Photo description: Beautiful Feet attendees’ group photo at St. John Lutheran Church
Photo credit: CUNE Photo Gallery
The Beautiful Feet Mission Conference brought together people from Concordia universities who heard Greg Finke, founder of the ministry Dwelling 1:14, talk about helping people live out their faith.
Finke, a graduate of Concordia University Chicago in 1985 and Concordia Seminary St. Louis in 1989, was a pastor until 2011 when he felt called to start his ministry, which is committed to helping people live out what God has planned for their lives.
“We’ve got 200 people that love Jesus and want to live on mission, but too many times our models and mentors are not in the taking action but in the studying it, discussing it, and writing papers about it,” Finke said.
Finke said he wants to help people start living with awareness and loving their neighbor.
The event had four main sessions over three days, all led by Finke, with breakout sessions, service work and praise mixed in as well.
The first session was about who people are and what their purpose is, with Finke stressing the importance of living lives that point others to Christ and being able to share that joy.
The theme verse was 1 Peter 3:15, which tells believers to always be ready to give an answer for why they have hope.
Finke warned against thinking that humans can save when in reality it is the Holy Spirit that does the saving.
“We don’t go for Jesus, we go with Jesus,” Finke said. “We’re not his salespeople.”
The second session focused on living in anticipation of being used by God and actively participating in the faith instead of only learning about it.
“We settle for going to church instead of being the church,” Finke said.
The third and fourth sessions were about exploring why believers should have hope and what the plan should be for joining Jesus in His mission.
The conference also offered opportunities to help the Seward community with service projects.
Some of the projects, which were offered by St. John Lutheran Church, the Seward County Historical Museum, Foster Friends, Concordia University and others, included cleaning and stocking a food pantry, talking with and having community with residents of nearby retirement homes and making shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
“I really enjoyed helping a cause bigger than myself,” said freshman Andrew Castens, a conference attendee who helped at one of the food pantries. “I thought it was super insightful and it really opened my eyes to the world. I never really understood how blessed I was before helping them.”
Most of Saturday was committed to breakout sessions hosted by Christian leaders from around the country. The sessions covered a variety of topics, such as how to reach communities that already include believers, practical ways to share the Gospel and ministering to those often unseen in society.
Michelle Bauman, a native of Columbus, Indiana, and director of Youth for Life and Lutherans for Life, led a session called “From Invisible to Indispensable.” It encouraged students to seek out people who are often overlooked by society and share the love of Christ with them.
She also pushed students to fight for the right to life for the unborn and to stand against physician-assisted suicide. Bauman reminded attendees that every human is indispensable to God.
“Their lives are valuable not because of what they have done or their intellect, but because of what God has done for them,” Bauman said.
The conference had an impact on those in attendance. “God has always been my biggest answer, but over this conference, I couldn’t hold it in, I cried a ton,” Castens said. “I’m saved because Jesus Christ died for me!”