2017 Annual Report

Comment

2017 Annual Report

Our Annual Report is out! Check it out to read more about how God has been working in and through our ministry in the lives of students on college campuses over the past year. We are so grateful for what he is doing and how he blesses us by being a part of this important work! Thanks for your partnership and prayers for this ministry.

Comment

Comment

CO Alumni Connection

KatieJo Deslie, Campus Outreach Graduate

KatieJo Deslie, Campus Outreach Graduate

Campus Outreach is the avenue God used to bring me to him. I would not be where I am now with out CO. A staff person and an older girl shared the Gospel with me and God changed my heart using there words. I also attended CO Summer Training Project all 4 years. I gained confidence in my faith and grew in my faith with other believers. Without the support of people in CO, I would not have had the courage to step out in faith and follow a calling to another country.

I am now living and teaching in South Korea. I am not a missionary, but a recent graduate that took a leap of faith to live in another country and be a light for the kids I teach and in the lives of other people I see and interact with everyday. Korea is filled with cults and false teachers. The culture is very centered on appearances and the people have to study a lot to get anywhere in life. Christianity is on the decline and churches are attacking each other. I have shared the gospel with some students, 5 cult members, some people on the subway and some people I met through an evangelism group from our church. I am a dreamer and I love thinking big, so I feel like I could always be doing more with my life. Although, I have come to realize that just being willing to move here and being open to sharing the gospel, God is using me. God uses small things to grow his kingdom.

My hope is to be a light in a place that is very dark. As a recent graduate that was involved with CO, I am so thankful for supporters of the ministry and how it was an integral part of my life. God is using Campus Outreach for good and sending laborers to the lost world.

KatieJo Deslie

Comment

Comment

STP | WHY ARE WE SO AFRAID TO SHARE THE GOSPEL IN COLLEGE?

36333610396_02bad79745_k.jpg

This is an important question to ask while any Believer in Jesus is in college. I believe that the university setting is one of the best places to share with people the good news of Jesus Christ, but why is it that we so often do not? Steven Lee, the new lead pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church North Campus, wrote an article called Four Reasons We Don’t Share the Gospel last year, and I thought that it would help explain much of what we students learned this summer at Summer Training Project. 

Steven Lee goes through four obstacles to evangelism for most people, and I will do my best to connect these same points to college students:

1. Lack of Gospel Knowledge 

College students, even at Christian schools, have a huge problem sharing the gospel simply because they do not understand the gospel enough to articulate the truths of the gospel in a simple and coherent way. 

2. Apathy

This obstacle became increasingly evident throughout this summer as students began to look at their lives and reflected on what Christ’s work on the cross actually did. Students are perfectly content making friends and going to dinner with people, but when it comes to sharing the gospel with people, it always seems that we don't have enough time. 

3. Fear 

College age students already have many insecurities. We are still growing and becoming who we want to be, and we are afraid of people rejecting us because we are not enough for them. Sharing the gospel is just another reason for which people could reject us. We do not want to push people away, so we just end up saying nothing.

4. Lack of Compassion

God has revealed to me that in my heart, as in many other college students’ hearts, I do not understand the urgency for those who do not believe in Jesus, and because of that, I, most times, do not have compassion on them as I should if I truly understand the gravity of the situation. 

Summer Training Project has pointed to the good news of Jesus that changes everything. The community that I have gained while being in South Carolina, and the community that many other college students have gained will forever change the way that these students look at the world.

Steven Lee’s Four Steps to Sharing More:

1. Pray Together for the Lost

Throughout the summer, more than 100 students have prayed fervently for the students on their campus to understand that they can be made new through the truth that God sent Jesus down to earth so that we who are sinners could be in a relationship with a Holy God that has come to save us and be in a relationship with us. 

2. Recall the Gospel Together

After going through Ephesians, the students at project were able to not only preach the Gospel to each other, but the students were able to live in a community where each and every person was reminded of the gospel each and every day.

3. Apply the Gospel Together

Throughout the summer, we as students were able to not only remind each other about the Gospel, but we were able to apply the Gospel in real ways. During conflict, arguments, joys, pains, and victories, we were able to see how God has given each of us the ability to live freely in the joys of the Gospel and to unite in the comfort of Christ’s care. 

4. Prove the Power of the Gospel Together

With the believers at project, we were reminded of the sufficiency of God’s word to do his work for his purposes. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that the Gospel saves by grace through faith — apart formworks — as a free gift, and during the summer, many were able to trust, believe, and declare it for the first time.

