Campus Blog

The Long View on Discipleship: The Gospel, the Good, and Kingdom Living

Ron Sanders

Senior Day is an important day in any campus movement.  It is the day we honor the faithful service of the seniors as they finish their undergraduate careers, it is the day that we model what kind of student we hope to develop as they are involved with Cru, and it is the day to celebrate endings and new beginnings.  At our senior day at Stanford (really it was a ceremonious weekly meeting) I would give the same 5-minute speech each year with two central points: (1) That the students did not have to be in full time ministry to be a minister of the gospel—that they carried the gospel everywhere they went; and (2) That if God was calling the students into full-time ministry it was worthy of their Stanford education—the time, the effort, the countless hours in the library, and the money.

I don’t know if Chris remembers that speech (he probably heard it three times during his Stanford days) but he exemplifies its values.  In 2000 Chris signed the Millennial Pledge—a commitment to give one year of his life to full time missions work—and he actually did it.  He spent a year on STINT in Central America.  But, since the day I met Chris as a freshman, he has always loved business.  And when he came back from his STINT he had the idea of starting his own business .  This idea was infused with the gospel: creating a platform to share Christ, serving those on the margins of society, and establishing meaningful work that people can live on and be proud of.  I remember Chris describing this as a “triple-bottom-line” before that term was part of the common vernacular of business conversations.  ( See Chris’ story here. )

Our goal in discipleship is to develop Kingdom-minded people (“gospel-centered” if those are the terms you most resonate with) that carry the good news of the redemptive work of Christ with them for a lifetime.  In the campus ministry we call this “100% Sent.” And we get the opportunity to frame what this means for the students and faculty as we intersect with them on our campuses.  This process takes discernment (we have to know them intimately to speak into their lives), training (more, not less of the basics), patience (character doesn’t always come easy—in our own lives and in the lives of those that we disciple), and hope (we are making investments into the future of the church). From the moment they peak into a weekly meeting or Bible study for the first time until they hear that final speech on senior day, we are leading them, loving them, and discipling them toward a lifelong love of Christ and a deep impact for Christ in their vocation.

* Photo courtesy of Marc Altman.

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