Boots on the Ground
Every Ethne Serving Campus Ministries
There are all kinds of great conferences, programs and websites designed to help move students along the infamous “Missions Pipeline.” All these resources provide excellent “air cover,” but any military officer will tell you that just having planes fly overhead from a distance will not win a war. Battles are usually won or lost depending on how soon and how many “boots on the ground” can arrive to engage in the conflict. My comments here are not intended in any way to advocate war…except one, that invisible spiritual battle between God and Satan, the cataclysmic clash of the titans with eternal consequences at stake: the souls of all mankind, for all history.
This is where the Every Ethne (EE) ministry is seeking to step in and fill a gap on college campuses in the USA. Our goal is to see God ignite a movement of college students who are consumed with a vision to see every ethnic people group on the planet reached—in this generation—with the good news of Jesus Christ. Each year approximately 200,000 U.S. believers (many of them students!) feel led of God to contact at least one of the various mission agencies to inquire about ministry opportunities, but maybe as little as 1% of those ever make it into long-term, cross-cultural service. Why? Why do so many never make it and fall through the cracks? With the absolute avalanche of Christian books, tapes and seminars, what could possibly be missing? Answer: Hands-on, face-to-face, heart-to-heart coaching, equipping, and guiding of students along their World Christian journey.
A Residential Expert: At Your Disposal
Just like we did when we started The Traveling Teams ministry ten years ago, our solution is not to create new campus ministries, but to simply come alongside existing church and para-church collegiate fellowships to serve and equip their staff and students, seeking to personally connect each person to his or her most strategic role in completing the Great Commission.
The USA is blessed to have thousands of fantastic collegiate workers who love students and who yearn for them to develop a strong and vibrant world vision. Then why is such a vision often missing? Answer: The staff person’s lack of time and resources. Every campus worker I know is pulled in so many directions you’d think he or she was in a Kansas tornado! Consequently, our calling is to provide such workers with a seasoned, full-time, completely-funded mission mobilizer who desires to be a behind-the-scenes helper. When EE staff offer their energies and know-how to (sometimes harried and overwhelmed!) campus workers, the latter rise up and shout with joy “Bring it on!” We’ve already had the privilege of partnering with groups like The Navigators, Campus Crusade, StuMo, Campus Outreach, InterVarsity, Campus Ambassadors, RUF, Christian Challenge and many others.
God is at Work
Even though we’re only starting our third year of ministry, we’ve been adding several key staffers and have already seen God do some amazing things. While Arkansas and Alabama staff are just getting established, the Iowa and Oregon ministries are hitting their strides: packed-out Perspectives courses in various college towns, lots of small group xplore studies launched (designed to help the young Christian take initial steps in discovering God’s heart for the nations), and many short- and long-term workers sent out to Jordan, Turkey, India, Egypt and other countries. One para-church worker claimed our staff person had helped increase his ministry effectiveness ten-fold!
These mobilization efforts focused on individual staff, students, ministries, and campuses are complemented by a larger “macro-mobilization” effort as we seek to also serve as catalysts for non-EE-staffed campuses across the U.S. For instance, what are we to do with the 1000 college students who took Perspectives this past spring from all around the country? And what are we to do with the 1500 that will take Perspectives this next year? There won’t be another window of time (beyond the 3-9 months after they finish Perspectives) when they will be more receptive to doing something radical with their lives. So we are designating “National Representatives” to follow up, track, and mentor students who might not have a local mentor to coach them in their World Christian journey. Let us know if you are a student who wants to be mentored or if you feel led to take on one or more to “coach at a distance” via cell phone, email and Facebook.
The Ultimate Goal
Yes, we want to raise up senders, welcomers and mobilizers, but our highest priority is praying for and challenging students and graduates to be long-term goers. But we are not a sending agency and do not intend to become one. So we are trying to funnel hundreds (someday thousands?) into the harvest field by handing off well-prepared laborers to the myriad of excellent mission agencies who are ready and waiting for fresh recruits. We want to put as many “boots on the ground” here so we can exponentially multiply the number of “boots on the ground” there: men and women who will fully engage in the worldwide spiritual battle, taking the gospel to “every ethne” on the planet.