Why I Love Campus Ministry
Updated: May 25, 2021
Written by Kelly Haywood
“Today I lay before you the greatest challenge ever given to man by the greatest person who has ever lived: to help fulfill the Great Commission.
No matter how wealthy, famous, brilliant, or powerful you may be, you will never give yourself to any cause that can compare with this life-changing, even world-changing, call of God.
No matter how many honors, awards, or achievements may be placed in your hands, nothing can even begin to compare with this command of our Lord Jesus Christ to help take His message of love and forgiveness to every person in every community, in every city, in every country of the world and make disciples of all nations."
Today we live in a world of rapid and radical change. Men's hearts are filled with fear and dread, frustration and despair. Mankind has proven incapable of coping with the pressing problems of our time – the population explosion, the pollution of the environment, the rising tide of crime and violence, sexual rebellion, alcoholism, drug addiction, abortion, pornography, urban sprawl, and wide spread political, social and moral decay.”
Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), wrote these words in the 1950’s, if you can believe it! The challenge he speaks of has captured my heart since I was a student at UNC. I didn’t go to college with dreams of becoming a missionary. I studied business, and I loved my major. However, my heart was truly captivated by the calling God has placed on each of us to move the Gospel forward into the world. Of course, there are numerous ways to do this, and we each play a vitally important God-given role in fulfilling the Great Commission. For me this meant becoming a full-time missionary.
Jesus commissioned His disciples, saying
“I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this- that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”
Since Cru was founded, the organization has grown to position more than 25,000 full-time staff members in 191 major countries representing over 97% of the world’s population. Millions of people have come to experience a relationship with Christ through this ministry. They’ve been discipled and equipped to win and disciple others, generation after generation.
Cru at UNC has the same vision. We want students to encounter God and respond by graduating and carrying his name to the workplace, the home, and the nations. College graduates are globally minded and I want to send them to every corner of the world with the message of Christ. My passion is to intersect with the brokenness of others and point them to the hope we have in Christ. I’ve welcomed students from around the world, gone for countless cups of coffee, and built friendships with women of all sorts of backgrounds. I’ve driven girls to Pregnancy Support Services, and I’ve prayed with them as they’ve walked through the death of a parent, a brother’s cancer diagnosis, sexual assault, anxiety, and deep depression. I’ve walked with them to a counselor’s office and listened as they’ve shared stories of drug and alcohol abuse. I’ve listened to countless students wonder whether God is active in their lives, whether He has a plan for them…whether He even exists. Students experience all sorts of academic, social, and circumstantial pressure, and the college campus is incapable of helping them cope with such pressing problems.
What a crucial time it is to be a part of sharing and demonstrating the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. I’m grateful for a church family that’s living out this Great Commission in so many different and beautiful ways, and I’m thankful for how many of you share my heart for college students and have been so supportive as we serve Christ together.