Committing to Campus Ministry
Reaching your school campus will require an incredible level of commitment and dedication. Before starry-eyed visions of having hundreds flock to your club meetings, consider a very important question: Am I willing to pay the price for reaching my school?
What kind of commitment are we talking about here?
Commit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life.
Peter tells us:
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15).
This verse is a key to effective campus ministry.
Below, explain what each portion of the verse means to you.
Commit to representing Jesus Christ on your campus.
The purpose of campus ministry is to bring Christ to the students, faculty, and staff of your campus. Anything short of this purpose would be meaningless and would soon end up failing like other youth social reform programs. The emphasis of campus ministry is for every student to come to know Christ personally. That will happen only if every student has a clear presentation of who Jesus really is. Christ can never be presented as a denomination, club, or cause. He is a person.
This presentation must be seen and heard. The reality of the hope of Jesus changing a life must be demonstrated through your life. You are the only Bible many will ever read, and you are the only Jesus that many will ever see. The days of saying, "Dont look at me just look at Jesus," must end. We must be willing to take a stand and live for Christ so we can say "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). We cannot just talk the talk of Christianity; we must also be willing to walk the talk. Though with others we share Christ and what He has done in our lives, our actions will speak louder than our words.
When Christ comes to your campus, He will come through Christians who desire to know Him, be like Him, and glorify Him. The Bible says, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us" (John 1:14). Through Jesus, God became flesh and lived among us. When you accept Jesus as Savior you come to life. He lives in you and you become a different person; He changes you.
Commit to personally excelling in the basics of the Christian life.
Your ministry to your campus begins in your own heart. You must be committed to the basics of Bible reading, Scripture memorization, prayer, witnessing, personal discipleship, and discipling others. There is no need to wait until you have excelled in all these areas. You do, however, need to be committed to progressing daily in these key areas.
Commit to being trained and then training others who will then train others (2 Timothy 2:2).
No ministry is a one-man show. Multiplying ministry will enable you to accomplish much more than you could possibly do by yourself.
Commit to loving people.
A burning passion and hunger for Jesus will bring an encounter with the resurrected Lord that will allow you to see the world through His eyes of compassion. Compassion has been defined as "being able to crawl inside of another persons skin and feel what that person feels." The lost teenagers on your campus are like sheep without a shepherd, and this causes the Lord to weep. These lost sheep need committed student leaders who have heard and responded to the Great Shepherds lingering question: "Will you go for me?"
You will be called on to help others work through the pain of broken dreams. You will deal with hurt feelings and strained relationships. They need more than someone who will help them clinically analyze their problems. They need someone who cares.
Commit to a dream.
Ask God to show you what He wants you to accomplish through campus ministry. Are you ready for a big dream? Remember that the God from whom you seek a vision for ministry is the very God who "is not willing that any should perish" (2 Peter 3:9).
Gods dream is that every young person on your local campus know Jesus as personal Savior. While you cannot ensure that every student will accept Christ, you can do your part to see that every teen hears a clear presentation of the gospel.
Commit to a never-say-die determination.
Determine to stick with it, even when the going gets rough. You will face opposition. You will have to hurdle obstacles. But if God instilled the vision in you, then you must not give up.
Commit to the team.
Commit to becoming part of a national youth ministries team that is mending nets across the nation. Learn to network with other churches in your city and state. Move beyond denominational walls and build relationships with students, leaders, and pastors from other churches and Christian campus organizations. Your goal is to reach every student on your campus for Christ, so ask God to strip away any competitive spirit that would hinder you from working with others.
Commit to a servants attitude.
A student missionary must be a servant. You must learn what a servant is, take on the attitude of a servant, and then be willing to serve. Knowing what a servant is and actually serving are two different things. Many people know what to do, but never humble themselves or get around to doing it.
What does the following verse mean to you? Jesus said "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all" (Mark 9:35).
Probably the best description of a servants attitude is found in Philippians. Read the following passage. Then, in your own words, describe actions and attitudes you must develop to be a servant on your campus.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human like And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:3-11).
Write out your personal commitment to Christ in what you are willing to do to see your friends come to Christ.