In 2017, a group of Grove City College students wanted to make a difference in global missions. An idea led to action and the seed of Kingdom Week was planted.
Kingdom Week, which begins Sunday, Oct. 27, is a student founded week-long event at Grove City College. Notable speakers will encourage students to think and work missionally in today’s world to further God’s Kingdom. “We want Kingdom week to inform how we as Christians think about the multi-cultural kingdom of God, whether that’s at home or abroad,” Zach Pitcher ’17, chapel ministries coordinator, said.
This year the focus is the church’s role in missions. Mission work is not done solely by isolated individuals, “but is something that the entire body of Christ is called to,” Pitcher said. “As members of the church our role flows out of that. That’s why we brought in pastors and those who did church planting.”
Though it started small, Kingdom Week now consists of three well-known speakers and breakout sessions led by experts from 16 mission organizations, including Harvest Bridge, RP Missions, Africa Inland Mission, Wycliffe Bible Translators and others. One of the breakout sessions this year examines the state of the church in North Korea, led by Derrick Seipp, the East Asia Region operations manager for the mission agency Beyond. Seipp spent 12 years living in East Asia and wrote a book called “Innovation in World Mission” which explains how to navigate the changing world while keeping the goal of missions at the forefront.
The week begins with Al Tricarico speaking at Sunday evening vesper’s service at 6:30 p.m. in Harbison Chapel. He will discuss the importance of “the Great Commission,” God’s call for Christians to spread the gospel among all the nations. He will also lead a breakout session on apologetics and missions. Tricarico served as a missionary with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) among the Karamojong of Uganda for 10 years and now serves as associate general secretary for the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension for the OPC.
Leonce Crump, author, international speaker and founder and pastor of Renovation Church in Atlanta, will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28 in Harbison Chapel and in Chapel on Tuesday morning. His book, “Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are,” explains his experience of moving to Atlanta and transforming his community. He moved to Atlanta with a plan, but quickly realized you must know a people before you can hope to change them. Crump will address what he calls the trans-cultural nature of the church and how to engage those who are different than ourselves both abroad and in our backyard.
Andrew Brunson, a pastor and missionary whose imprisonment in Turkey made international headlines and inspired American Christians and the Trump administration to work for his release, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 in Harbison Chapel and in Chapel on Thursday, Oct. 31.
Brunson is originally from Black Mountain, N.C. but lived in Turkey for more than 20 years as a missionary where he pastored Izmir Resurrection Church. He was arrested in 2016 on charges including terrorism, espionage and involvement in a coup against Turkey’s government earlier that year. As other supposed coup members were released, it became clear that Brunson’s religious beliefs prolonged the government detention.
He appeared in court several times during his two years of detention, with witnesses against him ultimately abandoning their initial accusations. A Turkish judge convicted Brunson of terrorism and espionage but released him on time served on Oct. 12, 2018. “I love Jesus. I love Turkey,” Brunson told the court.
When he returned to the United States, President Donald J. Trump welcomed him to the Oval Office and Brunson and his wife, Norine, prayed for Trump, asking God’s blessing on him.
“We expect Brunson’s message to be a powerful call to radical faithfulness in any situation,” Pitcher said. “His honesty about the struggles of prison and his deep commitment to the Lord make him a powerful speaker, so we are very honored to have him on campus.”
All Kingdom Week events are free and open to the public.