International (MNN) — A new generation of believers is rising up with enough fervor and passion for the Gospel to take the world by surprise.
Global Advance works with church and business leaders to evangelize and disciple the nations. President David Shibley says lately the ministry has seen "tremendous trends among young men and women who are seeing the power of the Gospel at work and are really responding to the call to get the Gospel to every person."
"Volunteerism among young people today is really off the charts," notes Shibley. "They are far more roll-up-your-sleeves, actively involved percentage-wise than my generation has been; that's a very encouraging sign. Also, they have a tremendous sensitivity to issues of justice. They are presenting a full-orbed Gospel: not only evangelism–bringing people to faith in Christ–but also the discipling of the nations and bringing the nations under the Lordship of Christ."
Shibley says the fervor of these young people should come as no surprise to us. Believers in their 20's have historically been some of the most passionate for the Gospel, and many of the greatest leaders in the Christian world internationally today are in their 30's.
Another drive in particular for this rising generation seems to be the shunning of materialism–a good trend in line with the Gospel and in light of the recent global economic downturns.
"I think there is a reassessment among young people that life, as Jesus said, really does not consist in the abundance of things that a person possesses," says Shibley. "I think it's a fresh renunciation of materialism of the essence of life."
Of course, finances are always still a need, even for young people that don't wish for much in materially. Shibley says he has seen older generations stepping up to the plate in this area, stewarding what they have to a new generation.
Although the fervor made apparent at large conferences like Urbana is certainly not representative of all teens and 20-somethings, it is encouraging that many believing young people are ready to live their lives according to Christ's Great Commission. It seems clear that God plans to use this generation in big ways.
"This is a very rare generation, and those whom God is calling into His service and to represent Him in these genesis years of the 21st century are a very unique group of individuals who, I believe, are going to carry the torch of the Gospel with tremendous speed to the ends of the earth."