Sometimes, it’s good to step back and just take a deep breath. You ever have those moments where you look back at the last month and just wonder, “How the heck did I survive that?” NSO (New Student Outreach) is always eventful. And being honest, we (the staff and student leaders) are all very tired and definitely depending on the Lord’s strength.
But as we’ve stopped and taken that deep breath, we can’t deny all the ways we’ve seen God at work. It has been awesome to see our leaders take risks and really take hold of the vision for our campus. It is exciting to meet all the wide-eyed freshman and encounter upperclassmen checking us out for the first time. We’ve also encountered more non-Christians open to exploring who Jesus.
One of the highlights was our "Choices" proxe station, which was basically an interactive display to help us connect with people on campus. We wanted to go beyond normal forms of tabling and really engage with a wide range of folks on campus. We asked anyone and everyone (willing to stop), to tell us about the types of choices they are making and what influences those choices. In these conversations we asked people about how (if at all) God fits into those choices. It was a fun way to engage the campus with spiritual conversations.
We had a ton of great conversations and interacted with hundreds of students. The crazy part was that over half of the students we met were non-Christians. That is way more than we would have interacted with if we were still sitting behind a table with our “Intervarsity” poster. A number of these non-Christians have come to other events and we’ve even started a couple of GIGs (Groups Investigating God). As we’ve stepped out in faith and risk, we’ve seen God show up.
We had a great time at One Last Day of Summer! The shaved ice was a big hit. Met a whole bunch of students from all over campus. Many students were interacting with the proxe station discussing choices. And lots of sports and hanging out.
We've been working hard as staff the past couple weeks to prepare for Leaders Retreat which starts tomorrow and Back to the Farm which starts in a few days. These are important retreats for our fellowship because they're when we come together in order to prepare for what God has for us for the year, so we can hit the ground running. The beginning of the school year's the prime time to reach out to students as many of them are evaluating or re-evaluating what they want to be about while in college.
This year we want to reach a broader group of students, not just those who are like us and would "fit in." We are growing as a fellowship in God's value of displacing ourselves (incarnation) instead of creating programs and structures and expecting people to come to them. Very challenging and costly in practice, but so worth it.
Please pray for us to be open to God's plans! Please also pray for the staff as we lead our time together the next several days.