It’s no secret that when it comes to campus life, my favorite time of the year is Spring. Not because the flowers are blooming again or it’s getting warm out (I actually prefer cold weather), but because Spring at The University of Texas means one thing to me:
For the past 16 years, every Spring around Easter, the ministries here at UT join together for a week of united worship and prayer for their campus. What began initially as a simple night of praying together has now evolved into a full week long event.
Held smack in the middle of campus outside the well known Gregory Gym, Rez Week, short for Ressurection Week, now involves a 24-hour prayer tent, free speech boards, a coffee house, performing artists, visual artists, a hospitality table serving free coffee, tea and cocoa, and night events with a guest speaker and worship team.
As many as 400 students from over 40 different ministries volunteer their time every year to make this happen. This year, as we gear up for another exciting Rez Week from March 28th through April 1st, I’m reminded not only how much fun it is every year, but the importance and significance of this now annual event.
United – To Pray
One of the main focuses of Rez Week is to pray for revival and transformation of the entire campus. We not only believe that this is possible, but also just like everything else, it must first begin with prayer.
Praying together is essential. It allows for the developing of a united vision for the campus, for Christians to really BE the Body of Christ, and helps us grow and mature in our faith together (Ephesians 4: 1-16).
As we pray together, we not only build relationships with one another, but also get a bigger picture of what God wants to do on our campus.
United – To Reach
Each of the 5 boards has a different question written on them, and anyone is free to write responses. Questions is the past have ranged from things like “What are your hopes and dreams?” to “Why I hate Christians.”
While this might seem a little controversial, the responses and attention that these boards get have not only caused people to stop and read them, it’s also resulted in many conversations being struck up between Christians and non-Christians.
On a large university campus with many diverse thoughts, beliefs and ethnicities, it is not enough just to pray. We as the Body must be willing to reach out wherever we are, and sometimes, this starts with as simple a question as “What do you think?”
United – In Christ
At the end of the day, the point of Rez Week is not just an event to celebrate Christ and what He did for us on the cross. In effect, it is also an outward display of the internal workings that have developed among the Christian community over the years.
It is a way of showing onlookers that not only do we love God with a passion, we also understand that it takes all of us, doing our part, to reach the entire campus. When we learn to stop bickering with each other over small things, begin loving one another and working together, it is then that God is able to move freely among us and do great things.
So this week, as you go about your day, stop and ask yourself: Who’s out there for me to partner with? And how can we advance God’s kingdom on campus together?
Kimberly Chung is the National Media Director for Campus Renewal Ministries, a ministry focused on forging partnerships in prayer to build missional communities that transform college campuses with the gospel of Jesus. She is a campus minister to The University of Texas at Austin and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org