Spurgeon College hosted the Fusion Commitment Ceremony in Midwestern Seminary’s chapel on July 29, welcoming back nine missionary teams from three months of overseas service.
“These Fusion students made a real, eternal impact this summer,” said Midwestern Seminary President Jason Allen. “Serving in some of the most difficult and spiritually dark places on planet Earth, they faithfully represented our Lord Jesus Christ, and faithfully presented his gospel message to countless individuals.”
“I’m proud of these students, what they accomplished this summer, and what that portends for their future as men and women of the gospel,” he said.
The Fusion Commitment Ceremony is designed to commemorate the service of each Fusion team and commission students to live out the Great Commission for the rest of their lives.
After welcoming attendees to the ceremony, Midwestern Seminary Provost Jason Duesing began by reading from Psalm 117. He also thanked God in prayer for his faithfulness in the work of the Fusion teams over the past year.
Duesing was one of many Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College faculty and staff to travel overseas during the summer to visit, encourage, and join Fusion students on mission.
Seeing their work firsthand, Fusion staff presented the Fusion students to family, friends, and the Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College community as having successfully completed their overseas service.
Erik Odegard, director of Fusion, began by explaining the purpose of the ceremony. “The Commitment Ceremony serves as a rite of passage for the students,” he said. “A rite of passage is a significant moment that marks a person’s progression into a new status. With every rite of passage, we look back and we look forward.”
The Fusion program consists of three rites of passage, each signifying major accomplishments and further commitments.
Students completed their first rite of passage after ground-school, an intense 2-week training at the beginning of the Fusion program. The second rite of passage, represented in the Commissioning Service, signified their successful completion of several months of physical, emotional, and spiritual training. The Commitment Ceremony represents the third rite of passage.
“This rite of passage seeks to reinforce Fusion values. In this ceremony, we are calling students to a transcendent cause. Today, we celebrate all that God has done as we look back at their faithful service. And we also look forward to all God will do as each of us commit ourselves to the Great Commission.”
In addition to the three rites of passage, the Fusion Program consists of three phases: comprehensive stateside training, global missionary service, and a lifetime of living out the Great Commission.
Fusion staff provided proof of successful completion of phase two of their training by highlighting their accomplishments overseas and faithfulness in the mission.
Spurgeon College Dean Samuel Bierig then gave the precedent of expectation, addressing students on the temptations of pride.
Reading from Proverbs 16:18, Bierig highlighting the theme of wisdom and foolishness throughout the book.
“Every action you take is a decision between wisdom and foolishness,” Bierig said. “At this point, you have a decision to make. You are at a fork in the road. You are choosing between wisdom and foolishness, so beware the path of pride.”
“Having just returned from the mission field, you are tempted to consider yourself elite,” he continued. “Nothing could be more dangerous for your soul.”
Bierig warned students of three specific temptations to pride at this point in their lives: the path of spiritual complacency, spiritual elitism, and godless nostalgia.
For each temptation, he offered helpful advice and encouragement for students to pursue faithfulness in their walk with God while returning to and reentering their home culture.
Bierig concluded his address in prayer, thanking God for his faithfulness and asking God to help students remain faithful to Him.
Odegard then reminded students of the gospel and that Jesus Christ is worth the cost of mission. Fusion students reaffirmed their commitment to the missionary task before them by reciting the Fusion Creed, which reads:
As a follower of Christ: I am called not to comfort or success but to obedience. Consequently, my life is to be defined not by what I do but by who I am.
Henceforth: I will proclaim His name without fear, follow Him without regret and serve Him without compromise.
Thus: To obey is my objective, to suffer is expected, His glory is my reward.
Therefore: To Christ alone be all power, all honor and all glory, that the world may know. Amen!
Nine missionary teams approached the front of the chapel to receive a coin to commemorate their missionary service. As Odegard explained, the coin serves as a token of remembrance for Fusion participants. Each time they look at the coin, they are reminded of their stateside training and experience overseas.
Concluding the ceremony, Midwestern Seminary Assistant Professor of Missions Joe Allen led attendees in a prayer of commitment. As he said to students, “We’re so proud of all of you. As you remember your experience this week, remember that we’re delighted by your commitment and your service.”
For more information about Fusion or to apply to the program, please visit FUSION (spurgeon college.com)