God’s sweet love has been so evident this summer, and it was my pleasure experiencing the joys of Gospel-centered community with so many college students. Amen.

Benjamin Johnson
2017 STP Student Communications Intern

Comment

Comment

All Nations

Why would Ryan*, a married father of twins with a marketable computer degree, a full-time job and grandparents on hand to provide free babysitting decide to move to the West African nation of Niger? The decision is unusual when you consider that Ryan has achieved the “American Dream”; he worked hard in high school, got into a good college, graduated with a degree, was hired at a high-paying job, married a great wife, has cute kids – everything is in place for an easy, comfortable life. Why would he throw that all away?!?

Matt 28:19-20 states, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

“All nations” was the phrase that grabbed hold of Ryan. As a college student, Ryan was intentional with the relationship choices he made. Some of his closest friends were students from Muslim majority nations. These friends were not afraid to discuss religion, and Ryan joined right in, talking about faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by our good works. Ryan’s love for the Lord and his love for his friends drove him to study Islam and the Bible in order to know how to answer the questions others were asking. God used relationships in a state university computer science department to direct Ryan into full-time international missions in a majority Muslim country.   

When we authentically open the circle of our friendships, God will work in us and through us. Our cultural perspective will change as “those people” become “my friends” who are made in the image of God.

Who are your friends? Do they all look like you and believe the same way you do? If so, pray that God will open your eyes to the nations He has brought to us. Be intentional with those you spend your time with! Look for people who are different from you and take a relational step towards them. Get to know them for who they are, and as you do life with them, talk about what is important to you - share the hope you have in Christ!

*His name has been changed due to the sensitive nature of his ministry.

Dan Sterken
Campus Outreach Minneapolis
U of M International Staff

Comment

Comment

One Reason

How many times do we feel like quitting? How many times do we feel overwhelmed, discouraged, hopeless? How many times do we want to give up on something that matters? But, how many times have we enjoyed the blessing of something we wouldn’t have if we’d quit?

The most meaningful times in life generally follow the most difficult trials.

Our enemy will give us a million reasons to quit on whatever matters most; whether that be on a person, a dream, or a goal. But we only need one good reason to stay the course.

My reason

29151930281_718fc7d9af_k.jpg

Not once, not twice, but three times I gave up a chance for a beautiful Minnesota summer to go to Summer Training Project (STP) in South Carolina. Each year there were numerous instances when I was unsure if going to STP was the best option for me. I would ask myself, “Why am I doing this? Wouldn’t it be much better to get a job in Minnesota? Wouldn’t I earn more money that way? Why am I asking people for money? Wouldn’t it just be easier to stay home?” Consistently I would remind myself of why I was going.

Why did I spend my summers at Summer Training Project?: To make a bunch of money? No. To get a tan and practice my surfing skills? No. To see the lives of others and my life changed as we grow to know and love Jesus more? Absolutely.

My one reason of spending my summers in South Carolina was to grow more in my relationship with Jesus and be equipped to share his love with others. That one reason was enough for me to be able to say goodbye to my family and friends, be okay with making less money than I could at home, and do something out of my comfort zone. Personally, I grew immensely in my trust and reliance on God through my summers and now I am in one of the most meaningful times of my life as I share what I learned during in South Carolina with others. To me, nothing is better than sharing the love that God has lavished on us. Knowing that spending my summers at Summer Training Project allowed me to do that more confidently makes it all worthwhile.

Jesus’ Example

Jesus pressed on even though He wanted to give up.

Jesus knew that he would face suffering. He knew he would be betrayed by those closest to him. He knew he would be scourged, whipped, spit upon, crowned with thorns. He knew he would become sin, ultimately separating him from God. But that is the reason that he came (John 12:23, 27-28).

Jesus left his home in heaven to come to our broken earth. He experienced pain and rejection in order to be glorified. But this act was not selfish, it was the most self-less, loving act in history. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Not only did Jesus die for his friends, but he also died for his enemies. Jesus didn’t die for the righteous, he died for sinners. He didn’t die for the healthy, he died for the sick. He died for the very people that put him on the cross. He died for the people whose sin he took on and for which he suffered the wrath of God. He died for you and me.

His Reason

For the joy set before him.

“For the joy that was set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:2-3).

