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STARTING A STUDENT GROUP

STARTING A STUDENT GROUP

CAMPUS MINISTRY

You cannot have a campus ministry without a registered student organization. The organization is there in order for students to use facilities and other resources that each university offers.  Described below are some basic components of starting a registered student organization. These basics include leadership, members, filing paperwork with the university and finding a faculty advisor.

LEADERSHIP

Though the basic requirements for a university usually include a president, vice president, and treasurer; we must remember there are spiritual needs of the group which the university does not take into consideration. Therefore choose people who love Jesus and who are teachable. When beginning a group a common temptation is to just put a name there to meet the university requirements. Resist this temptation as much as possible. Pray, asking God to move the hearts of the Adventists on campus to accept the call to service especially as leaders. A leader that accepts an officer’s position should see it as a calling. This principle should set precedent with regard to how future leaders are chosen.  After prayer, approach candidates individually, sharing the need and purpose of the student group. Articulate clearly the position and role they need to fill. Then ask for a commitment. Below are descriptions of the officer’s responsibilities.

MEMBERS

Each university will have a minimum requirement for membership. One of the best ways to find Adventist is to pray. Speaking with student advisors would be a good idea, since they may know other students who are Adventists on campus.

When students were first starting a campus ministry at Eastern Michigan University, they decided to flier campus inviting people to a weekly Bible study. There were only two known Adventists on campus at that time; realizing this they prayed that God would lead their group in the quest to find other students. The day they went to flier, they prayed specifically that God would lead them to at least one Adventist. It was nearing the lunch hour, and they decided to flier in one of the main places where students eat. As they walked through, one of the students standing tapped on the Adventist shoulder asking their name. The eastern student was an Adventist.

God has a way of sending students to your campus. Pray specifically for students who are laborers (LK 10:3). In addition to prayer, you can act upon your prayer.  Universities often have a list of students to identify themselves with certain religious preference. Under this situation, the students would have filled out a questionnaire at orientation. Your local pastor can request this information by giving the university a letter printed on the Adventist letterhead. The letter should state the pastor is a recognized representative of the Adventist Church and request a list of parishioners, i.e. students who identify themselves as Adventists.  

Another way to find Adventist is to let people know that you are Adventist in a Christ-like way. Students have sat next to fellow Adventists in their classes and not known until one Sabbath they happen to attend the same church. Depending on how your campus receives information, fliers with the name Adventist written on it with your contact information.

 In addition to these things, you can visit the local churches in your area. If there are many churches in your area, work with the local churches to plan a special campus ministry focused Sabbath. The purpose would be to galvanize the students and place before them the need for missionaries to reach out to their own campuses. Then call for commitment. As with the leaders, make sure you communicate clearly what they are committing too.

Another really easy way to find Adventist is facebook.  Search for Adventist who attends your university.

UNIVERSITY PAPERWORK

Registering as a student organization is one of the easier steps in campus ministry. On every campus, there will be an office that is responsible for all the student organizations on your campus.  The name of the office e will be similar to the Dean of Student Affairs or Office of Student Activities.  If you are not able to find the office ask questions.  Asking questions is a really good way to make friends and open the door for divine appointments.  

 Once at the office, request information for starting a student organization.  Some universities may call it an RSO, i.e. registered student organization. The basic requirements for every university is a faculty or staff advisor, a minimum number of students (ranging from 2 to 20), and a constitution.  CAMPUS has provided a general constitution. 

Choosing a name for your organization is important. Understanding your purpose will help to choose a name. Some questions to ask are “What will this name tell the campus about God?” “What will this name tell the campus about who we are?” One principle to remember is God has given the name Adventist to us for a reason. The name is to call people to know about His soon coming. Therefore, do not be afraid of identifying yourself as an Adventist, whether in the name or in practice.

FACULTY ADVISOR

 Finding a faculty or staff advisor will require lots of prayers.  Sometimes there is already an Adventist who is a professor or staff. Even in this case prayerfully consider and seek God’s leading. Your first choice should be an Adventist, but know that sometimes they Identify professors or staff that you already know.  Often your faithful conduct in classes will grant you favor from the professor. Pray and ask God whom He would have to be the adviser. Then approach them sharing with them what you need. This conversation will be very different then if you were talking to an Adventist. Pray for wisdom and tact. God will help you and touch the person’s heart. It may take a few tries before you find the adviser.

