Robert Lupton, author of the popular book Toxic Charity:  How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It), will be among the plenary speakers at the World Mission conference held during the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Big Tent event.

The Louisville gathering is set for Aug. 1-3 at the Kentucky International Convention Center and the Galt House and Hyatt hotels.

Lupton’s first address will be during a pre-conference that begins at 8 a.m. on Aug. 1 and concludes prior to the Big Tent’s opening worship service at 4 p.m. The pre-conference will address best mission practices, tools for mission involvement and core partnership values in mission. 

The next day, Lupton, founder of FCS Urban Ministries in Atlanta, and Suzette Goss-Geffrard, a Presbyterian mission co-worker serving in Haiti, will lead a plenary session on tackling the root causes of poverty through collective impact. The collective impact theme will be featured throughout the World Mission conference, which is titled The Power of “We.”

“We will look at how we can focus our efforts in God’s mission,” said Ellen Sherby, World Mission’s coordinator for Equipping for Mission Involvement. “We can have greater impact if we work together.”

Helping Presbyterians directly involved in international mission work together is a priority for World Mission, Sherby said. At the core of World Mission’s work are three critical global initiatives: addressing the root causes of poverty, sharing the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ, and working for reconciliation among cultures of conflict.

In addition to the poverty initiative that will be addressed by Lupton and Goss-Geffrard, the other two critical global initiatives will each be the subject of a plenary session. The Rev. Hong Jung Lee, general secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Korea, and a mission co-worker serving in the Middle East will speak on sharing Christ’s good news, and the Rev. Shelvis Smith-Mather, a mission co-worker serving in South Sudan, will discuss reconciliation.

The closing plenary session will feature three catalysts recently hired by World Mission to help the church engage the critical global initiatives. They are Frank Dimmock, global poverty alleviation catalyst; the Rev. Haemin Lee, international evangelism catalyst; and Shannon Beck, reconciliation catalyst.  The catalysts will introduce ways that congregations can become involved in the critical global initiatives. The conference will also include a dozen workshops that center around the initiatives.

About 50 mission personnel will attend the event as well as several global partners. During Big Tent’s opening worship service, 24 people who are beginning international mission work or who are continuing to serve under PC(USA) mission appointment in a new position will be commissioned. Five PC(USA) mission networks are meeting in Louisville during the three days prior to the conference.

For more information and how to register, visit www.pcusa.org/impact or call 800-728-7228, x2417.