In a rousing presentation at the Cross19 Conference in Kentucky on Friday, Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear told young Christians gathered for the event that the Holy Spirit has already equipped them with the power to be witnesses to the world and urged them to dream big because small dreams and visions don't honor Jesus.
"We do not honor Jesus through small dreams or small visions. I don't mean that you need to anticipate being great in yourself, but you need to become a part of a story that has a grand vision and you need to ask Jesus who is proving his willingness to do it," Greear, who also leads Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, said at the youth event.
"When Jesus is standing here in Luke 24, before these disciples and He says, 'Look at what I just did for the salvation of the nations.' Are you really gonna honor me by small ambitions and small dreams? You need to dream about the nations worshiping. Your dreams need to be in proportion to the value of my sacrifice. Jesus did not die so you could have a comfortable career and a mediocre life," Greear said.
"He died so that you could bring the nations to worship. He didn't die so that we could huddle together in churches and bemoan the dying state of our culture. He died so that the Gospel could be proclaimed to all peoples in all nations, and he's given his promises and the guarantee of his Spirit to ensure that that could happen. Does what you're planning with your life align with the promises in his word?" he asked.
The CROSS movement aims to mobilize young people between 18 and 25 to help evangelize the world. The 2019 conference which started in Louisville on Wednesday will come to a close on Saturday.
Leaning on Scripture, personal anecdotes and quotes from other Christian thinkers, Greear told the group that if they were still thinking about what God's will for their life is, on a basic level, they should already know they are called to be witnesses of God's power.
"You say, 'What's this got to do with me? I don't feel called.' I've been waiting for it with this conference, this kinda tingly moment when everything seems to go blurry and all of a sudden I hear the voice of God in my heart say 'thou art the one' and I stand up....that doesn't happen," he said.
"A witness and a professional preacher are not the same thing. You are my witnesses. Every believer is a witness. We have to get over this idea that calling is this mystical experience that a sacred few people in the Christian life ever go through. I always tell students at my church that many of them have what I call the 'Cheerios method' of discerning the will of God.
"You stare at your Cheerios and you wait on your Cheerios to spell out something meaningful....I stared at my Cheerios for years and all they ever spelled out was oooooo," he quipped as his audience erupted in laughter.