 The role of the faculty advisor should be just that: adviser. They should be autonomous, but you should keep them informed. The faculty or staff adviser should see you more than when paperwork needs to be signed.

WORKING WITH OTHERS

 The Christian groups on smaller campuses tend to be more protective and suspicious of new religious groups.  If you are a smaller campus it will be helpful to contact the other Christian group leaders. The purpose would be to let them know about your group.

 Ecumenical efforts on campus are becoming more common. These efforts range from joining all Christian denominations to joining all religious entities. Often these efforts seek for Christians and or religious entities to lay aside that which divide and focus on that which unites. For this reason, it is important for Adventists to understand and know how to respond to such requests to join.  

 There are at least three principles that will help guide your Adventist group in knowing how to answer such requests.  We are without apology Seventh-day Adventist; therefore any request that would cause us to compromise this distinction must be declined. Prayer groups organized to pray for the unity of faith on campus would fall into this category.  

 However, there are other groups and events that do not fall under this category. There are groups or events that exist or the purpose of serving the campus community and its respective spheres. Meaning they seek for representatives from each group in order to minister to that group on campus. In the case of ARC (Association of Religious Counselors) at the University of Michigan, they have feminists in their association so they can represent the needs of the feminist on campus.

Simply, spend time where it is needed the most. These organizations can easily get you side tracked and disillusioned. Prayerfully consider your involvement. The best events are ones that we initiate and plan.

MASSAGE

Not every campus will be able to have a massage ministry. However, there are principles to be learned from setting up such a ministry. This ministry on campus would fall under the category of friendship evangelism. The purpose of the massage is to create an avenue for the University and students to know your ministry cares about the whole person.

The principle is exemplified in how the client is treated from the moment they walk in the door. They need to know they are a priority because you care. Put yourself in their shoes: what information would you need when you come in, what are their needs, how can Jesus meet their needs.  Build a friendship with them, build trust. Some students [not sure if this is the best place.

One girl came to massage faithfully every week. She was quite and never said very much. As the weeks went by she would say a little more but only on the surface.  Then one week she began to share about her family. She shared how her family did not really show affection. As she shared more I realized the reason she came to massage was to be touched by another human being.

 Another girl was so touched by the ministry at Christmas time she made a card for all the missionaries with a gift. The message was so touching.

 Other students would schedule their week around the massage.  They would ask why are you doing this, our answer was the same, this organization wants to provide something for the campus community. This is when we could share who we are: Seventh-day Adventist.

 Though we do not know the end of these stories, they knew we were Adventist and they knew we cared. Prayerfully, every time they see the name Adventist they will remember the care given to them

 The ministry is the massage. The massage communicates love and care. Each week builds greater trust with the student. If you begin to preach the three angles message, Sabbath, or other religious heavy subjects, this communicates that the only reason I am giving you this massage is so I can preach at you.  Some outreaches on campuses need to be purely for their benefit for their good. ‘Christ mingled with men as one that desired their good.’ Let them know you care! If they ask why let them know it is because Jesus cared for you.

Written By Alma Galindo

Missionary 2018-2019

 

 

 

 

 

SPRING BREAK MISSION TRIP

SPRING BREAK MISSION TRIP

Spring break, a time when college students relax before the exam season begins. While some students decide to use this break to go on “vacation” with friends, having fun, “away from the burden of college life.” Others, take this opportunity to study for exams and/or catch up on school work. Regardless of what it is that one does during this break, most of the time it is taken to de-stress from school work.

For us, missionaries at CAMPUS spring break involves something entirely different, for us, it is a time to serve others. About a week before the break this year, we were tasked with planning and raising funds for a mission trip, to where we saw an opportunity to serve. It was quite an adventure just getting to plan the trip. At first, we all seem to have had suggestions, but we knew that wherever we ended up going could only be a place where God was leading us to travel to. Whether traveling towards the Midwest, East or West Coast, the Lord would be leading every step of the way. Thus, before we officially met to discuss what campus(es) we would be visiting and helping out, so we decided to spend some time in prayer. 

