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Fusion Program Commissions Twelve Missionary Teams for Overseas Service

Posted April 27, 2023 by Brett Fredenberg

KANSAS CITY, Mo–Spurgeon College hosted a commissioning ceremony for their Fusion Cohorts on April 25, celebrating twelve missionary teams to Africa and high security locations throughout the Middle East and South Asia. Families and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of cohort participants and commission them to serving overseas this summer.

Since 2005, Fusion has existed to equip believers for a lifetime of Kingdom service by training students to make disciples of all nations through a one-year immersive program. Each year, Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College sends several Fusion teams overseas and signifies their service through a commissioning ceremony.

The ceremony began with a welcome from the Dean of Spurgeon College, Sam Bierig. He expressed his gratitude to families in attendance, stating, “In an era dominated by decadence and fear, we believe that your son and daughter has made a precious and impactful decision to serve for the Kingdom this summer.”

After challenging Fusion cohorts with a Scripture reading from Acts 26:22-23, Bierig prayed for strength and biblical success for each cohort’s summer mission.

Fusion staff members then presented the Fusion students to family, friends, and the seminary community as having successfully completed phase one of their training.

Erik Odegard, director of Fusion, explained how the commissioning ceremony serves as a rite of passage for Fusion cohorts. The Fusion program consists of three rites of passage, each signifying major achievements and further commitments in the future.

Students completed their first rite of passage after Field Personnel Training, an intense 2-week training at the beginning of the Fusion program. The commissioning service was the second rite of passage, representing their successful completion of several months of physical, emotional, and spiritual training. The third rite of passage will be celebrated upon their return to the States, as the students will then be commissioned for a lifetime of service of making disciples of all nations.

Following an explanation of each cohort’s successful completion of phase one, Midwestern Seminary Assistant Professor of Missions Joe Allen III delivered the Precedent of Expectation.

He shared that the expectation was clear, “Let all that you do be done in love wherever you go this summer.” The precedent for this expectation though, as he explained, is an event that takes place prior to the expectation. “Jesus set the precedent,” he said. “Through his sacrificial death, Jesus shows us that love is not romantic sentimentality—it is self-sacrifice.”

Allen went on to say, “The standard of love we are called to emulate is to love the way Jesus did, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice. God’s love gives us the ability to love.”

He concluded his message noting four ways to love like Jesus. First, he said, giving someone undivided attention is one of the greatest ways to show love. Second, he encouraged students to truly listen to people, both patiently and attentively. Third, he emphasized the value of relationships over productivity. “Linger with people even at the expense of efficiency.” Finally, he reminded the missionaries that the most loving thing to be done for another person is to give them the gospel and lead them to Jesus.

After receiving this charge, Odegard asked Fusion students to reaffirm their commitment to the missionary task before them.

Fusion students then stood to recite 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!

Twelve Fusion teams approached the front of the chapel to receive a map signifying their successful completion of phase one of the Fusion program. At this time, Odegard commissioned each Fusion team including the first Fusion Masters teams, commending them to faithful service in their specific location. All in attendance joined to celebrate each team’s commitment to the Great Commission.

Closing the ceremony, Midwestern Seminary Provost Jason Duesing prayed for each Fusion team, asking for safety, success, and that God would be glorified this summer.

To watch a portion of the Fusion Commissioning Ceremony, visit Fusion Commissioning Ceremony with Joe Allen III – April 25, 2023– Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (mbts.edu). For security reasons, portions of the ceremony were not filmed.

For more information about Fusion or to apply to the program, visit FUSION (spurgeoncollege.com)


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