Posted by: Justin Wallace | February 2, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Tim Hudson

Why campus ministry?

Because the college campus is the place in our society where boys become men and girls become women.

Because between freshman year and graduation, students wrestle with every decision imaginable.

Because the choices college students make will shape not only their lives but the world we live in.

Because campus ministry is all about guiding students to include Jesus in their decision making.

College students are faced with lots of decisions to make:

  • Lifestyles: to drink? to have sex? to abstain? to binge-purge? indulge? Experiment
  • Career:  selecting majors – changing majors, graduate school, internships, choosing employers, locating in cities.
  • Spiritual: whether to – believe in God, commit to Jesus, investigate other religions, or to ridicule from the sidelines.
  • Relationships: boyfriends, girlfriends, same sex – different sex, parents, marriage, living together, sex, pregnancy, abortion.

Why campus ministry?

Because without it students have to navigate these decisions without any spiritual direction or encouragement. Doesn’t it make sense to have a ministry that targets college students, with the intent of guiding them during this major decision making time of life.

Why campus ministry?

Because the college years come during that small window of time when individuals are most open to changing their ideas, beliefs and worldview.

Why campus ministry? Go ask any of the thousands of UGACCF alums or any of the millions of alums of campus ministry worldwide and that question will change to “How can we get more campus ministries started?”

*Today’s post, by Tim Hudson, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less.

Posted by: Justin Wallace | February 1, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Matt Harris

I’m a bit of a nerd (this entry is exactly 200 words).  I love strategy games.   I was in the chess club as a kid and spent many late nights in college playing Risk.  This love of mine helped draw me to campus ministry, which is the most strategic thing that we, as the Church, can be doing.  The mission statement that we use at Impact@CSU is “Impacting the world of tomorrow, by impacting its leaders today.”

The leaders of our world are coming through American universities.  I recently heard a statistic on National Public Radio that said of 30 developed nations, the U.S. ranked 25th in math, science, and reading.  While that is a shame, our universities are still the world’s best and the next generation’s leaders (in business, politics, medicine, and even the church) are coming through the doors of our schools.  The big problem with this is that the Church is losing the battle for this generation, even among students who were raised in the Church. This is a critical time in human development when people make decisions about worldview that last a lifetime.  We exist strategically to meet these students with the Truth of the Gospel.

*Today’s post, by Matt Harris, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less.

Posted by: Justin Wallace | January 31, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Jeff VanderLaan

The University at Albany’s slogan is “The World Within Reach”.  They are right.  American colleges and universities have attracted 690,923 international students for the 2009-2010 academic year, a record number.

“The State Department, through partnerships with U.S. colleges and universities, has made it a priority to reach out to talented international students, particularly students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A global education prepares them to become leaders in their own countries and societies,” said Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The government recognizes the power of the American university and the world changing potential of its students.

Will the Church recognize this opportunity to influence the world?

Will the Church invest in the future leaders of countries and societies?

“The United States continues to host more international students than any other country in the world,”said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education. “Active engagement between U.S. and international students in American classrooms provides students with valuable skills that will enable them to collaborate across cultures and borders to address shared global challenges in the years ahead.”

Active engagement with God provides even more valuable skills that will enable them to collaborate across cultures and borders to address shared global challenges in the years ahead.

Will the church be on campus to engage them?

Through Campus Ministry, I will be.

*Today’s post, by Jeff VanderLaan, Director of Staff Development with Impact Campus Ministries, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less.

Posted by: Justin Wallace | January 28, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Rick Harper

Why campus ministry ?

Are you kidding? It changes the world.

Last night Cindy a sophomore came to the Lord. We baptized her in the lake in
chilling weather.

So is that it? “Welcome to the Kingdom.”

No. She might meet a great Christian man in the next 2 years at Ga. Tech. They may get married months after.  So they have a kid – Cindy is a great mother, loves her son, brings him up in the Lord.

The kid becomes a great Christian graduates from college and enters politics. Then 3 decades later he wins the Presidency of the United States.  The world is in turmoil – threat of nuclear disaster in 2065 but Cindy’s son prays about and decides not to push the button – saves the world…

…..Who knew bringing Cindy to Christ last night in the chilly darkness will one day save the world ?