Jesus just needed one good reason to press on through the pain. His reason was the joy set before him. You are that joy! You are the very reason he came! Jesus came to live the perfect life that we could never achieve. He came to die the death that we deserve, to pay the penalty for our sins. He came to destroy the works of darkness. He came to crush Satan under his feet. Even when Jesus was facing the toughest spiritual, emotional, and physical pain possible he stayed the course for us.  

He came to do all of this for you and me. He came because we could never do it by ourselves. He came because he loves us.

Our Reason

The joy set before us.

We run the race for the joy of knowing and loving Jesus more. We press on for the ultimate joy of eternal life in heaven. We do this not to glorify ourselves, but to glorify God. Whatever we may face in this life, we know that this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17).

When we feel like giving up, we must remember our reason for doing what we do. We remember the how our life was changed by Jesus and how he is able to change the lives of others. When we are in our deepest pit we remember that God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). We remember that God has an ultimate plan for us that we do not yet understand. We look to Jesus’ example and see that the most meaningful times in life generally follow the most difficult trials.

When we want to quit, we must remember: It takes pain to have progress. It takes hurt to have a healing. It takes a death to have a resurrection.

Harmon Squires
Campus Outreach Minneapolis
Bethel Campus Staff

Comment

Comment

Unexpected Savior

The following is the devotional from Northwestern's spring break trip last week:

If I told you that you were about to meet the most famous, impactful, powerful, loving, just, and creative king that has ever walked the earth; what would you imagine this person being and looking like? If you are anything like me, I doubt it is a relatively short and unattractive male that is a lowly carpenter.  Jesus was never the figure we thought He would be. In fact, almost everything about Himself was counter cultural and unexpected.

Jesus was born in an unimpressive manger, out of wedlock and in a town that was considered worthless. His birth was proclaimed and celebrated by magicians and pagans, even though he was the son of the most high God.  Then he grew up and began to do ministry with his handpicked disciples; who happen to all be fishermen and tax collectors that were not intelligent enough to become Pharisees and Scribes. He hung out with the sick, lame and rejected. With his newfound popularity and stardom, crowds tried to gather around him to make him King, yet he ran from them and pursued time alone with his father.

Then after all of his popularity and perfection, the Son of God would be wrongly hated and convicted of crimes he never committed. The people he came to save rejected and despised him. Then hanging on the cross he still loved those same people enough to ask his father to forgive them. What kind of King is this?

This is a King who knows what we need, even if we don’t. Eventually we begin to find this king in places that we would never expect along with more joy than we can ever imagine. He is a King waiting to be with us and walk alongside us in our pain and suffering.  Jesus seemingly always does the unexpected when interacting with people, whether they are righteous, sinful, doubters or untouchable. This also gives us hope, that he would meet us at our level of faith and show up in our lives in completely unexpected ways.

Nate VanZee
Campus Outreach Minneapolis
University of Northwestern Campus Staff

Comment

Comment

3 Prayers for Spring Break

Wait, so you didn’t go on a mission trip? What did you do while you were down there? You guys just had fun the whole time? 

Those are a few of the questions we get asked about our spring break trip every year. This is the 3rd time we’ve sent a group of students to South Carolina from St. Cloud. Each year, the number of students interested in the trip has grown. We brought 15 students with on the trip this year including both believing and unbelieving students. During the first morning of the trip, I shared 3 goals with the group that I was praying for out of the trip. 

  1. That they would have a lot of fun
  2. That they would be surprised by Jesus
  3. That they would consider spending a summer there

The whole trip was a blast! There were numerous days where I had to slap myself because I couldn’t believe that I was working. Elisa (my staff partner) and I planned something fun for the group each day.

Day 1 included a lot of beach volleyball and catching up on sleep from the 24hr+ drive. That night we went to Nacho Hippo for dinner (everyone’s favorite place to eat in Myrtle Beach) and went to a movie at the cinema in Market Commons.

Day 2 we visited Charleston which is a couple of hours away from Myrtle Beach. The students loved seeing the historic architecture of the city.

Day 3 we worked on some projects on the hotel which had been hit by Hurricane Matthew in September. Later that night we went out to dinner at Myabi’s. All was going well until one of the students had an allergic reaction. Elisa and I spent the rest of the evening in the E.R. Thankfully all is well and that student learned to never eat shrimp again!

