September 28, 2007 was a historic day in Amarillo, Texas as Christian Heritage Church hosted the very first Mission: M25 National Summit! It was a powerful event from the beginning to the end. People from eleven states came for three days of information and inspiration! There were over 180 present for the opening banquet on Friday night and a high attendance of 700 for the morning worship service on Sunday.
Mission M25 is a ministry of Evangelism USA that takes its marching orders from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25 and focuses on the “overlooked and neglected” of our society. M25 ministers in the four areas of (a) homeless/hungry, (b) addiction/rehabilitation, (c) bikers, (d) prison ministry. Rev. Gary Burd, Bishop of the Great Plains Conference and pastor of the Christian Heritage Church in Amarillo, Texas, is the Director of Mission M25 and has spent the last 3 years endeavoring to identify, network, and resource those laboring in one or more of these four ministries.
This M25 Summit was the first time the IPHC has provided a national forum for these ministry workers to get together and resource one another. The Summit was a resounding success! Its purpose was to:
(1) Validate The Workers’ Value (2) Encourage The Workers’ Efforts
(3) Bear The Workers’ Burdens (4) Inspire The Workers’ Minds
On Friday evening, Dr. Ronald Carpenter, Executive Director of Evangelism USA, welcomed the people and reminded them that M25 began as a seed in 2004 but had now developed into an “oak tree”. He told the people that, “M25 will never be any smaller than it is tonight and future generations will gather by the thousands in huge auditoriums to celebrate the mission of M25”! M25 Director, Bishop Gary Burd, then presented a stirring PowerPoint presentation on the “Five Works of Grace” in describing what to expect during the Summit. The power point was designed around a motorcycle with the Frame (foundation), the Transmission (the process), the Motor (the power), the Handlebars (the direction) and finally the Accessories (the gifts of the Spirit that work in our lives). After it was over, one man came up and kissed Gary on the cheek thanking him for opening his heart.
On Saturday morning, all of the ministries and people that were present from across the country were introduced and several were allowed to address the group. One group of fifteen had ridden their motorcycles 1100 miles over 22 hours to attend. Another group rode 1500 miles while yet three other people rode in a pickup non-stop from Iowa. It was a great blessing to see and hear these people who are so dedicated to reaching the hurting and forgotten of our society. The 180 attendees were then taken on a tour of the ministries of Christian Heritage Church. At each stop, Gary Burd taught on the “Five ‘L’s of Evangelism” to those who rode the buses. They witnessed the “Under The Bridge Ministry” (where homeless are fed and given the gospel under a bridge every Sunday). Then they saw the “City of Refuge Outreach” (where approximately 80,000 meals were served to the hungry last year). Then it was on to the “Jabez House” a place where people coming off the streets and out of prison can live while being discipled. From there they traveled to the “Hang Out” where every Monday night there is “Biker Church” and various outreaches through the year. The group finally ended up at “Skooterz Biker Bar” where the Biker Day parade began on Sunday morning.
After arriving back at the church, the group was fed by the Great Plains Conference and Mission: M25.
After lunch, the group broke into summit sessions for round table discussions; Sessions included: Homeless ministry; Prison Ministry; Biker Ministry; Children’s and Youth Ministry; Recovery Ministry; and Leading Broken Leaders. Gary Burd closed this period with an M25 promotion on three projects for 2008. Craig Lawlis, Administrative Pastor for CHC, followed with a 1-hour general session on “Live Wires” – taking people that are out of the box and plugging them into the ministry. Saturday evening everyone came back for a meeting around the campfire that lasted into the late hours of the night.
The weekend concluded on Sunday with Biker Day. It was in conjunction with the Marine’s Toys For Tots Parade. Approximately 700 people attended the morning worship service that included a moving drama by Adullam, the youth ministry of CHC; Spirit-filled praise/worship; a powerful word from Dr. Ronald Carpenter; and a Communion Service for unity. That afternoon 1,300 motorcycles participated in a 3-mile long parade that carried over $24,000.00 in toys to be given to the Marines. 5,000 people attended an afternoon of biker games and great food. In late afternoon, all of the activity stopped and testimonies were shared. Then, the group prayed and sang Amazing Grace before the give-a-way of the 1993 Harley Davidson 1200 cc Sportster. What a blessing it was to watch these old, rough guys and biker gang members, sing and remember the Grace of God in their life. It was a memorable occasion!
Those who came for inspiration and ministry resources were not disappointed. They left convinced that their efforts are making a real difference and that IPHC Ministries is committed to helping them reach “the least of these” through Mission M25!
Comments From Attendees of the First National Mission M25 Summit
‘Refreshing as a cold drink on a hot day – the Lord pouring out His spirit upon us’
‘Showed me that the church should be sharing and showing the love of God in our community.’
‘Seeing true Scriptural ministry in action promotes and strengthens my faith that the church is in revival and we are on the right tract – God’s tract!’
‘Wow, what an experience and an eye opener this conference was to me’
‘It affirmed what I felt God was calling me to do in His name’
‘God opened my eyes to a new realm of evangelism. I can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned’
‘I was blown away and my heart is broken – thank you’
Original PDF file can be found at http://evusa.iphc.org/images/PDF/M25%20Summitt%20Review.pdf