If you find yourself wondering whether today’s students have the vision, character and passion to lead change in this generation, don’t miss this amazing story of God’s grace lived out through 7,000+ students from over 100 campuses across Ethiopia. My friend Tariku Fufa says “this is all about giving purpose and mission to younger leaders.” Did I fail to mention that we only have 10 campus staff members in that country?
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Recently my friend Craig recommended the book “I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus.” Craig plants postmodern churches that are raised out of the surrounding culture. He helped envision and coach 12 plants in the past three years. Craig knows what he’s talking about. So I Kindled the book and sat down to read it today.
The book provides an excellent overview of leading people to Jesus. Authors Doug Schaupp and Don Everts work with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. In the past 10 years they (and many friends) have seen more than 2,000 college students choose to follow Jesus Christ. I like their emphasis on the path being both mysterious and organic. This is in stark contrast to the traditional/modernistic approach of classical apologetics and truth-based certainty.
They have debriefed many of these students to get inside their heads and find out what barriers they faced in coming to know Jesus. Five thresholds that postmoderns must cross include:
- from distrust to trust. Somewhere along the line they learned to trust a Christian.
- from complacent to curious.
- from being closed to change to being open to change in their life. This usually proved to be the hardest.
- from meandering to seeking. There is a big difference between the curious investigator and someone who actively, purposefully, even urgently seeks God.
- and finally crossing the threshold of the kingdom itself. They needed to repent and believe and give their life to Jesus.
We serve our friends by sticking with them through each stage and helping them identify where they are on their journey toward God. Though I don’t believe each stage is as clear-cut as the book suggests, the authors’ framework will help anyone who genuinely desires to nudge, guide and lead someone else to connect with Jesus.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations….” These few words, spoken by Jesus to eleven confused men standing on a hillside, have captivated me since I began walking with the Lord. The core imperative—make disciples—increasingly shapes and defines my passion in life. Many friends have been asking me, “so, Ken, what is your new job all about?” It boils down to this: making disciples of all nations. Our prayer is that God would use our rich experience in building followers of Christ in East Asia to help grow student-led movements everywhere, so that one day every student would know someone who truly follows Jesus.
Today there are about 8,000 top tier campuses in the world, of which only 2,000 have Christian movements (CCC or otherwise). This means over 6,000 of the world’s most influential universities are not being significantly influenced by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Students are graduating and becoming doctors, lawyers, professors, and statesmen without ever being changed by the gospel. The vision of CM2007 is to change all that.
CM2007 (www.cm2007.net), Campus Crusade for Christ’s first global student missions conference, will take place June 30 – July 6 in Busan, Korea. Nope, this is no mere blip on the collegiate social radar. It will be a historic event with three primary themes:
• Christ Magnified. PRAY for me and other keynote speakers as
we call students to live a life surrendered to the Lordship of Christ and
to exalt our magnificent God and Savior. Much of the conference will
focus on helping participants see our holy God in a new and clear way.
• Connected Movements. ASK the Lord to connect the hearts
and lives of our students and staff as a global community of campus
movements. There are over 20,000 students and staff from 127 countries registered for this gathering. We will learn from, encourage, and be challenged by others from different walks of life, cultures, languages and experiences.
• Completing the Mission. PRAY that God will unleash a new generation of spiritual movement builders to strengthen existing movements and launch new movements on the unreached campuses of the world.
Lesson for aspiring leaders: The world is waiting for us to change it.