- Category: Pastor Letters
- Published: Friday, 08 August 2014 23:32
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Peace to you in the Lord!
For three consecutive weekends in June, the 2014 Campus Ministry Conference was held in Boston, Chicago, and Houston. The conference was co-sponsored by the Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism (CCCOWEUSA), Chicago Christian Missions (CCCM), Overseas Campus (OC), and Christian Witness Center (CWC). Scores of campus co-workers, brothers, sisters, and those who have great burdens toward campus ministry attended the meetings in each city. During the conference we heard from speakers who have been greatly used by God in campus ministry and also had many discussion sessions. The theme of the discussion is, “Developing the Post-90s to Influence the Campus”. The purpose was to train people to grow in the Lord, become disciples, and to actively participate in campus ministry.
This was the third such conference. The previous conference two years ago had the theme, “Creative Campus Ministry”. Those discussions focused on how to reach students with various activities such as games and drama. Thank the Lord that the ministers who organized this year’s conference had a general consensus that trying to attract students by activities only is not effective. We must focus on training students to become the leaders in promoting the campus ministry, on students becoming actively involved in the ministry, and on bringing a revival to the campus ministry. When students get good training and set their desire to pursue the Lord, to become His disciples, then they definitely will have great influence in their campus fellowship. We give thanks to the Lord that He has caused the campus ministers in North America to realize that student discipleship training is the core essential part for a successful campus ministry.
Besides sharing from different ministers, some student workers also shared how they and their fellow students had encouraged others to grow in the Lord and taking more active role for ministry in their campus fellowship. Discipleship Training and Coworker Training are the right direction and the key vision for college ministry. Let us pray that the Lord will help make this vision known to all campuses so more students are equipped to serve the Lord on campus, and so they are better servants in the Kingdom after graduation. Thanks be to the Lord! For the past several decades, the Christian Witness Center always emphasizes discipleship training. May God continue to help us to build up more students through discipleship training to bring influence to their campus.
Both Bible Camp and Discipleship Training Camp were held in early August. About 80 people and 60 people attended. We noticed that many of them paid a high price to attend—for example they drove 8 to 15 hours to come to the meeting. Their heart of hunger and thirst for truth has touched us. May the Lord equip the future campus coworkers for the new semester through these meetings, that these brothers and sisters may bring revival to the campuses.
New Students Welcoming and the Short-Term Mission Teams
In the next few weeks new students will be flooding into campuses. We could without exaggeration use the phrase “tens of thousands” to describe the number of students that are coming. This is an opportunity that cannot be ignored. God brought these students to us is for us to reach them for Christ. In another words, the purpose that God puts us (Christian students as well as lay-ministers) around these newcomers is to share the gospel with them. Therefore we need to act quickly to seize this time evangelizing to them. From our past experience, of the thousands of new students we meet during the welcome period, whether we share the gospel or not, two months later after school starts over 90% would not contact the church any more, let alone be friends with us. Therefore, the first two months of their arrival is the most crucial opportunity to share the gospel to them and lead them to Christ. In the first few weeks of their arrival, if the new students’ hearts have not been drawn by the gospel, we probably won’t get another chance to reach out to them later. Many campus ministries worked so hard to help the new students to settle in the new environment, yet were too timid to share the gospel with them; two months later, the door of evangelism was closed, and they realized that all the labors of reaching out to the students seemed only wasted time and energy. How shall we escape if we ignore such a great opportunity?
Praise the Lord that He has arranged about seven short-term mission teams to come to the Midwest for mission in mid-August and early September. This is a good time for the campus coworkers to join effort with the mission to share the gospel to new students. Thanks be to the Lord! We have seen every year a lot of students accept Christ during the first two months in the United States. Those who grab the opportunity to share the gospel to new students would harvest abundantly. When campus coworkers team up with the mission team, a revival will come to the campus ministry. Please pray for the mission trips in August and September. May God use these mission teams mightily.
May the Lord bless the work of your hands!