Saturday, 6 September 2008

Forum 2008 Part 2 - Home and Away

I called my first Forum post "The Important Bits," because there were lots of other less-important-but-still-pretty-fun highlights. But then I decided there were two highlights which decided a post of their very own. And they're probably the most important bits of the whole week!

The whole point of Forum was to equip and encourage students for sharing the gospel on their campuses. Conferences, fun as they might be, are only a means to that end. And there were two evenings which really distilled what Forum, and UCCF itself, is all about. They were the launch of the FREE Project and the World Service.


The moment lots of people had been waiting for finally arrived on Tuesday night - the FREE Project was officially launched! On one level, the vision is simple - UCCF have printed 400,000 trendy-looking copies of Mark's gospel, to be personally given out to British students. Simple as. And there are oodles of resources to go with the project: All sorts of Bible studies and training materials to equip CUs, graphics and publicity resources, beer mats, carrier bags, tiny badges. Even a great promo video featuring my friend Lisa Norbury who became a Christian during the last gospel project. But even with all of that, the fundamental conviction behind it all is that God uses his word to change lives as people meet the Lord Jesus. The trendiness and publicity is just to help people engage with the words. And that's what I love about the gospel project - it's about getting God's word into the hands and hearts of students. Come on!

World Service

In many ways, the idea behind the World Service was the same. IFES, the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, exists to make the gospel known to students around the world. It was great to hear from brothers and sisters from all over the world. It was even better to see hundreds of students committing to crossing cultures and reaching the nations with the gospel. And John Piper helped us to widen our understanding of exactly what that means. The scale of the task is huge, but the commitment of the students present was beautiful to see. It felt like a world-changing moment - I'm excited to see where it leads in the coming years...

This is what it's all about. In John Piper's words, mission exists where worship doesn't. And that's what the FREE project and the World Service, and the Fellowship as a whole, are all about - taking Christ to the world, at home and away, so that he might be glorified all over the planet. I have the best job in the world!

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