After doing campus ministry for some time now, I am slowly beginning to see how college campuses and missions are linked together. Throughout the world, key universities are playing a major role in developing communities and even cities. Even here in Ann Arbor, a lot of what goes on in the community and the city is centered around the University of Michigan.
If this is the case, what would it be like if we reached a particular campus, which was located in a particular community, within a particular city?
With this in mind, God started to open up another college campus in Chicago. There are a handful of students who go to the University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) who have been attending the church in Evanston.
All throughout this year, we have been talking about being a missional church. We would not be missional if we transported students from the downtown Chicago area and brought them to the suburbs of Evanston.
In fact this is what many churches have done in the past. They would drive down from their wealthy suburbs to a building in the city for one day out of the week and then go back to their separate communities. In this sense, the Church has been ineffective in reaching the lost in that community. The Church failed to incarnate the message of Christ.
Therefore, instead of perpetuating a vicious cycle, we want to tell the students to make a difference right where they are. This means that we need to start something on this campus so that more people can experience the transformative power of the Gospel.
We are in the process of getting our student status on campus approved and we are going to start up a small group ministry in September. Then eventually we are praying that as the fruits begin to show that we can gather together for larger meetings on Sundays, which in turn will be a site church.
Once again, we are humbled by the opportunity. We were not looking for it but instead God brought it sovereignly to our attention – and we want to be faithful.
It seems clear in the mission that God is giving us as HMCC:
Transform the campus, you will transform the community… and if you transform the community, you will transform the city… and if you transform the city, you will transform the world (in the Greek it is cosmos).