Out of The Overflow
Sep 29, 2019 | by Nancy Newbrough
Some years ago, my wife and I were very active members of The Fellowship. We left Katy to answer God’s call on our lives to take the gospel to the students on a huge university campus in Texas.
Our vision to help fulfill the Great Commission in this generation seems a bit daunting when you hear the statistics. Did you know that this fall there are 16 million college students in the United States? Many thousands of those are on our campus alone.
I do not think Jesus’ disciples had any idea how many people were in the world when they began. What they did know was that Jesus was ALIVE and that he was SENDING them to GO and make disciples of ALL NATIONS (Matthew 28:18-20). It was a God-sized vision for a God-sized task! And it could only happen as they constantly and fervently prayed -- because God releases His power when we pray!
“Where should we start?” we asked ourselves. Where did the disciples start? Jesus cautioned them not to do anything until they received the promised Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4, 5) He told them – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:9.
Like a waffle, we see our campus as having many pockets for potential evangelization much like those Jesus pointed out to the disciples. As one pocket fills up with syrup, it spills over into other pockets.
Here is what has happened in answer to our prayers after just five weeks into the fall semester:
During Welcome Week, we reached out and fed pizza to around 300 freshmen. Then on the first day of class, we gave away 1,200 Game Day shirts. Along with these giveaways was a survey we requested each recipient to fill out. This year we asked students: “On a scale of 1-10, how important is the spiritual area of your life?" We also asked if they would be interested in learning about a relationship with God, attending Bible study, or getting more information about our organization.
We were thrilled with the results:
- 1,139 Students said “yes” or “maybe” to one of our questions!
- 658 students said “yes” to learning about a relationship with Christ, while 410 said “maybe!”
The “maybe” conversations are oftentimes the most fruitful and exciting when we follow up with those who took the survey. Many students are really surprised when we actually do reach out and get in contact with them.
What are the results of this fall outreach? We have Bible studies (a total of 13) in five areas on campus: ROTC, Greeks, African-Americans, the Residence Halls (Freshmen), and Upperclassmen. There are 43 students leaders or what we call “emerging leaders” who are getting trained to lead Bible studies and effectively communicate their faith with others.
God’s Holy Spirit is pouring out and overflowing on our campus! I wish you could see how all these students from all pockets of campus interact and spur one another on, inspiring and motivating each other to take steps of faith.
Our students are starting where they already are -- in their Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria…(i.e: their majors, fraternities, sororities, ROTC programs, student organizations, ethnic groups and classmates). Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for the awakening that is taking place because our Lord is so faithful to answer prayer!
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer….
1 Peter 3:12