By Kathryn Porter
Each summer, Kingdom-minded university and college students from across North America commit their hearts and minds to growing, developing and serving as disciples of Jesus through a NAMB initiative called GenSend. This past summer, students served with Send Network church planting efforts in 17 key US and Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montréal.
GenSend is more than a mission trip. It is a missionary development experience. Students work with a local city coach to map the geographical, social and spiritual layers of a community in efforts to engage in Gospel conversations, seek out people of peace and further church planting efforts. These students fit a lot of training and practical community engagement into a few short weeks. They follow the Holy Spirit’s leading as a team to genuinely connect with people to share the love and light of Jesus in practical and relational ways.
The best thing about GenSend? It’s intentionally designed to give students discipleship development and ministry skills that they can use in any context. Participants return home with eyes open to see their community or campus in new ways, with hearts prepared to be more intentional in engaging for the sake of the Gospel.
Tim Taligato is one of those students. From Edmonton, Tim applied to serve on the GenSend team in his own city. He shares some of his experience: “Most of the time people do not know how to engage in Gospel conversations because, I think, they believe that they have to start with the Gospel. At least that was my perspective in the beginning. Through GenSend, the biggest lesson I learned is that through building relationships, I am able to share the Gospel. Looking at people with compassion as Jesus did, I am able to be authentic with them, treating them as people, instead of projects—because sometimes we engage in Gospel conversations for numbers or goals, instead of caring for the people we engage in conversations with.
“Another big lesson I learned is to leave it all to God. We plant the seeds; He makes them grow. There are some people I met and shared the Gospel with, but haven’t seen since the day that I shared with them. But I know God is at work.
“I hope that more young adults in Canadian cities will take advantage of the opportunity to take part in the GenSend program,” Tim added.
We are praying for more Canadian students like Tim to invest six to eight weeks of their summer for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Do you know a student who could be a good fit for GenSend? Are you a student who is willing to explore this opportunity as you follow Jesus?
GenSend immerses you in a context where you’ll learn how to live life on mission in community as a team. You will use your unique skills and creativity to figure out ways to further the efforts of local church plants to engage a community for the sake of the Kingdom. You’ll discover practical ways to show the compassion of Jesus to your neighbours. We are looking for learners who value diversity. We need self-starters who also value team and community. Students who will thrive in GenSend are intentionally relational, flexible, and comfortable looking for ways to build bridges to Gospel conversations.
GenSend is open to students between the ages of 19 and 25 who are baptized members of a CNBC church. Students serve on the field for six or eight weeks in June and July of 2019, depending on the city.
Reprinted from the December 2018 CNBC Horizon. Read more here.