Why are you here? What brought you to IUPUI? The chance to get an education? To take a leap in your career? To make friends and memories? You’ve come here for a reason, but it may not be what you expected.
See, I came to this school because I had a scholarship. It was close to home. It had all the majors I liked. But as I’ve sought God in this city and on this campus, I’ve realized that he has brought me here for his purposes, too. The same is true for you. God has brought you into this city to tell of his salvation to unbelievers and to spread his glory through the city of Indianapolis.
Sounds pretty intimidating, huh?
Look at it this way: God has uniquely picked you to do Kingdom work in a very strategic location. The Lausanne Movement writes this in their Cape Town Commitment: “Cities are where four major kinds of people are most to be found: 1. the next generation of young people; 2. the most unreached peoples who have migrated; 3. the culture shapers; 4. the poorest of the poor.” Why does God want us to reach these four people groups?
1) THE NEXT GENERATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE
That’s us. We are the future leaders, movers, and shakers of our globalizing world. And not just us, but also our peers of other faiths, creeds, and cultures. Reach the young adults, and you will make a huge impact on the future of nations and societies.
A missionary from Cambodia testifies to this. He and his family are serving in a country that was devastated by genocide, and now nearly all of the existing population is under 30 years old. (Look up the Khmer Rouge if you want to learn more.) After witnessing such devastation, the young are desperate for truth, and God is providing. Before the Gospel has even left the lips of pastors, young people are running to tell their friends and neighbors, which has led to dramatic growth in Christianity, and to powerful social change. Praise the Lord.
2) THE MOST UNREACHED PEOPLES WHO HAVE MIGRATED
Cities are a desirable place to live. There are sights to see, people to meet, jobs to work, and opportunities to be grasped. Those with a hope for a better life will move into the cities to find it. As Christians, we know that a better life comes from salvation alone, and it is our task to share that with travellers from all corners of the earth.
3) THE CULTURE SHAPERS
While young adults are the future of our country, culture shapers are already influencing it. I see this all the time in the nonprofit community. The city is full of people who have identified problems in our society, and have decided to do something about it. (On the flip-side, those who don’t desire rapid societal and cultural change tend to stay away from the cities). If we reach these people for Christ, we go a long way in bringing the Kingdom to Indianapolis.
4) THE POOREST OF THE POOR
Anyone who has studied urban development can attest to this: cities are full of poverty. Whether by situation or by lifestyle, those in material, interpersonal, or spiritual poverty are right around the corner. Jesus ministered to the poor more than any other group. God has always desired to meet their needs through faithful givers. Just as much, he has called us to extend “water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4, ESV)
Maybe you are intimidated by God’s mission for Indianapolis. I promise, though, that if you start to follow his will in serving this city, he will do more through you than you can imagine.
This year we are partnering with a local church near IUPUI’s campus. As we approach the school year, pray about opportunities to work in the community. Pray also for opportunities to share the Gospel with you classmates and teachers. And I will pray with you “to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:38, ESV)"
Kaitlin Silvey, Student in Impact at IUPUI (former student president)