By Emma Cummings, MTS Events Administrator
The COVID-19 pandemic has globally led to a number of significant changes in our ministries, work, families, friends, rest, hobbies, exercise, motivation, and much more… This is no different for the MTS Head Office and volunteers, especially in the planning of our local, online, and global events, specifically MTS Recruit.
In 2020, due to the pandemic outbreak, our previously run, Katoomba-based, MTS Mission Minded conference, which challenged Delegates to consider what their response is to Jesus’ total Lordship over all, could not physically happen in-person. This posed a great challenge to the MTS Head Office and volunteers, as we asked questions similar to many in the events industry… Would we cancel? Postpone? Or completely refocus our conference framework?
It was that final question that led to what is now globally known as MTS Recruit.
Through the inner workings of creating MTS Recruit out of MTS Mission Minded, we created our ‘Event Purpose’: “To win the world for Christ by partnering with Gospel Workers, to challenge and raise up the next generation of Gospel Workers, through Ministry Apprenticeships.”
Well, how’d we do in 2020?
Over 1200 Registrants (158 International). Over 300 Peer Group Leaders & Mentors. Over 67 Local Conference Gatherings. People were challenged, encouraged and grown for God’s Kingdom.
But we didn’t leave our Event Purpose in 2020. In fact, we have made a commitment going forwards to annually challenge Delegates to be part of the next generation of Gospel Workers not only in Australia, but the globe, through the three-day MTS Recruit conference.
And that brings us to 2021.
So how does a “Local, Global & Online” conference actually happen?
Volunteers! So. Many. Volunteers. We have eight teams that work together to plan MTS Recruit, over a year out from the event (Yes, we have already started planning for 2022!), with a committee that meets monthly, to fortnightly, to weekly the closer we get to MTS Recruit.
- Communications Team – Ensures the messaging for MTS Recruit remains clear and consistent across all platforms, particularly the website, Facebook and Emails.
- Electives Team – Ensures that Delegates receive helpful, insightful and relevant content to help them in their decision-making to pursue full-time ministry.
- Follow-Up Team – Ensure that all MTS Recruit attendees are given the appropriate pathways to follow post-MTS Recruit.
- LCG Team – Responsible for recruiting, informing and organising Local Conference Gatherings across Australia and the globe. In 2021 this team has had to work hard to adapt to the changing COVID restrictions and provide ongoing support to people in a variety of different contexts.
- Mentoring Team – Responsible for the recruiting, vetting, training and allocation of Mentors both online and in-person (COVID restrictions permitting, of course!).
- Peer Groups Team – Recruit, vet, train and allocate online and in-person Peer Group Leaders. In 2021 Peer Groups will be self-directed and optional, rather than centrally organised, but this team has still worked exceptionally hard to develop resources, and their efforts will not be wasted!
- Programs Team – Create, implement and execute a Program that works best to promote the purposes and aims of MTS Recruit and can be implemented across the globe for in-person and online audiences.
- Web & Stream Team – Responsible for the creation, monitoring and functionality of the MTS Recruit website, receiving input from the Communications Team to ensure all branding and materials produced are consistent.
Now you may ask, why so many teams?
MTS Recruit is a local, global, and online conference. This means that we have Delegates, Mentors, Peer Group Leaders, and Committee Members from all over the world, which also means communicating with potential, future, and current Gospel Workers all over the world. One of our favourite websites is, ‘Time Zone Converter’, which allows us to see what time it is where the person we need to chat to is from. Not only is this helpful in the initial planning stages to spread the word, it is extremely vital in the planning for the actual conference program. As said before, one of our biggest goals in the execution of Recruit is to raise up the next generation of Gospel Workers globally. To do this, we want to involve as many people as possible in our Global Sessions through bible readings, interviews, special segments and more, with people from Sydney, Japan, Singapore, Slovenia, Parramatta, Brisbane, Hobart, Chile and beyond!
It hasn’t been easy.
When you throw a global pandemic in the mix, with restrictions, lockdowns, and everything in between, things get a little more unpredictable and uncertain than they otherwise would be. The last 18 months have made our MTS Events team more flexible, more adaptable, and more reliant than ever before on our Great God and His plan, over any and every Excel spreadsheet and Word document. It is only through Him that we can be confident and assured of anything. Even as I’m sitting here typing away in late August, there are emails with changes and updates coming through. We’ve had to make big and hard decisions on a number of occasions to ensure we will be providing a conference that is as helpful and accessible as possible.
It has been challenging. But we all find unceasing peace, knowing that our God is sovereign through all the chaos of COVID and our constantly changing world. Our God never changes. He was, is, and always will be.