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Elevate conferences point young adults toward God’s call

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–When George Cheung attended an Elevate conference for college students last year in Dallas, he thought God was calling him to be a missionary overseas.

“I knew God was calling me to deeper commitment and when I thought of missions, my mind immediately went to someplace across the world,” Cheung recalls.

But God used the conference to clarify His calling in Cheung’s life closer to home.

“I realized He wasn’t calling me to a far-off place but to shine His light brighter right where He has placed me.”

The North American Mission Board is conducting two Elevate campus conferences for college students this fall — in Oklahoma City Sept. 23-24 and Auburn, Ala., Oct. 14-15. An Elevate 2.0 conference for young professionals is scheduled March 10-11, 2006, in Atlanta.

Organizers say the goal of the conference is to help college students discover God’s plan for their lives wherever He has placed them.

NAMB President Robert E. (Bob) Reccord, who envisioned the need for such a conference, says the college and early career years are life-shaping for young Christians.

“We can’t afford to raise another generation of Christians who see the work of the church as largely somebody else’s job,” Reccord said. “We need young people who see God’s calling for what it is — a very personal call to, first, a relationship with Him, but then, immediately, to a mission alongside Him.”

More than 3,000 young people heard that challenge at last year’s Elevate conferences.

Cheung says the message changed his life. “It was a really stretching time. It gave me a whole new perspective on how I look at the people around me and the opportunities God gives me every day.”

The Elevate campus conferences this fall include Christian music bands Big Daddy Weave and By the Tree as well as worship leaders Steve Fee and Chris Orr.

In addition to Reccord, speakers include Kirk Cameron, who starred in the ABC Television series “Growing Pains” and the “Left Behind” movie series, and Ken Blanchard, author of the multi-million-seller “One-Minute Manager” series.

Other speakers include Lon Allison, director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.; Barry Landis, former president of Word Records; and former Hollywood talent agent Victorya Rogers.

Speakers will address how college students can discover God’s calling in their career by understanding their personal place in God’s mission when they move into the job market.

“We’ve heard a lot about the 10/40 window and how we must reach its inhabitants if we are to evangelize the world,” Reccord said. “But there is a 9-to-5 window that each of us is called to as well. Those are the people we spend our days with on campus, at work, at home and in our neighborhoods. We won’t reach North America if we don’t reach those people. I hope every pastor and college ministry leader will let their students know about this opportunity and challenge them to attend,” Reccord said.
More information about the Elevate conferences is available at www.Elevate2005.com.

    About the Author

  • Mike Ebert