Bringing Hope to Campus
Hey everyone! As I’m sure everyone who lives in a college town is aware, it’s that time of year when students move back! I’m currently sitting at a coffee shop right across the street from two of the biggest dorms at Colorado State University and watching U-haul after U-haul drive past on their way to campus. And as everyone who has ever done student ministry knows, we’re starting one of the more unique 2-4 weeks of ministry in our year with 5,000+ students moving into town in the space of 3-5 days. Most of them have no connections and no friends.
College kickoff season is always an interesting challenge. Each year I wrestle back and forth with how much to push our students to be on campus (and how much to be there myself) for move-in week. Some years we’ve exhausted our students and overwhelmed them to the point of paralysis. Other years I think we’ve needed to be more hands on as students struggle with taking initiative and finding the courage in the Spirit to walk onto campus and talk to strangers.
This year I don’t know what to think! It seems like both too large of a number and too small of a number to pray for 60 freshmen to integrate into Mountain View College Ministry. That said, students are more hungry than ever for friendship and community and I’ve never seen the level of desire and passion for discipleship in our ministry more than I see this year. This past weekend we went on a retreat with 35+ student leaders at a camp in Wyoming to reconnect after a summer away, to consecrate ourselves and confess and repent before the Lord, and to train and equip for what God could have for us this season. We had fun, we prayed, we trained and now we’re sending students off for the week and entrusting them with the mission to meet freshmen and share Jesus with them!
Each day this week, students met on campus at 2pm to pray for 10 minutes and then split off into small groups to meet students in whatever way they wanted; volleyball and basketball, coffee invitations, taking students to Target and Walmart and helping them move in – whatever. Even as I’m typing, I just watched 2 of our student leaders walk into the coffee shop with a new freshman, buy her a coffee, and sit with her for an hour! Huge praise!
As I told our students this weekend, 5,000+ students are moving onto campus this week. 5,000+ students, most of whom are anxious without hope, depressed without hope, friendless without hope, and desperately in need of saving. Would you pray that in God’s goodness he would give us favor with new students and that as a College Ministry we would be ambitious and faithful to pray, to sow seeds, and to harvest? Thank you!
I would love to hear from you and would love to connect over any and all student ministry related prayers and questions. Looking forward to the next chance I have to see you all in person!