A Challenge on Behalf of the Nations: Go
WILMORE, Ky. — While this fall’s Great Commission Congress at Asbury University has included times of education and encouragement, a more challenging theme has surfaced throughout the week of large- and small-group presentations: Will you go?
“God didn’t call me to Christianize my life,” said Todd Ahrend, a speaker who specializes in college mobilization ministry, during Monday’s Chapel address. “He called me to crucify my life. Missions begins on Page 1 of the Bible and goes from Genesis 1 to the maps at the back — the whole thing is one story.
“God has a heart for the world,” he continued. “Is that a big enough reason for me to cultivate one?”
Asbury’s Great Commission Congress is an annual event in which Jesus’ instruction to “go and make disciples of all nations” — a consistent backdrop to life at the University — is called out for discussion and emphasis. This year’s event featured Chapel messages, breakout sessions, local service projects and an organization “fair” in the cafeteria to connect students with opportunities to minister.
The speakers for the week included Ahrend, Betsy Hall ’01 Ledoux and Dr. Kay Fuller ’57 Rader. Ledoux works as the international Disaster Response and Preparedness Manager at Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, and Rader is the former World President of Women’s Organizations for The Salvation Army. All three drew from diverse experiences in cross-cultural ministry to emphasize a unified point: God can and will use you, if you will let Him.
“The way they spoke about their experiences and how God worked through them helped me to realize if I want to be like Christ, then I should go out and be Christ to unreached people,” said senior Michael Davis.
For Jonathan Powers ’03, the week resonated both personally and professionally. When he was a student, the Great Commission Congress played a role in his decision to spend six months in ministry in Uganda; now, he and his wife, Faith, work at the World Gospel Mission student center adjacent to campus, helping to connect Asbury students with mission opportunities.
“When I was a student, the Great Commission Congress challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and think about what it means to rely on God,” he said. “I ended up going to Uganda, and it set in my life a passion for missions. I wouldn’t be here now doing what I do at the student center if it hadn’t been for that. There were some great challenges issued this week. I was very blessed by the whole thing, and glad to be a part of it.”
Podcasts of the week’s Chapel messages are available online.