Ryan Shaw, Student Minister, Evangelist, Trainer, International

Q. Tell us about your family.
A. I have a wonderful wife, Kelly, who is the most servant-hearted person I know. We have two very cool kids: Noah, 5, and Emma, 2. Our family has lived in several locations over the past five years. We began in London, then moved to Ontario, where we helped develop a student mission mobilization initiative before relocating to Istanbul, where we lived for two years before moving south to Izmir, Turkey. We are now en route to Chiang Mai to serve the student mission movement from this strategic Asian city.


  

Q. Give us a brief overview of your work and ministry.
A.
I serve as international lead facilitator of Student Volunteer Movement 2 (SVM2). We started SVM2 in late 2002 and have seen the Holy Spirit develop and clarify the vision step by step. SVM2 is an international network of Bible schools, campus ministry organizations, local churches, and mission agencies committed to calling the emerging generation of believers to wholehearted devotion to Christ which results in them being catalyzed into the harvest by the thousands. I get the joy to serve by inspiring, encouraging, casting vision, teaching, training, and empowering others to go hard after God with all their heart and to align their lives with God’s heart for the unreached.

Q. What is your favorite quote?
A.
I have many. One that is strongly resonating with my passions at present and that has helped give expression to my inner convictions is by Hudson Taylor: “We must concentrate on deepening of the spiritual life in the church so that consecration to service will follow.” To see a revolution among the emerging generation of believers where they are empowered and sustained in their role in the great harvest requires a new paradigm related to the depth of spiritual life being taught and called for among them. We must raise our vision and standards of what it means to follow Christ.

Q. Who has been the most influential person in your life/ministry, and why?
A. Again, there are many. My wife, however, has consistently been this for me. Her humility, godliness, clear perspective, understanding, and child-like faith are a great testimony as we go through the ups and downs and challenges and victories of life and ministry together. Her counsel on matters large and small is incalculable as she often provides a word “in due season” that is necessary to move ahead. Above all, she is a woman of prayer who faithfully brings all issues boldly before the throne of grace, including me and projects on which we are currently working.

Q. What one issue do you believe is the greatest barrier or opportunity to evangelism, and why?
A.
The greatest barrier is believers who are not consistently digesting and experiencing the power of the gospel in their own lives. Message-bearers are called to be possessed by a burning message of love characterized by clarity, focus, and boldness. This message is only communicated with power when it is alive and real inside us. It springs forth and touches others with powerful results because it comes from a heart which is encountering God on a regular basis.

Evangelism. On Point.

Q. Describe a time in which you shared your faith
in Christ with someone who didn’t know him, and
then saw God clearly work in that situation.

A. One time that comes to mind was while traveling
in Nigeria. I was in the northern part of the country,
which is heavily Muslim. I was speaking at some
meetings with Christian groups. While in a taxi to
one such meeting, I started talking to the driver (a
young man in his early 20s) and asked him several
questions about his life, family, and faith. He told me
he was Muslim because of the specific people group
he was from, but that he really didn’t believe.

I asked him what he knew about Jesus Christ and he
responded with many of the pat responses Muslims
are taught from a young age. I then asked him if I
could pray for him and use Jesus’ name. He said he
didn’t mind. As I laid my hand on him and prayed
slowly and deliberately, I could see a visible change
in his demeanor. I prayed for God to encounter the
man’s heart and the man responded that he felt
something during the prayer he had never experienced
before.

A flood of peace came over him and he said he instantly
knew that Christ was the only way to God. We then
pulled up to the meeting location. I put him in touch with
some Christian leaders to faithfully lead him to Christ and
disciple him.

It has been said that today’s generation is the most biblically illiterate generation of the modern era. This provides enormous problems as believers are more spiritually superficial and less aware of the multi-faceted ways of God in scripture and of the power of the very message we’ve been called to declare among the unreached.

Q. What book do you most often recommend to others to read, and why?
A. The list is long, depending upon the specific issue. Generally, however, I often recommend Andrew Murray’s The Key to the Missionary Problem. Although the book is over one hundred years old, it is as relevant to current issues being faced today as it was then. Murray discussed timeless issues that hinder the work of God gaining momentum. One of these is the need for deep spirituality characterized by abandoned devotion to Christ according to his standard in the Gospels. Every believer has a role in the mission movement and the book details how we can become involved and the need to do so if we will seriously pursue Jesus’ goal of discipling all nations through the church.

Q. What would you like to be doing in five years?
A.
My hope is to see the united student mission movement that SVM2 is helping to catalyze serve many more national contexts. Currently, the network is serving nine national contexts. I believe this will increase greatly over the next five years and that the Body of Christ would be moving forward with the vision of seeing 100,000 new message-bearers raised up for the neediest of the unreached people groups.

I hope to see a training center with a day and night house of prayer established which hosts multiple internship programs annually, as well as a School of Global Harvest. This training will enable mobilizers to be empowered with a new paradigm for mission mobilization for today’s challenges.

Q. How can people be praying for you?
A. Pray for a greater measure of hunger and thirst for the Lord as I continually want to go deeper in intimacy with Jesus. Pray for a spirit of wisdom and understanding to understand the biblical perspective on the times we live and to discern the mind of the Lord regarding ministry decisions and leadership. Ask him for more of his powerful presence to rest upon my life so that I would work for his glory’s sake.