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March 2018

 

Ready to Go

The Every Nation School of Campus Ministry Class 1 of 2018

Countless studies continue to confirm that the majority of those who become Christians do so as students. We fervently work to send as many well-trained missionaries to as many campuses as possible. We just finished training our newest missionaries at our School of Ministry in March.

Seventeen students raised partnership teams and came to Nashville to be equipped by top Every Nation leaders who were once campus missionaries themselves. The six-week training takes them through courses that cover world religions, preaching with power, baptism of the Holy Spirit, best planning practices, ministry to internationals, Strengthsfinder, and two dozen more courses.

The trainings strengthen our campus ministries in two ways. First, the school grounds the missionaries in biblical understanding, giving them the faith and authority they need to remain spiritually healthy. Then the school enables them to hold the life-changing conversations, deliver the groundbreaking sermons, and confidently guide the ministry moments that transform students into world-changers for Christ. As a result, we’re proud to join our partners in sending this batch of missionaries to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, Duke University, and the University of Texas-Austin to name a few.

Amy Barton, who’s headed to North Carolina State University, shares how the school impacted her:

Amy Barton,
Campus Missionary at North Carolina State University

 

I want to thank you so much for making this school possible. I am back on my campus in North Carolina full of joy and faith because of all that God did in me during these last six weeks. I am a different person!

What most impacted me about the school was getting to be around the Every Nation leaders and teachers. Their testimonies and their example of following Jesus inspired me powerfully and imparted so much faith. Over the weeks, my desire to know God more and spend time with him grew so much! I also grew in my desire to pray for the lost, to pray for power to be an effective witness to the gospel, and to be focused on this calling like never before.

Through being in the school, God opened my eyes to the truth that he is going to empower me to share the gospel using me the way that I am wired. I can have a more quiet personality but still walk in the power of the Holy Spirit! This was a game changer for me, as I had previously ‘disqualified’ myself from evangelism. Now I am empowered knowing that ALL believers have been called and equipped to share the gospel and make disciples!

I am so excited to continue walking with the Lord. This brief testimony is only the tip of the iceberg of what God did in all of us during this time.

Please join us in praying for our new missionaries. You can learn more about each of them by reading their bios on give.everynation.org.

Meet Michael Thomas

Campus Missionary

Serving as a campus missionary on an HBCU campus is a unique cultural experience, but Every Nation Campus continues successfully making disciples and training leaders for Christ at these universities. Michael Thomas, Every Nation Campus missionary at Tennessee State University (TSU) in Nashville, points to a few of the reasons why.

Michael Thomas,
Campus Missionary, Tennessee State University

 

As an African-American campus missionary on an HBCU campus, I encounter a lot of cynicism and even anger toward Christ and Christianity. I’ll hear someone comment, ‘It’s the white man’s religion.’ That’s why the SALT approach is so important (Start a conversation, Ask questions, Listen intently, Tell the story). SALT is an effective approach with all students, but especially with students on HBCU campuses. Listening carefully with the genuine intent to understand their experiences is essential to HBCU ministry. And sometimes the listening is not a brief five minutes—sometimes it’s a four month or even a four-year endeavor. Eventually, it earns you the right TELL the story—the good news about Jesus Christ.

Reason #1: Authenticity

Newfound freedoms of campus life provide opportunities for college students to go on the hunt for things that they hope will fill the void in their lives. It’s as if super-churched African-American students are taking one last look over their shoulder before abandoning Christianity. When they come in contact with students who are on fire with a living faith, it’s like a match to dry brush. They quickly catch on fire for Christ.

Reason #2: Leadership Examples

Young African-Americans have always risen to opportunities. However, in so many cases, it’s only after seeing someone else break through the color barrier. Nowhere in our culture is that more prevalent than in the church. As it’s been said, ‘Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.’ That’s one of the unique aspects of Every Nation Campus. It’s a very ethnically diverse organization where everyone is given the opportunity to make an impact for Christ. When I saw Steve Johnson, an African-American Every Nation Campus director, making disciples at Tennessee State University, my sense of calling radically changed. I said to myself, I could do that. I could be that guy! It’s amazing how many will follow if only a few lead the way.

Reason #3: Identity in Christ

The Apostle Paul wrote: ‘For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise’ (Galatians 3:27–29).