Day 4 we enjoyed beautiful weather. Most of the day was spent playing volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and swimming. A few students even tried their luck at surfing! That night we planned a photo scavenger hunt at Broadway at the Beach. We have a lot of competitive students involved, some of them even took the competition a little overboard. but overall it was a good time. 

After a fun filled week, we began the long trek home on Thursday and were thankful to be safely back in Minnesota by Friday night. Prayer #1 was most definitely answered!

While the trip isn’t exactly a mission trip per say, we use it as an intentional time to study the bible with students. As I mentioned earlier, a few of the students who came on the trip aren’t believers. Every morning we would have a Bible study with the group. We read through Mark in small groups and discussed what stood out to us and what questions we had. After reading in small groups we would discuss in the large group. One of the passages we read was Mark 10:25-27 which says:

 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God."

After reading that passage, one of the students said “What I’m learning is that its not about a checklist of things you can do, but that it is accepting God’s grace.” Another student said that over the trip she had learned more about Jesus than she had in her entire life before that!

After those responses to Jesus and the Bible, I would say that prayer #2 was also most definitely answered! 

One of the most encouraging things about this trip was seeing our student leaders take initiation and have conversations with the younger students. From the first day on, students were asking each other about their lives and more specifically about their summers. A few of our students are coming to project as room leaders this summer and intentionally challenged younger students to come this summer. After numerous conversations and getting a feel for what it would be like, several students have expressed interest in coming this summer. Two students in particular went from considering it as an option to making decisions to go! I felt so humbled by the fact that most of these conversations were happening apart from me. God was using our students to speak into the lives of other students! Prayer #3 was answered as well.

Spring Break 2017 was such an encouragement and I look forward to seeing how God will continue to use trips like these in the lives of our students!

Berto Ramos
Campus Outreach Minneapolis
St. Cloud State University Staff

Comment

Comment

Monotony and Life Change

I don't know if you ever feel this, but at times life can feel like an endless cycle of monotony. Winter is almost over, spring will be here, then summer, fall, and we start over again, again, again, and again. With each passing day and month I often find myself doing the same things over and over. Not only can my life feel boring, but when I think of what all people do, I see the same basic pattern: people graduate high school and work or go to college. Maybe they get married, have kids, watch their kids do the same thing, and get old. With some variation, generation after generation follows the same pattern.

In my fifth year of ministry, these same feelings can creep in. Every year, we follow the same basic pattern: move in, Bible studies, New Years Conference, retreats, spring break trip, Summer Training Project, and do the whole thing over again, again, again, and again. Whenever I have these feelings, I start to wonder what the point of all this is. Sadly, that is exactly how I felt as I was getting ready for our winter retreat a couple weeks ago.

Then it hit me. Nine years ago almost to the day, I was invited to a similar winter retreat with Campus Outreach as a freshman at the University of Minnesota. I was reluctant but had nothing else to do, so I went. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I came into college looking for life in success and living the American dream. On a predictable retreat that Campus Outreach does every year, God did something amazing. He began the process of removing my shallow view of Christianity and showing me more and more that the only place I was going to find life was in Jesus.

If you’re looking for significance in the patterns of life without God, you won’t find it. It changes everything when you understand God is there, and He’s telling a beautiful story. It makes the world come alive. I can live fully in each moment as it comes and quickly slips past because I know God is in it. I don’t have to dread the future and doing the same things again and again because God will be there uniquely working in ways I sometimes can't even see or grasp.

Just like God used the winter retreat nine years ago to change my life, my prayer is that God will use this year's retreat in the lives of the students from St. Thomas who went. The retreat had all the components of a good retreat: fun games, good food and snacks, late night shenanigans (like a 3 mile hike to a waterfall at 2am), someone sharing their testimony, and time in the Bible. I don’t know what God will do through this weekend. Maybe as the time goes on, in 9 years from now, a student from this trip will look back and see how God used this past weekend to change their entire life. That would not be boring and predictable; it would be amazing.

Larry Martini
Campus Outreach Minneapolis
St. Thomas Campus Director

Comment

Comment

How Does CO Build Laborers for the Lost World?

Campus Outreach's vision statement goes as follows “Glorifying God by Building Laborers on the Campus for the Lost World.” If you are familiar with our ministry, you probably understand how we seek to build laborers on the campus. So what do we mean by “for the lost world?” The college campus is filled with lost people from all over the world, so maybe that’s it? If that were the case, then we could say we are “building laborers on the campus for the campus”. However, our aim is to reach the world by changing the lives of students on campus during their college years. What kind of impact would our students have if their influence ended after four short years on campus? Jesus came to save the world and the world is where must go. Four years in college can have a profound impact if your goal reaches beyond the campus walls into the real world and the lost world. So how does Campus Outreach seek to do this? One way is through effectively mobilizing graduates.

