Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why College Students?

Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) began in 1951 as a college ministry on the campus of University of California- Los Angelos. Now we are an international organization with many facets, including ministries to the business world, athletes, and unreached people groups.  We have a lot going on to reach the world for Christ, but our main focus is still college ministry. Cru now has a presence on over 1,000 college campuses throughout the US and in over 200 countries around the world.

 Why should Cru focus the majority of our time and energy on college ministry? Why should John and I devote the next four years our lives to sharing the gospel with college students specifically? I came across this quote in an article entitled 5 Myths of Christianity... the author, Rick McDaniel, brought up several great points... one was the myth that people become Christians through social conditioning. Here is what Rick had to say about how college and the academic world influences 18 to 22 year olds... 

"It is true that many people become Christ followers when they are young influenced by their family and upbringing. But the greatest social conditioning of any person happens when they attend a college or university. No one can honestly deny the significant changes that take place while a person is in the college environment. This social conditioning can change a person's morality, politics and faith. Lenin said, "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." Far from Christianity conditioning people to faith, the academy does everything it can to condition them away from faith."

College is an incredible four years. According to the media, "its the best four years of your life!" Which in some cases, may be true, but if the best four years of your life is over at age 22, that's pretty depressing. Anyways, college is an incredibly influential stage in a person's life. You're leaving home. You have complete freedom to make your own decisions, to decide who you're going to be and what you believe. This freedom is great! I believe every person needs to make a personal decision on what they believe about God. I actually think that what you believe about God is the most important decision you will ever make. Unfortunately, students are being heavily influenced by universities that teach athiesm and the Big Bang Theory as proven fact, rather than the theories that they are. John and I want to show students that there is another side to the story. We want students to have the opportunity to hear that there is a loving God, who wants a personal relationship with every single person He created. We want students to have the chance to decide for themselves, rather than having their professors make up their mind for them. 

(Greek Impact GameDay Tailgate! This picture is a couple years old, but it's amazing to look and see the work God has done in each of these ladies lives!)

Cru believes that if we can reach college students for Christ, we can reach the world. Today's college students are tomorrow's world leaders. College students are the best and the brightest. Students at the University of South Carolina will graduate and become doctors, teachers, lawyers, accountants, businessmen, stay at home moms, and politicians. Some will stay in Columbia, but most will leave and spread out across the globe. Regardless of where they end up, they will have tremendous impact in their spheres of influence. If we can reach college students for Christ, we can reach the world. 

The fact is-Jesus changes lives at any age, any time, any place. But if we can work towards changing lives on college campuses, we can see the gospel spread more quickly and have a huge impact on our generation's culture. So, that's why we are so passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus' love and forgiveness with college students!