Students dared to ditch the shallow

By December 31, 2012

USA (MNN) — "We do not have time to waste our lives coasting in comfortable Christianity," David Platt stated in last Friday’s evening session of Urbana 12.

David Platt, renowned author of “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream,” and Calisto Odede, Senior Pastor of Nairobi Pentecostal Church, challenged the students at Urbana 12 on Friday, December 28.

In outlining his main message, Platt says, “My goal is to show the worth of Christ in such a way that students are propelled to eagerly, willingly, gladly give their lives—even lose them if necessary—to make His glory known to the ends of the earth.”

Platt explains what he means by missions: “When I think of [Christians’] mission as a whole, I think make disciples of all nations: the Great Commission. So this is something that is for every follower of Christ. Wherever we are, wherever we live, we’re making disciples who make disciples and the end goal is to see every people group reached for the Gospel.”

Platt goes on to say, “When I think of missions specifically, my mind and my heart are drawn toward the particular Pauline type calling to go across cultures, to be sent out from a place where the Church is, to a place where the Church is either not or is scarce.”

Calisto Odede focused on students coming back to the heart of God’s Word. He says there’s a great need for this, especially in a new generation of pastors. “In a sense, preaching today is being reduced more and more into an entertainment celebrity kind of thing. My heart’s desire is that preaching would not be viewed like that. [My desire is] that preaching would be viewed as a life-transforming event, that as they interact with the Scripture, this actually changes them.”

And how are students especially equipped to proclaim the Gospel? According to Platt, “They’ve been given gifts and skills, and who knows how much money’s-worth of education represented in that room for Urbana, education that can be used and platformed and maximized around the world in ways that demonstrate the glory of Christ.”

But it’s not always easy. “There are just so many things that the adversary uses to choke out the Word and drown out passion to keep us from realizing that there’s a bigger picture than what’s right in front of us. The world doesn’t look like North America. We’re the wealthiest people ever to walk planet earth. [We're] not just physically wealthy, but those who are followers of Christ are spiritually wealthy,” says Platt. “That’s one of the benefits of short-term missions: it’s a good, continual reminder that there’s a bigger picture here.”

Urbana 12 is a great place for students to launch their purpose in spreading the Good News of Christ. Platt says, “My exposure to Urbana is through people that I’ve met around the world that are either serving on the field or whose lives have been changed through this conference. That’s the beauty. We’ve got so many conferences today. The question is: what are the ripple effects from that conference? And there are glorious ripple effects from this conference over fifty plus years. So I praise God that [Urbana] really is a mobilization conference.”

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