 After some time, it became clear to us that California was the place. After a lot of discussions between the four of us missionaries, we had tentatively decided on going to help the student group at Stanford; however, this was only the beginning stages for our pitch to our program director, Pr. Jermaine Gayle. There were many questions still, where were we going to stay? How would be paying for our flights? etc. Nevertheless, our prayers continued. Not long after, all the pieces began to fall into place, Alex helped to secure funding. During this time he also reached out to the leaders in NorCal, Pr. Ron Pickell, for potential housing around the area for us to stay. To our surprise, in a few short hours, we had a place to stay at the Berkeley Seventh-day Adventist Church, which was a blessing! It was clear, the Lord did want us to go to California.

It was time to designate responsibilities, this was really happening and we did not want to be taken by surprise. Again we had a meeting,  Ahmad was our liaison with the student groups in Berkeley, Hannah was in charge of transportation,  I was in charge of meal planning and meal budget. Our flights were booked, our plans to visit student groups at Stanford, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley were all underway.

Our mission was to do evangelism on other secular campuses outside of Michigan. Our week was to be divided into sections, on each campus we would spend a day, with Stanford being the exception; we decided to be there for two days. We planned to do several things for outreach including, a sign with the words “Do you believe in God” on it, we had care packages prepared, and lastly to advertise the local student group events. All this with the goal of finding an opportunity to have spiritual conversations with students, in hopes that they might be interested in Bible studies. 

We arrived in San Francisco around 6 pm with very little time to spare, we drove to Soquel, we were ready for what California had to offer. Our first stop was to attend the Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) Retreat. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the mission trip.

Friday night we had dinner, introduced ourselves to each other, and had an icebreaker. Compared to our retreats here in Michigan, the NorCal retreat was a lot smaller and more personal, which I really liked. Saturday we spent the whole day just getting to know each other; we took a personality test. We compared our strengths and our weaknesses. This exercise helped us to learn more about each other in a whole different way, it truly was an amazing experience because it made us, or at least made me realize that there are other people just like us, who struggle with the same things and/or process things the same way.

 Later in the day, we had a team building activity where we acted out bible scenes and other teams guessed what scene it was. Afterwards, we started another activity called “Master and Servant”, in which certain personalities would serve as Masters or Servants. The point of this activity, at first, seemed like it was just a team building activity, which it was, but also was tied with our second activity for that evening. For after about 2 hours of servants serving their masters, and doing whatever their master requested them to do, there was a shift, unbeknownst to the servants. While all the servants left the room to work on something for their masters, we were informed that now during this half of the activity, it was our,  the masters, turn to serve the servants. However, this did not mean that we were simply going to reverse the roles and now the masters were going to do whatever the servants wanted.

 Instead, we served our servants in the same way that Jesus served his disciples, by washing their feet. This led to our next activity: a communion service. Because of the community building activities that we had been doing all day, this was a bit different from other communion services that I have participated in. It was a great time for reflection not only on everything that we learned about ourselves and other people, but also to reflect on what it means to be a master and a servant.

On Sunday we had breakfast, then a quick meeting about how we thought the retreat went and the leaders gave a few announcements about upcoming activities, asked for volunteers to help clean up the camp and announced that they were working on a video and would like people to record a quick 30 second video for their video on the retreat. We ended up leaving Soquel around 1:30 pm and while we planned to just go straight to the church, unpack and settle down, that is not exactly what ended up happening. The Berkeley student group invited us to join them in Santa Cruz to visit the boardwalk with them and then we went out for lunch.

On Monday and Tuesday, we spent our day doing outreach at Stanford. To be honest, at first it was a bit intimidating thinking about doing outreach at Stanford, or any of the campuses that we were visiting for that matter, since  we were not students there and not even from California, so we thought it would be a little harder for us to try to connect with the students on the campus. However, quickly we realized how wrong we were. As soon as we set up our massage station, we already had people asking us what we were doing, why we were doing it, and if it was actually free. We answered their questions as they got free massages.

It seemed that because this was something new, we were given the opportunity to share what we were doing, and why we were doing it. We shared with students different aspects of  CAMPUS ministries. This often led to spiritual conversations, regarding God and His love for us, and what it means to serve as a missionary.

On Tuesday we had our care packages ready to hand out, we gave them to students who filled out the sign/survey about their belief, or disbelief, in God, and why/why not. During these exercises, we had some very good conversations. Many of the students liked what we were doing and started sharing with friends, classmates, and faculty. We had students and professors who came to just see if free massages were a real thing. It was great to hear that students were coming to get a massage because their friend told them about it or posted about it on social media. In all, this allowed us to share Christ with at least 70 students and give about 50 massages.

