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It may surprise you that university students in the U.S. are becoming more open to Christianity. The revival at Asbury University in Kentucky made national headlines last Spring. And now, another college outreach is sweeping the country–it’s called “the Every Campus Movement”. The goal is to reach more than a thousand college campuses where there is no organized ministry.
SCRIPT: CAMPUS MINISTRIES UNITE TO MEET SPIRITUAL OPENNESS
HSE1159 EVERY CAMPUS
“Every Campus” movement is bringing ministries together to meet the growing spiritual interest of university students.
It may surprise you that university students in the U.S. are becoming more open to Christianity.
The revival at Asbury University in Kentucky made national headlines last Spring.
And now, another college outreach is sweeping the country–it’s called “the Every Campus Movement”. The goal is to reach more than a thousand college campuses where there is no organized ministry.
Heather Sells of CBN News brings us a first-hand look at this movement in action.
(reporter VO all-caps)
ELLIE YOUNG, LAUNCHING CAMPUS MINISTRY
I just felt this calling. These people need to know Jesus.
STUDENTS ELLIE YOUNG AND HER SISTER OLIVIA HAVE BIG PLANS FOR THE EASTERN FLORIDA STATE CAMPUS AT MELBOURNE. AFTER HELPING LEAD CRU MINISTRIES AT A NEARBY STATE SCHOOL IN COCOA THEY’RE NOW PREPARING TO LAUNCH HERE IN THE FALL.
ELLIE YOUNG, Student Ministry:
I just saw the need for it to happen at Melbourne, knowing how many students were there.
PASTOR SCOTT–I look at it going–the harvest is ripe–we just need some workers out there.
SCOTT NORWOOD, A LOCAL PASTOR AND CRU VOLUNTEER FOR BOTH TEAMS, EXEMPLIFIES THE TIP OF THE SPEAR FOR THE EVERY CAMPUS MOVEMENT.
THE LITTLE KNOWN BUT POWERFUL COLLABORATION CONNECTS LOCAL CHURCHES AND NATIONAL COLLEGIATE MINISTRIES –WITH CAMPUSES NATIONWIDE THAT HAVE NO GOSPEL PRESENCE. RIGHT NOW–THERE’S MORE THAN SEVENTEEN HUNDRED—NEARLY 40 PERCENT OF COLLEGES IN THE U-S.
NORWOOD SEES THE CHURCH–CAMPUS MINISTRY PARTNERSHIP AS A KEY ELEMENT.
It hasn’t been one of those ‘I’m just going to use you to get in on this campus’ and CRU hasn’t been ‘I’m just going to use you to get your resources.’ We’ve come together on this neutral ground and said ‘we want to impact these students for Jesus Christ.’
SHANNON COMPERE, CRU DIRECTOR
‘To me, it’s just such a picture of the body of Christ. This is what God has called us to. It’s not about building Cru’s kingdom. It’s about building God’s kingdom.
EVERY CAMPUS STARTED IN 2017 WHEN CRU, INTERVARSITY, AND OTHER NATIONAL STUDENT MINISTRIES BEGAN TO FORMALLY WORK TOGETHER AND EVALUATE COLLEGIATE MINISTRY.
God took that good will and trust that had been built and said ‘we can do better than just be nice to each other’. The really the driving question was ‘what could we do together that we could never do alone?’
It really just is the dynamics of a ‘we’–there’s less of us versus them, building our brands.
HEATHER SELLS, CBN NEWS
THIS YEAR, EVERY CAMPUS HELD ITS FIRST NATIONAL SUMMIT. LEADERS CAME FROM ACROSS THE U-S TO STRATEGIZE AND PRAY.
MEETING in ORLANDO, ORGANIZATIONS BRAINSTORMED AND PLANNED FOR THE FALL. THEIR BIG NEW TOOL: THE FIRST EVER NATIONAL COLLEGIATE MINISTRY MAP.
PAUL AUSTIN, CHI ALPHA OMEGA
We’ve never had the data. We’ve never been able to see the picture until Every Campus pulled us together, built the trust and we can look at the map together to recognize internal patterns but actual collegiate ministry patterns and so that information is powerful.
Before, we didn’t really know where we were on campuses, let alone where anyone else is and so what ends up happening then is we end up sort of doubling efforts–so you end up with 20,30, 40, 50 ministries on one school when a school across town has zero.
THE NEW MAP REVEALED HUNDREDS OF THOSE SCHOOLS WITH ZERO OUTREACH. THEY’RE TYPICALLY SMALLER, SUCH AS COMMUNITY COLLEGES, HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES PLUS HISPANIC SERVING INSTITUTIONS.
IT BECAME CLEAR THAT A NEW APPROACH WAS NEEDED.
If we continue what we’re doing–we’re going to be on the same 54 percent of campuses that are all traditional state schools.
BRIAN MUSSER, DREXEL UNIVERSITY
Community colleges are harder because you don’t have the residential population, people come and go//2:58–if it’s a school of 1,000 students there’s less students to reach. your groups will probably look smaller, won’t look as big or flashy, you won’t have as much going on there but you put those all together and you have a significant population of students that don’t have an active ministry on those campuses
THE GOOD NEWS—LEADERS SAY THESE STUDENTS SHARE A SURPRISING SPIRITUAL APPETITE.
They have no religious background. They haven’t stepped foot in a church–but 80 percent of them are spiritually open.
There is a spiritual hunger out there among this generation but it is completely and totally undirected. They’re hungry for something, they don’t know what and they’re open to anything so being present on the campus to actually be able to communicate the Gospel as what meets that hunger.
THAT HUNGER IS ALREADY LEADING TO A HARVEST, EVEN AMONG Teenagers.
CRU VICE PRESIDENT MARK GAUTHIER SAYS ITS HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRY TRADITIONALLY HAS LED ONE IN TWELVE TO CHRIST AFTER A GOSPEL PRESENTATION. THEN, LAST YEAR–THAT NUMBER JUMPED TO ONE IN SIX.
That is an unbelievable demonstration of the openness of this generation.
You’re just seeing students come to Christ. Not just one or two but we’re having some campuses where we’re seeing 100, 175, 200 kids in a year come to Christ.
There’s no question about it–that Jesus is the only way. He brings so much joy to my life and I want to share that with other people.
OLIVIA AND ELLIE SAY THEY’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO SPENDING TIME THIS FALL WITH CLASSMATES, OVER COFFEE AND STUDIES–TO SHARE THAT JOY.
AND WITH A SMALL ARMY KNOWN AS EVERY CAMPUS BEHIND THEM—THE MELBOURNE HARVEST MAY JUST BE STARTING.
REPORTING IN FLORIDA, HEATHER SELLS, C-B-N NEWS.