USA (MNN) — Colleges across the United States are welcoming back students. And though college is a time to grow the mind and widen world views, it’s also a time for building crucial relationships.
As cliché as it sounds, some of the most important and best relationships are made during college. And InterVarsity is trying especially hard during the first weeks of school to reach students.
Doug Schaupp, the co-author of the November release book “Breaking the Huddle,” works with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship‘s on-campus ministries. Schaupp says every fall, InterVaristy features a major theme across campuses in efforts to be dynamic and intriguing.
“So we have what we call an interactive art display on campus called a Proxe station. And we just start striking up conversations with college students and say, ‘Hey, what crucial relationships are you trying to make,'” explains Schaupp.
After breaking the ice, InterVarsity workers talk with students about Biblical stories of friendship and self-sacrifice, leading ultimately to the Gospel.
“We’re seeing great fruit already on campus because people want to talk about relationships,” Schaupp explains.
But in the digital age, it’d be nearly impossible to stay in touch with students without social media. To help, InterVarsity has a social media component to keep connected.
It is anything from getting a group together to play Pokemon Go or keeping in contact through facebook to build meaningful relationships. Through relationships, students and InterVarsity staff are in positions to invite their non-Christian friends to Bible studies or even church.
So why are relationships important?
The answer is in Acts 2 Schaupp says. The chapter depicts a Godly community sharing resources, their lives, and living out God’s generosity.
“In that way, they were embodying the good news to Jerusalem and beyond and they were proclaiming the good news,” Schaupp explains.
“And at InterVarsity we’re committed to proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed. We feel like one of the most powerful apologetics we offer the campus and the world is our authentic relationships with each other.”
InterVarsity wants to have relationships with everyone, whether they’re a believer, atheist, agnostic, or whoever. They’re all welcome in the InterVarsity community, doing life together.
Relationships, Schaupp says, are some of the most amazing things that can be offered to anyone.
A Life Changed
One student particularly opened up with InterVarsity staff and talked about loneliness and a desire for community.
“What an amazing, honest interaction with a stranger, right in the middle of campus. And as we had [this] conversation and we prayed with this person and shared the Gospel, they said yes, I would like to have a relationship with Jesus,” Schaupp exclaims.
The student ended up joining an InterVarsity Bible study and has since found real friendship. More importantly, the student has experienced God’s powerful love.
“We’re finding, at InterVarsity, more Evangelistic fruit in the last decade than we’ve ever seen in our history,” Schaupp exclaims.
This is partly because many students have been raised without religion. They’re less jaded towards Christianity and are curious about God.
Help Build Crucial Relationships
So, how can the Christian community come alongside InterVarsity and help students meet Jesus?
Start with prayer.
Schaupp asks for prayers for the staff and students. Pray for the crucial relationships campaign, specifically in September, but also for the rest of the school year.
Also, InterVarsity staff have to raise 100% financial support to serve on campus. So if campus ministry is on your heart, would you financially bless local InterVarsity staff?
To learn more about the Crucial Relationships campaign, click here!