InterVarsity loves faculty, students, and staff, but we love Jesus even more! That’s why the changes that are happening across America give us hope for even better years of ministry than the 77 years behind us.
One would have to go back to the late 1940s to find a time in American history where there have been this many new Christian organizations. There is a virtual explosion of new student movements, and while some are small or regional, several have catapulted to a size and influence on campus that is staggering.
Times are good for us in InterVarsity too. We’ve never seen so many students come to Jesus in all our history. We continue to add new staff at an unprecedented rate. We are planting new chapters in new places like never before.
That’s good news but what’s even better is that we are not reaching students and faculty alone. We are living in what I believe are just the very first days of a mighty move of God on our campuses. I believe we could see a soul harvest in America in the coming days that will rival the Jesus Movement of the 1970’s. It is not business as usual.
As an additional sign of how the world of campus ministry is changing, Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) and InterVarsity USA have entered into our very first nation-wide partnership. The partnership initiative, Every Campus, seeks to accelerate planting new ministries throughout the country on the 50% of college campuses that currently have no Christian witness! The hope is to mobilize churches, organizations, and networks to establish Christian communities where there are none. Every Campus is now becoming a coalition of multiple organizations committing with Cru and InterVarsity to get to the unreached campuses of the U.S. in the coming years. God is definitely doing something in our time.
This is the end of college ministry as we know it, for at least five reasons, and that is a good thing.
- For starters, there are more churches and new organizations reaching more places than ever before. And we need every one of them, and many more. If you add up the campuses all eight of the largest, historic campus ministries are on, 50 percent of American colleges still have absolutely no Christian ministry.
- We are entering a new era of trust and partnership. As the National Director of Catalytic Partnerships for InterVarsity, I’ve never before seen such a willingness to partner as I’m seeing now. Leaders all over are sensing a new, sweeping move of God, and there is a strong belief that God is calling all of us to partner together to see great things happen.
- We don’t own the campus or campus ministry. This is a humbling and sobering fact but a fact nonetheless. The needs of the college campus in America far outstretch the resources of any ministry. InterVarsity has staff, financial resources, training, conferences, camps, and great leaders but combined these are but five loaves of bread and a couple fish. In the hands of Jesus, however, the resources can be multiplied.
- There is a confluence of vision and dreams for revival among leaders. Nearly across the board, campus ministry leaders are sensing God calling their organizations to partner and pray for a mighty revival in our time. Because of this, the old, normal way of just putting our best thoughts and practices in play for the campus isn’t good enough. We need a supernatural move of God!
- Finally, it is the end of small things. Over the course of my preaching career, I’ve led over 16,000 people to Jesus. That’s pretty awesome and I’m humbled every time I think about that. I’m even more humbled, however, when I learn that many more college students are coming to Jesus each year through new, young ministries. At campus events, concerts, conferences, and in the streets, God has raised up a new and powerful generation of fire-eyed evangelists who are leading more to Christ in their first years than I’ve seen in over two decades! This gives my heart joy but I still believe this is just the beginning of something yet to come.
Prayer will be a critical part of our future ministry, just as it has been for the past 77 years. I invite you to join with us in regular prayer for our campus mission by signing up for our monthly Intercessor email. At this critical time, please be praying for our InterVarsity leadership as they develop long-range plans for partnership and mission.
York Moore is a National Evangelist, and National Director of Catalytic Partnerships for InterVarsity.