REACHING THE STUDENT WORLD!
Students are a very strong and controversial force in today’s world. They derive their strength from the vigour of their youthfulness, their sophisticated knowledge and from their great and increasing number. Their impact on world events is and will be felt in increasing measure.
To many, they are weird creatures to be avoided; to the police, law-breakers to be arrested; to some rulers, a revolutionary threat to be utilized; but to Jesus Christ, they are precious persons to be loved and saved. By some, they are criticized; by others, idolized; but by Christians; they should be reached and won to Christ.
Many of the students are carrying heavy burdens and are going through the darkest valleys. Some of their problems include:
- Being separated by sin from God, the source of peace; many students live in fear of the past, present, future and particularly fear of death. This fear often leads to depression and introversion and ultimately may end in suicide/ homicide. Some students live under the heavy burden of moral problems– sexually and morally disoriented.
- To many students, especially in our continent (Africa), the economic situation is a real problem.
- Students studying in foreign countries are met with numerous cultural problems.
- Moving from their homes to the campus, a student centre or a student lodging house may create certain social problems. For fear of being labelled “chicken” or “coward” a student might easily give in to peer pressure and take part in whatever others are doing.
- Intellectual difficulties can sometimes pose a real threat to the student’s spiritual life, especially if his/ her intellectual questions are dismissed by Christians as evasion of moral problems.
Bringing students to Christ is of paramount importance because of a threefold reason:
- They Need Christ: Without Christ, everybody- young people inclusive, is lost and doomed. If we really believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father and that He is the one and only Saviour, we would realize the importance of reaching students. They have needs which no one but Christ can meet and problems which none other than Him can solve. In fact students, contrary to the beliefs of many Christians, feel the need and thirst for Christ more than many others; and their whirling world of drugs and pills, brothels, night clubs, nudity or maxis, long hair or skin heads are but an outward expressions of their inner hunger which only Christ can satisfy.
- Christ Needs Them: He loves them. He longs for the return of every one of them, and needs their efforts to bring others to Him. God, in His wisdom, has chosen to use human beings as the only means of spreading the Gospel to fellow human beings. This divine principle was made clear to us in the salvation of Cornelius where an angel was sent, not to show him the way of salvation, but to invite Peter, who would lead him to Christ (Acts 10: 3- 6)
- We Need Them: To perpetuate and expand the vision
It is in bringing others to Christ that we are brought closer to Him. It is in teaching that we grow in knowledge, and through giving that we receive. It is commonly supposed that studying is the only road to learning. On the contrary, absorbing information without expressing it is the surest way to paralyze the mind. Somehow, we must give out what we get, or soon we will get no more.
OUR SPECIFIC PROCEDURES FOR REACHING THE STUDENT WORLD
A Team of Committed Christian Students:
A team of committed students are trained to work on campus. Work is organised and responsibilities distributed among them. They meet regularly to pray together, study the Bible, and discuss questions most commonly asked by students or most likely to be asked. Members practise a Christ- like life among the other students, and are, at the same time, of high academic standard, to demonstrate to other students that Christ does not only make good Christians, but He also makes better students. In addition, the Fellowship must be a centre of attraction to all students by providing counselling, organising academic tutorials, and catering for the welfare of needy students.
Associates Fellowship of Christian Students (AFCS) branches are directly responsible for taking oversight of the school branches in their vicinity (rally unit) in close consultation with the Zone. They do this by:
- Visiting the school branch regularly
- Organizing enriching, spiritual, lively and relevant programs for the holistic development of the students.
- Organizing training for the leaders to help them run the school branch activities effectively.
- Providing the students with the ministry materials and literature they need e. g., Bible study outlines, devotionals (Daily Power and Daily Guide), etc.
- Being available to preach, teach, train, disciple, and counsel the students at all times.
- Caring for the needs of the students, e. g., providing some form of scholarship of indigent students, helping them to secure admissions, helping those that are applicant to secure jobs.
Students are involved in the outreach of the AFCS and are given some responsibilities (e. g., Bible studies and lifeskills facilitation during rallies, conferences, etc., and mobilization for rallies and conferences). They are encouraged and mentored to appreciate the need to continue with FCS and belong fully to the AFCS after graduation.
Campus Chapels and Churches:
Chapels and Churches within the vicitiny of campuses become centers of attraction to students. This is achieved by:
- Vigorous preaching and lively Bible study
- Holding meetings for students
- Providing counselling to students by devout church leaders who are really interested in the youth.
- Serving lunch and refreshment at low price, which will attract students who live away from the campus, to where they will be given spiritual nourishment, as well as
- Giving special academic coaching by volunteering christian lecturers completely free of charge.
Christian Student or Youth Centres:
Christian student or youth centres provide lodging, food, sports, counselling, and above all, a healthy Christian atmosphere, which can be very attractive to students coming from distant places or foreign countries, who find no room in the campus, or are dissatisfied with its atmosphere.
Conferences held during vactions are vital evangelistic tools. Many students have come to know Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord during such conferences.
Symposia on vital subjects which interest or perplex students, such as “Science and Faith”, “The Meaning of Freedom”, “The Search for Peace”, “Music and Sex”, “Social Media”, “Security”, etc. draw students and affects them much more than a straight lecture.
Literature specially oriented to the youth, should be regularly studied by the Christian workers and discussed with others. The students are encouraged to read individually and review such recommended literature in the fellowship from time to time.
Music and Drama:
Music and Drama with intelligent evangelistic contents are quite appealing to students. Such Music and drama should be concluded with a powerful charge, to give the students opportunity to respond appropriately.