Naga Missionary Conference begins; to be held from Sept 16-18
Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 16
Naga churches are becoming more magnificent but God’s kingdom is becoming smaller and neglected. General Secretary of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho, said this in his message on ‘The Commission Lives,’ the theme of the Naga Missionary Conference (NMC) that began today. Organised by the Nagaland Missions Movement (NMM), the Conference will be held from September 16-18 at the Thilixu Baptist Church.
“If Nagas have made an impact on our neighbours, it is not through development but through building God’s kingdom,” said Rev. Keyho, while addressing hundreds of participants at the conference (organised every 5 years), which included Naga missionaries and sponsoring church members. Reminding the congregation that “God is not done with the Nagas,” he said that the one thing Naga churches can do is mission work—“Mission brings churches together. It unifies the people of God.” “If building our own kingdom comes in our way, then God’s kingdom cannot be made,” he maintained.
“Nagas are a chosen people!” asserted the General Secretary of NBCC. American missionaries who were on their way to China in the 19th century met with the Naga people when “no one knew of a people group called Nagas needing salvation.” This meeting was not without reason. “We have now become God’s treasure—he has called us from darkness to light so that we can become his missionary to the world. Nagas must become carriers of the Great Commission virus to the world. Mission must come alive in our churches today in Nagaland because the Commission still lives,” Rev. Keyho stated.
While acknowledging that “we have neglected our missionaries,” he reiterated that “Churches must pledge ourselves anew till our missionaries accomplish the task given to them.” Churches—the body of Christ—have the power to unlock the ‘commission.’ “Our receiving of the Holy Spirit” must not be “confined to ourselves.”
“Unless we believe in the authority of God and receive the Holy Spirit, we will just be looking at ourselves, expanding our churches every 30-40 years to accommodate a growing population and become kings of our colonies. Don’t stay at home and compete with each other. Go out. When we believe…we will go beyond our comfort zone because the commission lives. The commission lives because we are God’s people and the world is ready for harvest,” Rev. Keyho stated, lauding the work of the Naga missionaries.
Earlier, President of NBCC Rev. Dr. Mar Atsongchanger, in declaring the conference open, explained how Christianity came to the Nagas 146 years ago through Rev. Dr. EW Clark, who lived among the Naga people for 40 years. Today, Naga missionaries have taken the gospel to many North East states, but also to West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana and many other states in the Indian sub-continent. Beyond this, they have reached a host of international shores including Ethiopia, Thailand, Japan, Nepal, Uzbekistan, South Sudan, and even the USA. The NBCC president prayed for God to “make us one so this congregation may glorify your name alone.”
Today’s opening ceremony included Praise and Worship sessions, as well as greetings from the Western Sumi Baptist Churches Association (WSBAK) and Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI), among others.