Mission Week Sparks Boldness
“We’ve been trying to up the ante on evangelism,” says Hogan Brimacombe, Campus Minister with InterVarsity Undergraduates at University of Alberta. “So people have been inviting non-Christian friends. But this year, especially as a function of ReThink week, there have been nine non-Christians coming to our events every week. Usually we have one.”
A Week in Campus Mission
In the final week of January, all four InterVarsity chapters at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Undergraduates, Graduate Students and Faculty, International Students and Asian Students on Campus) joined other campus ministry organizations in hosting ReThink, a series of talks tackling “life’s biggest questions.”
The week was a partnership in effort between InterVarsity, Power to Change and Navigators, and a number of local churches, businesses and individuals.
Together, they hosted speakers from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, a global team of speakers with the goal of reach[ing] and challenging those who shape the ideas of a culture with the credibility of the gospel. The events engaged students in thought-provoking presentations, dialogues and engagement stations.
“Stations were set up on campus where students could come by and answer questions, do activities and find out about the talks,” says James Siebert, InterVarsity International Student Campus Minister. “We wanted students to see that the gospel is not only true, but beautiful.”
His wife and colleague, Ann Siebert, adds: “And our student leaders were able to see that yes, they can go to the talks and invite other people, but how do they actively engage people in conversations about Jesus? It really opened doors for them, in finding new ways to talk to other students about faith.”
New Friends Exploring Faith
“We had more people at our Bible studies since ReThink than we’ve had at them all semester,” says James “One Muslim student in particular came to the first talk, asked questions and hung out with people, and then she ended up coming to our Bible study two weeks in a row.”
“It was our dream to have 1,000 people impacted by ReThink. We had 1,500 people come, and many of the sessions were full. We realized that next time, we’ll need bigger rooms!”
Similar mission weeks were hosted at McGill, the University of Toronto, and other campuses across the country, having a profound impact on hundreds of students and dozens of student leaders.
Morgan Fournier, Campus Minister at McGill University, says “Uncover McGill was a collaboration between Power to Change, InterVarsity and Newman Catholic Students’ Society. And it lit a fire in our undergraduate student leaders.
“A couple of our leaders, as a result of the week, started hanging out with their nonChristian friends regularly; others were convicted on how they engage with students in their classes — are they valuing personal space or do they choose intentionality in getting to know people? There is just so much openness and hunger for Jesus on campus. So many students have never heard the gospel and really just need to hear it!”
Please continue to pray that our student leaders would feel encouraged by their mission week and that more students will to discover Jesus through Christian groups on campus.