USA (MNN) — There's a controversy brewing in missions. It's a controversy that's now drawing the attention of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary's Global Learning Center. The controversy is '20 somethings' in 21st Century Missions. That will be the topic of discussion at the Global Learning Center's annual Symposium.
Executive Director of the Global Learning Center Doctor David Livermore says mission leaders have differing opinions about the 20 something generation. "I often feel like I'm living in two very different worlds because I'll talk to senior missions leaders who will rant and rave about how the younger generation doesn't give a rip about missions, and then I find myself with a group of 20 somethings who are telling me about all the fascinating things they're doing around the world."
He says the symposium is "a selfish excuse for me to bring some of them into the same room and listen to one another."
Specific kinds of missions activity seems to have attracted young adults, says Livermore. "The short-term missions movement has had some of the greatest growth, particularly in the younger generation. And yet we haven't necessarily seen comparable numbers in the growth of long term missionaries."
The February 6-8 symposium will feature Bill Taylor, the global ambassador with World Evangelical Alliance. It will also feature a leadership round-table, a workshop for youth, and much more. It's open to pastors, missions leaders and missions-minded individuals who want to understand global missions as it relates to young adults.
Livermore says the symposium isn't intended to solve all the problems "but at least move the conversation forward. We'd love to at least move toward the direction of some best practices of how '20 somethings' need to think about mission and frankly how the more seasoned missions professionals need to think about '20 somethings.'"