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Thousands respond to invitationcomment (0)

January 6, 2000

Southern Baptist mission leaders gave a simultaneous invitation to students attending YouthLink 2000 the morning of Dec. 31 to be on mission with God. Thousands responded with commitments to missions service and vocational ministry.

The Friday morning session at each YouthLink’s seven sites – Anaheim, Denver, Houston, St. Louis, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Tampa – featured videotaped and live testimonies from missionaries, and missions volunteers, and a message by a representative from one of Southern Baptist missions boards. The session concluded with a commitment time at each site.

A total of 9,131 students made decisions made decisions saying that they were willing to be a missionary if God called them, and 4,985 said they felt God was calling them into fulltime Christian ministry.

Among speakers ere Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board(IMB), and Bob Reccord, president of North American Mission Board (NAMB). The two missions boards were among the sponsors of YouthLink 2000.

Challenging his listeners to take up the mantle of leadership, Rankin told students in St. Louis, “The millennial generation is the one God has given the privilege of possibly completing the task of reaching the world for Christ.”

Referring to testimonies given earlier in the session by a short-term volunteer, a journeyman and a career couple, Rankin asked participants, “Will you go on that missions trip or serve as a journeyman or give your life to reach the lost world?” Journeyman is a two year missions opportunity for college graduates sponsored by the IMB.

“All God is asking from you is availability,” he said. “Will you be part of His will for reaching the lost world?”

In Atlanta, Reccord also challenged his listeners to be ambassadors for Christ.

Citing a good economy and other evidences that “everything is going well,” in the United States, Reccord said, “But at the same point this nation is fighting for its very soul. We have determined that position, economy and prominence are more important that biblical truth.”

“My generation hasn’t given you a healthy nation to walk into,” he acknowledged, but “God is calling you to go into the United States and make a difference.”

Using Jeremiah as his biblical example, Reccord called on the youth to grow strong in their faith, be committed to God’s mission and be compelled to fulfill God’s mandate.

“My prayer is that God will not only raise up vocational ministers, but also legislators and Hollywood actors – people to be Christian in those places.”

Reccord also pointed out to Cassie Bernall as one who paid the price.

Bernall, who was one of the students killed during the April 1999 Columbine school shootings, didn’t have anything to do with her birth and death dates, Reccord said. “But she had everything to do with the dash in between.” (BP)

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