The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

The Student News Site of Westmont College

The Horizon

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Inspiration and enrichment at the Santa Barbara Sending Conference

Santa Barbara Sending Conference Logo
Santa Barbara Sending Conference Logo

Last Friday, Westmont College hosted Santa Barbara Sending, a Christian conference bringing together not only Westmont, but the wider community. According to their website, “Santa Barbara Sending (SBS) is a gathering of followers of Christ who desire to inspire Christians to deeper faith so that they are equipped to make disciples of all peoples.”

Westmont faculty, such as Professor. Charles Farhadian and Scott Lisea serve on the SBS board of directors. They do so alongside former staff Rev. Ben Patterson, Colleen Atkinson and alumni Rachael Lauer and Karen Robertson. I was fortunate to hear from Scott Lisea regarding the great successes of this year’s conference, along with a vision for the future of SB Sending.

This year, the schedule was adjusted to make the conference more accessible to students. It began at 3:30 p.m. last Friday, which gave student attendees time to rest between classes and the conference opening. Additionally, there was space for response after each plenary session, which opened up the floodgates to some powerful responses. These changes were made with the past two conferences in mind, and were well received. “God was at work!” remarked Scott Lisea.

This year, many of the speakers were missionaries and Christian workers living abroad. There were many opportunities to fellowship with these missionaries in casual conversation and even over a meal. Santa Barbara Sending attendees realized that the world is still in need of missionaries. There are still unreached people groups, those who have never heard the gospel message, and missions work is vital to reaching them. Missionaries are becoming skilled at transferring leadership to the community they are working in, allowing the churches they establish to become self-sufficient. Though, this work is not easy, nor is it safe. Some have witnessed dangerous events; one speaker was 200 yards away from Osama Bin Laden as he was killed.

Scott Lisea is optimistic about the potential of Santa Barbara Sending in the years to come. He hopes it will inspire more future missionaries: “Mission is deep in the DNA of Westmont. I want to make sure it stays that way — that our graduates leave this place able, excited, fearless and creative — finding new ways to proclaim Christ through the work and skills they have.”

If you haven’t already been involved, consider attending or volunteering next year at Santa Barbara’s premier Christian conference. Hear from an array of experienced speakers. Engage with a community of Christ followers that is both international and local. Prepare to be formed in new and exciting ways.

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