A New Generation of Stories

January 7, 2016

 (Madison, WI) ---Attendees were asked, “What Story Will You Tell?” at Urbana 15, InterVarsity’s triennial student missions conference. And they answered with bold commitments to let God direct their stories.

“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,” said Urbana director Tom Lin. “I pray that this generation will give their whole hearts to Jesus and surrender their lives for God's global mission.”

Sixteen thousand Urbana attendees spent the last five days of 2015 in St. Louis, 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. This was InterVarsity’s twenty-fourth Urbana but Patrick Fung, the Director of OMF International in Singapore, clearly asserted why each Urbana is important: “We cannot claim the faith of the previous generation,” he said. “Each generation must serve God’s purpose.”

David Platt, the President of the International Mission Board, cautioned his listeners not to try to manufacture a heart for missions. “Your life is to love Christ ,” he said. “And mission is a lavish expression of that love.”

In response to David’s call to commitment, 681 made decisions to become a follower of Jesus Christ. In addition:

  • 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.

Urbana 15 participants contributed more than one million dollars 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.

Urbana 15 can still be experienced in this summary video (below). More Urbana 15 videos are available online at https://urbana.org/urbana-15/general-sessions. Audio from Urbana seminars is available at: https://urbana.org/seminars-tracks. Additional Urbana resources, such as Paul Borthwick’s helpful article on “5 Ways to Process Urbana” are featured on the Urbana blog: https://urbana.org/blog.

For more information contact:
Gordon Govier