The start of this new school year has been hard for students. They don’t know what to expect. It was hard on groups that work with students too—including Chi Alpha. Local and national Chi Alpha missionaries and staff wondered what would happen if they couldn’t meet on campus or had to meet in very small groups. Many churches felt desperate this summer as they watched their main regular contribution to ministry—a Sunday service gathering in a building—taken away for weeks or months at a time.
Chi Alpha seems, in many places, to be experiencing something positive this semester. It is harder to find students to talk to; but once you find one, she or he is likely to be very lonely, very bored, and much more willing to accept an invitation to a small group or a hang-out time than before. Every campus is different, but Chi Alpha is very much still in business in our job of reconciling students to Christ! The fishing is fine, maybe better than ever!
Here’s what I’m wondering. What do our graduates do when they leave campus and get a job out there in the real world? What can we learn from Chi Alpha’s experience in dealing with a COVID-changed world?
I believe Chi Alpha graduates should be greatly encouraged to keep on making disciples, one at a time, and not give up on it. Keep looking for ways to build one-on-ones and small community circles. Sometimes churches are not quite sure what you’re doing, but don’t give up. Keep doing what Jesus commanded us all to do with a great attitude and a bold spirit. The day may come when more and more churches will try to find a model for what to do when Sunday service is taken away.
The model used often in Chi Alpha is one of releasing all God’s sons and daughters to make disciples, while resourcing every new disciplemaker with steady personal friendship and insight so that they can succeed. I predict that this model will work in America, and it may begin to be used by more churches in the future.
Let’s obey Jesus—we might get the chance to lead the way!
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.