All Campus Outreach Regions have a desire to mobilize graduates well. In many regions there is a staff person dedicated to this job, and a few regions even have a team of mobilization staff. Our goal as mobilization staff, is to launch students effectively into the three areas they might go: the campus, the city, and the world. A few students will come back to campus by joining our staff or another college ministry staff. Some will go to the world as vocational or non-vocational missionaries. Most will get a job in Minneapolis or St. Paul, and hopefully be launched with a vision to reach their neighbors and coworkers. Each of these are vitally important to reaching the lost world. As Christians, there is a universal call on our lives to be witnesses for Christ. Full-time staff and missionaries aren’t the greater portion, and working a ‘normal’ job certainly isn’t the lesser portion. ALL are called by God and gifted by God accordingly. ALL are called to do good in what we do and where we do it, and both of those things are different for each person and in fact needs to be. As a ministry we want to hold all callings equal and if anything talk more about the city knowing that is where most of our students end up.  

A few of our goals in mobilization are:

  1. Help students start to understand their unique gifting and what they enjoy doing

  2. Help them gain a vision for how they can serve and leverage their gifts for God’s Kingdom and the benefit of those around them

  3. Help connect them to others by getting them plugged into a good church and to others who have a similar vision

  4. Help them to be excited about life after college and see that God has much ahead for them

As staff, we often talk about the success of our ministry being measured 20 years from now. We desire to be equipping life-long laborers for the lost world, and not just have a large number of students attend our events. May the Lord help us to equip students to transition well out of college into the real world so that they may witness to and have great impact on the lost world! Would you pray with us towards that end?

Mike Polley
Campus Outreach Minneapolis
University of Minnesota Director

Comment

Comment

Not What You Think it Means

"He didn’t fall? Inconceivable!” "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." 

Some of you might remember the above exchange in the movie, The Princess Bride. It happens between Vizzini and Inigo Montoya. Vizzini thinks himself a genius and Inigo picks up on his overuse of the word, inconceivable. Vizzini had been applying the word liberally and probably wasn’t using it in its proper context. Inigo calls him on it. 

A few years back I remember talking to a student leader who had been part of our Summer Training Project (if you’re a student, go ahead and click on that link 😉) about a similar exchange. Apparently one of our student leaders was chatting with a participant in the project who was struggling with some of the challenges of the Christian life. The student leader, sincerely hoping to help the participant, explained how he simply needed to “believe the gospel.” The participant, having heard the phrase repeated throughout the summer, exclaimed, “Everyone keeps telling me that, but I have no idea what that means!” I believe it may have been a bit more colorful, but you get the idea. 

Lingo Without Literary Understanding

Now, I wasn’t present at this exchange. I can’t speak with great certainty about the exactness of it, but I certainly understand the context and have heard similar exchanges happen in our ministry. I have no doubt the student leader was earnest and wanted to help. And, theologically speaking, I think the leader was on the right track. The danger, however, is that like many words or phrases in the Christian community, they can become lingo without literary understanding. That is to say, a word can simply be repeated because it’s been heard, but accurate understanding of the word is void. 

Certain words are heard by many of us from the pulpit, in the context of small groups, just outside the sanctuary after a worship service, or even around the dinner table that ultimately lose meaning because they’re simply repeated over and over again. It’s not that repetition is bad, not at all. However, repetition without explanation can be really harmful. We need to be careful about people, especially those who grow up within the Church, who know a lot of the right answers and are able to speak the right lingo but don’t really “mean what they think they mean”.  

We need to state biblical truths in fresh and new ways in order that they resonate with us and sink down deeply into the soul. I’m not talking about seeking to be hip or cool. Rather, I’m talking about stating biblical truths by explaining them fully, articulately, and as often as possible connecting them to the everyday stuff of life. And there may not be a more important word in all of the Bible than “gospel” that needs repeating in a fresh and new way. 

Learning From Paul — Appropriating the Gospel

Consider Paul’s confrontation of Peter in Galatians 2:11-16. I won’t get into all of the theological backdrop of the passage. But what I would like to point out is that Paul could have confronted Peter about a couple of ways he was in sin. He could have told Peter he was being racially insensitive. He could have told him he was simply pleasing people. But Paul didn’t mention either of those explicitly.  

