The Incredible Urbana Phenomenon
The great missionary movements of the past century began with a fresh new vision among college students for fulfilling Jesus' Great Commission among ALL NATIONS. The current movement among college students is no exception.
One outstanding example was the pledge designed by the delegates to the International Student Consultation on Frontier Missions (Edinburgh '80). They pledged their lives to " ... obeying His commission.. and giving priority to the peoples currently beyond the reach of the Gospel Gospel .
That same remarkable growing interest in world missions in recent years on the college campuses of America and Canada has led InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to shorten the time between the "Urbana't conferences. Instead of every three years, Urbana is now held every other year,,
"Urbana" is the largest student missions conference in the world, 17,000 students from all over North America gather at the University of Illinois, Urbana campus between Christmas and New Year's, December 27 31. Through plenary sessions, seminars, workshops and personal contacts with missionaries, students can explore what their role in world evangelization might be.
"LET EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD" is the ringing theme of Urbana '81. Daily themes are slated to be: "Christ's Message," "Christ's World," "Christ's Missionary," and "Christ's Lord"."
Speakers at Urbana '81 plenary sessions include Billy Graham, David M. Howard, Helen Roseveare, John Kyle, Rebecca Pippert, Isabelo Magalit, Gordon MacDonald, Samuel Escobar, Robert Munger, and Bernie Smith, song leader.
At Urbana '79, an estimated 8,000 students of the 17,000 total stopped by the USCWM booth in the Armory for information. This year, twenty five USCWM staff members will be on hand at Urbana to answer questions about frontier missions, the USCWM's training and study programs, and opportunities for getting to the frontiers.
Staff members will be leading workshops: "Teaching English, Tentmaking and Tooling up for the Frontiers", "For Mission Fanatics, Innovators, Mavericks and Macho Missionaries Only" (Brad Gill), and "Case Studies in the Strategy of Staying at Home" (Len Bartlotti),
Each day of the conference, Ralph Winter will be offering a seminar entitled "Cross Cultural Evangelism."
A significant step forward in rounding out the Urbana experience is the addition of the InterVarsity Missions/Institute of International Studies, January 1-7, 1982, immediately following the main conference.
Because the Urbana convention loads students with such a volume of information, opportunities and stimulating challenges, the US follow up is designed to help delegates make the vision of Urbana usable, practical and personal. The course will provide a Biblical and historical context for solid personal involvement with the World Christian Movement. It will help students put their Urbana experience into focus.
Only delegates to the main Urbana convention are eligible to attend the follow up. Information is being sent to all registrants of Urbana '80.