The Blog of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

February 15, 2012

InterVarsity is Important on Campus Because...

By: 
Sarah Kirk

This past year, InterVarsity’s ministry has been challenged on 41 campuses (most recently at the University of Buffalo and Vanderbilt University). And while InterVarsity does not enjoy such disagreements, they do provide an opportunity to showcase the value of having an InterVarsity chapter on today’s campus.

So InterVarsity would like to know: Do you believe that InterVarsity makes a difference on today’s campus? If so, how is InterVarsity a positive influence in the university world?

Share your story or experience in the comments below. 

Comments

Intervarsity was my "home" in college and changed how I viewed the people on my campus. I met my closest college friends in IV and had my week (mentally) structured around each large group, Bible study, and event. I loved IV more than words can describe, nothing gave me more joy than to live on campus with the people I was worshipping and serving with. It also changed my purpose for living on campus. I chose to adopt a missional style of living, one in which I was actively praying for the spiritual health or spiritual awakening of those living around me. IV made my college experience truly rich.
InterVarsity taught me how to study the Bible like I did my textbooks. I think the ultimate purpose of college is to learn how to learn, how to gather and process information, how to teach yourself. InterVarsity, and the larger Christian community on my campus including the Chesterton House, taught me to appreciate the fact that God is the ultimate intellectual, and he approves of us taking the time to meditate on his Word and how it permeates into everyday life. I could have gone to college elsewhere for much, much less and often wonder what my life would be like now if I had, but then, the memories from Bible studies and evangelistic outings come back, and I thank God again for putting me where he did and leading me to IV.
intervarsity was there for me when no one else was. I came to campus hurting and broken, running from abuse and my own demons. Intervarsity didn't try to hand me off to some sort of counsellor, but stayed there, right be my side all the way through. They didn't tell me I was too broken or too damaged for G-d to redeem I graduated two years ago. I still talk to my staff person regularly and visit whenever I am in town. Intervaristy saved my life.
I believe InterVarsity is crucial on college campuses as it gives us a place to be a body of Christ living out a small part of the early church. As a grad student at a chapter close to UB, I've been constantly reminded of how much the fellowship we've built is part of my college experience. Without the friends I made and the changes I went through with the support of InterVarsity members, I would not be the person I am today. I would have never learned to open up and actually let someone in to my life (in good times in bad), seen the importance of constant fellowship with other Christians as we aren't meant to handle life alone, and who knows what would have happened to the spiritual gifts God has given me. IV is a way to become a leader with support and to know that the power to change lives is in God's hands. Four years ago, I was outreach coordinator (a position that as a quiet freshman just a semester earlier never would have imagined being). That year we started having an annual local missions trip where now I can still see the connections and the projects we've built. Without the fellow Christians holding me accountable and challenging me to do things I never would have imagined, I and the community would not have changed as much as it did. The support, challenge to grow, and leadership training to do new things is crucial as a college student as we figure out who we are going to be in the real world. Our chapter helps make better citizens and helps the world and campus aaround us in many tangible and intangible ways. ~Kathryn, SUNY Fredonia
God used InterVarsity to make me who I am today. If it weren't for InterVarsity, I would not have made it through college (I needed prayer every week), I would not be the leader I have been complimented for being, I would not have the eyes and heart to see injustice, poverty, community, and oppression of races. I would not have a value for good stewardship, caring for the environment, and being radical for Jesus not only in word but in how I live my life. Of all things that have impacted my life, my involvment in InterVarsity has by far been the most profound. I couldn't be more grateful!
First day on campus I was introduced to a bright, young man and found that we had 19 credits in the same courses and sections. He led me from class to class that morning and the into a small group room in the Union. Then came the surprizs, "This is Dick Schult, and he doesn't know the Lord." Quite the introduction to IV via a mid-day prayer meeting. What those kids had, I didn't and I wanted it, but come March I met HIM on a train trip and I knew who they had been leading me towards. Over my four years there, the group grew from 13 to over 50 members and at least 12 on-cmpus bible studies. Fifty-five years later, I'm still in touch with six of the chapter and hear of another 6 to10 from them. Our staff worker had 23 schools to look after then; now my old school has two staff workers for the one campus. My thanks to the staff, and fellow students, who were instrumental in leading me to the LORD and who are keeping up the witness today. R W Schult, U PENN '60
I believe InterVarsity is a vital fellowship that should be included in each college campus because they are a kind of fellowship that acts out on the love of Jesus. I am currently an InterVarsity small group leader and what I like about the leaders and the people is that they are friendly and they are passionate about God. The way they live their lives portrays how Jesus lived his life: loving others, serving people, and pursuing the will of God. There are a lot of Christians out there who don't pursue God's purpose for their lives and reach out to other people, as well as loving them. People in InterVarsity are real and they genuinely love and care for the people they reach out to, just like Jesus loves us first. They have the love for their campus, for the students, and th world. They act on that love by reaching out to people, spreading the love of Christ, guiding and serving people, and being active in missions. I gotta say, I am thankful to be a part of the IV fellowship, because without them and without my church, I wouldn't be in an intimate relationship with God, I wouldn't find good friends who actually care for me and love me for who I am, I would lost in the world, wandering aimlessly, trying to find the right path.
I learned about how to live in Christian community at InterVarsity. The friendships I made and strengthened through the group are some of my most important relationships. I didn't know how to make mistakes and be forgiven before I started sharing my life with the people I knew at Intervarsity, and that's a valuable side of God's love that I had no conception of whatsoever before IV. The experiences I had at IV still impact the way I think about God, three years later.
InterVarsity in important on campus because it meets the needs of students in their environment at their level. I graduated 10 yrs ago and InterVarsity's leadership training continues to influence my decision making about how I participate in my church, work performance, and loving my husband, family, friends, and enemies. I believe that college is a crucial time in a person's life no matter their age. It's the foundation of building your character and making choices that map out your future as a maturing adult. InterVarisity and my IV staff encouraged me to use my gifts to impact God's kingdom, not just on the campus but the world outside of college. I am forever grateful for the IV staff past, present, and future who continue the work that is much neeeded on college campus's today. I believe that one person can make a difference, but more than one makes a huge difference over time. My experiences at Urbana 2000 and SLT (summer of 2000) gave me a solid leadership foundation and some of the best leadership training I have ever recieved. thank you for this opportunity to share, Michele Texter
Am a part of the undergrad multi-ethnic chapter of IV at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. IV is a vital wing of the global body of Christ with regard to finding an expression of mission at the collegiate level and taking this transformative model even beyond the campus. I remember my first year with IV at WMU; so much eye-opening revelation about the place of mission in every christian's life and it was packaged in a way that i had never really experienced before. I found so much relevance and purpose in the mission of God, so much joy in being a college student because of this new found mission. I see a lot of peers who have placed no value on mission in their christian walk in college, this turns them to believers chasing the dream of prosperity while banking on God's grace to secure an eternal place of rest for them once they're bodies give out. Mission enables us to look beyond ourselves, beyond our dreams and desires and encounter the heart of a savior who is seeking to redeem the college campus and raise up leaders to influence and change the socio-economic and political dynamics of this fallen world and thereby hasten his glorious return.

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