December, 2011 – I am excited to share with you all that I will be a part of the worship team for Urbana 12, InterVarsity’s triennial missions conference held in December 2012 in St. Louis, MO.
I first attended Urbana in 2003 as a plucky college sophomore, thinking I knew one or two things about God, His Kingdom and the world. But after 5 days, worshipping alongside nearly 20,000 other students from around North America, digging into what God’s word had to say about missions and hearing from global speakers about what God is doing in every corner of our world, I repented of my provincial prospective and reveled in the majesty of God’s Kingdom that was truly truly bigger than I could ever imagine.
My first Urbana experience came to beautiful, unforgettable climax during the closing worship service, held on New Years Eve. I had personally committed to serving God through global short-term missions and we were responding in musical worship late into the evening. When the clock struck midnight we were singing “Lord of the Harvest” by Fred Hammond and confetti filled the dome, we exploded into cheers, hugs and tears and continued to worship with all we had. The music brought together everything that had been so powerful about Urbana — God’s global greatness, the powerful words of the songs, the communal nature of worship with tens of thousands of believers unified in mission, all combined with the unstoppable force that is God’s advancing Kingdom.
I remember the worship as the time that the Holy Spirit brought together all the things I was learning that week and setting it aflame in my heart. Songs from the conference like “Jesus All For Jesus” and “Montaña” became my prayers. And six months later I found myself in the garbage slums of Cairo, Egypt learning about God’s heart for the urban poor.
In the two Urbanas since (2006 and 2009) I have served the conference in a variety of capacities: helping with meals and registration, serving as a mic runner and Bible study assistant, a small group leader and even as an auxiliary musician at Urbana 09. At Urbana 12, I have the privilege of helping to lead the entire conference in worship in hopes that yet another generation of students join into the unstoppable force that is God’s advancing Kingdom.
For the next 12 months, I will be training and preparing with team members from around the country, leading worship at various churches and conferences in hopes that we can grow together as a team and develop the skills to lead a diverse group of students into a diverse mission field through our worship. We will also be recording a CD this summer.
I am so excited for this experience and hope that not only will I grow as a worship leader, but I will be able to offer my gifts and experiences so that God’s Kingdom would be advanced through the delegates fo Urbana 12.
I would really, really appreciate your prayers. Even in the past few months I have become increasingly aware of my own pride and mixed motives. I have become more aware of the temptations that exist with such a large ministry opportunity. Please pray!
- Pray for God’s protection from spiritual attack.
- Pray for God’s refining fire on my character, that I take this season of preparation as opportunities for discipleship.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring unity to a culturally, generationally, geographically and denominationally diverse worship team.
- Pray for the wisdom and discipline to balance my Urbana responsibilities, my studies at Trinity and my ministry at Northwestern.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” – Revelation 7:9-10