In his June 27 article about “Making Campus Connections” in Outreach Magazine, Pastor David Worcester outlined seven key reasons for reaching college students in your State, and he spells it with the acrostic C.O.L.L.E.G.E…
Crossroads—During their years in college, students are making major decisions in all areas of their lives. If someone is there to have a Gospel conversation with them, then those students can make decisions to follow Jesus that will impact them for eternity.
Open—The college years are a time when students are forced to figure out what they believe. Even those without a religious background are open to exploring the claims of Christ if they’re invited.
Leaders—Collegiate believers can have a significant influence in the church today and tomorrow. Now is the time to disciple them to become our future church leaders, missionaries and church planters! Bill Bright said, “Win the campus today, win the world tomorrow.”
Learners—These students are moldable now because they’re in a learning mode. They need to be intentionally and personally discipled at this time — not just to help them know WHAT to think, but HOW to think.
Energetic—Collegiates won’t bring a lot of money into your church, but they can be used by God to bring much-needed energy and enthusiasm into your congregation. They can be some of your best servants, and you’ll have a lot of fun serving with them!
Global—After graduation, many students can go anywhere to pursue adventure and explore the world. Without mortgages and kids, it’s easy for them to give a summer or a couple of years to serve in missions. In addition, there are over one million international students in the US, and if we can reach them with the Gospel now, they can go back to their home countries later as ambassadors for Christ.
Essential—Today’s college campus is a strategic spiritual warfare battlefield. Much of the cultural shift we’ve been seeing in our nation is because the church has been losing ground on that battlefield. Christ’s heart breaks for the lost on our college campuses. Does yours? Who’s going to tell these students about Jesus?
SCBI is blessed to have many Collegiate Ministers in our State who are committed to reaching students on our campuses with the Gospel. Here are some encouraging stories about two of them…
On May 13, Hanover Baptist Church and its Collegiate Ministry at Hanover College (under the leadership of Kinzer Havill) used their SCBI-NAMB Evangelism Funds to hold a “Turn to Jesus” Tent Revival near the Campus. Approximately 315 attended from their church and community, with 65-70 college students there as well. Three college students and one 11-year-old child trusted in Christ for their salvation at this event!
Kinzer met with the three college students to disciple them before the semester ended, and he has connected with their home churches to continue the discipleship process while they’re there during the summer. Twenty-five of those students who came had not been involved in the Collegiate Ministry before, so Kinzer followed them up as well, and some have begun attending his weekly Bible study…Their Collegiate Ministry continued to do evangelistic outreach during May, with two more college students coming to know Christ, and six students recommitting their lives to Jesus.
On April 17, Dennis Runner, who serves with Ben Beck in the Launch Campus Ministry at Purdue University, led their students to invite domestic and international students to join their Easter lunches in the staff’s homes. Students from the U.S., Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, China, Singapore, Jordan, and the local community not only attended the lunch, but many of them attended church services with their Launch Ministry hosts as well. During and after lunch, the staff were able to share the true meaning of Easter with these students and to have multiple personal Gospel conversations.
On April 25, Dennis used the SCBI-NAMB Evangelism Funds with their students to host a Spring Intramural Sports Banquet. Launch students had built relationships with other students on campus through playing sports during the semester, and then invited them to this event to present some fun awards to celebrate their seasons. The banquet featured testimonies from Christian athletes and ended with an invitation, which has led to additional Gospel conversations since then.
We praise God for our SCBI Collegiate Ministers, and for what He is doing in the lives of students on our campuses! In July, we will be hosting a Zoom meeting with our Collegiate Ministers to network and share best practices. To find out the date/time and to get the Zoom link, email firstname.lastname@example.org.