On December 31, 2012, 16,000 students seeking God’s heart for world missions gathered in the Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams, to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
That night was the culmination of almost a week’s worth of seminars and study, worship and searching, and experiencing first hand the ways in which God is moving his people to care for the lost and the poor in our world. Sharing together in the The Lord’s Supper, and singing in the New Year by lifting up Jesus’ name, 16,000 young people bathed in the fire of the Holy Spirit walked out into the cold streets of St. Louis on the early morning of January 1, 2013. Were you one of those zealous worshipers? Were some of the young people from your Corps in attendance?
The question I have to ask now is, so what? What’s different in our world because of that experience? What’s different in the hearts and lives of those who participated in that heaven-shaking event? Paul Borthwick, author of Western Christians in Global Missions, challenged the Salvos at the Kindred Session to do five intentional things following their experience at Urbana. I’d like to remind you of that challenge and ask you all to chime in with what God’s been doing in your life since coming home from the mountaintop.
Paul Borthwick’s Top 5 Things for Urbana Follow Up
- 5) Share, write down, tweet, or blog about 5 big memories from urbana 2012. Take a look through Urbana’s photos, and check out the photosets from the Kindred Session, to remind yourself of the awesomeness!
- 4) Re-watch or listen to 4 messages or seminars that you need to hear again (or maybe even a couple you missed?).
- 3) Read 3 books this year that will continue helping you learn about missions. Paul suggests reading 1 missionary biography, 1 book on missiology (the theology of missions), and 1 book covering a specific issue close to your heart (such as women and girl’s rights, global hunger, or sex trafficking).
- 2) Keep in contact with 2 people you met at or experienced Urbana with. Pray for one another, encourage one another, and stay accountable to the things God revealed to you during that time with one another.
- 1) Make 1 big life change. We were all confronted by the suffering and need, and also the joy and wonder, experienced by our brothers and sisters around the world. What is one way you can sacrifice in order to give more to those in need? What is something you can do in order to participate less in the systems of injustice in our world? Pray about eating out less and sponsoring a children’s home! Think about committing to buy only second-hand clothing, to remove yourself in one way from the chain of exploitation and sweatshop labor that produces so many of the goods we purchase.
- What’s going on post-Urbana?
- What do you remember most about the experience?
- What kind of change or growth is God continuing in your heart and life?
- What have you heard from your young people who attended? How can you encourage them to be faithful to what God is teaching them?
- Check out the After Urbana section of the Urbana website and explore all the great, free stuff they’ve made available!