Plugging Into a Ministry Near You
Two years ago I was sitting in the office with my co-worker at Every Ethne. It was just the two of us. Our vision? To be a resource for individuals, specifically college students across Iowa who desire to impact every ethnic people group on the planet. How were we going to do this? What was our strategy? Quite simple, really: plug into existing ministries to come alongside, assist and help their mission-minded students keep that vision in front of them. Our desire is the same as the leaders of these ministries: we want to see people become great disciple-makers. If they can do it in their own country, they will be more able to make disciples overseas. We knew a partnership would be underway when the leader of a group could say, “This is great—you guys are like... an extension of our ministry!”
By God’s grace, we are continuing to see this vision come to fruition. Last fall, we had 23 different ministries partner together.
As we meet with student after student, education about God’s heart and what’s happening throughout the world is critical. To broaden people’s picture of who God is, we encourage students to participate in the Perspectives course.
With 10 classes throughout Iowa, 700 people finished Perspectives in spring 2010. As individuals continue to become interested in how God is moving throughout the globe and how they can be part of it, Perspectives needs to be available! We are focused on saturating Iowa with Perspectives and for this course to be offered within a 45-mile radius of where students live.
“What does life look like after Perspectives?” is a common question. So common, in fact, that this year we created a one-day event, appropriately entitled “Life after Perspectives.” Individuals from all over Iowa gathered together and learned how they together could become involved. We also gathered together those who desire to go overseas for the next stage of life. They have all the odds against them. The latest statistic is for every 200,000 individuals who apply for mission service, only 2,000 will actually make it. What can these individuals do here and now to help them actually make it overseas?
“I have never talked about Jesus so much in my life,” says Jason. He just spent the last six months going through life together with a group of people focused on mission service overseas. It’s a group focused on Training Ordinary Apprentices to Go. Within the group, people do a lot of life together, the accountability is high and the intentionality is real. The main areas of focus are Jesus, the kingdom of God and the desire for fruit among international relationships. If the desire is to live overseas, this is a group for individuals to consider—especially if they are going overseas within the next one or two years. Young professionals mostly make up TOAG. However, if a college student desires to participate, he or she needs to have the approval of a campus leader, since Every Ethne never wants to extract individuals from their campus ministries. TOAG is just one way Every Ethne is helping individuals set themselves up for long-term success.
Today, Every Ethne Iowa Division has a staff of 12 strong. Although there will be some transition this summer, new recruits are underway to join us! While a majority will still be located in Iowa City, there will be staff in three other locations—Ames, Des Moines and Pella. The goal is to have every major state campus covered, and currently we have only one such campus to go. Maybe you are the one to finish this task...or start in your own state!
The Future–All 50 States
Do you feel called to Hawaii? So does Every Ethne! As our work in Iowa becomes established, other states are on the horizon. Currently there is work underway in Oregon, Alabama and Arkansas, but 46 states remain!
While the main structure of Every Ethne has been developed, there still remains a large area for growth. Just as C.T. Studd remained for a time to mobilize individuals to go with him to China, Every Ethne seeks to mobilize individuals towards opportunities where they will be set up for success and thrive.
If you have a passion for the people of God’s world and desire to partner with like-minded, Kingdom-focused individuals, let Every Ethne know so we can plug into you and your campus ministry! [email protected]