 On Wednesday, we left Berkeley while it was raining and arrived at U.C Davis. We were not sure where we would be able to do massages, because in our experience it is always easier to do massages outside, in the open, where people could see what we were doing, so they can also tell their friends about it. With the rain, however,  we had nowhere to go, and so we prayed. As soon as we were done, there was a drizzle, we headed to our location. We set up the massage chairs, brought the care packages, and set up our signs. Then all of a sudden, it stopped raining, and the sun came out. Granted, it only came out for a good 10 minutes, but it came out. The Lord cleared the skies so that we could do massages at U.C Davis. 

On  Thursday, we arrived on the campus of U.C Berkley around noon, we decided to set up our usual: massage chairs, care packages, and our survey/poster about God. What surprised me the most was the fact that when holding our poster survey about God, Not long after, people began to stop by. People were shocked to see how many Christians were on  their campus, our prayers, our signs and massages brought them together. Attending a public university is hard, especially being a Christian. Thus, having a community of like-minded people like ACF student groups not only serve as a way to reach the campus for Christ but also as a means to reach the Christians who may or may not be struggling.

In conlusion, we are forever grateful for the amazing opportunity that we had to go and help student groups on these campues. While our task was to help them, they have also helped us a lot with our ministry, too.  We did not know anyone at first, but as time progressed in seemed that we worked as a team, helped out other.  Overall, everyone was kind and welcoming. By that Sunday we had already made friends with a number of students. This has made us reflect on how welcoming  Truly this mission trip was the trip of a lifetime, and one that  we will never forget.

 

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

 HOW TO GET INVOLVED AS A LOCAL CHURCH MEMBER

Adopt a student: At the beginning of the semester, give students a questionnaire with questions including birthday, favorite food, major, graduation year, whether they have transportation, if they are out of state or country, or anything that would help you know their needs. Then have families “adopt” a student.

Provide a meal once a week:  Churches have extended their potluck to every week. This provides a meal for the students, which for some will be the only hot meal.

Invite a student home for lunch: Keeping Sabbath while living on campus is difficult. Therefore, inviting a student to your home can mean a lot. If you are unsure what to talk about, consider reflecting on the message from church, exchanging personal testimonies, family traditions on Sabbath, relationships—how you and your spouse met, etc. Afternoon activities could include a walk, Bible study, or visiting another church member.

Pray for students: Ask a student each Sabbath if there is something they would like prayer for. Then call them during the week to see how things are going and ask them about the prayer request.

Provide snacks: Having snacks at the student weekly meetings can be a nice gesture and help to fill empty tummies. Student schedules are often very demanding and food is usually the last priority.

Involve them in the local church: Although students may be busy, they still have a desire to serve. Give them an opportunity to teach Sabbath school, give the scripture reading, assist or lead out in song service, etc. Some churches have made the campus ministry a department within the local church, allowing the students to serve on the church board. This is a great way to train the college students to be active church members.

Give welcome baskets: At the beginning of the semester, make the students know that they are welcome by recognizing them from the front of the church. Prepare a special welcome basket that might include snacks, travel size things, small devotional book, or anything you think a student might need. On first Sabbath of school beginning, have the students come up have the local pastor can say a special prayer of dedication for the coming school year and their studies.

Give students a ride to church: Some students do not have cars, but would like to attend church. Find out who has a car and who needs a ride to church.

Midterm or Finals stress- release: On Sabbath during midterms or finals, set aside a time in the church service to pray especially for the midterms and student ministry. Students often spend many hours in ministry, which is above the 40+ hours spent studying, going to classes and work.

Provide literature: Students are seeking to minister to their campus and their friends. Providing literature similar to Glow Tracks can be an easy way to help the student reach out to their campus.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED AS A PARENT

Sign up your college student on the CAMPUS email list: The email list will allow your student to know when events are held for public university students, as well as testimonies of other students who are attending campuses.

 Attend a CAMPUS retreat with your student: If your student is in their junior or senior year of high school, attend the CAMPUS retreat. This will allow them to meet other Adventist students that love the Lord and are active in sharing their faith.

