The College of Bible and Ministry hosted a conference through OutReach America on Friday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 10 in Searcy, designed for people who are interested in vocational domestic missions. Marvin Crowson, Harding domestic missionary, aptly named the conference, WWYDWJesus?
The conference aimed to answer the question: What would you do with Jesus? The main point of the conference was to address the following questions: Why should people do domestic missions? What is Jesus calling you to do, and how will you answer? How might domestic missions look?
Crowson, who was a missionary in Jamaica for nine years with a team he helped form at Harding, decided to host this particular event because he saw the need for missionaries in the United States. Crowson emphasized that there are many different ways to help through mission work.
“You’re doing good work while you’re doing mission work; it has a side effect while you’re doing it,” Crowson said. “You are helping people get what they want.”
WWYDWJesus? is different from other conferences that OutReach America has held because it dove deeper into how to start doing mission work. Instead of focusing on encouraging people to do domestic mission work, the speakers advised on the logistics of starting a domestic mission. This effort was achieved through group discussion among the conference attendants.
The conference featured several missionaries that led the groups in their discussion, including Carl Williamson, Harding’s missionary in residence. Williamson was featured as the primary speaker at the conference. He was formerly a domestic missionary in Holmdel, New Jersey, where he, his wife and three other couples started the Brunswick Church of Christ in July 2004.
“I have a strong belief that Harding students can make a lasting impact with starting churches, working in teams and helping existing churches,” Williamson said. “So, I was glad when Crowson asked me to talk about [domestic missions].”
Williamson believes that all Harding students should have attended this conference because “we are all in this together in America.” He noted that the percentage of believers in the U.S. is decreasing.
“There’s a sense in which the Bible is saying that we’re all disciples in Christ,” Williamson said. “It’s not just the preacher or the elders or just the church staff, so I think it’s important for us in our own faith to change that.”
Freshman Abby Richter, who attended the event, echoed Williamson’s beliefs that students should have attended this conference. Richter cited Matthew 28:16-20, which tells readers to go out into the world and make disciples.
“Harding students [should have attended] this conference because I believe not only will it help us share our faith, but also gain pride in it because we have something amazing that the world needs more of — God,” Richter said.