What did he say?  

…I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel…

…we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified (Galatians 2:14-16, ESV).  

Paul saw the central issue Peter was struggling with as one that dealt directly with the gospel. Paul went beyond simply stating jargon, however. He is helping his Galatian audience understand that to feel a sense of superiority because of one’s ethnicity or religious heritage is to walk out of step with the truth of the gospel. Indeed, Peter was afraid in this particular instance of what others thought. And what one fears can usually be traced to what a person values. When someone understands how Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of our value we need not fear what others think.  

Paul spoke the truth of the gospel to Peter in the way Peter (and the church of Galatia) needed to hear it. He appropriated the message. This is what we all need to be able to do as we preach to ourselves first and foremost, and also as we preach to others. We need to heed Inigo Montoya’s advice and not "keep using that word” that may not mean what we think it means. More importantly, we need to figure out what the gospel means so that when we use that word we are confidently saying what we mean. 

Summary

Paul spoke the truth of the gospel to Peter in the way Peter (and the church of Galatia) needed to hear it. He appropriated the message. This is what we all need to be able to do as we preach to ourselves first and foremost, and also as we preach to others. We need to heed Inigo Montoya’s advice and not "keep using that word” that may not mean what we think it means. More importantly, we need to figure out what the gospel means so that when we use that word we are confidently saying what we mean.

Eric Lonergan
Campus Outreach Minneapolis
St. Cloud State Director

Comment

CONYC 2016

Comment

CONYC 2016

We are praying for the hearts and lives of over 300 students that are currently gathered at the Hyatt in downtown Milwaukee to encounter God in new and deeper ways. We pray they would give their lives and be "All In" for Christ! 

Comment

Comment

Rock You Like a Hurricane

God wakes me up to the reality that he is in control of everything in my life and that my response is to trust Him and rest in that control and pray that He continues to dismantle the facade that I can change anything by my worrying and concern. When the disciples were in the boat, they asked, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing”?

Comment

Comment

Foresight

Somehow, because I had spent a couple months planning, I thought I was up to the task of telling the God of the universe how to run things. Looking back now, I can see that God knew what he was doing.

Comment

STP 2016 Recap

Comment

STP 2016 Recap

Have you been wondering what it's like to go on our Summer Training Project in Myrtle Beach? Well here's your chance - check out our recap video from this summer!

Comment

Comment

Introducing a new look!

We are so excited to share with you a fresh, new, unified look for our summer opportunities! We have just come out with all new logos for our Summer Training Project, Twin Cities Project and Cross Cultural Project. From now on you'll be able to recognize our favorite events with these great new designs. 

Our summer projects have come a long way in the past few years. This summer has been the year of 3s! TCP finished it's 3rd summer strong meeting in downtown Minneapolis and the CCP team enjoyed visiting our partnership in Sheffield, England also for the 3rd summer in a row. STP keeps growing and students spent a 3rd summer in our own hotel in Myrtle Beach, SC.

We're so thankful to the Lord for what he has done and will continue to do through our amazing summer opportunities! We love the new look, and we hope you do too! Stay tuned to find out what God has in store for us next summer...  

Comment

Comment

WE LOOK BACK TO LOOK FORWARD - From CCP Blog

This post is originally from the CCP Blog, check it out and see other updates from the group that traveled to Sheffield, England this summer here.

We look back in awe over God's faithfulness and commitment to seeing His gospel grow among students in Sheffield...

“Being a part of CCP has been a very growing and eye opening experience that has reframed the way I think about the world and how I can live out my life on mission for God. This has been a blessing and privilege.” – Sarah Trapp

Looking through the carousel of visual memories above, it is really amazing to reflect on all that we have been able to do, and all of the people in Sheffield that our team has been able to point to the Gospel. For that, we thank God and you who have helped to make this possible through your prayer and support. To recap on this summer, myself and six other U.S. students formed a Cross Cultural Project (CCP). We were later joined by seven British students to launch a Summer Leadership Project (SLP) in Sheffield, U.K. Over the last two months we have learned how to study the Bible, been trained in evangelism, shared our faith collectively with hundreds of students, processed applying the gospel to so many areas of life, and experienced deep fellowship - all within our local church in Sheffield. 

