I came to this event 12 years ago when I was first contemplating a change in direction with InterVarsity. At the time I was nearing the end of seminary and nearing the end of my first 19 years with IV. I was a guest that spring.
This spring was my first experience with GFM National Staff meetings as an appointed staff member. It was great connecting with some familiar faces. Several staff I once knew from undergraduate ministry are now with GFM. By far the nicest surprise was bumping into Marcia Wang- a member of one of my Downstate Illinois staff teams way back in the day. Marcia is now the Associate National Director of the ministry division I work for.
Mundelein was also the first National Staff gathering since the announcement of the 2030 Calling. The 2030 Calling is the outcome of InterVarsity’s most recent National vision campaign and it reads like this:
Longing for revival, we catalyze movements that call every corner of every campus to follow Jesus.
Numerically, 2030 aims to see movements raised up at 2,500 campuses across the U.S. by the year 2030. Three broad initiatives undergird the vision -1) Become a thriving organization of thriving people (a great work of God should start with staff who are flourishing and growing from the inside out – not just people who generate more work) 2) Mobilizing more effective ministry partnerships (this won’t be solely InterVarsity’s thing – the scope is just too great) and 3) Planting exponentially (not additive, not incremental – based in the past decade of planting cohort work).
At Mundelein GFM was able to unpack 2030 and begin wrestling with its implications for reaching grad students and faculty. GFM can be thought of as a IVs top shelf contextual challenge. The true test of a vision aimed at reaching every corner of every campus may ell be: “Will it connect at the Grad-Faculty level?” Every corner includes every department, every program, every professional student, every researcher, every professor, every instructor, every adjunct. Every administrator? The whole university as a community and as a structure. That’s overwhelming to think about. The claim of the Gospel is that Jesus is Lord over everything – what does it look like to scale our mission comprehensively?
I’m excited to help my team grab a hold of 2030. I think some of our craziest stories are ahead of us. Do we really know what we’ve gotten ourselves into? If 2030 is genuinely from the Spirit of God of course we can sink our hopes into remarkable happenings in the days ahead.