Urbana ’06: a job well done.

By January 1, 2007

USA (MNN)–Some 22-thousand young people welcomed the New Year with a determination to ‘Live a life worthy of the calling’. Urbana ’06 was geared at students interested in changing the world.

At the beginning of the conference, Alec Hill, president of Intervarsity USA said “My generation separated justice and proclamation. To this generation, that’s a false dichotomy.”

Will Kelly is one student who bears this out. He’s a Senior at the University of Richmond in Virginia, majoring in Philosophy and Religion. Kelly believes that as he launches into his career track, it will take education to be effective in his response to what he’s learned this week. “These sorts of issues are going to be ones that are going to shape and mold what my message will be. So, I’m looking to go from here and continue to form passions within myself that I can refine through education and training to then take another step.”

Cassie Meyer, is in her second year at the University of Florida majoring in Sociology and Psychology. She takes a pragmatic approach to meshing her major and Urbana’s charge. “What I would like to do eventually, is help implement systems so that people can more effectively go into countries and go into communities. I love being the hands and feet too, but you need the organizational structures.”

She goes on to explain that Urbana helped her see the importance of interdependence among disciplines and agencies working together in the Great Commission.

Aside from recruiting new people to serve in the mission field, Interserve’s David Householder says this group of people is likely to surprise. “We don’t realize how much enthusiasm and vision there is among the young people today to see the Gospel being expanded around the world and to be aware of the international mix in their own communities and their own colleges.”

What that means is that this generation of young people, he explains, needs the shaping of the older generations, but they have a better ‘world-is-bigger-than-your-backyard’ view.

So what? Urbana’s purpose is to present the case for global missions to a group of people poised at the edge of participating–either through going,giving or praying. This year’s conference, hosted in St. Louis, MO for the first time, topped at over 22-thousand. That’s 22-thousand people brought front and center before the Great Commission.

According to Urbana organizers, thousands are on the mission field today, or in some other field of Christian service, because they heard God’s call at Urbana. The next conference is in 2009.

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