In May 2016, the Lord spoke prophetically through multiple credible sources that we were about to witness
the greatest student awakening in history. The World Missions Summit 4 held later that year was
preparation for the awakening. Thousands gathered at the conference and 1,876 signed up to give a year
and pray about a lifetime. In my weekly director’s blog, I profile what God is doing in Chi Alpha and in my
travels around the nation visiting campuses and districts. I witness firsthand the breadth of our ministry in
the university community. We are a student movement on campus fulfilling the Great Commission.
We planned to build on this with another World Missions Summit last year, but the pandemic changed our
course. Chi Alpha quickly moved online and conducted virtual campus ministry to build community without
proximity and digital resources were created for our campus leaders. Because we have a disciple-making
culture centered on small groups, it was not difficult to adapt. Large group meetings on campus came to an
abrupt halt, but discipleship did not skip a beat. Chi Alpha emphasized in this moment the principle of being
great at being small. Our small groups continue as an essential and effective component of ministry to
connect with students and illustrates why we are a burgeoning student movement in the nascent stages of
a new student awakening.
Our former national director, Dennis Gaylor, has released his timely book, Growing a Student Movement:
The Development of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries 1940-2020, which presents Chi Alpha in 674 pages as a
national student movement by chronicling eight decades, including 800 photos of people and events. Three
chapters are dedicated to the influence of Chi Alpha in world missions, international student ministry, and
a parallel history of university mission outside the U.S. The final chapter is titled “Spiritual Awakenings” and
reminds us of the role of students have played in history in the great revivals and awakenings that advanced
the work of Christ.
I have exhorted Chi Alpha that the awakening will follow kingdom courage, kingdom abandonment,
kingdom power, kingdom discipleship, and kingdom covering. In Growing a Student Movement, the reader
can know the history of Chi Alpha, experience the present, and have a view to its future. In this Chi Alpha
Connection, we begin the first part of a two-part series on Chi Alpha history with part one focusing on the
twentieth century history and the fall issue revolving around the twenty-first century history.
All views expressed on this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., U.S. Missions, and The General Council of the Assemblies of God.