The success of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship’s (IVCF) recent missions convention indicates that interest in world missions is growing on college campuses. A record 18,100 participants attended Urbana ’84, IVCF’s fourteenth student missions convention, at the University of Illinois. Some 1,800 Canadians and more than 750 international students boosted the attendance.
Convention director John Kyle said the turnout confirmed his view that “we are at a very auspicious time in this country.” He noted a “seriousness about these students.… They are asking penetrating questions.” That interest was not as evident at the 1979 and 1981 Urbana conferences, he said.
More than 85 percent of the participants indicated on their registration cards that they were “definite,” “probable,” or “unsure, but open” to long-term missionary service. The rest checked the “unlikely” and “very doubtful” boxes.
Nearly 900 delegates indictated on their registration cards that their long-term vocational preference is to minister to “unreached peoples,” groups not yet exposed to the gospel. Ralph Winter, director of the U.S. Center for World Mission, said an effective church could be formed in each of the world’s unreached peoples groups within the next few decades. “Never in history has completing the task [of world evangelization] been so feasible,” he said. “This job is within our grasp.”
Winter predicted that missionaries from the Third World will dominate “the era ahead of us.” He pointed out that more than 20,000 Third World missionaries are already at work, with some 300 mission societies ...1
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