I was a good church kid when I entered the University of Arizona as an eighteen-year-old freshman. My first class was a biology course. The professor immediately polled the class on who believed in evolutionary theory and who believed God created the earth. I realized at that moment that I didn’t have what it took to take the big stand for Jesus outside of the insular environment I had been in for some time.
Following class, I saw posters plastered all over the campus: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship meets tonight in the Student Union Cactus Lounge Room 285 at 7:00 p.m. I had no idea what InterVarsity was, but I did pick up on the words “Christian Fellowship,” and I knew I had to be there. I convinced my roommate to come with me and we entered the InterVarsity meeting a little late. But when I walked through the doors, I felt the tangible presence of the Lord. There were around eighty students worshiping with one acoustic guitar and they were going for God with an authenticity and passion I had never experienced from my own age group. I remember saying in my mind, “Whatever it is they have, I want that.”
As I was leaving the meeting, one of the student leaders intercepted me. Paul introduced himself and asked to have breakfast with me the following morning. That morning Paul began the process of discipleship in me. He taught me the importance of daily reading the Bible and prayer, and he instructed me on how to do it. Paul challenged me to live the authentic gospel on the campus. My life would forever be impacted by a student leader from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Later that year, Chi Alpha would be planted on the University of Arizona by a group of Assemblies of God students who desired a Pentecostal witness on campus, of which I was a part and I would become the first Chi Alpha missionary to the University of Arizona. But my first touch on campus came through InterVarsity on my first day on campus, of which I am eternally grateful.
There is a new movement emerging today: EveryCampus. This movement is a strong partnership and collaboration between multiple campus ministries to work together to plant the flag of Christ on every campus in the United States. It is a Jesus first and our ministry second movement! Cru, InterVarsity, Chi Alpha, and others have linked arms to advance the Kingdom of God on our secular universities. It is an example of what takes place in a season of awakening: biblical unity. I encourage you to join me in prayer and support of this vital Kingdom movement.
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.