Archives For missions

When Hudson Taylor left England for China 140-odd years ago, the boat ride took 23 weeks. And he went alone. At 21 years old.

How times have changed. That’s Keith Bubalo (check out his blog) and me waiting for bags at the Incheon airport. We were just passing through en route to Busan, South Korea. We’ll be joining 16,000 thousand college students and CCC staff members from 127 countries this week. New pages will be written in missions history. Yes, we are here to hear from God and help change the world.

It only took me 27 hours door-to-door from Orlando to Busan hotel bed.
Lesson for aspiring world changers: There has never been a riper, more accessible time in world history to consider going to the remotest parts of the earth.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations….” These few words, spoken by Jesus to eleven confused men standing on a hillside, have captivated me since I began walking with the Lord. The core imperative—make disciples—increasingly shapes and defines my passion in life. Many friends have been asking me, “so, Ken, what is your new job all about?” It boils down to this: making disciples of all nations. Our prayer is that God would use our rich experience in building followers of Christ in East Asia to help grow student-led movements everywhere, so that one day every student would know someone who truly follows Jesus.

Today there are about 8,000 top tier campuses in the world, of which only 2,000 have Christian movements (CCC or otherwise). This means over 6,000 of the world’s most influential universities are not being significantly influenced by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Students are graduating and becoming doctors, lawyers, professors, and statesmen without ever being changed by the gospel. The vision of CM2007 is to change all that.

CM2007 (, Campus Crusade for Christ’s first global student missions conference, will take place June 30 – July 6 in Busan, Korea. Nope, this is no mere blip on the collegiate social radar. It will be a historic event with three primary themes:

• Christ Magnified. PRAY for me and other keynote speakers as
we call students to live a life surrendered to the Lordship of Christ and
to exalt our magnificent God and Savior. Much of the conference will
focus on helping participants see our holy God in a new and clear way.

• Connected Movements. ASK the Lord to connect the hearts
and lives of our students and staff as a global community of campus
movements. There are over 20,000 students and staff from 127 countries registered for this gathering. We will learn from, encourage, and be challenged by others from different walks of life, cultures, languages and experiences.

• Completing the Mission. PRAY that God will unleash a new generation of spiritual movement builders to strengthen existing movements and launch new movements on the unreached campuses of the world.

Lesson for aspiring leaders: The world is waiting for us to change it.

Four months from today 15,000 – 20,000 Christian students and CCC staff members will gather in Busan, Korea. Why? To unite our hearts and raise our voices in magnifying our Lord Jesus Christ. Together we will worship, pray, fellowship, eat, share our lives, learn, and take bold steps into the future.

We will also be asking ourselves some tough questions as a global movement. Questions such as “What will it take to see Jesus raised up on every university, in every nation?” and “Lord, how can we work together to help plant Christ-centered movements on every campus in the world?” and “What role do you want me to play in this, Lord?” Together we will honestly seek the Lord and listen for His loving response.

We are not the first to ask these questions. As I study missions history among the college students of the world, it seems God raises up someone in each generation to ask these questions. Lately I’ve been captivated by the thoughts of South African pastor Andrew Murray. In 1900, a global missions conference was held in New York City. Murray was invited to speak but did not feel he could leave South Africa due to an ongoing war. Following the conference, two volumes were published which contained every speaker’s written message. Murray read through them all and was astonished to find that the central motivation for missions was left unaddressed by the conference.

In a fiery yet humble response, Murray penned The Key to the Missionary Problem. He boldly asked the Christian leaders in his day: “How can the church be aroused to know and to do our Lord’s will for the salvation of men?” This pastor unpacks fantastic thinking on world missions, issues in working with churches, the need for missions organizations, and the focus on college students as being crucial for raising the next generation. He truly believed that all the resources were present in the church to finish the task of world evangelization in his generation. Why then, he asks, with millions of Christians in the world, is the army fighting the hosts of darkness so small?

Murray’s answer was — lack of heart. The enthusiasm for building the kingdom was lacking, he said, because there was so little enthusiasm for the King.

“Though much may be done by careful organization and strict discipline and good generalship to make the best of the few troops we have, there is nothing that can so restore confidence and courage as the actual presence of a beloved King, to whom every heart beats warm in loyalty and devotion. The missionary problem was a personal one.”

How should we respond to Murray’s challenge? We would do well to listen to the voice of a Christian student leader who attended the 1900 missions conference. D. Brewer Eddy of the Yale Band gave the student viewpoint:

“The importance of leadership must be emphasized. You are the leaders. We, six million young people, are willing to follow you, if you will guide us…. If you base your appeal on grounds of pastor’s pride, or of individual church benevolence, or of denominational [or CCC] loyalty, our young people will return a reward commensurate with the grounds from which such an appeal is made. But come to us with the deepest spiritual note you can sound, with a message from the life of the Master we are learning to love more and more, and we six million will follow you to the best of our ability.”

Lesson for leaders: May we sound the deepest spiritual note with a message from the life of the Master we are learning to love more and more.

(Quotes taken from “The Key To The Missionary Problem” by Andrew Murray, CLC Publications, 1979.)