14) The Last Bit: Your “Worst Missions Conference Ever?”

OK — we confess. We got this idea from a blog entry originally written by Bud Steadman…


But we have to ask… what’s the absolute WORST missions conference you’ve ever attended and why? Feel free to omit the name of the church or college. In fact, you can even leave out the city. But we would LOVE to hear some of the most challenging circumstances, themes, or arrangements you’ve ever seen. For example, I (Doug) remember a missions convention in downtown New York City years ago. We had been on an extended tour of Bible colleges and universities and, at the time (I know, dumb idea), we were towing a camper to save hotel costs in between campuses. Have you ever looked for a parking spot in downtown New York City towing a 28-foot Airstream? To make matters even worse, my wife had a puppy at the time (you laugh, but this was way better than trying to raise kids on a nine-month speaking tour while staying in a 28-foot camper). While we were sharing in a special workshop about the 8 most unreached countries in the world, some duty-focused police officer ticketed and towed our rig. We eventually won the case (two days later) in court, which meant the city had to refund every dime. (The no parking sign on that particular side street had long-since disappeared.) But we had to put the dog in counseling for post-traumatic tow-truck stress.

So what’s YOUR worst missions conference experience and why? Just click “Comment” under the web or app version of this item. Thanks in advance for ANY entertaining story that will make us chuckle — or any complaint that will sober us next time we plan a missions event.

2 Responses to 14) The Last Bit: Your “Worst Missions Conference Ever?”
  1. David White Reply

    We had a few. Probably the worst was a church that invited us to show up at 6:00 pm, made no mention of what the program was (do we feed the kids first or not?) and gave us no indication of our time or audience. We arrived (ate a snack first) to find that the pastor had been removed from office by Presbytery the day before and that the assistant pastor’s wife had just been diagnosed with hepatitis, so he was very distracted. We were given three minutes during the service and another missionary family well known to the congregation was brought into the service via Skype for 25 minutes, so we were not noticed. Still don’t know why they even invited us!

    Another was the pastor who called almost weekly for three months to say how excited he was that we were coming to speak at his church. We arrived on the designated Sunday and he met me in the parking lot. “This church is 150 years old and has never given a dime to missions. I want you to really let them have it!” he said. Then he added, “Oh, and by the way I am announcing my resignation today.”
    For some reason, people didn’t seem impacted by what I had to say…

  2. Dennis miller Reply

    The first mission conference I ever put on for our church after becoming the chair of the team was my worst. I and a co worker had just attended our first ACMC conference which had all the big names presenting and many exhibits and just an all around big event from back in the old days of Dave Mays, Tom Telford, Roy Smith all ACMC great guys.
    So we plan our mission conference for Friday night some events on Saturday and the big deal on Sunday. Our speaker was from a large agency who did a great job, we had several exhibits, a puppet show Friday night for the kids and drama on Saturday. Friday night a missionary singer from Frane backed up by the choir.
    Friday the choir sang then all of them left the speaker spoke to perhaps a dozen people and no kids showed up for anything and Sunday just a regular day with some folks staying home because a missionary was speaking.
    I learned a lot from that weekend.

    Eventually using ACMC guidlines we began to have great faith promise weekends, lots of short term ministry trips, I went on staff with ACMC for a time then on staff st the church as the missions pastor. But that fits conference was a total bomb

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