Every spring at the University of Texas campus ministries come together for a week of united worship, prayer, and evangelism. We call it Rez Week – short for Resurrection Week since it takes place near Easter each year. We, Campus Renewal Ministries, believe it is Biblical to have “calendared united events” on campus.
Israel’s Calendared Events
Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you. (Deuteronomy 16:16,17).
Three times a year God asked the twelve tribes to unite in worship at one location. This was no small request either. They had to make a long pilgrimage just to get to where God asked them to meet.. and, as it says, not with out bringing gifts! I don’t believe this is a command for us, but I do believe it reveals the heart of God for us today. He believes it is important for His people from different tribes to come together a one body.
You also believe this is important. It is why most of your campus ministries have one or more regional conferences. It is why your denominations have yearly conferences or conventions. You too believe it is necessary to unite together once or twice a year to worship, to plan, to share stories, and to “get on the same page.”
If campus ministries on your campuses share the same vision to reach every student with the gospel and to see Jesus exalted on your campuses, then they too need to unite once or twice a year to worship, to plan, to share stories, and to “get on the same page.” If we share the same vision, then we need face-time together to cast that vision, share stories, and “get on the same page.”
God had Israel unite three times a year. It was in their calendars. Wouldn’t it be great if your campus has one event each semester where the Body of Christ came together? Wouldn’t it be great if it were permanently set into each ministry’s calendar? At UT, we celebrate Rez Week the last week of March every year, and each fall we have something called All Campus Worship the second Thursday of October. These are our “calendared united events.”
What calendared events do you have on your campus?
Next week I will write about the Biblical basis and the need for “spontaneous united events” – times when God speaks to campus ministry leaders and calls them to host a united event for a very specific reason. There are even more Biblical examples of this type of united event.
Justin Christopher is the director of Campus Renewal Ministries at the University of Texas and author of Campus Renewal: A Practical Plan for Uniting Campus Ministries in Prayer and Mission. He gives leadership to the Campus House of Prayer and the misssonal community movement at the University of Texas.