A couple of days ago I met up with a first-year engineering student at Donatos. Rarely will a student turn me away if I offer them a free lunch!
Turns out, this student has a super-solid background in the faith. I always enjoy hearing a student’s story and figuring out where they’re at on the faith journey. This guy just needed a little nudge in the right direction and some help connecting with christian community on campus. He was excited about the potential of meeting with me every-other week or so for some discipleship and mentoring conversations.
Often, I can tell right away if a student has any spiritual motivation…a desire to grow and thrive in their faith while away at college. No doubt, this student is going to plug into some Christian community and grow like crazy during his college years.
In my new role with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I will have the opportunity to make sure more students like this find Christian community and connect with a nearby church as they pursue their academic goals. There are still well over 1500 campuses across that US that have no activities ministries providing this kind of opportunity for new students. We can change that!
Want to help us reach that goal?! New ministries on campuses that need communities of faith grounded on the Good News of Jesus is what we’re aiming for. You can be a part of that by joining our team of financial partners. Invest in lives of college students today. Join us today…your support WILL make a difference.
This time of year, between summer and fall, is usually all about hanging out on or near campus and connecting with students.
But I am in a transition from “doing” campus ministry to supporting and advocating for campus ministry (which of course is another form of “doing” campus ministry 😎).
So as I was cleaning up one of our 5 raised garden beds in the back yard, I thought about some parallels. Just as I want to get this raised bed ready for a new season of planting, I’m try to make preparations for a new season of campus ministry. Preparing soil is a tedious but “grounding” activity. Future productivity hinges on good preparation and then actively tending the garden, not allowing neglect (weeds) or circumstances (weather) jeopardize the crop (if you want to call what we do in our back yard as a “crop” ha!)
In my new role with InterVarsity, I will be helping churches plant some new ministries on college campuses. Much of my time will be spent cultivating relationships with churches, pastors, leaders, etc and helping them identify some productive strategies for reaching out to college students. The harvest of such labor creates some great anticipation, but there is much ground work to be accomplished in this in-between season.
One of our primary needs is to build a ministry team of financial support. God certainly has more than enough resources to make this happen and we are trusting that those who share our vision for seeing college students transformed by the Gospel will partner with us.
Maybe that’s you!
Join with us and let’s journey through this season of preparation together. Whether it’s a one-time donation or a recurring gift…whether it’s $10 or a lot more than that…God is going to make it happen and you can be a part of it with us. Thank you! Click on the image for more info on how to support our ministry.
Yesterday was my first day on the new job with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship!
As I communicated with everyone on our monthly newsletter list, this change in vocational focus could be summed up with this phrase: Less Coffee, More Church. (Want to receive that monthly newsletter? Click Here!)
What this means is that I’ll be spending less time in the coffee shop near campus and more time building relationships with churches in order to see more college & university students engaged with the Gospel—the good news of hope and peace that comes with a transformed relationship with God through Jesus.
For the past 5-6 years, The 86 Coffee Bar has been my primary context for living out my calling to show hospitality to college students and engage them in the discipleship journey. Prior to that, I spent about 5 years at the Edge House, a Lutheran-sponsored campus ministry house adjacent to UC’s campus. For these past 11+ years my “job” has been to connect with college students and be a spiritual guide and mentor in their lives.
Now, my primary job is to help resource churches for ministry with college students and young adults. (My hope will be to continue spending at least 1 full day per week at The 86 to meet with some student leaders and other campus ministry leaders. FYI)
As a result of this ministry over time through InterVarsity, our hope will be to see hundreds and even thousands more college students actively integrating faith and life within the context of a local church. Also, there are about 1800 unreached college campuses in the United States that InterVarsity would like to reach and attaining that goal by 2030 will only be possible in partnership with churches! (This is what IVCF refers to as the 2030 Calling)
This new role with InterVarsity, in some ways, is a continuation of my leadership for the past 5 years in the Church of the Nazarene (my “home” denomination) in the area of college & young adult ministry.
So my role as a “Church Engagement Catalyst” for InterVarsity pairs up nicely with my role as Campus Mission Coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene under the umbrella of NYI Ministries in the US & Canada. More information on that here if you’re interested.
For most, working in the area of college ministry requires raising money. Although that was originally a huge mental barrier for me as I entered the world of campus ministry nearly 12 years ago, I now see it as a real benefit. There is a special relationship and partnership we feel with those who financially or prayerfully partner with our ministry! It’s like having a small tribe of people who really believe in you and support your cause. We love having a team of people like that.
As we begin this new season of ministry, we are inviting more people to join this ministry team. It’s going to take more prayer and more funds than ever before. That’s a daunting challenge, but we really believe God is calling and providing this great opportunity for long-term Kingdom impact.
Would you please consider joining our team of financial ministry partners? You can give a one-time or recurring gift to our ministry hereat InterVarsity’s website. Thank you so much! As I continue to pour myself into college ministry with this slight change of focus, I am very hopeful that we will see the lives of students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and more churches connected with all of the above.