I’m in ministry with the AFES at the University of Sydney Cumberland Campus. The Christian students on the campus have formed a fellowship called Evangelical Christian Union (ECU) which enables us to train and encourage each other and reach out to students on campus who are yet to give Jesus their loyalty. ‘Cumbo’ is a campus dedicated entirely to Health Sciences. People here are really nice, helpful types, but that can sometimes make them blind to the reality that God is more interested in our response to Jesus than our general niceness. I work primarily with the guys on campus, encouraging them to be a godly influence among friends and families and to begin shouldering the responsibility of christian leadership.
AFES ministry among the students can’t be funded by the students themselves: they simply don’t have the financial capacity. But, pound-for-pound, I think University campus ministry is the most strategic and effective place for transforming people’s lives with God’s word. Through University students we impact and transform workplaces, Churches, and whole countries. I’m not making this stuff up, the history of university student ministry over the past 150 years demonstrates this time after time. The bottom line then is that we need graduates, friends, family members, and any Christian that has benefited from student ministry to carry the cost. It’s a ‘pay-it-forward’ situation. The benefit you’ve received for free in the past, now needs to be transferred to others. It’s gospel-nomics.
But it’s more than just keeping me on my feet and on the campus: when I’m struggling with the hard-heartedness of students toward the gospel, or I’m worn out from wrestling with young people in the scripture, it makes such a difference to know that there’s a team of people around the country (and the world) who think this ministry matters. It’s an indescribable encouragement knowing that I’m not alone in this ministry, that others are willing to shoulder a sacrifice to make it happen. And that encourages me to keep leaning on the Lord for his strength.
I hate asking people for money, most people in our society find talking about personal finances pretty uncomfortable, but for this ministry to keep being viable it’s going to require some sacrificial living by a whole group of friends. The message of Jesus’ reign will impact and transform the lives of the students at Cumberland in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine, but it’s going to cost us. All I can do is point to Jesus, follow him, and promise you it’ll be worth it.
Thanks for reading. If you’re interested in receiving regular updates about our ministry or becoming a financial supporter, you can use either of the links below.
[button link=”http://eepurl.com/cQFVk” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] Supporter’s Updates[/button] [button link=”http://afes.org.au/support/dan-anderson” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] Financial Support[/button]