1. To Grow in the Gospel
A withering tree in the desert sands. That is a picture of the professing Christian student who thinks they have no need to keep hearing the gospel—they might be a tree, but probably not for long. The healthy, strong and fruitful tree is the one planted by streams of water, and so it is with the faithful follower of Christ—they feed and drink on His Word (Ps 1:1-3).
Belonging to an AFES-affiliated club is like a group of trees clustered around a spring. As we meet around God’s Word in small groups or club-wide gatherings, the roots of our souls draw the life-giving sustenance they need to grow.
Sure, belonging to your local church does this too—and you don’t need to join a Christian club in the same way you need the church. But we who are young—possessing time and energy, yet still lacking much knowledge and wisdom—would do well to take every opportunity we can to grow in the gospel.
Belonging to an AFES-affiliated club is like a group of trees clustered around a spring. As we meet… the roots of our souls draw the life-giving sustenance they need to grow.
2. To Sow Gospel Seeds
In John’s Revelation, those who do not repent will wail at Jesus’ coming (Rev 1:7). It is a horrific thought. And yet many—including students at our universities—don’t even know the name by which they can be saved (Rom 10:14-15).
AFES exists to “proclaim Jesus Christ at university to present everyone mature in him.” So why not join your Christian club on campus? It will provide you with:
- Christian partners—brothers and sisters who are working to share the gospel;
- Opportunities to run outreach events;
- Well-established events, programs and activities which clearly articulate the gospel;
- A place to invite your non-Christian friends who are eager to explore Jesus.
Sure, joining a Christian club could tempt us to only spend time with Christian friends at Uni. But when we are gripped by the need for students to hear the gospel, we can belong to a Christian club in a way that doesn’t hinder evangelism, but enables and supports and enhances it.
3. To be Equipped with the Gospel
The Christian life is a race (2 Tim 4:7; 1 Cor 9:24-27). If you’re going to be any good at running, then you will need to train. That means, not just running, but devising a program; staying hydrated; getting feedback; making progress; taking rest-breaks. And doing it all over again.
In the same way, if you’re going to be any good at being a disciple-making disciple of Christ, then you will need to train intentionally. As Paul puts it, “while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Tim 4:8)
Christian Clubs affiliated with AFES have long-term, campus-based staff who work to equip Uni students with the gospel. While ministry will look different in each local context, AFES staff teach and train students to know Jesus and make Him known. They are God’s gift to us, equipping us to be disciples of Christ so that we are both eager and able to make disciples and teach others to observe all Jesus commanded (Matt 28:19-20).
Sure, spending time taking notes or discussing answers might feel like another Uni class sometimes. But for those of us who want to run the race in such a way as to get the prize, we know we need to train.
But for those of us who want to run the race in such a way as to get the prize, we know we need to train.
4. To Live in a Gospel-Shaped Community
In my one non-COVID impacted semester on campus, I’ve seen T-shirts swearing at political leaders; met students draped in rainbow flags; and interacted with people who assume my ideology is identical to theirs. One literature tutor repeatedly used Jesus’ name in vain—for ‘teaching’ purposes.
Uni isn’t necessarily the most welcoming place for those who know and love the gospel.
But a Christian club is. I still remember walking into the first event I attended at the Christian club on my campus and being warmly greeted and welcomed. People remembered my name. They showed genuine interest and care. It’s a community where we respect one another, agree to disagree on the things that don’t matter, and unite in Christ.
By belonging to a gospel-shaped community, we can support and be supported:
- We can lean on other students and learn how they’ve navigated the challenges of Uni life, study and culture.
- We can be accountable to each other in the way we remain faithful to Christ.
- We can turn to others when we don’t know what to do or how to respond.
Sure, you could go at it alone. But why attempt a solo mission when others are willing to join you in the spiritual trenches?
God uses these Christian clubs to provide us much needed friends and fun. But more importantly, he works through them to sanctify us so our lives give him glory. Join your Christian Club on campus.
5. To Eat Pizza With a Clear Conscience
To find out more about AFES affiliated Christian Clubs or to join one at your Uni, visit https://www.headingtouni.info/