What has been the greatest struggle of stepping out into college ministry?
Scheduling ussually. College students have demanding schedules, and their schedules even differ from one another. Furthermore, their schedules change every semester. In my school where I minister, there is a “Student Club Meeting” once a week, which is intended for extra-curricular activities. I somehow consider it an advantage for the campus team. We use this time to hold Bible studies. But even with the Break, students attend organization meetings, events, and seminars, presenting another challenge: Commitment. The attendees, as well as the volunteers and leaders, and mostly students. Their ministry commitments will always be challenged and be competing with their academic pursuit. Their priorities are affected as well. Leadership With a challenge commitment, students are often uncertain of stepping up and taking up leadership roles and responsibilities. College students normally finish school in 4-5 years. Thus, volunteers and leaders eventually go. So training a next batch of leaders must be done. However, this is quite difficult when students face challenged commitments and uncertainties of stepping up.
What is it like being a missionary on college campus?
I tell the students that we are missionaries on campus, that God called us for such a time as this to reach other students. InterVarsity movement started with students at the University of Cambridge, England in 1877. Click To Tweet There, a group of Christian students began to meet together, in spite of the disapproval of some University officials, to pray, to study the Bible and to witness to fellow students. Soon, similar groups sprang up on other campuses. Eventually, they formed the British Inter-Varsity. (Hence our name, inter – meaning between, varsity – the British term for college level students.) From the very beginning they had a strong concern to take the gospel to those all over the world who had never heard it – a concern that continues in InterVarsity today. Evangelism and discipleship are hallmarks of InterVarsity’s campus ministry.
What is the greatest need for students at Mercer? How is God using you to fulfill that need?
Community is a felt need of our students and it just doesn’t come easy on commuter campuses. Click To Tweet Our students have gone out of their way to make sacrifices to pursue real community in a way that I’ve never seen at a residential campus. In a culture where real Christ-centered community is rare and costly, community college students can serve as a model for those of us in the church who know we’re called to be in community, but aren’t quite sure how to go about it.
Campus life at community colleges is often lacking. Within a couple months, we became the most active and the largest student organization on campus.
There are more students with disabilities, that come from tough economic situations, or who are just plain awkward and rough around the edges at a community college than at 4-year campuses. It’s inspiring being at a community college and seeing my students love those who are different from them.
Many people assume that Millennials are lazy and are wasting their lives. What would you say to that assumption?
Millennials aren’t lazy and wasting their time. My work won’t do much in InterVarsity for Millennials if it also creates big generalizations.
Who is your greatest inspiration? Why?
My greatest inspiration has always come from the life of Jesus. Click To Tweet I know this sounds like a cliché since I am a campus minister, but I mean it with my whole heart. The combination of strength and humility Jesus displayed during his earthly ministry motivates me, while the love he demonstrated for everyone raises a standard for me to strive for in my own life. I love the fact that Jesus controlled his destiny and never allowed any other person to trap him or cause him to get off course. There are really too many more examples to list; but Jesus is the most inspiring person in my life. However, unless you read this and think that I have no purely human people who have inspired me – let me list a few: Michael Jordan, Martin Luther , John F. Kennedy , and my parents.
What would you tell a college student whose praying about getting involved with Intervarsity?
We are a multi-ethnic, inter-denominational group of people who desire to seek and know more about Jesus and how to respond to his love, grace, and truth! We hope to provide a safe environment for people of all backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs to come and learn more about Jesus Christ, God’s word, and the Christian faith.
Why Intervarsity? What makes this ministry distinct?
We believe that if you can change the university, you can change the world. Students who are changed by Jesus, go on to be lifelong disciples. Click To Tweet Ideas that are changed at the university have ripple effects through society. Leaders who are shaped in college have the potential to have multiplicative impact in every sphere and every culture. And, InterVarsity Staff appointed by God and with the help of the Spirit are the critical people that help bring about such changes.
How can people support you in your ministry?
InterVarsity is on college campuses to see lives transformed. We’re there to see a world we love—the university world—be renewed. We’re there to see true world changers—people who go out into the world. We need people like you to join us. We need partners who want to join God’s mission on campus. You see, we know that today’s college students are tomorrow’s leaders because every year we watch our alumni graduate and become leaders in every sector. Also, we know that college students are spiritually open, spiritually curious, and for the first time investigating faith for themselves. And we are committed to being on campus to engage students and their questions. We want to welcome students into a witnessing community on their campus where they can grow in love for God, God’s Word, God’s people of every ethnicity and culture, and God’s purposes. Help us reach more college students today with the good news of Jesus Christ. Help us make the campus and world a better place. Would you consider giving $25/month, $50/month, or $100/month? (Donate below, if you need more information giving online or what to know more about what God is doing at MCCC. Don’t hesitate to contact me.)
Connect with Tre:
InterVarsity @ James Kearney Campus
Our vision for James Kearney Campus is to be City upon Hill cannot be hidden. Today’s world seems so dark. Where is the light? Where is the hope? The answer is found in Jesus. As Christ followers, Matthew 5:14 encourages us, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Let’s go into the world and be the light that shines brightly, bringing the love and hope of Jesus!
Provisionally Appointed Campus Staff
Mercer County Community College
Chapter Planting at James Kearney Campus