InterVarsity's triennial student missions convention is expecting tens of thousands of attendants, and added to the line up of life-changing speakers is best-selling author Rick Warren.
The evangelical pastor will attend Urbana 06 in St. Louis, Mo., next month to address lifestyle much of what was written in his best selling The Purpose Driven Life.
"We're going to have to shift from self-centeredness to God-centeredness," he said in an interview with Urbana. "The very first line of Purpose-Driven Life is, 'Its not about you.' Thats a pretty counter-cultural statement, when everything in society says 'Its all about you.'"
Warren will also be shifting the focus from local orientation to global orientation.
"God has a place for your life that is bigger than simply your own community," he said.
After growing his own local church in Lake Forest, Calif., into one of the largest megachurches in the nation, Warren went global in mission particularly focusing on the AIDS crisis. He is one of the leading figures in the evangelical fight against AIDS, having been the only evangelical speaker at the recent International AIDS Conference in Toronto and hosting national conferences at his own church to involve other church leaders in the battle. His unprecedented P.E.A.C.E. Plans are also being launched around the world to care for the sick and those in underdeveloped countries.
His next Global AIDS Summit at Saddleback Church will be on Nov. 30. Warren will also be speaking on the AIDS crisis at the student conference.
At Urbana 06, the Purpose Driven pastor will be addressing college students whose influence for Christ could reach the world within a day.
"This is the first generation that has the option of literally being world-class Christians," Warren said. "Because of technology and the internet and transportation, you can go anywhere in the world within 24 hours. No other generation could do that."
This year's Urbana is expected to be bigger than ever with registration numbers projecting the largest participation. Urbana 06 moved to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis to make room for a larger turnout. Students will be gathering under the banner of living a life worthy of calling.
"The next generation will be the Reformation generation," said Warren, explaining a second Reformation is about being the church in the world. "My goal is to train them, to prepare them to finish the task."