This blog series is based on a talk given at the No Pat Answers Annual Conference in NJ in April 2016. In this series I'll explore a historical mandate, a biblical mandate, and a statistical mandate for why the church should care about the college campus and suggest two key ways the church can get involved. And if you’re thinking, “I don’t have college students, so this doesn’t apply to me,” think again. We are all part of the Body of Christ and we should all care for one another, especially college students who are our future leaders. Please read and share. We have a crisis on our hands, and it is time for the church to wake up and take action.
College was a defining time for my faith. I distinctly remember the first time I woke up on a college campus on a Sunday morning and could decide for myself whether or not I went to church that day. I chose to go. And I kept going. And I got involved in campus ministry. My heart for college ministry now was likely fueled in my own college years, where a discipline of prayer and Bible study was established and strengthened. My go-to prayer warrior was my grandmother--especially on test days. I found a friend with whom I covenanted to pray each week—and we held each other accountable for dedicated daily prayer on our own.
Four years ago I took what I was learning in my personal study of apologetics and began applying it to my volunteer position with Moms in Prayer International equipping and encouraging college moms to pray more strategically for the college campus. My new-found love for apologetics led me to come on staff with Ratio Christi sharing the importance of beginning to train our youth in apologetics even prior to college. With both my sons now on campus, I have a front row seat to the affects of the college campus culture and the role my two spheres of ministry can play in the most influential sphere on our future culture-shapers. As colleges go, so goes the nation. So what is the church going to do about shaping the direction it goes?
So What About the College Campus?
Professor of philosophy J. P. Moreland discovered two very evident things during his time with Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru):
1. The university was the most powerful, influential structure in Western culture.
2. The professor had a disproportionately large impact on people and society when compared to pastors and people in other professions.
Consider that the 18-23 year olds who roam our campuses are our next generation of leaders around the world in education, government, art, business, nonprofits, film, culture and more. They will shape the worldview of our culture, our churches, and the children who will lead America into the second half of the 21st century. They are the attitude-shapers of how Christianity will be viewed in America in the near future.
As was stated in the outstanding book God on Campus by Trent Sheppard, “Can you imagine the global effect in communications and the arts, in the fields of business and science and technology, and in education and healthcare and diplomacy if a new breed of believers emerged on campus whose entire lives (heart, soul, mind and strength) were fully surrendered to Jesus?" Imagine.