By Rebecca Manry
NASHVILLE (BP) – “Lots of factors go into where someone pursues their career. Why wouldn’t the Kingdom and mission of God be the largest of those factors?”
That’s how Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear describes the motivation behind Go2, an initiative that challenges college students to commit their first two years after graduation to serving with a church plant in the US or overseas as they begin their careers.
Some new graduates, Greear said, will join domestic church plants as lay leaders and volunteers, while others will join as a North American Mission Board Send City planter or an International Mission Board Journeyman participant.
“Either way, I am praying that we would flood NAMB and IMB with young and eager candidates for mission of God,” said Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area.
Go2 helps college graduates connect their vocational skills with their missional calling, said NAMB President Kevin Ezell.
“This is a great chance for someone just out of school who might be working as a nurse, engineer, graphic artist, or school teacher to connect through Go2 and also serve as a church planting team member, adding their unique gifts to sharing and spreading the Gospel,” Ezell said. “We have church plants all across North America who would be blessed by the active involvement of new college graduates and their energy, enthusiasm, and passion.”
“There is no other time in a student’s life where the answer to the question of ‘what’s next?’ is more important than leading up to college graduation. Why not go?” Clarissa Morrison, a Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministries state missionary, said.
“This is exactly what we are working towards with our students through BCM in Georgia and SendMeNow Collegiate Missions. We are honored to walk through this time with students,” Morrison, who oversees Georgia’s SendMeNow, added.
“My prayer is that students go and find a place to plant themselves and serve, but learn that two years is not enough. I pray that they fall in love with the people and the place where they are serving and that becomes their home and their community,” she continued. “Even if it is just two years in that location, I know their heart will be changed and wherever they land next, they will be ready and willing to change this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”
On Nov. 14, Greear will be joined by David Platt, pastor-teacher of McLean Bible Church in northeast Virginia and former IMB president, for a livestream conversation about Go2. In partnership with IMB and NAMB, and hosted by LifeWay Collegiate, Greear and Platt will discuss the Go2 commitment and opportunities college students have to serve God in their stage of life.
The conversation directed at college students is also designed as a resource for collegiate ministry leaders and college pastors. Leaders are encouraged to watch together with their students to provide opportunities for further discussion. IMB and NAMB will provide resources and information about potential next steps for interested students.
Over 100 collegiate ministries representing thousands of students have already registered, Greear said.
“Both [IMB President Paul] Chitwood and Dr. Ezell have both told me this past week that they have enough money to send missionaries and church planters, but not enough qualified candidates to send,” Greear said. “Southern Baptists, that should never be!
“Southern Baptists, wouldn’t you love to see your kids and grandkids on the front lines of this? Let’s tell them to put the Kingdom of God first and give two years to the mission first,” Greear said. “I guarantee you if we did that we would experience a mission revolution in our world like nothing we have never seen.”
The Go2 conversation livestream begins at 7:30 EST on Nov. 14. For more information about Go2 and to register for the livestream, visit go2years.net.
Rebecca Manry is communications specialist for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
Myriah Snyder, The Christian Index’s content editor, contributed to this article.