International influence: World Mandate comes back to Waco
By Kristin Burns
For the 25th year, World Mandate comes to Waco today as a conference centered on faith, worship and action.
Carl Gulley, executive producer of World Mandate and college pastor at Antioch Community Church, explained that the event is designed to change lives and the world. “It’s an opportunity for people to really meet with God in a personal and powerful way,” Gulley said. “Our theme is ‘everybody do something.’”
World Mandate was started in 1988 by 60 college students who met together with the goal to seek God. Since then, World Mandate has grown into an international conference influence around the world. Last year, more than 7,000 people attended the event, Gully estimated.
Gulley said that the majority of attendees are college-aged people who are interested in making a difference in the world. The target age of World Mandate is 18 to 29 years old. “College students, in general, are the most action-oriented,” he said. “They are looking to do something with their life that makes a mark.”
Youngstown, Ohio, junior Sarah Carson attended World Mandate in the past and said the conference positively impacted her life. “It’s just a time when we get to hear what God is doing in the United States and the world,” Carson said.
World Mandate begins today and ends on Sunday, and there are five sessions throughout the weekend. Some featured keynote speakers are Louie Giglio, founder of the Passion Movement; Christian Caine, founder of the A21 Campaign; Paul Richardson, a missionary from Indonesia; and Jimmy Seibert, the head pastor of Antioch.
In addition, Gulley said there will be surprise guests and artists showing up spontaneously during the conference.
The conference focuses on what Christians are doing in the world with evangelism and missions. Carson recommended World Mandate to anyone who is interested in mission work, human trafficking or social injustices.
“God has good plans for you. If you don’t choose to ask him what those are, then you are missing out on a great adventure,” Carson said.
Gulley expressed his desire for Baylor students to discover how World Mandate can work personally in their lives.
“It’s going to open people’s eyes to what’s going on around the world and how they can be a part,” Gulley said.
Since the event has been hosted at the Ferrell Center for the past seven years, the Baylor involvement is high. Even President Ken Starr attended part of the conference last year, Gulley said.
The purpose of the event is to understand how young individuals can care for others and make an impact across the globe, Gulley said. “We’re not comfortable sitting by and watching people who are hurting and in need and maybe have never heard of this grace,” he said. “Our whole goal is to worship God and change the world.”
World Mandate is prepared to give a refreshing look into the world of Christian missions.
“We want people to meet with God in a way that changes them forever,” Gulley said. “They will walk out of there saying, ‘I will never be the same.’”
The first session for World Mandate begins at 7 p.m. today. Saturday’s first session is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a break from 3 to 6 p.m. for the Baylor game. Sessions will resume at 7 p.m.
Sunday’s session is free and open to the public at 10 a.m. and will serve as the Sunday service for Antioch.
Tickets can be purchased at worldmandate.com for $90, with freshmen discount at $70. They can also be purchased at the door of the event for $110. Contact Carl Gulley at 254-754-0386 for information about financial scholarships to the event.