InterVarsity Christian Fellowship recently announced that they will focus on catalyzing Christian student movements on 2,500 college campuses in the next 12 years. Below I talk with InterVarsity president Tom Lin about this audacious goal and about why he has real hope for a major revival on U.S. campuses in the coming years.
Ed: Ministry on 2,500 college campuses is a huge goal. Can you share a bit about how InterVarsity came to this calling?
Tom: When I became president of InterVarsity in 2016, I started praying with InterVarsity’s leadership team about where we were as a ministry and what God wanted to do next through us.
Right now, the Spirit is doing tremendous things on campus. By God’s grace, we have over 1,000 chapters on almost 700 campuses, and are planting ministry on new campuses around the country.
And record numbers of students and faculty are making first-time decisions to follow Jesus in our chapters, more than at any other time in our 77-year history. This propulsive energy has been exciting to watch.
At the same time, as leaders fasted and prayed together, God kept returning us to a challenging truth: 53 percent of the 2,500 U.S. campuses with more than 1,000 students still have no campus ministry to speak of.
That really broke our hearts. By 2030, we want high school seniors to be able to enroll at any college in the U.S. and find a loving, vibrant, missional Christian community waiting there to welcome them. We want every student and faculty member to have the opportunity to hear the gospel and experience the hope of Christ.
So our 2030 Calling is this: Longing for revival, we catalyze movements that call every corner of every campus to follow Jesus.
Ed: Why do you think it’s possible to reach all 2,500 campuses?
Tom: The starting point for us is the extraordinary goodness and strength of God, who wants to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. We recognize that God’s heart breaks for these campuses even more than ours do.
InterVarsity is pursuing a vision for which we have to rely on the Lord completely, trusting in his strength and his love for students and faculty.
Second, God is inviting us into deeper humility and partnership. We cannot reach these campuses with the gospel on our own. That’s just a fact. There can’t be any hint of pride or territorialism in this.
Instead, God has been reminding us that his mission on campus is something he’s graciously allowed us to join him in. It’s a gift, to be joyfully shared with others.
And as we started to talk to friends in other campus ministry organizations, we found that they were hearing similar things from the Lord and wanting to partner in new and deeper ways as well. So we’re heading into this humbly, asking other co-laborers to bring their gifts alongside of ours to reach 2,500 campuses.
Click here to read more.
Source: Christianity Today