 Contact the local campus ministry: Check the CAMPUS (www.campushope.org) or ACF  (acflink.org) website or the university website to see if there is an Adventist campus ministry. If you are out of state, you can visit the university student organization website or contact the student activities office for a list of student organizations.  

 Visit the local church: For the first Sabbath when they are at the university, attend church with your college student and make sure he/she meets the pastor and any other students.

 Pray for your student:  As a parent you probably already do a lot of this. Ask if he/she is facing any challenges in their classes, especially in regards to their faith.

 Being involved: Encourage your student to be involved the Adventist group or to establish a campus ministry on their campus. This will help them to grow in their faith and to succeed in their studies.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED AS UNIVERSITY STAFF 

Be a faculty/staff advisor: Every student organization must have a faculty/staff advisor to be registered with the university. The main responsibility that the university expects from the advisor is insuring the students are abiding by the university’s policies.

 Post the students’ flyers: If the university allows, post the fliers for the students’ events on your office door.

Visit or speak at a weekly meeting: Each week the local campus ministry will often have a group Bible study. Once during the year or semester, visit the meeting or give a Bible talk for the week.

 Pray with and for the leaders: Pray for the campus with the leaders. Invite them to your office to pray for the ministry and the leaders.

 Have lunch with the leaders: These informal settings can be a great time to mentor the student leaders, encouraging them to be both spiritually and academically excellent.

 Share your personal testimony: Hearing of your faith in Christ while still working in a secular environment can be a source of encouragement and strength. Share opportunities where God has allowed you to share your faith with your colleagues.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED AS A STUDENT

Pray laborers:  Begin to pray for God to send other converted seventh-day Adventists who have a desire to reach your campus with the everlasting gospel.

Contact your local church: Get in touch with you local pastor. Pastors  working in close proximity to your campus would love to hear from you. The Public Campus Ministry Department has a great team of pastors who would love to assist you on your academic and spiritual journey. 

 Contact your university: Many universities have a list students who have indicated they are a certain religion. You may be able to receive this list from admissions, student government, or a third-party organization. Do a little research beginning with your student government office. This will help you to know if there is already an Adventist group on campus, how you can find other Adventist, and what it will take to start an Adventist Student Organization.

 Get involved: Whether it is in the local church or local campus ministry, get involved doing something. Sometimes the first thing you do is just show up. As you are consistently present, needs will arise where you can help.  

 Start something: If you are the only one on your campus, begin by praying for someone to study with the Bible. Start a Friday night Bible study in your dorm. All you need is prayer, the Holy Spirit, and a desire to learn. As you begin to read, pray for God to teach you. He has not failed the sincere heart.

 

GET INVOLVED BY JOINING A LOCAL STUDENT GROUP TODAY

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FIVE CAMPUS MINISTERS ORDAINED TO GOSPEL MINISTRY

FIVE CAMPUS MINISTERS ORDAINED TO GOSPEL MINISTRY

On June 11, 2016, at the Michigan Conference Camp Meeting held in Cedar Lake, Michigan, five public campus ministers were ordained to the Gospel Ministry.  These five pastors join seven other campus ministers who have been set aside by the church through this high calling.

Andy Im currently serves as the Associate Director for Public Campus Ministry and Communications Director for Michigan Conference.  He moved to Michigan after serving as Chair of the Religion Department at Weimar College in California.  Im, who has pastored in New Jersey and Michigan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a degree in Political Science.  His graduate degree is in Theology from Southern Adventist University.  Over the last several years, Im has emerged as one of the strongest voices in Adventist Apologetics for Public Campus Ministry in the North American Division.  Andy and his wife Laura have a daughter Olivia

Daniel McGrath pastors in the Grand Rapids area, home of Grand Valley State University.  He is not a stranger to Grand Rapids.  Several years ago, he helped launch a public campus ministry in the area while serving as a CAMPUS Chaplain to the SVSU community.  He then took a call to Houghton where he ministered to the Michigan Technological University community in the Upper Peninsula.

ADVISORY MEETINGS

The Public Campus Ministry Advisory is composed of three groups: student leaders, pastors/chaplains, and field agents or stable young professionals who are part of the university community and are appointed by CAMPUS and/or the local church to serve in PCM.  The advisory meets together once each year, but allows for member groups of the advisory to meet with CAMPUS leadership throughout the year. In the model below: red=pastors, blue=field agents, and green=student leaders.