America has problem: Twentysomethings are leaving our churches. “A new study by The Barna Group shows that despite strong levels of spiritual activity during their teen years, most twentysomethings disengage from active participation in the Christian faith. . . .” (The Barna Update, 9-11-2006) This age group’s abandonment of Christian faith will eventually result in weakening the church and our nation. The church will suffer a depletion of Christian leaders, and our nation will find fewer leaders who are Christians.
While in college, young students encounter new worldviews and spiritualities that shape their futures, and in turn, the future of this nation. Christian students may not always discern between biblical truth and the errors within secular ideologies and non-Christian, religious worldviews. Research by The Barna Group has recently shown that over 50 percent of college students from church backgrounds lose hope in the Christian beliefs of their parents. The solution, however, is not withdrawal from secular institutions and isolation within Christian communities, but is active participation in society by demonstrating hope and transformation.
InterVarsity is on campus to offer students eternal hope, transformation of spirit, and strength of character to discern truth from error and withstand evil. For non-Christian students, such hope leads to a new life in Christ; for Christian students, this hope results in a growing relationship with Jesus within a welcoming, InterVarsity chapter.
Today, InterVarsity continues to help college students and faculty love God, serve people, and do God’s mission around the world. Our vision to see students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed is an outgrowth of our sixty-five years of ministry on campus.
InterVarsity’s vision is accomplished by building witnessing communities of Jesus’ followers at college and universities throughout the United States. Over the last ten years, we have established 150 new witnessing communities on campuses. But almost all of those communities are either second or third InterVarsity chapters on campuses where we already have an established presence. We have not grown to new schools.
Our new chapter planting and chapter building initiatives are designed to remedy not only our need to establish new chapters on unreached campuses, but also to address the larger problem of spiritual leadership for the future of this nation. We believe that God is calling us to help address the loss of so many twentysomethings from our nation’s churches, and the loss of future Christian leaders within our nation.
Over the past four years, senior InterVarsity leaders have engaged in a planning process for planting new chapters on unreached campuses and for growing the chapters on campuses where we now have witnessing communities. In the next five years, InterVarsity’s new chapter planting and chapter building growth initiatives will (1) pursue a 35 percent increase in the number of new believers, (2) develop 120 promising students, train 200 select staff, and upgrade our training facilities, and (3) reach 10,000 more students and faculty with the gospel, while expanding our ministries to 125 more campuses.
Accomplishing these initiatives will mean that we are reaching many more students for Christ and will mark a new period of growth for InterVarsity. We ask for your prayers. To partner with us in prayer, please visit our intercessors page. You can also sign up for monthly prayer emails.
We are excited by the possibilities for new growth. But these initiatives require additional resources. If you wish to contribute financially to the Campus Ministry Growth Initiative, please call 866-743-4823 or you can donate online.
Together, we can help many college students and faculty regain hope through a relationship with Jesus Christ, and we can prepare future Christian leaders for service in our nation and throughout the world.