USA (InterVarsity, MNN) — Urbana is InterVarsity Christian Fellowship‘s tri-annual student missions conference, and the numbers from this year’s event are in.
At the top of the list: salvation. Last week in Missouri, nearly 700 young people put feet on their new faith by trusting in Jesus for the first time at Urbana 15.
- 9,416 said yes to serving in a global or cross-cultural setting—short-term, mid-term, and long-term combined.
- 9,254 said yes to regularly praying and interceding for the global church.
- 5,418 said yes to continuing with others their Bible study of Matthew’s Gospel that began at Urbana.
“At Urbana 15, we challenged this generation to tell the Jesus’ story with their lives, and to learn from stories that are different than theirs,” Urbana director Tom Lin stated in a press release.
“I pray that this generation will give their whole hearts to Jesus and surrender their lives for God’s global mission.”
With roots in North America and abroad, 16,000 Urbana attendees spent the last five days of 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri — studying the Gospel of Matthew, praying for persecuted Christians, engaging with over 200 mission-focused seminars and more than 200 mission agencies and seminaries, and worshipping God through music and drama.
Participants also contributed more than $940,000 to the Urbana offering. The offering goes to 12 organizations that support indigenous Christian leaders and missionaries, persecuted churches, intercession ministry, refugees and diaspora communities, and evangelism efforts.
Along with calling Millennials to the foreign mission field, speakers addressed topics close to home.
“We chose to address #BlackLivesMatter at Urbana 15…because it is a language and experience of many college students,” InterVarsity staff said in a recent press release.
“Many Black InterVarsity staff and students report that they are physically and emotionally at risk in their communities and on campus.”
About one-half of those who attended Urbana 15 are people of color, including more than 1,200 Black participants. InterVarsity chose to participate in this conversation because they believe Christians have something distinctive to contribute in order to advance the Gospel.
“The need for reconciliation is obvious in the Middle East and other global mission fields. It is just as obvious in the United States.”
Urbana 15 can still be experienced in this summary video here. More videos are available online at https://urbana.org/urbana-15/general-sessions. Audio is available at: https://urbana.org/seminars-tracks.
Additional resources, such as Paul Borthwick’s helpful article on “5 Ways to Process Urbana” are featured on the Urbana blog: https://urbana.org/blog.