Posted by: naccm | October 15, 2009

Thursday3 – ENCOUNTER at Illinois St. Univesity


ENCOUNTER at Illinois State is led by Pete Cocco and Ben & Joanne Miller

Tell us about your campus/ministry…

This ministry has been present at ISU for 42 years. ISU was founded as a “teachers college” and that emphasis continues today with over 22,000 students mostly from within the State. We hold weekly meetings on campus on Monday evenings at 9pm.  We have a campus house for staff offices and meeting space, with no student housing.  We have always had a strong emphasis on discipleship but really began to see significant growth in this area once Ben and Jo Miller were added as staff 5 years ago. We now average around 200 students in both large and small groups.

Three unique ideas that helped us:


1. We raised the bar of expectation for our small group leaders. We saw a significant increase of fruit from within our leaders as we increased our expectations. As a result we found the quality students emerging from the wood work to get involved.
2. We meet at 9pm. This eliminated class conflicts and set our meeting more in “prime time” for students.
3. We created a service night. We set up numerous tables at our large group meeting with both “in house” and “community” service opportunities at each table.  It looked like a mini missions fair.

Tell us your 5-year dream on a napkin…

By using American students, we have been privileged to start three campus ministries in the Philippines.  These three campus ministries are each led by their own Filipino Campus Minister. There is a constant challenge to keep these ministries funded, but there is also incredible fruit.  The number one export of the Philippines is people!  Many of these graduates are going to parts of the world that Americans can not. We would love to get to the point 5 years from now where we can financially sustain annual campus ministry plants. We are bringing three other state side campus ministries with us to the Philippines next summer in hopes that we can begin developing this exciting opportunity.


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