Oct 29, 2018
Intentionality in Community
Phil Carroll writes about how their college ministry is succeeding on campus as they empower students’ intentionality in community.
The beauty of the college campus is that community is intertwined into the lives of every student. Everywhere students go, there’s community at some level. Whether it’s in a classroom, on a sports team, an academic club, or having a roommate. Community, you can’t avoid it. It’s everywhere. My task as a College Director is to equip our students with the necessary skills to enter into their natural spheres of influence and be intentional. Intentional in cultivating authentic relationships with the goal of proclaiming Jesus.
One of the most effective ways that we have seen students cover the campus with a gospel presence is by unscheduled social events—events that are not on our college ministry’s schedule or utilizing our church’s’ space, but events that are truly student led and are on the campus. This seemed to have happened organically as students wanted to see authentic community take place with the goal of others hearing the gospel. So, what they did was begin to invite others over to watch a movie, play cards, play video games or even have a cook out. When these events started to take place almost every weekend we saw true gospel impact start to happen. Students who never would have shown up to our weekly gathering would show up to a cook out or board game night. This gave them the opportunity to be around believers and students that cared about them. It gave them an opportunity to “belong before they believed” which soon lead to true gospel conversations.
We obviously want students to come and be a part of our weekly groups and gathering, but we realize the fact is, some students just won’t come to these events. This could be for multiple reasons but it is still our duty to give every student on our campus an opportunity to respond to the gospel. So, our hope is to not limit our students to inviting their friends only to ministry specified events but to give them the freedom to be intentional with the gospel by inviting them to events they put on. Our aim is to empower and equip students to have events on their own expense and without the influence of a scheduled event. Not only are students feeling like they can get plugged into our ministry, but these events are allowing people to feel a part of a community rather than just another person being invited to a large event.
So, with in our leadership team we are equipping students to take responsibility of the community that they are a part of by making space in their schedule to be intentional and building relationships around common interests. We’re challenging them to go and tell rather than come and see.