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Wycliffe President Urges Faith in Action

By Rachel Judy | November 5, 2010

Bruce Smith

In honor of Global Missions Emphasis week, Bruce Smith '06 (Divinity) spoke at Regent University's chapel on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Smith is president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates, a nonprofit organization committed to mobilizing thousands of volunteers to redefine missions and accelerate the work of Bible translation.

That was the message he shared with chapel attendees. "There's literally a world of opportunity out there," he said. "The problem is we see [missions] as someone else's job."

Christians, Smith noted, often have the tendency to view missions as exotic, far-off activities for straight-laced, "super-spiritual" Christians. Smith once counted himself among the group who assumed he could never be a missionary until a short-term mission trip he took as a teen. "Real ordinary Christians can be a part of this too," he said of his revelation.

Referring to Regent's mission of Christian Leadership to Change the World, Smith also asked the audience to rethink how they define the world. "When you think of the world, I wonder what you think about," he said. Smith challenged the audience to open their eyes to the needs outside of themselves. "You need to look for that opportunity," he told them.

He also discussed the need to put action behind belief. Referencing James 1:22, which says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." "Somebody is actually going to have to translate this into actions," Smith said. "You can't change the world by remote control ... you have to do it personally."

As the president and CEO of Wycliffe, Smith oversees a group of people currently translating the Bible into around 2,000 languages. While the need for translators continues, Wycliffe also mobilizes volunteers to take on responsibilities that will free others to focus on the work of translating.

Learn more about university chapel and other Campus Ministries events .


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