Categories
Ministry

Back to Normal

Our five week summer project in Johannesburg finishes up today.  The students will be headed back to the states this evening and we’ll be on our way back to Pretoria to start the final 97 day plunge of this 11 month trip.  It has been an exciting past month and the Lord, as always, did wonderful things.  I’ll share more in the next few days.

peace,
james

Categories
Life

The Beauty of Beating Colorado in Football

In case you are unable to read it clearly:

There’s something to be said for finding a way to win…but to steal the ball, then stomp on the coach’s kid as you score?  And destroy any hopes CU had to win the game…Whoa Nelly!  There is no place like Nebraska!

suhprise2

Categories
Theology

Three Reasons I’m a Campus Crusade Staff Member

Here’s the last post in the “Three Reasons I’m…” series.  This one, of course, is not a spiritual conviction or tradition.  It is though, an important part of my life.  As I decided to move into ministry after graduating college, I had to make a decision about what would be the best first step.  Though I had parts of me that wanted to go into the pastorate, I knew I wasn’t ready for seminary.  I was passionate about reaching college students, because that is what I had been doing in Nebraska for the previous two years.  This is not a long-term gig, but I have enjoyed and will enjoy the next year as I’ll be serving with Crusade in South Africa in 2009, before moving on to seminary in Summer ’10.  I really love my job.  Here’s three reasons why.

  • God used many men in Campus Crusade to help me grow spiritually with Christ and I am forever indebted to them for their investment in my life.  If it were not for a handful of key men in my life as a sophomore and junior, my life most certainly would have been in shambles.  God used these men to challenge me, listen to my problems, keep me accountable, and draw me closer to himself.  The main reason I wanted to become a staff intern at UNL is that I wanted to be that for other young men.  Truly, the 2 Timothy 2:2 principle has come to fruition in my life: “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
  • Campus Crusade is a missions organization that is devoted to winning people to Christ, discipling them, and then sending them to the mission field.  So many Christian groups (most often those on campuses) can tend to be a huge clique of Christians in a spiritual bubble.  Groups like these can tend to develop super-Christians without an outreach focus.  The goal of Campus Crusade is to share the gospel first and foremost — not only with students, but those all over the world (Crusade is the largest Evangelical organization in the world with over 29,000 staff members in 191 countries).  Not only does Crusade spread the fame of Christ, but they are dedicated to raising people up to be mature believers with the hope of those people going to where God has called them, be it the marketplace or the mission field.  I’m passionate about developing Christians from spiritual birth to the end of their life and that is what Campus Crusade is all about. 
  • Campus Crusade does not just shove the gospel down people’s throats and run; they are thoroughly committed to reaching the whole person, serving their spirit, mind, and body.  Many churches or organizations (more liberal Christian denominations) tend more toward a “social gospel” mission, meaning that their missions’ focus is building houses, providing food and clothes, and providing job-skill training.  That is important.  But salvation doesn’t come through being provided for physically.  “Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17).  The most important need people have is to know the Savior and treasure him, but a “hit-and-run” evangelism technique is not helpful.  Campus Crusade is dedicated to getting into the mess of people’s lives and engaging with them so that they might come to a deep understanding of who Jesus is.  At the same time, we do not neglect the fact that people need physical healing and restoration as well.  You cannot have a full gospel without the free offer of Christ’s atoning work as well as the “social gospel” of providing for people’s necessities.  Campus Crusade, at this point in time more than ever, is focusing on reaching the world’s need for Jesus and their need to have basic physical needs. 

Read the other posts in this series:

Three Reasons I’m a Christian
Three Reasons I’m a Calvinist
Three Reasons I’m a Christian Hedonist

Categories
Life Theology

Perhaps a Good Jumper Outweighs a PhD in Some Cases

C.J. Mahaney, of Sovereign Grace Ministries, on his credentials as a pastor and theologian:

I regret I have no degrees. I have only graduated from high school and even that should be investigated. I am however an exceptional athlete.

 

Categories
Ministry

Big Red Welcome to Freshmen

The Sunday before school starts is always a night full of energy, excitement, fun, and, of course, food.

Today is the Big Red Welcome street fair on campus. Almost 5,000 freshmen are going to start the first day of their college careers tomorrow. Tonight, Campus Crusade, along with hundreds of other student organizations are vying for their attention, allegiance, and phone numbers.

What’s our goal in getting information from students? Simply, we want to connect with them on a deeply personal level. We want them to know they are loved and cared for. We want them to know they are somebody–that they matter to us.

And to God.

Freshmen can be so funny. Parents follow them everywhere. They are embarrassed, yet at the same time they don’t want the parents to leave at the end of the weekend. A familiar passage comes to mind when I think of freshmen coming to town.

In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Now, what in the world does that have to do with 18 year-old students? It might seem strange that this verse came to mind. But, it has so much to do with them! They are so young, impressionable, and ignorant to the world around them. Most of these students have lived a sheltered, suburban or farm-town lifestyle. They haven’t experience true independence, just like a little child. Furthermore, freshmen can be considered less-thans or non-importants. Not to us and not to God, either.

Jesus says, “Bring to me the ones who are the less-thans, the young ones who no one else will care for and I’ll take care of them.” We want these freshmen to experience true, life-changing community. We want these freshmen to see, meet, experience, and delight in Christ more than anything.

Let them come to us tonight and Lord willing, may we lead them to the fountain where they can drink and never thirst again.