The role of a missionary is to establish ministries and raise up leaders who can take over, allowing the missionary to move on to establish new ministries.
For more than 20 years, Jen and I worked on university campuses to establish ministries and raise up leaders and laborers. Though we’re no longer serving on campus, we’re still involved in reaching students. By God’s grace, many of our former students are now leading the charge to reach this year’s freshmen on campuses throughout California, Arizona and around the world.
This past week, I had the opportunity to spend the day at UC Irvine helping one of our former students, Jon Roper, who is now leading the Cru ministry there. Jon and his team are in the middle of Welcome Week, seeking to reach out to more than 20,000 students on the campus.
As I approached the table where Jon and 30+ students were already setting up for the day, I thought about all the hard work and effort that was expended just to get ready for that week.
Preparing for the first week of school was a gargantuan task when Jen and I were ministering on campus. Promotional materials had to be created and printed weeks ahead of time. Students had to be mobilized to show up early. Rooms and tables had to be reserved. Small groups had to be organized. Students needed to be trained in setting up appointments and sharing their faith.
A variety of events had to be planned and implemented during that first week. Everything we did was aimed at reaching as many students as possible, in the hopes of introducing them to Christ and plugging them into a community of Christ-followers that would aid them in growing into mature disciples of Jesus.
While the pace was harrowing, the reward was great. Often we would have thousands of new students to contact during the fall quarter. Some were already Christians who were looking for community, but many were non-believers with whom we had the privilege of sharing Christ.
I certainly don’t miss the long hours and hard work that went into the Fall outreach but the excitement and energy that occurs when mobilizing students is infectious.
At UCI, it was fun to see Jon leading and directing his students to places around the campus to engage and interact with new students. Time will tell how the Lord will use those efforts but after just one day of engaging students, Jon’s team has over 1300 new contacts to follow up in the coming weeks.
Another former student, Beth Sekishiro, helped the Cal Poly Pomona Cru team initiate and collect over 700 surveys during their first few days and through those contacts, Beth was able to lead a freshman girl named Focus to Christ!
Because of your prayers and partnership, we are helping to reach students not only at UCI and Cal Poly, but also at Arizona State, San Jose State, University of Arizona, Chico State and numerous other locations in the U.S. and overseas.
Thank you for your partnership, which has allowed us to raise up leaders who continue to carry on the work of reaching students long after we’ve tapped out! Please pray for these ministries as they endure long hours to reach out to thousands of students. And pray for us too as we continue to establish a new ministry among Millennials!
Click here to read the pdf version of The Lowedown!