Two weeks ago, I talked about trying to bring potential leaders from other campuses to your Fall conference. What God will do there to inflame them with vision is a powerful first step in raising up the resources to launch a ministry there. Such potential leaders are an example of the “Cornelius Principle” in action. God desires, and we know, that others outside of our present reach need to hear the gospel. God honors our efforts when we go to other places.
In Acts 10, we see the story of Cornelius. Peter was praying. God gave him a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven with various animals on it, some clean and some unclean. God told him that they were all clean. At that very moment, Peter received a knock at the door with a request to come to Cornelius’s home, a Gentile home. Earlier in the chapter we read about this God-fearing Cornelius, but Peter had no way of knowing what would transpire. When he explained the Gospel, the whole household believed. Peter came to see that God wanted those outside his community of faith to be saved also. But the point here is that God had already worked in Cornelius’ heart before Peter ever showed up. When he heard the message, he received it gladly.
Likewise, we believe that God has already prepared some on other campuses and in other cultural communities to receive the message we bring. Some are prepared to receive Christ. And some will have a desire to start a work of God in their community.
This summer, Glen Nielsen of the NCO Conference team went to both CreationFests. He found lots of students who wanted to make a difference for Christ when they got to campus. Our Student LINC consultants are following up many of those contacts. We are finding that many of these students are already trying to make a difference on their campuses. How cool is it, when we talk with someone about win/build/send and they are all over it.
God cares more about seeing ministries launched on campuses so that others can hear the Good News of Jesus Christ than we ever will. We know that God wants all to come to faith. We are simply going where God has already worked ahead of time. He has the resources in place. What we do there may look differently than what we do on our main campus, but God will bless our efforts.
Dave Meritt, Student Venture’s Coaching Center, received an email from Kevin saying that he wanted to make a difference for Christ in a school in Missouri. Dave emailed him about http://www.gocampus.org/ and how he could apply to volunteer with Student Venture. Within three days, he had an application and all the references in. He emailed again saying the more he dug into GoCampus, the more excited he got about what God might do. In Dave’s first phone conversation with him, he mentioned he was connected with five youth pastors who had kids coming from as many schools. Each one is interested in seeing a movement launched in those schools. Dave told me that the Coaching Center firmly believes God has prepared one or two people to make a difference for Christ in every school in the country.
So as we go, trusting God to raise up those who want to make a difference for Christ, let’s anticipate what God will do. We can assume that He has been working in advance and we can trust Him to lead us to those Great Commission resources, people and otherwise, to reach that campus or community for Christ.