Hunkering Down at Urbana '09

urbana tuesday 008

I know. Doesn’t look like my compadres are doing much hunkering down at this missions conference! Snapped this photo on our way to lunch. Simply gotta have a photo of the arch!

We’re deep into day two. Thought you might like an idea of what a day at Urbana is like.

urbana tuesday 001

We start with inductive Bible study at 8:30 AM. This morning we studied John 2:1-11. We learned about the lavish way Jesus supplied the need of wine for the wedding reception that almost ran out of the same. The leader challenged us to think of ways we might show the abundant grace of God in reaching out to others who don’t know Christ. I immediately thought of our painting outreach to my widow neighbor last August. An abundance of grace and love rained down through that effort.

urbana tuesday 007

The morning general session follows at 10:45 AM. InterVarsity spared no expense in making the praise singing time a full-blown production, as you can see. I’m thinking I would like a bank of lights like this in our new building. Just kidding!

Expository messages working through the early chapters of John’s gospel have made up most of the teaching emphasis in the plenary sessions so far. But some speakers have ventured into social concerns and the challenge of how to meet staggering needs around the world while also attending to making disciples by preaching the gospel. Our delegates from OGC have impressed me by their determination to think biblically about what they hear and to evaluate with an appropriately discerning mind and heart. They make me want to be a better pastor.

In the afternoon, a wide variety of seminar options test a conferee’s decision-making capacities. Many topics have standing-room only crowds.

After dinner another plenary session follows with more praise singing, teaching, dramatic vignettes and other artistic media expressions to communicate the various needs of global missions.

The day ends with our groups meeting for debrief and prayer from about 10-11:00 PM, way past this old gospel soldier’s bedtime. But I managed to make it all the way to the end last night.

For some reason now I feel the need for nap.

Please continue to pray for us that God would speak to us and all who have come to St. Louis for the sake of the fame of the Name of Him who gave His life for the nations.

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