‘Every tribe every tongue, lift your voices as one,
Singing worthy is the Lamb.
We will go in your name, for your glory and fame,
Singing worthy is the Lamb.’ (Sing to the Lord, Hillsong Worship)
Between Christmas and New Year, I had the privilege of going to the IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) conference, Revive. Students across Europe came together to be equipped in mission and pray that God would revive our hearts, revive our universities and revive Europe. It was such a joy to find myself singing the truths of the gospel along with 3,000 others from 68 different nations.
Together, we journeyed through the first five chapters of the book of Acts, looking at the lives of the Apostles in the revival ministry in the early Church. Through enlivening dramas, song, spoken word, dance, preaching, video, poetry and so much more we were challenged to reflect on our own part in seeing our continent revived. A memorable quote was,
‘It is not the task of Christians to make the present more bearable, but to bring revival to the world through the redemptive power of Christ’.
One of my highlights of the week has to have been leading a small group Bible study in Acts each morning. I wasn’t sure exactly what or who to expect, but to be looking at the Word with students from Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Croatia, France and Great Britain was such an incredible picture of unity. We shared stories, ideas and all kinds of different experiences and I was reminded that while the method and resources may change, the message and the mission never do. This thought was brought home as we were challenged to remember that it is not man-made strategy that brings revival, but the work of God – because when God moves it is unstoppable and extraordinary. Whatever plans we might make, the only right way of doing mission is in step with the one who ordained it.
It was a week of creative prayer, world-class teaching and worship in too many languages to count. Throughout the conference, I saw my vision of the gospel broaden; broaden beyond strategies and methods, beyond culture and background, beyond gender, race, experience, position, resources and plans to a simple, yet creative and beautiful gospel.
We ended the conference with a big New Year celebration together, reflecting on all God has done for us and praying in the year. What better way to walk into a new decade than flooding it with prayer and worship, glitter and glow sticks, lifting our voices together and committing to go in His name for His glory and fame?
May this be our prayer for students across Europe this year.
This blog was written by CU Staff Worker Abi Andrews, who equips and supports the CUs in Lancashire as they share the gospel on campus.
To find out more about student mission across Europe, visit the IFES webpage.