Michaiah Melody provides some introspective thoughts pertaining to this summer project: “Once, our trip leader Devin {fondly known by our team as ‘dad’} was leading one of our training sessions and he asked us the questions: “How has God saved you in the past?” and “How is God saving you now?” When I first started to think about these questions I honestly did not know how to start answering them. As I look back over the past years of my life, I can see how different I am, but in all reality I don’t feel all that different. It is a strange and almost out-of-body experience to look back at your previous self, but when I come to think of it, it is a constant practice. We have been told by many to look to the future. However, everyday I realize more and more that I cannot look forward without looking back. In days past I would never have imagined that I would be sitting here in England. If God had not shown up, I would not be in our little Sheffield apartment smiling because I am remembering all the laughs and cream teas we have already shared in such a short time. God has truly transformed me. Thinking through the answers to these questions has helped me to communicate the Gospel better to the university students that we meet. I am able to see how it impacts my life in a personal way.”

Looking forward to the Prayer Focus for STP ’16 Missions Week:

  • Pray for the lost and unbelieving people the CCP team have engaged with this summer.
    • Specifically university students that attend The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.
  • Pray that the English people group would know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior, and, in turn, they would share the gospel message in their thoughts, words and deeds with others.
  • Pray that the international students we shared the gospel with: 
    • Would get connected with a gospel-centered Church in Sheffield.
    • Would get connected with the long term CO team planted in Sheffield.
    • Travel back to their native country and share the gospel there.
  • Pray God would start planting the seeds for next year’s CCP team and the years to come.
    • Many of the students on STP '16 ARE members of future CCP teams.
  • Finally, pray for the needs of the world to hear Jesus!

We want to take the opportunity as a team to recognize your work as supporters. Through prayer and financial support people from all over the world have been able to hear about the glorious grace of the Father through Jesus Christ. Know that your support has the opportunity to change an eternity for someone, and that is not a small thing. Know that not only are we grateful, but that God sees your faithfulness. Please continue to pray for our team during these post-short term mission days. Pray we would soak in the rest of this project and actually process all we have learned. Pray this summer would be a BIG step in shaping us to become life-long laborers for Christ!

- Michael Jolivette

Comment

Comment

Talking to Strangers is Okay - From STP Blog

This blog post is from the STP Blog, read it and other posts from our STP Students here: cominneapolis.org/stpblog

You know how your parents always told you that you shouldn’t talk to strangers? Well, here at STP it’s recommended, especially on Wednesday afternoons.

You may be wondering why that is...because it sounds kind of strange.

A big part of what we do here at STP is work to develop our personal relationships with the Lord, but a natural result of getting to know God better is to be moved to share Him with others. Wednesdays’ Ministry Training meeting is the time set aside to equip us with tools to share the Gospel effectively with those around us, as well as to have time to practice what we’ve learned.

WHAT WE DO

Ministry Training meetings consist of two parts, a talk and a workshop. This past week, Nirmal Mekala spoke on “Abridged Revelation,” and walked us through how to share the Gospel using a simple diagram called the Bridge. It revolves around Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” After that, he discussed two kinds of fears we might face in evangelism, insecurity (fear of awkwardness, rejection or a loss of reputation) and inadequacy (we may not have the right answers).

In the workshop, students paired up and practiced sharing the Bridge with one another as if they were sharing it with an unbeliever. Then, we actually went out onto the beach and talked with tourists and locals about what we believe, and when we come back, we shared stories of conversations we had.

WHY IT MATTERS

The amazing thing about being a Christian is that we get to be a part of God spreading His name and fame throughout the world. God didn’t have to use us to share the Gospel, but He chose to because it both develops our faith and gives us joy in seeing His work up close.

Undoubtedly, Ministry Training is the meeting that students dread the most, because it’s scary walking up to complete strangers and asking to talk about deep, heart-level issues. But the beauty of it is that, despite our insecurities and inadequacies, there’s no way we can fail if we step out in faith. God doesn’t call us to save those we approach on the beach; He simply calls us to be faithful to share the best news in the world.

Even though “cold turkey evangelism” isn’t our normal modus operandi, I think Ministry Training is one of the most valuable times of the STP week because it’s our chance to vocalize and live out what we profess the rest of the week: that God’s free gift of eternal life through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the most important thing in our lives, and we want the world to know it.

Brianna Williamson
STP Student Communications Intern
 

Comment