“More people today are dying and going to a Christ-less eternity than at any point in history,” said the International Mission Board’s Chris Derry, creating an unprecedented missions opportunity for students and young adults.
Unite, sponsored by the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, met Nov. 15 at The Well Church in Huntsville to discuss missions opportunities for students.
“We watched last year as you saw your campuses shut down completely,” said Chris Derry, director of church and network relations for the IMB. “They were at home online for class. We know it was difficult to try to do ministry last year but the Lord continues to redeem the people for Himself.”
For the IMB, 91% of the organization’s ministry teams are focused on the unreached. Derry highlighted the number of people dying every day — 155,473.
Remembering our motivation
“That is our motivation to share Christ, that they can have hope and forgiveness and reconciliation with the Father because of His gospel,” he said. “We press through things like pandemics and Zoom meetings.”
According to IMB research and population trends, nearly 16 billion people lived between 1700 and 2000. Derry emphasized that 9 billion more will live between 2000 and 2100, totaling 24 billion in this century. It’s a massive opportunity for a generation that’s constantly connected online, can fly at the drop of a hat and has a desire to move and go, Derry noted.
With 52% of the world’s population under the age 29, Sarah Farley, IMB student mobilization associate, said the organization is the largest sender of students, but more still needs to be done.
“We don’t just want your young adults and students, we need your young adults and students,” she said.
Participants learned about the pros and cons of serving as well as ways to help their students see the pathways to missions service.