Sometimes the best way to foster a greater sense of unity on campus is not to host a united event that brings people together at one time and in one location, but to create a common strategy that every campus ministry can implement at various times and various locations. That’s what campus ministries at The University of Texas at Austin are doing this February during “Beautiful Feet.”
“14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14,15
What We Already Do Separately
Many churches and ministries train their students to do “contact evangelism.” Students go out on campus in groups of two, equipped with surveys or tracts, to start spiritual conversations and share the gospel with fellow students. This “seed-scattering” strategy results in students joining investigative Bible Studies, getting involved in churches, and putting their faith in Christ. Plus, the Christian students grow in boldness and their ability to articulate the Gospel.
Dozens of ministries at UT already have students committed to do this every week. They only wish that they had more of their students equipped and willing to do so at more times and more locations so they can make an even greater impact.
Momentum When We Do It Together
A few years ago, we started dreaming of a way we could challenge and encourage more students to share their faith on campus. We decided to make February Beautiful Feet month. All of our ministries encourage their students to simply try sharing the gospel on campus once a week during February.
Students are more willing to take a step of faith to try contact evangelism when their pastors tell them that twenty other campus ministries are doing it too. We are not united by being at the same place at the same time, but are united by doing the same thing for the same length of time.
We aren’t all using the same survey or tracts, but every ministry uses their own resources that work best for them. What unites us is giving or receiving an encouraging smile when you see a fellow student from a different church, whom you’ve never met, having a Gospel conversation in the cafeteria while you’re doing the same. That is powerful!
Stories That Unite
To make Beautiful Feet feel like more of a united event, we also share stories and experiences through a private Facebook Group. It’s fun to see students share stories with each other, especially when they don’t know each other. It makes everyone feel like they’re part of the “capital C Church” on campus – God’s children sharing His love with students.
Behind the scenes, each college pastor keeps track of three things: 1) the number of conversations that were had, 2) the number of times the Gospel was shared, and 3) the number of students who put their faith in Christ. At the end of the month, we compile the numbers to rejoice together in the number of students impacted by Beautiful Feet.
One student’s story becomes one ministry’s story, which becomes the whole Church on campus’s story, which is all a part of God’s ultimate story.
Join us in praying for Beautiful Feet 2106 at The University of Texas.
“27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.” Philippians 1:27,28
Justin Christopher is the Campus Director for Campus Renewal at The University of Texas at Austin and the 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 missional community movement at UT.