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Meeting With College Students is Often Like Unwrapping A Present January 7, 2011

Posted by Jeremy in Christmas, discipleship, Evangelism, Ministry Moments, Scripture.
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On Christmas, for most of us, there is Christmas tree that has presents under it, some of which have our name on them.  For our birthday’s we receive gifts from friends, family members, and relatives.

During the past four years of campus ministry I have met with countless students.  I love meeting with students.  For me it’s the highlight of what I do.  I am passionate about discipleship and leadership development.  I want my students to see the Great Commission (Matt. 28) and to understand Matthew 10 and it’s implication for our lives as followers of Christ, among other truths from Scripture.

As fall semester starts and our chapter puts much effort into New Student Outreach I begin my observation, prayer, and interacting with the new students that the Lord is bringing into InterVarsity.  I meet with roughly 30 students on a weekly basis for discipleship.  Each year I add new students since each year I graduate students.  I find this process of meeting with college students much like opening presents on Christmas morning.  On Christmas you finally get to open the presents that have been sitting under the tree.  You spend this time postulating as to what might be in the oddly shaped, over sized present that contains your name. Trying to pry some morsel of information from your parents that might give you some indication to help assist in knowing what’s in the package.

We desire so much to know what the future holds. Somehow we feel there is a peace in knowing the unknown.  If only I know what’s in that package then I’ll know if I will like it our not and then I can think about if I want to keep if (how I’m going to use it) or if I am going to return it and buy something else.

I think this is often how people approach college students, at least in campus ministry and I’ve been guilty of this over the years.  We look for students that we think has great leadership potential or will further our ministry.  We want to know what gifts and skills the student will hold in the future.  We think that if we would just know the best students and put our time and efforts in meeting with them then God’s work will advance on the campus powerfully.  Ultimately we don’t want to waste any of our valuable time.  How man centered is that way of thinking!  And how shallow we are in our understanding of who God is and what he is doing in this world.

We don’t look at the people God is placing in our lives.  We don’t believe that God is working in our lives and ministries that personally.  We tongue-and-cheek say he is a personal God but live our lives as if that isn’t true. We don’t trust God to work on our campuses and certainly don’t thank him for those men and women that he is placing in our paths.  We tend to try, futilely, to create our own path.  I want to grow in my dependence on the Lord and his work in my life and ministry (Psalm 44:6-7, Eph. 4:24-25)…to wait on the Lord (Isa. 40:31) and to be sensitive to the Spirit’s work (1 Corinthians 12:12-26).

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