This year Cairn University hosted its annual World Reach Week, formerly known as Global Mission Week. Along with the name change, Cairn has adopted a three-year cycle to help students discover, prepare for, and commit to participating in the Lord’s work around the world. With this new initiative, the students were challenged this week to reassess their assumptions about the church, missions, and culture.
This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Randy Fairman, urged students to change their perception of what discipleship looks like in the United States and abroad through His three chapel sessions: “Discipleship and Power: What Sort of Strength Makes Disciples?” “Discipleship and Ambiguity: What Is the Role of The Spirit in Our Faith?” and “Discipleship and Doubt: What Kind of Disciple Will Jesus Use?”
On Monday, Dr. Fairman spoke about service through humility, using the idea from Luke 10 of being sent as lambs among wolves. He stressed the idea of Jesus purposefully changing the dynamic of those he sent out in Luke 10, and he invited the audience to approach ministry opportunities with the same vulnerability.
On Wednesday, Fairman told the story of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8. He used this story to emphasize the Spirit at work in both Philip and the Ethiopian, and he stressed that God is at work in unbelievers even before we reach them. At the end of his message, he posed three questions: “Is this ancient thinking?” “Does it still happen today?” and “Where does it happen today?” With these questions, he challenged the students to think critically about how God is still at work within the modern world.
On Friday, Dr. Fairman questioned the crowd, asking students “What kind of disciple will Jesus use?” Using Matthew 28, Fairman stressed the importance of disciples who listen, love, and obey Jesus, reassuring that Jesus does not send His disciples out alone; He is with them always.
In addition to Dr. Fairman’s keynote chapel sessions, students had the opportunity to speak with mission representatives from around the world. Global and local missionaries—including Chosen People Ministries, World Team, Fellowship International Mission, and Coalition of Christian Outreach—visited classrooms and spoke to students about their missionary work. Other events that happened throughout the week on campus included a World Feast that involved sampling food from all over the world; Worship in Song Around the World led by School of Music faculty member Virginia Whitney; a missions interest lunch; and an additional seminar by Randy and his wife, Robin Fairman on Thursday, titled “God’s Story: Where Do You Fit?”
As Cairn University adapts to the global need of serving our neighbors, World Reach Week continues to be vitally important as students are educated on how to serve Christ in the church, society, and the world.