By Nathan Handley
Union University News Office
JACKSON — Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, encouraged Union University students to be obedient in their mission as Christians at a chapel service Feb. 10 in the G. M. Savage Memorial Chapel.
“The Bible tells us very clearly that, as believers we’re to be on mission,” Ezell said. “That means as a teacher, as an engineer, whatever it is — you can be on mission.”
Ezell, a 1985 graduate of Union, said North America needs more people on mission. He said the Southeast is full of churches, but there is great need in other regions. He said Americans tend to take things for granted and assume that the way things are where they live is the way things are everywhere.
“Often when it comes to missions, we do the same thing,” he said.
Ezell said most of NAMB’s church planting activities are in cities. He said 85 percent of the population of North America lives in and around cities. He said the world has come to North America, and they need the gospel.
“What we’ve done for so often is we’ve run from those cities because it’s more expensive and it’s harder to reach people,” Ezell said. “But that’s where the people are, and there’s a gravitational pull now of more urbanization.”
He said NAMB plants about 1,200 churches each year, and they need the help of mission-minded young people in the cities to keep the churches growing.
“You may be studying to be a nurse, doctor, teacher, engineer, or whatever it is that God placed on your heart to be and do,” Ezell said. “I pray that you do it and do the very best you possibly can. But I want to encourage you to think missional.”
Ezell shared the story from Mark 2:1-12 of four friends who brought a crippled man to Jesus by lowering him through a roof. He said these men were determined to get their friend to Jesus no matter what it took.
“What I love about these guys is we don’t know their names, but we know their passion.” Ezell said.
He encouraged students not to think about their preference for where they work or how much money they will make, but to think about being obedient to God.
“Never underestimate what God can do with someone who’s being obedient to him,” he said. “God placed you here for a purpose. He knows exactly where you are, how many hairs are on your head. He knows your potential.”