Campus ministers from twelve ministries at Clemson University pray together weekly and strategize towards seeing multiplication and unification on campus.
In the spring of 2016, a few of the campus ministers began talks about regularly working together. They followed up with a retreat for all the ministers over the summer, where they were able to pray for each other and get to know each other better. During the retreat, the ministers spiritually mapped the campus to learn where God was moving, talked about needs of the campus, and discussed other ways they could work together.
Since the retreat, the Clemson campus ministers have been meeting every week to pray over the campus, their students, their goals, and each other. In addition to the prayer time, a smaller group meets every week to discuss strategies.
“It’s actually stuck, which is good,” Andy Robinson of Ignite said. “It’s better than other attempts which have fizzled out after a month or two. We’re still in the pray and wait stage – and also strategize.”
Missional Communities Based On Majors
One of the goals the campus ministers are working towards is to have sustainable, self-sufficient student-led communities focused on reaching the different majors on campus.
“God’s been moving in the missional community or house church community for quite some time, but the struggle is that there has not been a whole lot of consistency or sustainability,” Robinson said. “They tend to thrive in dorms, but the problem is, most folks only stay in dorms for a short period of time.”
The campus ministers believe that missional communities centered around students’ majors will make them less reliant on the initial leader. They are currently working on how to connect these students who have the same major but are in different ministries, how to train leaders of future missional communities, and how to choose leaders.
“We want to look through our students and see how they are gifted,” Peter Hyatt, who works for Baptist Collegiate Ministries, said. “We are probably going to make a survey to figure out where our students are on campus to see if we can start linking Christians together to start praying initially.”
A United Voice to Support the Campus
Recently, some issues have divided the Clemson campus. For instance, last semester, a controversy took place at Clemson about free speech when an individual not affiliated with the university tried to host prayer on campus without going through the proper channels first. When national media sources reached out to some of the campus ministers for a response, they were able to give a united, thought-out reply.
In another occurrence, five ministries joined together in praying over a sit-in of the administration building regarding race relations. They asked God for guidance in resolving these challenges and desired to show both sides love and support.
“There’s been a couple of moments that, because of the greater relationship, we’ve been able to navigate some situations on campus,” Joe Holloway of Chi Alpha said. “We are able to communicate with each other and present a unified front.”
For more information on how to start a cross-ministry missional community based around your major or dorm, please check out our resource, the Spark Course.
Janelle is a junior Journalism major at The University of Texas at Austin. After college, she hopes to become a foreign correspondent to continue sharing people’s stories. Janelle is involved with the Baptist Student Ministry, Austin Stone Community Church, and is a Campus Renewal Media intern.