The following is an excerpt from my book Campus Renewal – A Practical Plan to Unite Campus Ministries in Prayer and Evangelism.
Last week I down the first half of the definition of campus reaching. This week you can read about the second half.
Campus Reaching: “The long-term, relational, and strategic process of partnering campus ministries in united prayer to build missional communities that transform the campus with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“United Prayer” – Mobilizing a Student Prayer Movement
Prayer is where we begin, and prayer never stops. If we stop praying together across ministry lines on a weekly basis, then we stop campus reaching. Without prayer, we are just a committee working on events and projects. The first step in campus reaching is to unite ministry leaders in prayer on a weekly basis. It is in the place of prayer where vision and relationships grow, making the rest of the campus-reaching process possible. But prayer is not just for the leaders. A campus-wide prayer movement must grow as well. A united prayer movement must grow at every stage of the campusreaching movement, creating the necessary breakthrough in the spiritual realm to prepare a campus for transformation.
“Missional Communities” – Mobilizing a Student Missions Movement
The tangible aim of campus reaching is to reach every people group on campus year after year, so that every student on campus would have a group of Christ-following friends living and sharing the gospel among them every day. We want to be ready to disciple the whole campus. In campus reaching, the campus is viewed as one large mission field. Ministries partner together to determine which people groups on campus are being reached and which are not in order to better partner and equip students to go to them. The goal in campus reaching is not to grow our ministries (though that will happen too). Rather, it is to equip and send our students to be ministers all over campus.
“Transformation” – Growing a Campus-wide Vision
The goal is to see God glorified on campus in a historic way like we have read about in the past and observe around the world even now. We want to see thousands of students put their faith in Jesus. We want faculty to follow Jesus and teach their disciplines with a Christian worldview. We want to see students free from addictions and behaviors that harm them. We want students set free from depression and suicide. We want to see an end to unwanted pregnancies and abortions. We want a campus full of joy, peace, and community. We want to see our campuses become places that equip and send students as missionaries in the marketplaces of our cities and all over the world. This is the transformation we’re seeking. This is the compelling vision that draws us together.
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ” – Cultivating a Gospel Centered Vision
The good news of Jesus’s death and resurrection for our redemption coupled with His lordship over us is the only thing that can bring transformation in us and on our campuses. The vision of a transformed campus is what brings us together in partnership, but we will never see the work of transformation apart from the work of the gospel. The gospel is at the center of our vision. Our vision is rooted in a dependence on God’s work in us and His message through us.
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.