Why Campus Ministry?

…..you never know huh?

*Today’s post, by Rick Harper, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less. If you would like to submit an entry please email it to  justin [at] impactcharlotte [dot] com.

Posted by: Nathan | January 27, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Nathan Evans

To say I am skeptical is like saying that water is wet.  It kind of goes without saying.  The same can be said for the college environment.  Skepticism, critical analysis, and intellectual honesty are the trademarks of academia.  I believe this is why I have been called into campus ministry.

I love sitting down with a college student and having them pepper me with questions.  Most days I have very few answers, but this allows the opportunity for us to discuss and challenge each other in new ways.

More than once my conversations have hit a standstill and we have come to different conclusions.  As a pastor this is absolutely terrifying.  I have lost control of the conversation. My initial need is to convince them to agree with me.

Many times I have ended these conversations by  communicating to them that my role is to speak God’s truth into their lives with boldness.  They are under no more obligation to agree with me than I am to convince them to believe it. However, I believe that God’s truth is transformative.  I believe it can change us.

It is that belief in God’s transformative nature in the midst of our skeptical and broken hearts that drives my passion for college students. I am stunned every day that God uses that part of me to help spread His love.

*Today’s post, by Nathan Evans, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less. If you would like to submit an entry please email it to  justin [at] impactcharlotte [dot] com.

Posted by: Justin Wallace | January 26, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Mike Armstrong

I’m half-way through my 29th year of campus ministry. Over the years, I have had opportunities presented to move into other areas of ministry with churches large and small. So the question for me is: “Why still campus ministry? Aren’t you ready get into real ministry? Aren’t you tired of raising support and the constant turnover of students and leaders?”

So why still campus ministry?

  • We get to engage with students at a critical time in their lives – a time when they are evaluating their faith and values and making decisions about their future. We can walk with them through times of questions and doubt as they face ideas and issues that are new and challenging. We can help them think through the implications of the Gospel for their lives and see how it affects every aspect of who they are and what they do. We can stand beside them during victories and struggles and help them to see God’s presence in both.
  • It takes place where global thought, culture, and potential meet. No other area of ministry puts you at the crossroads of the world like campus ministry. Each week I’m teaching and learning from students from around the world about issues of eternal significance.
  • We have the opportunity to present the claims of Christ and a Biblical worldview to the next leaders in politics, education, business, medicine, and culture from around the world. Over the years, I have watched our students become leaders in the realms of business, medicine, education, engineering, law, and politics. I am excited to see them enter into their worlds with convictions and skills that allow them to influence those worlds for Christ.
  • We get to disciple those who will be leading the Church globally in the years to come. The next generation of church leaders is on our campuses today. Ministers, missionaries, elders, and teachers come more and more from the campuses of our state universities. We have the chance to equip them to lead the Body of Christ wherever God scatters them.

*Today’s post, by Mike Armstrong, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less. If you would like to submit an entry please email it to  justin [at] impactcharlotte [dot] com.

Posted by: Justin Wallace | January 25, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Windy Frank

Because I believe transforming college students will transform the
world. When I was in college, I chose my major because I wanted to
change the world. After God caught me, how I thought it should be
changed was radically shifted.

Because I love the church. I want to the next generation of church
members to dream big and have a tangible experience of what living in
a true community looks like.

Because, with over 670,000 international students, the world is on our
campuses. Future world leaders could currently be hiding in the
library because they can’t find someone who wants to truly know them.

Because college students are messy, complicated, studious, silly,
searching for the next crush and the meaning of life at the same time,
contradictory, adventurous, conflicted, over-booked, passionate,
frustrating, hilarious and worth the effort.

Because the logical series of events after digging deeply into very
the purpose of human existence, working actively to stop children from
being used as soldiers, and discussing how a movie has changed your
perspective on the sort of life you want to live is to go get pancakes
at IHOP at midnight.

*Today’s post, by Windy Frank, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less. If you would like to submit an entry please email it to  justin [at] impactcharlotte [dot] com.

