Chapel speakers give missions challenge during GO Week

By Kathryn Moore
Staff Writer

Chuck Lawless, vice-president of Global Theological Advance, urges students to consider applying for a GO trip during the first of three GO Week chapels.

The GO Week chapels are an integral part of GO Week, which is the Office of Spiritual Life’s annual event to focus students’ attention on what God is doing locally, nationally and internationally.

Chuck Lawless, vice president of global theological advance at the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, spoke at the Monday and Wednesday chapels.

Lawless’s Monday sermon, “Facing the Impossible for the Sake of the Nations,” challenged the audience to take the Gospel message to the 1.7 billion people in the world who have little or no access to it.

“When we follow Jesus to the ends of the Earth, we follow him to the nations,” Lawless said. “There is simply no guarantee of our physical safety, but we are called to go to a world that is needy, overwhelming and dangerous.”

Using biblical examples of times when God’s plan for Israel seemed absurd, Lawless taught that God intentionally leads people into impossible circumstances so He can have the opportunity to fight for his people and take credit for their success.

Lawless’ message was designed to encourage students to apply for GO trips, which are domestic and international mission trips led by faculty members during January term, spring break and summer term.

“God might be calling you to the impossible; follow Him anyway,” Lawless said.

Lawless spoke again at the Wednesday chapel service, offering a continuation of the charge he presented on Monday.

His sermon, “Boy or Man, Shepherd or King? Warriors in the Great Commission,” focused on the story of the unlikely defeat of the giant, Goliath, by the shepherd boy, David.

Lawless urged the audience to rely on God, even when it seems they are up against the impossible and especially when it comes to deciding whether to apply for a GO trip. He refuted the common excuses for not applying, such as not having the time or the money.

“I understand life is busy, but remember God is in charge of your time,” Lawless said. “If you don’t have the money to go, remember God is the warrior who owns everything.”

Lawless ended with a special charge to the young men in the audience to keep their faith strong. He reminded them that God is not looking for men who are building their own kingdom but for men who are willing to lay everything down for God’s glory.

Shane Critser, Union alumnus and church mobilization director for the North American Mission Board, brought the focus back to domestic missions during Friday’s chapel service. His sermon was about the idea of “living sent” and the impact that idea has on the mission of God.
He taught that one does not have to go around the world to further God’s kingdom. Christians can use their talents, skills and professions to make a difference in North America.

Critser also reminded students to carefully evaluate their reasons for applying for a GO trip.

“All of us who are believers in Christ are sent,” Critser said. “Don’t just go on a GO trip because it’s GO Week. If you’re going to go, go because Jesus has sent you.”

Kendall Heyliger, sophomore nursing major, said she enjoyed attending all the GO week chapel services because the subject matter did not only apply to GO Week and the mission field but also to all aspects of life.

“I love knowing that we don’t have to be strong, but it’s the Lord being strong through us,” Heyliger said. “This week has encouraged me to live a mission-minded life every day through the Lord’s power.”

See videos online

Videos of the GO Week chapels are available online at

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