I have the privilege of being involved with several significant legacy ministries in global missions — Urbana, Lausanne, Missio Nexus, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. Many often ask me, “The past was great, but is there any hope for the next generation? Will they contribute anything at all to the spread of the gospel?”
As I look at this student generation and the next generation of missionaries, I have hope. I have hope because I see 100,000s of American students who are committed to evangelism. In the last decade, InterVarsity has seen more students make first-time decisions for Christ than during any decade in its 72-year history.
I have hope because students have always led the way in changing the world, from 19-year old Samuel Mills in 1806, launching the North American missions movement from Williams College, to
The Lausanne Movement’s first Global Leadership Forum, held in Bangalore in June, drew together 350 participants from over 60 nations, selected from the public arenas, churches, agencies and the media. Its main work was to assess progress in issues identified in The Cape Town Commitment, and to stimulate further collaborative action towards the goals of its ‘Call to Action’.
There’s so much to be thankful for as I reflect on the Urbana 12 Student Missions Conference. I’m so proud of my team and the 1,500+ InterVarsity staff across North America, who rallied together around a vision for this Urbana to be clearly connected to its historical vision, clearly rooted in Scripture & the Gospel, and clearly contextualized to the language & culture of this generation.
Many robust reports, articles, videos, and stories will undoubtedly be circulated in the coming months, but for now, I’d like to share 10 PERSONAL highlights from Urbana 12 (in no particular order):
How can we take Urbana’s best learning and share with a wider audience about the lifelong journey of missions? Together with my colleague Nikki Toyama-Szeto, we worked with some outstanding authors and co-edited 6 mini-books, just published and now FOR SALE. Titles include Deepening the Soul for Justice, The Mission of Worship, Partnering with the Global Church, Spiritual Warfare in Mission, Your Mind’s Mission, and Pursuing God’s Call.