The baton is being passed, and I feel pretty good about that.
I’m in Spokane, Washington, leading a couple of seminars at the Missions Conference at the Moody Bible Institute Spokane campus. Before you are impressed at how far my fame has spread, you should probably know some things: 1) My daughter goes to school here. 2) She is on the Missions Conference planning team. 3) She is in charge of the seminars. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
This is my second year speaking at Moody (it’s also Minnie’s second year on the Seminar team – again, NOT a coincidence). As this year’s conference comes to a close, I find myself with the same sense that I had last year.
God’s plan for the world is in good hands.
Yes, ultimately it is in His hands, and He has promised to move this world toward the goal He had established from the start. But that isn’t what I’m talking about.
If these students are typical of the kind of people that will step up to the plate as my generation steps away, there is much to be excited about. They are enthusiastic. They are Christ-centered. They love to worship. They are holistically-minded. They have high expectations. They ask good questions.
In the words of William Carey, British missionary to India and founder of the modern missionary movement, they expect great things from God, and they will attempt great things for God.
I don’t need the gift of prophecy to know what is ahead for many of them, and it’s not all pleasant. Some will fail morally along the way. Some will become disillusioned by their spiritual leaders, and will bail on the whole idea of church. Some will get caught up in the materialistic rat race of their generation.
But some will bring the news of Christ to people who have never heard His name. Some will represent His love and His grace before the eyes of a battered world that badly needs both. Some will spend 25 years translating the Bible into new languages, start schools that will train leaders all over the world, put an end to sex trafficking, forge bonds of partnership with Christ-followers in the developing world, and plant churches in places that today are openly hostile to Christianity. They will experience the indescribable joy of giving their lives to something much bigger than them. A few will lose their life along the way.
They will take the mission of Christ to places it has not yet been, in ways that my generation has never seen, and could never imagine.
When Murf and I left France to return to the States, we had several goals. The most important was this: we wanted to help identify, train, send, and care for the next generation of missionaries. We’ve been glad to see that happen in our home church, and we are eager for opportunities like this one to help shape young people who are eager to go, and to serve, wherever God would send them.
My seminars are done, and we’re looking forward to an informal Q&A session at a local house this Thursday night. Your prayers for the remaining time would be appreciated. It’s been a good week, and it isn’t even done yet!
I’m looking forward to getting to know a few more people who will one day take the baton from my hands.
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