I struggled for a long time figuring out how to ground my self-identity in the person and work of Jesus Christ—in him above and beyond anything else. When individuals in Galatia became Christians, it didn’t change their ethnicity, their gender, or even their position in society. Because I primarily see myself as a Christian, that doesn’t mean I’m less black—I’m just ‘more Christ.’

One of my ministry goals is to win, disciple, and train a generation of Christian African-American leaders from the college campuses. There is enormous untapped potential among those students who are called as campus ministers, cross-cultural missionaries, and/or pastors.

Indianapolis Church Snags Inner-City YMCA

Growing churches inevitably run into a need for a new facility. While this is a sign of God’s blessing, it can prove tough for a young church planter to find a suitable location that can reach their target demographic and serve their existing church members. Each year, new Every Nation church planters report on God’s faithfulness in this area.

One of our newest church planters, Jon Owens of City of Lights Church in Indianapolis, shares an incredible testimony of the multiple times God answered prayers for their young church as they grow rapidly.  

Jon Owens,
Senior Pastor, City of Lights Church

 

We have seen God do so many things at City of Lights in our short time as a church! One of our biggest breakthroughs and testimonies has been our facility.

We launched in a movie theatre in March of 2017. We had a great start and it was an amazing God-story that got us that location. However, as more and more young families began to join our community, the limited kid’s space became a real challenge. Movie showtimes also limited our opportunities for ministry and fellowship.

One day, while I was praying in my office and thinking about different facility options, a friend and pastor in the area called and asked if I was in need of a new place to meet. He had just had a meeting at a YMCA in the heart of the city, and said that the CEO of the Y had been praying to find a pastor who would plant a church in that specific Y center. This YMCA was only three years old and had been intentionally placed in one of the rougher neighborhoods as a catalyst for revitalizing the surrounding community.

On August 20, we held our first service there at the Avondale Meadows YMCA. It was incredible! Our City Kid’s space at the YMCA was not only five times what we had at the theater, but it was a gorgeous, state of the art play and learn center. Our fantastic team of volunteers completely transformed the gym into a beautiful and welcoming worship space, and the CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis not only attended but was blown away by the church community he saw growing before his eyes. Since then, we’ve seen our church nearly double, our community impact has significantly expanded with our partnership with the Y, and several of the YMCA employees now call City of Lights their church home. As a matter of fact, the associate director of that location started serving in our City Kids ministry.

We felt the pressure to move and make room for the children of our young families. However, we have been moved as God has continued to provide and make room for more and more son and daughters to be added to our spiritual family.

Lives Changed at the 2018 Every Nation Campus Conferences

Last month, we announced the theme and locations of our 2018 Every Nation Campus Conferences. Now we celebrate what God has done through all six conferences in the cities of Austin, Chantilly, Corvallis, Honolulu, Jacksonville, and Nashville.  

Our students were full of faith as they invited their unsaved friends, teammates, classmates, and roommates to a two-day conference designed to change their lives. In total, 1,724 students gathered across six conference locations.  

Here’s a breakdown of some of what God did during the Every Nation Campus Conferences:

  • Jacksonville, Florida: We saw 72 salvations, 30 baptisms, and 51 students answer the call to campus ministry, with a total attendance of 453 including 41 international students.
  • Corvallis, Oregon: A total of 317 people attended our West Coast regional conference, 46 of whom answered the call to ministry! That’s by far the most we’ve had to respond from our West Coast conference.
  • Nashville, Tennessee: More than 300 students came, representing 19 different campuses across the Central region conference. We had 50 salvations and 26 students were baptized.
  • Chantilly, Virginia: This was our biggest campus conference with nearly 600 attendees. Over 100 students gave their life to Christ, 76 students were baptized, and 19 students responded to the call to ministry.
  • Austin, Texas: Almost 300 students from across Texas gathered in Austin for the first time. There were 45 salvations—almost 1/6 of the conference attendees!
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: Honolulu hosted its third annual student conference with 404 in attendance and 18 who responded to the call to ministry.

With dozens of seminars like Foundations of the Faith, Hearing God’s Voice, Evangelism, Apologetics, and Ministry in the Marketplace, our students were equipped to change the campus and change the world!

Because of you, lives are being transformed by the power of the gospel and God is igniting a passion to see his kingdom come on the campus. Let’s continue to pray for the work God has done to continue through these students lives as they touch their campuses, their cities, and the world.

Your partnership changes lives.

Thank you for being a world changer and helping Every Nation establish Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, socially responsible churches and campus ministries in every nation.

Phone 1-877-877-5585

Email partner.care@everynation.org

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