Launching

Introduction: What Will it Take?

Mike Tilley

God is raising up a network of student-led, staff-coached campus ministries at colleges across the U.S. We are working to help leaders build movements that will transform their campuses and make an impact around the world.

Imagine if a community existed on campus where:

  • lost students are being transformed by the gospel of Christ (Colossians 1:13-14)
  • Christians are being transformed in ‘grace and truth relationships’ (Ephesians 4)
  • the campus and world are being transformed by laborers who are sent (Matt. 9:37-39)

Acts 2:42-47 describes this type of community

  • Everyone felt a sense of awe because they saw God at work
  • Believers were devoted to biblical teaching, prayer, and fellowship
  • God was adding to their number daily those who were being saved

That first community recorded in the Book of Acts was a true movement of God’s Spirit. That is the kind of movement we are trusting God to create on every campus. We are trusting God to see a core group of committed students grow to a size of 50 or more students, passionate about loving, serving and following Jesus Christ.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?

As you look at the campus, ask yourself these questions:

  • What would I like to see God do here?
  • What is my vision?

If you don’t know the answer yet, it’s OK. God will show you His desire for the campus as you continue to trust Him.

Vision will develop and deepen as you begin to pray and take steps of faith toward starting the ministry. There is room to fill in the specifics of your vision over time to reflect the unique character and flavor of the campus.

WHAT IS THE CAMPUS LIKE?

Another important question to ask is, “What are students like on the campus?” Kennesaw State had its weekly meeting during the lunch hour. This works best because its a commuter campus. Most campuses are so multifaceted that many transformational communities will be needed to reach them.

Ask yourself these questions about the campus:

  • What is the level of spiritual interest?
  • What keys will open doors for the gospel?
  • What is the ethnic diversity on campus?
  • What do people do for fun?

Answering these questions will help you tailor-makethe ministry to the campus.

WHO ARE THE LEADERS?

A third question that must be answered is, “Who will help lead this pioneering effort?” Within five miles of every campus, we believe God has already placed the people and resources needed to reach that campus for Christ. What we need to do is to find and gather these individuals essential to getting started. This is called assembling critical mass. In Mark 4, Jesus talked about the small mustard seed, which, when planted, grew into a huge tree. Critical mass is like the seed; it contains all the future elements needed to build a thriving ministry.

How do you know when you have reached critical mass on the campus?

A general rule of thumb is that you have achieved critical mass when you have these four things place:

  • leaders aligned to the vision
  • the mustard seed of community
  • prevailing prayer
  • students engaging lost students with the gospel

In some cases, the best way to assemble critical mass is to partner with a church or lay volunteer. Whether you start with key students, volunteers or a partnering church, you do not have critical mass until a core group (perhaps 8-12 students) is poised to reach the campus. Gathering that core group of students will be the primary goal in starting the ministry.

To that end, the articles in this section follow a somewhat sequential order, tracing the steps you would follow to establish and mobilize that foundational core of students on campus.

If you need additional advice, counsel, or encouragement to get things started on campus you can also contact Student LINC at 1-800-678-LINC. A ministry coach will walk you step-by-step through the process.

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