Posted by: Justin Wallace | January 24, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Dave Hershey

First, campus ministry tremendously impacted me as a student. I was already a Christian when I got to Penn State, but through Christian Student Fellowship I experienced community, went on a mission trip for the first time, was able to serve in various ways, and I found direction for the future. Many of my closest friends to this day are people I met in CSF. From firsthand experience I saw how campus ministry can affect people.

Second, God became man in Jesus Christ, coming to earth and going to where the people who needed help were. Ministry like that exhibited by Christ goes to people. I feel called to go to the campus, to surround myself with students and minister to their lives. College can easily be a place where students drift away from active faith. My goal is to be there to help them grow in Christ.

Finally, I believe that the Church needs Christians shining brightly in all fields from engineering to education, business to biology. I want to help students see college is not just about getting a job, it is about acquiring a vocation, serving Christ in whatever they do. Any work can be holy work.

*Today’s post, by Dave Hershey, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less. If you would like to submit an entry please email it to  justin [at] impactcharlotte [dot] com.

 

Posted by: Justin Wallace | January 21, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Ian Clark

I know a family who, for as long as I can remember, has always been very involved in the church at which I am an elder. The husband and wife have been in small groups, Bible studies, and regularly volunteer for all kinds of church related events. The children of this family attended youth group when they were younger, went to summer camp, and even participated in mission trips during their High School years. Church, God, and Jesus has always been a consistent and central element in this family’s lives.

One day, the oldest daughter of this family left for college.  Over the next few years, she was introduced to many unfamiliar ideas and new concepts that influenced her understanding not only science and history, but of the arts and philosophy. She learned that college wasn’t only about academics. This family’s daughter had encounters with people from all kinds of different backgrounds.  New worlds where discovered offering endless possibilities of exploration. She was exposed to all of the beautiful, wonderful and fascinating experiences that make the college years so memorable, so rewarding, and so valuable.

Some of these experiences would challenge her understanding of God and the Bible, which – I can argue elsewhere – is often necessary to developing an authentic life of faith. But what she didn’t experience during these precious college years was a community who could provide her support during this new season of doubt. There was no place where the tough questions about God and the Bible were welcomed and discussed. There was no college ministry reaching out to her (or the rest of her campus) to teach that being a follower of Christ doesn’t mean you have all the answers.

Consequently, when this this mid-west church going family’s daughter returned home from college, she did not return to the church. The parent’s hearts were broken.

Now, this is not an actual story about a particular family at my church, but it’s the story of many families within the larger church body. Many of today’s emerging adults end up leaving the church during their college years, and most will never return.

This is our answer to the question, “Why Campus Ministry?” We believe the future of the church is dependent upon the how successful college ministries are at making disciples. This is why the Newchapter mission is to help build strong college ministries.

*Today’s post, by Ian Clark, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less. If you would like to submit an entry please email it to  justin [at] impactcharlotte [dot] com.

Ian Clark is married to Crystal Clark and together they have 2 children.  He is the Director of Business Development for Newchapter, a distinct brand, and a specific system for creating successful College Ministry Residence Halls. Ian also serves as an elder at Crossroads Church in Monticello, IL.  You can find him on twitter: @iantclark and facebook: facebook.com/iclark77 and he also blogs at www.captureeverythought.com. You can email him at ian@ournewchapter.com

 

Posted by: Justin Wallace | January 20, 2011

Why Campus Ministry? :: Tim Hawkins

This passage from Daniel 1 has always hit me as the cultural significance of collegiate ministry:

3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

The language and literature of the culture.

The University is the gatekeeper of the language and literature of our culture.

And it is not that Daniel and the boys didn’t learn the language and literature of the culture, but they didn’t let it become their own story.

Collegiate ministry is where the struggle for the language and literature is taking place.  Where the identity narrative is written, distributed and lived.

We bring a reminder of the language and literature of the Word made flesh.

*Today’s post, by Tim Hawkins, is part of a blog series titled “Why Campus Ministry?“. Why do we give our lives to this profession, this people group, this thing called Campus Ministry? Why do we do what we do? What drives us? What keeps us going? Why college students? Why the University campus? Here’s the catch…each post must be 200 words or less. If you would like to submit an entry please email it to  justin [at] impactcharlotte [dot] com.

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