This month students at colleges and universities throughout the United States are walking toward new classes and new experiences that will change their lives. Since their first steps in childhood, most of these students have discovered that walking is not always easy. They’ve sometimes stumbled, struggled up hills, and taken wrong turns. But over the years they’ve also experienced the joys of arriving at dreamed-of destinations and of discovering their own styles of walking.
Walking styles sometimes evidence habits of mind. And habits among people can be remarkably common. While walking, we all experience that peculiar moment after our back foot leaves the earth when we float forward in awkward equilibrium. Anything can happen in that moment. And the trajectory of our forward foot makes all the difference in how balanced and stable we feel as we land, and of how determined we place the direction of our next step. In that floating instant our future is literally in the balance.
Many young people experience an intense, awkward suspension during their years of college. Each step toward graduation and a career can seem as if in slow motion. Walking toward their personal goals, students sometimes feel suspended in an extended moment when a slight turn of weight in their moral balance may make all the difference in how they land for the next step. Will they move forward with momentum or unexpectedly turn in a different direction? How they walk from day to day does indeed make all the difference in where they eventually go. Each decision matters.
College students sometimes make decisions that change their entire lives. Choosing an academic major, for instance, can seem agonizing, producing a peculiar sense of vertigo, as if stepping across a chasm. Four or more years of life-directing decisions affect one’s habit of mind.
Witness how some students develop a shuffling style of walking that betrays their mental habit of cynicism; observe how some graduate students master the art of swagger to mask their limping self-doubt. Watch as Jesus walks across the campus and calls to the crippled. Rejoice as the crippled are cured, the lame are healed, the paralytic leap and dance for joy.
InterVarsity staff, students, and faculty advisors are dedicated to helping non-Christian students know Jesus and learn to walk as his disciples. This fall InterVarsity’s campus witnessing communities are engaged in outreach events that call students to walk with Jesus.
The following stories show how InterVarsity students are sharing the gospel with non-Christian students.
- InterVarsity students at Columbia College-Chicago began their New Student Outreach activities in late August, during the Student Organization Fair. The InterVarsity chapter offered students free Bibles and hosted a make-your-own-sundae event, where non-Christians could hear the gospel in relaxed surroundings. The InterVarsity chapter is also using Proxe Stations, interactive displays relating current world issues and the gospel, to introduce students and faculty to a biblical worldview and the person of Jesus Christ.
- InterVarsity students at Texas A&M, began their New Student Outreach activities with a their traditional Burger Bash, an opportunity to offer students free hamburgers and talk with them about Christianity and the Bible.
- During the freshman orientation at the University of South Florida, InterVarsity students signed up over 400 students for upcoming Bible studies.
InterVarsity offers students and faculty transformation through Jesus Christ. Our witnessing communities, small group Bible studies, conferences, and training centers, provide students and faculty opportunities to grow in the love of God. InterVarsity prepares students to participate in God’s global mission by helping them walk with Jesus Christ.