Ebbs and Flows of Ministry
By E. Scott Martin in Chi Alpha Connection and Student
The university is always in flux. As new students enter each year, seniors graduate, sports seasons transition, and beloved teams rise and fall. This continuum of transition results in a culture shift to which Chi Alpha must be responsive. Our message doesn’t shift, but the way we package and speak it most certainly does. As we are all acutely aware, on March 11, 2020 a global pandemic was declared due to the COVID-19 global coronavirus outbreak. University and college campuses across the United States took immediate action, extending spring breaks giving time to administrators to assess the challenges. Campuses closed and became ghost towns overnight; teaching moved to an online platform. It was a radical and abrupt end to most seniors’ college experience.
For students involved in Chi Alpha, it was not an abrupt end to the school year. Our missionaries on the campuses and our national team immediately responded, nimbly moving one-on-one discipleship, small groups meetings, student leadership training, as well as large group meetings to online platforms. It wasn’t optimal for our ministry, but under the circumstances, it was efficacious. Students came to faith in Christ, were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and were discipled in ministry! Interns nationwide continued to do theology, learn church history, memorize Scripture, disciple students, and preach!
Due to circumstances beyond our control, our culture shifted, demanding a rapid response. We held the first ever National Chi Alpha Day of Prayer and Fasting that was facilitated via online platform, with thousands joining. As all mission trips were cancelled post March 11, our Cross-Cultural Missions Expeditions team brilliantly worked with Assemblies of God Word Missions and developed a virtual mission experience facilitated by missionaries around the world. Our National Training Team produced an on online student leaders training course, and our XAi team expediently engineered a leadership intensive for our international students.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has deeply impacted our culture; it has demanded change. National Chi Alpha continues to respond by addressing the four most likely scenarios of campus openings this fall. We are also addressing the prophetic scenario of what the Lord is saying in all of this. National Chi Alpha Program Director Harvey Herman addresses our plan in this issue.
Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue to disciple university students to fulfill their purpose in God’s global plan.
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.