USA (MNN) – InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is inching towards hosting Urbana18, a college-aged student missions conference. The conference is held every three years in St. Louis, Missouri and is considered the largest missions conference in North America.
What is Urbana
“The upcoming Urbana18 is actually the 25th conference that we will have. Its focus is really on inviting the student generation to give their whole lives to God’s global missions. So, the focus is two things; students and global missions,” InterVarsity’s Joyce Hiendarto shares.
“It features powerful multicultural worship, closely studying scripture, well-known speakers, testimonies from the global Church, and over 200 missions organizations for you to connect with. This is all designed to help you gain a bigger, more global view of God and challenge you to seek how he wants you to use your gifts and passions to influence the world.”
The InterVarsity missions conference, Urbana, was first held in Toronto in 1946, and was held in Urbana, Illinois for many years before moving to St. Louis in 2006.This year’s conference lasts for five days and will take place December 27-31, 2018. The overall theme for the Urbana conferences usually focuses on how God works in different parts of the world, what global expression of missional work looks like, and how North American students can get involved in God’s global mission.
How it Works
What’s more is Urbana helped inspire these students to intentionally serve and share the Gospel. And, Urbana18’s scripture topic will be looking at these ideas through the book of Revelation and it’s teachings about Jesus.
“Our desire is that the book of Revelation would offer a renewed perspective for this generation to see Jesus Christ as the Lord and King,” Hiendarto explains.
“The fact that he will come in all his power and glory to redeem and renew us and to bring his kingdom on Earth. The book of Revelation also has elements of how the Holy Spirit actually plays a role orchestrating the redemption.”
Registration for Urbana18 begins March 1, 2018. People interested in attending Urbana can get more information at here. InterVarsity has Urbana18 information and updates on their social media sites. So, if you’re not already following the ministry, you should.
Why Attend Urbana18
Still wondering why you might want to participate?
Well, the Urbana conferences are no doubt life-changing.
“A lot of our [Urbana] participants have said that Urbana helped open their eyes up to the global realities and global opportunities that they were not aware of before,” Hiendarto says.
“A lot of the Urbana stories over the years have been all about [exposure to topics] related to missions, and they were able to make connections from their life and their passions, their gifts or their major, into how that can be used in participating in God’s mission in whatever field they were exposed too.”
In fact, since Urbana first began, it has helped send over a quarter million students into their callings; either back to their college campus or around the world.
“Somehow God has used this event to be a sacred space for a lot of people to discern and really have their views of God and God’s mission in the world be expanded and enriched, while at the same time being challenged to participate,” Hiendarto shares.
“The way the Holy Spirit works throughout the Urbana conference is powerful, and challenges people, [and] calls people out of their comfort zone and exposes them to how and what they can do and set the projector of their lives, aiming to use it for God’s global mission.”
How to Join or Help
So, if you know someone who is college-aged, consider sharing this information with them. Maybe even take this encouragement a step further and offer to help send a student to the conference. Either way, will you be praying for the conference, too?
Please, pray for God to plant seeds in students’ hearts with a desire to join God’s global plan. Pray for the student’s hearts to be open to God both before, after, and during Urbana18.
Also, pray for InterVarsity and speakers as the ministry prepares for the conference. Pray for the way Urbana 18 teams are being formed, and discernment for the conference as it is planned.
To learn more about Urbana18, click here!