remind us of our humble beginnings and the greatness of our God. They help us value what is really important and inspire us to greater levels of cooperation. They keep us focused on the mission at hand. They keep us thankful for all the sacrifices God’s people have made that serve as a foundation for us to build upon.
Every year Converge MidAmerica holds a Celebration Banquet in Chicago, IL and now in Lansing MI. These banquets are a time for looking back and a time for looking forward as we seek God’s dreams for our collective mission.
Three Reasons for Attending Our Annual Celebration Banquet
Here are three reasons why I would encourage your church to join us for one of these Celebration Banquets this year:
1) SEE the Rich Diversity of our Churches.
One pastor said, “When I come to the Celebration Banquet I see the Bride of Christ in all its glory! It is a taste of what heaven will be, believers from all cultures worshiping Jesus our King!”
Over 40% of Converge MidAmerica’s churches are multi-cultural or multi-ethnic. We seek to celebrate our diversity by highlighting our pastoral leaders who reflect the many cultural groups we serve and the geographical breadth of our churches.
In a day with great racial tension we have an opportunity to be the light of Christ in showing how we work together to bring the love of Christ to a lost and hurting world.
2) HEAR Powerful Testimonies of God’s Work.
A long time church member of Converge MidAmerica said, “I come every year to the Celebration Banquet to hear the great stories of what God is doing through our fellowship of churches. There are only a limited amount of opportunities to hear about regional missions and church planting.”
Converge MidAmerica has been recognized as one of the fastest growing regional networks of churches in the United States. Our growth has been explosive in the last 17 years from 86 churches in 2000 to 225 churches today. The Annual Celebration Banquet is one of the places we get to celebrate God’s work among us.
At the Celebration Banquet you will hear stories of how Converge is starting and strengthening churches through out our seven state region. You will hear stories from new church planters, seasoned pastors and lay leaders whose lives and ministries has been impacted through our joint efforts.
3) INTRODUCE Your Leadership and Mission Teams to Converge.
The Celebration Banquet is one of the best opportunities to introduce your lay leaders to the ministry, resources and mission of Converge MidAmerica.
One pastor said, “Every year I bring a table full of my best leaders because we experience the passion of the fellowship of churches, we experience our diversity and we are inspired by what our partnership together is doing.”
Another pastor said, “I want our church to give to something beyond us something that will inspire greater generosity and remind us that the mission is far from finished right in our own backyard.”
God is doing great work through our churches. Can I encourage you to join us this year to SEE, HEAR and INTRODUCE your best leaders to the Converge MidAmerica Celebration Banquet?
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