I love praying for missionaries directly involved in creative and reflective evangelism. Not only do I get the joy of partnering with them in their work… but I get to learn from them and steal all their ideas that they share in the prayer newsletters!
These little notes were sent out by Paddy at the end of last year. Bear in mind they are very much sketches of ideas sent out to prayer supporters, not fully-formed articles and arguments, so read them with that in mind. They are reprinted here with permission.
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As I get to the end of ten years on campus here are some thoughts as to the future of campus ministry:
- Personal Bible reading and prayer. Like many growing ministries, we can be in danger of thinking that we need to keep developing and ‘fixing’ our programs. However, we need to remind ourselves to work towards personal growth in character and Christian maturity as we follow Jesus. I am keen to keep encouraging people to develop their Bible reading and prayer life and for this to be deeply embedded within their expectations. I sometimes find this difficult but need to remind myself that it is ‘core business’ so have tried to work more proactively on personal Bible reading this year (I used the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan). Please give thanks to God that I have spent more time in personal Bible reading and prayer this year. How is your prayer & Bible reading going? Do you have a plan for the next few weeks? Have you found the right time that works for you?
- Time with non-Christians. We continue to encourage EUers to be spending good amounts of time on campus so that they would have time for their academic studies, time for EU activities and time to relate and engage with non-Christian friends. I think that this will become somewhat more difficult especially if the culture of the day moves increasingly further away from our current culture (the EUers feel like they have less in common – which creates challenges for evangelism). Spending time with non-Christians will continue to be a pressure point for our students, but we have found this year that having more time on campus as an ‘all-EU’ goal has produced great benefits, for example more people in small groups, more people at Public Meeting afternoon teas, and more evangelism. Please pray that the EU would keep developing a culture of looking outside itself and seeking to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus. Please pray that I would continue to rightly encourage students to develop and deepen relationships with their non-Christian friends.
- Having a vision for local church. How do you encourage students to participate actively in local church, especially when they could be spending more time on campus? We need to keep navigating this so as not to fall on either extreme (all church no EU or all EU and less church) and help students make good decisions – since the decision making learning will help them in years to come. As I interviewed a graduating student last Friday he mentioned that he and another EUer had started an evangelism team at church to do local cold contact evangelism. Another student last year organised and ran a mini-festival style mission at their church. Both of these are modelled off our evangelism strategy and practice within the EU. In both cases it was in great discussion and with the blessing of their ministry team at church. Praise God that these students were innovative in undertaking these evangelistic endeavours. The ministry that we are doing has an immediate impact but can also serve and strengthen the local church. Please pray that we might continue to train and equip our students to be loving and generous servants of their local churches (now and for the future).
Please continue to thank God for His great kindness shown to the EU and the ministry that is being undertaken on the campus. Please ask that the Lord might continue to raise up more workers for this harvest field, and that all our financial needs for 2018 and beyond will be met by our Lord – our great provider.
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