Many long-time churchgoers recognize Matthew 28:18-20 as “the great
commission.” It is here that Jesus tells his apostles (and all of us, as modern disciples of Christ) to “go and make disciples of all nations,” inviting them to embark on a journey of transformation alongside him.
This charge to go to all the world is a central part of our DNA at Southside, as we strive to be a church of mission, mercy, and transformation. But sometimes I think we see this commission, we consider the size of the mission field - all nations - and we feel overwhelmed. For some of us, it simply seems too big a task, one perhaps best left to others to fulfill. And so we watch and pray and support and finance missionaries who travel the world sharing the love of Christ in various ways, and rightly so, as their mission trips are awesome, courageous, beautiful, and worthy of support.
However, an unfortunate side effect of this is that many Christians fail to embrace their own mission to make disciples of all nations. Maybe you can relate to this. Going on a mission trip is hard - it requires time, money, and in some cases experience that not everybody has. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that any follower of Christ is capable of sharing the Gospel, but it is easier for some than for others to travel and bring the message of Christ to the world.
There is definitely a sense of challenge to reach the world. But what if I told you that there is a place where the world comes to us? There is a place where people from all around the globe come right here to Fort Worth. These are people who are open to new ideas, willing to learn, and seeking new information. These are people who are connected and engaged, who want to be part of something big and significant, who long for relationships that have substance and depth.
These are college students.
Jesus told us to go to all the world, and on the college campus, the world comes to us! Let’s not forget that the journey to reach the world with the Gospel begins in our own back yard, where there are students who need to know Jesus and need the church in their lives.
A loving, authentic faith community may be the only place that students will pray, read Scripture, or have any spiritual conversation. A good church home, where mentors are willing to listen and love, can cover a multitude of pain from past church experiences and pave the way for a deeper understanding of what it means to “go to church.” And lastly, investment in college students is an investment in the future of our faith, as current students will one day pass their values along as parents, teachers, and leaders in their various fields.
I would love for you to join me in praying over nearby campuses, mentoring and shaping the lives of students, and reaching the large numbers of unreached people living and learning on college campuses just a couple miles from our building. Send me an e-mail or text (firstname.lastname@example.org or 334.398.3774) and let’s go pray on a campus and talk about how you can be part of this mission!
Here is a short article I found that elaborates on some of my above thoughts: http://equip.sbts.edu/article/4-reasons-college-ministry-sacrifice-worth-making/